Recipes from Bake Off judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood’s new book

A note from Paul

These have been difficult and challenging times for everyone, but we have done what we do best in a crisis and that’s come together as a community. 

I have been truly humbled by stories of how communities have rallied to support neighbours, the elderly, the vulnerable, our key workers and the incredible NHS staff working on the frontline of this pandemic. 

Whether it be shopping, cooking, making a call to someone who is lonely, sewing face coverings and scrubs, or picking up prescriptions, people have found their own way to help and look out for each other.

For me, it has been wonderful to see how so many people have used baking as a way to lift spirits, teach and entertain children, and help the community – some baking for the first time, others using the enforced time at home to revisit a long- forgotten passion, all united in wanting to feed and share. 

Paul, pictured left with co-judge Prue Leith, said he has enjoyed seeing people take up baking during the coronavirus lockdown and tapping into talents and long-forgotten passions

Paul, pictured left with co-judge Prue Leith, said he has enjoyed seeing people take up baking during the coronavirus lockdown and tapping into talents and long-forgotten passions

Even when there was a great big flour-shaped hole on shops’ shelves, seeing how innovative people were in their baking was really inspiring.

It is those favourite, go-to or special bakes that bring comfort and a smile. I think the recipes here really reflect that spirit and are perfect for baking for and baking with others. 

Our fabulous bakers have shared their own favourite recipes, feel-good bakes made with love. And there are recipes from Prue and me and the Bake Off team – great for challenging your own baking skills.

As we embark on the ‘new normal’, let’s celebrate the simple pleasures in life that have shone a light during these darker times. And I can think of no better way than with a cup of tea and a slice of cake or freshly baked loaf.

A note from Prue

Prue , pictured left with co-judge Paul Hollywood, said for many years work had got in the way of her tendency to be a 'feeder' but since she became a judge on the Great British Bake Off her passion for cooking has returned

Prue , pictured left with co-judge Paul Hollywood, said for many years work had got in the way of her tendency to be a ‘feeder’ but since she became a judge on the Great British Bake Off her passion for cooking has returned

One of life’s greatest joys is feeding people. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. The simple act of making really delicious food to share is what I love.

I have always been a feeder – my husband used to say I got almost as much pleasure out of feeding the horses hot bran and carrots and the chickens leftover scraps, as I did out of cooking for the family.

But over the years, what with running a business and writing novels, I had baked less and less. Bake Off changed that.

Inspired by the talented team who make the show, and our incredible bakers who manage to bring something new to the tent year on year, I started stealing their recipes to bake at home. Passion re-ignited, I’m now as enthusiastic a baker as ever.

Lockdown was an anxious time, separating me from my children and grandchildren; worrying about the impact on business, the NHS, friends and colleagues. But I’m also aware of how lucky I’ve been. 

Lockdown afforded me the luxury of time at home, not working, and time to spend with my husband, take stock, be still, walk the dogs, appreciate the garden and perfect the Paul Hollywood brioche à tête!

Baking is such a great way to share food, celebrate events, thank people and show them you care. Each week I baked Friday night supper for the staff at our local care home.

It was a great excuse to bake, and to do those old-fashioned dishes that spell comfort and love: chicken pies and pasta bakes, and (of course) pastries and cakes.

Bake Off is a global community, bringing people together physically and virtually, and it is a privilege to be part of that. When people talk to me about the show, they often mention the kindness that runs through it.

 They love seeing the bakers helping each other, forgetting that they are rivals. 

They can tell we are all – presenters, judges, crew and bakers – having a happy time.

And most of all they tell me that this year, more than ever before, they value that sense of community, the camaraderie, and the obvious pleasure the bakers have in doing what they love. 

I do think Bake Off is a force for good, and never more needed and valued than it has been this year.

PRUE’S RASPBERRY AND SALTED CARAMEL ECLAIRS

Featuring on this weeks episode, these impressive raspberry and salted caramel eclairs (pictured) are a wonderfully delicious twist on the traditional chocolate and cream versions

Featuring on this weeks episode, these impressive raspberry and salted caramel eclairs (pictured) are a wonderfully delicious twist on the traditional chocolate and cream versions

These will put you in the running for the top prize at the next charity bake off. There is enough pastry for ten éclairs – bake all, fill six and freeze the rest. Or make double the quantity of filling and fill them all.

YOU WILL NEED

  • Baking sheet lined with baking paper
  • Large piping bag fitted with a large closed star nozzle
  • Medium piping bag fitted with a large ribbon nozzle

  • 2 medium piping bags, each fitted with a jam syringe 
  • Small piping bag fitted with a medium writing nozzle

Hands on: 1.5 hours Bake: 30 mins Makes 6

 For the choux pastry

  • 45g (1½oz) strong white bread flour
  • 45g (1½oz) plain flour 
  • ½tsp caster sugar
  • 65ml (2¼fl oz) whole milk
  • 55g (2oz) unsalted butter
  •  ¼tsp salt 
  • 2 large eggs 

For the crème pâtissière 

  • 150ml (5fl oz) whole milk
  • 80ml (2½fl oz) double cream 
  • 65g (2¼oz) caster sugar 
  • 4 large egg yolks 
  • 20g (¾oz) cornflour
  • 40g (1½oz) unsalted butter

For the salted caramel

  •  100g (3½oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter
  • 70ml (2½fl oz) double cream
  • 1tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

For the caramelised hazelnuts 

  • 3 blanched hazelnuts 

 

 For the raspberry purée 

  • 150g (5½oz) raspberries
  • 1tsp caster sugar   

 For the salted caramel icing 

  • 50-70g (1¾-2½oz) fondant icing sugar

For the glaze 

  • 100g (3½oz) caster sugar
  • 2tsp gelatine powder
  • ¼tsp edible gold powder

To decorate

  • Cornflour, for dusting
  • 50g (1¾oz) ready-to-roll dark red fondant
  • 30g (1oz) freeze-dried raspberry powder
  • 50g (1¾oz) fondant icing sugar
  • White sprinkles
  • 3 raspberry halves
  • Edible gold leaf

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Draw ten 12cm-long lines, equally spaced apart, on the underside of the sheet of baking paper lining your baking sheet.

Make the choux pastry. Sift both types of flour and the sugar onto a sheet of baking paper. Put the milk, butter and salt into a saucepan with 65ml water and heat gently until the butter melts – don’t let the water boil before the butter has melted. Then, quickly bring the mixture to the boil and tip in the flour and sugar mixture in one go. Remove from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon.

Return the pan to a low heat and continue to beat the dough for 4-5 minutes, until it is glossy and cleanly leaves the sides of the pan. The dough should cook slightly and dry out. Tip the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to cool until just warm.

With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition until smooth and the batter reluctantly drops off a spoon. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag with the closed star nozzle and pipe ten 12cm lines, using the drawn lines as a guide.

Bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes, opening the oven door halfway through to release the steam, until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven, prick the bases with a wooden skewer and cool on a wire rack. (Once cooled, you can freeze four of the buns.)

YOUR BAKING LARDER 

Caster sugar comes as both refined white and unrefined golden. 

White provides sweetness with a neutral colour and flavour.

Unrefined golden caster sugar has a slight caramel flavour. 

Use it when having a warmer colour in your bake is not an issue. 

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Make the crème pâtissière. Bring the milk and cream to the boil in a pan, then remove from the heat. Whisk the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk on medium speed until combined. Pour a little bit of the hot milk and cream on to the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Whisk in the rest of the hot milk and cream until well combined, then return to the pan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens to a thick custard consistency.

Remove from the heat and pass the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl. Add the butter and stir until melted and thoroughly combined. Cover with cling film and set aside.

Now start to make the salted caramel. Heat the sugar in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat, shaking it from time to time without stirring, until the sugar dissolves and turns a dark amber. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

For the caramelised hazelnuts, stick the end of a wooden skewer into the side of each hazelnut, taking care not to split the hazelnut. Place a heavy chopping board on the edge of a work surface and a sheet of baking paper on the floor beneath it. One at a time, gently dip the hazelnuts in the caramel until coated, then place the skewers under the chopping board, overhanging the work surface, and let the caramel drip off the hazelnut in a long strand (the baking paper will catch the drip). Leave to cool and set, then gently remove the skewer and trim the strands of caramel so that all three are the same length.

Return the caramel pan to a low heat and add the butter, stirring to combine. Add the cream and stir continuously to a dark, golden, thick sauce. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and leave to cool.

For the raspberry purée, tip the raspberries and sugar into a small pan and crush with a potato masher. Cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the raspberries release their juices and the liquid thickens. Remove from the heat and pass through a clean sieve into a bowl, scraping the purée from the underside of the sieve. Leave to cool.

Divide the crème pâtissière equally between 2 bowls, then fold the raspberry purée into one bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover the surface with a sheet of baking paper to stop a skin forming and then chill until required.

Fold 75g of the cooled salted caramel and the vanilla extract into the other bowl of crème pâtissière until thoroughly combined. Cover as before and chill until required.

Next make the salted caramel icing. Mix the remaining salted caramel with the fondant icing sugar until stiff, smooth and glossy. Spoon into the medium piping bag fitted with a large ribbon nozzle. Set aside.

To make the glaze, tip the sugar into a pan with 150ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes, until syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside. Pour 2tbsp of the syrup into a small bowl and reserve.

Prue's (pictured) recipe is not for the faint hearted but can provide some beautiful results

Prue’s (pictured) recipe is not for the faint hearted but can provide some beautiful results

Sprinkle the gelatine over 100ml water in a small heatproof bowl and leave to stand for 2-3 minutes, until softened and swelled. Then set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring you stir occasionally, until the gelatine dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir into the sugar syrup in the pan. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl (at least the length of an éclair), then stir in the edible gold powder. Leave to cool and thicken slightly.

To assemble the éclairs, make 2 small holes in the base of each with the tip of a small, sharp knife.

Spoon the raspberry crème pâtissière into the piping bag fitted with a jam syringe and pipe three of the éclairs full of raspberry filling.

Next, spoon the salted caramel crème pâtissière into the second piping bag fitted with a jam syringe and pipe three of the éclairs full of the salted caramel filling.

Pipe the salted caramel icing neatly on top of the salted caramel-filled éclairs, then dip them into the gold glaze to coat the icing. (If the glaze has started to set before you dip the éclairs, simply warm it over a pan of gently simmering water.) Transfer to a wire rack to set. Once set, decorate each one by adding a caramelised hazelnut on the end.

To decorate the raspberry éclairs, on a surface lightly dusted with cornflour, roll out the red fondant to 1.5-2mm thick and cut three 12 x 2.5cm-wide strips. Trim the ends of each strip into a curve the same shape as the ends of the éclairs. Brush the raspberry éclairs with some of the 2tbsp of sugar syrup you reserved when making the glaze, then stick a fondant strip on top of each one. Tip the freeze-dried raspberry powder onto a plate. Brush the top of the fondant with some more of the sugar syrup, then dip into the raspberry powder to coat.

Mix the 50g fondant icing sugar with enough water to make a stiff but pourable icing, then spoon this into the piping bag fitted with a writing nozzle. Pipe 4 lines along the length of each raspberry éclair and decorate with a few white sprinkles. Finish decorating by adding a half raspberry topped with a little edible gold leaf on to the end of each.

PETER’S RED BERRY DELICE

The king of gluten-free bakes, Scottish Peter has shared his favourite recipe - a beautifully decorated red berry delice (pictured)

The king of gluten-free bakes, Scottish Peter has shared his favourite recipe – a beautifully decorated red berry delice (pictured)

I first made this gluten-free dessert when I was 15 for a dinner party with family friends. It was one of the first bakes I made that really wowed the table.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 33 x 23cm Swiss roll tin, greased, then lined (base and sides) with baking paper
  • Sugar thermometer  

  •  20cm springform tin, greased, then lined (base and sides) with baking paper to 2cm higher than the sides of the tin

Hands on 2 hours plus chilling Bake 12 mins Serves 12

For the sponge

  • 3 large eggs
  • 75g (2¾oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (1¾oz) gluten-free self-raising flour 
  • 30g (1oz) cocoa powder 

For the mousse

  • 4 platinum-grade gelatine leaves (from supermarkets)
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) pomegranate juice
  • 300g (10½oz) frozen mixed red berries, defrosted; or fresh strawberries and raspberries
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 200ml (7fl oz) double cream 

For the jelly topping

  • 2½ platinum-grade gelatine leaves
  • 100g (3½oz) caster sugar 
  • 75ml (2½fl oz) grenadine 
  • 50g (1¾oz) pomegranate seeds 

To decorate

  • 12 raspberries
  • 20g (¾oz) pistachios
  • 15g (½oz) pomegranate seeds 

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Make the sponge. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, on high speed for about 8 minutes, until thick, fluffy and mousse-like, and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in with a large metal spoon. Spread out the mixture in the lined Swiss roll tin, right into the corners. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the sponge is risen and springs back when pressed. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto baking paper and remove the backing. Cool completely.

Make the mousse. Soak the gelatine leaves in 50ml water. Place the pomegranate juice and defrosted or fresh berries in a liquidiser or food processor and blend until smooth, then pass the mixture through a sieve into a jug (discard the contents of the sieve). Pour 225ml of the juice into a pan and heat until hot, but not boiling.

Meanwhile, using a balloon whisk, whisk the egg yolks with 85g of the sugar in a bowl until pale. Gradually whisk in the hot berry juice, then return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low-medium heat, stirring, until the custard thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil.

Peter, pictured, made a range of gluten-free bakes while in the Great British Bake Off tent

Peter, pictured, made a range of gluten-free bakes while in the Great British Bake Off tent

Take the custard off the heat. Squeeze out any liquid from the gelatine and stir the leaves into the custard until melted. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave at room temperature to cool.

Place the egg whites and 30g of the sugar in the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Leave the mixture ready to go while you make a syrup for the mousse.

Gently heat the remaining 110g caster sugar in a pan with 35ml water until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, without stirring, until it reaches 112°C on a sugar thermometer. When the temperature reaches 107°C, start whisking the egg whites and sugar in the stand mixer on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Then, once the sugar syrup reaches 112°C, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, whisking on high speed until it cools to a thick, glossy meringue.

In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks then fold into the cooled meringue, then fold in the cooled berry custard.

To assemble, using the base of the springform tin as a template, cut out a circle of the sponge. Place the sponge inside the lined cake tin, then place the tin onto a serving plate. Pour the mousse into the tin, then chill for at least 4 hours, until set.

Make the jelly topping. Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water. Heat the sugar and 100ml water in a pan over a low-medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, measure out 100ml of the syrup and combine this with the grenadine. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatine and stir it into the hot syrup and grenadine until dissolved. Leave to cool to room temperature. Once the jelly has cooled, stir in the pomegranate seeds.

Take the mousse cake out of the fridge and gently pour the jelly topping over, ensuring the mousse is evenly covered and the seeds are evenly distributed throughout. Chill for about 30 minutes, until set.

To serve, remove the sides of the tin, peel away the paper and arrange raspberries, pistachios and pomegranate seeds around the edge.

MINI ORANGE AND GINGER FLORENTINES  

These delicious orange and ginger florentines, pictured, could make for the perfect gift if boxed up and presented to the recipient with love

These delicious orange and ginger florentines, pictured, could make for the perfect gift if boxed up and presented to the recipient with love

These dainty biscuits are delicious with coffee or after dinner – parcel them up prettily and offer them as a thank-you-for-having-me. Flaked coconut, raisins, glacé cherries, dried cranberries, chopped hazelnuts or apricots are delicious in this too.

YOU WILL NEED 

  • 3 baking trays, lined with baking paper 
  • 5-6cm round cutter (optional)

 Hands on 25 mins Bake 10 mins Makes 24

  • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter
  • 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (1¾oz) golden syrup
  • 50g (1¾oz) plain flour
  • 50g (1¾oz) flaked almonds
  • 50g (1¾oz) candied orange peel, chopped into 5mm dice
  • 50g (1¾oz) crystallised ginger, chopped into 5mm dice
  • 150g (5½oz) orange-flavoured milk chocolate, broken into pieces 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the butter, sugar and syrup in a small pan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the flour, almonds, orange peel and crystallised ginger. Stir until well combined, taking care not to break up the flaked almonds.

Using a 1tsp measuring spoon, place 24 equal mounds of the mixture onto the lined baking trays, spacing the mounds well apart. (Using a measuring spoon will help you get evenly sized biscuits.) Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown, then remove from the oven. If you want neat edges, use the round cutter to push any uneven edges into a neat circle, while the florentines are still warm on the baking trays.

Leave the florentines to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Turn the florentines upside down on the wire rack and spread the chocolate over the bases. Leave them to set at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, then use a fork to make ripples in the chocolate. Leave the florentines to set completely.

LAURA’S CHOCOLATE AND SALTED CARAMEL CAKE

When asked to make cakes for her family parties, Laura likes to pull out all the stops, and this chocolate and salted caramel cake (pictured) is no exception

When asked to make cakes for her family parties, Laura likes to pull out all the stops, and this chocolate and salted caramel cake (pictured) is no exception

This indulgent cake combines two of my favourite flavours: fudgy chocolate and salted caramel. I’m always asked to make it for family birthdays – it’s a showstopper met with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.

YOU WILL NEED 

  • 4 x 20cm sandwich tins, greased, Then base-lined with baking paper
  • 25cm cake board
  • Cake scraper
  • Small paper piping bag
  • Large piping bag fitted with a 2d nozzle or open star nozzle 

Hands on 1.5 hours plus chilling Bake 25 mins Serves 16

For the sponge

Laura's, (pictured) delicious cake takes around two hours to make

Laura’s, (pictured) delicious cake takes around two hours to make

  • 95g (3¼oz) cocoa powder, sifted 
  • 240g (8¾oz) light brown soft sugar
  • 2½tsp vanilla paste
  • 175ml (6fl oz) just-boiled water
  • 420g (15oz) plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250g (9oz) salted butter, softened
  • 280g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs 

 For the salted caramel

  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 150ml (5fl oz) double cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp sea salt 

For the buttercream

  • 220g (8oz) egg whites (about 6 large whites)
  • 320g (11½oz) caster sugar
  • 470g (1lb ¾oz) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 4tsp vanilla extract

To decorate

  • Caramel chocolates, popcorn or honeycomb

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Make the sponge. Whisk the cocoa powder, light brown soft sugar, vanilla paste and water in a mixing bowl until smooth. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.

Beat the butter and caster sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing in 1tbsp of the flour mixture after each egg.

Fold in the remaining flour mixture, a third at a time, until well incorporated, then fold in the cooled cocoa mixture.

Divide the sponge mixture equally between the lined tins and level with a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes, until risen and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

YOUR BAKING LARDER 

Take eggs out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before you start cooking. 

Or pop them into a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes. 

Egg whites will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer (defrost overnight in the fridge before use). 

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Meanwhile, make the salted caramel. Put the caster sugar and 6tbsp of water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, without stirring, until the caramel starts to turn deep amber. Remove from the heat and place the pan in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Slowly whisk the cream and vanilla extract into the caramel until you have a thick pouring consistency (if necessary return the pan to a low heat, stirring continuously, to reduce a little). Stir in the sea salt and leave to cool.

Make the buttercream. Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Next set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sugar dissolves – the mixture should feel smooth, not grainy, between your fingertips.

Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and mix for about 7 minutes, to stiff peaks. Add the butter, then whisk for about 5 minutes, until smooth and glossy. Don’t panic if the mixture appears to curdle or turn lumpy – keep whisking until it becomes smooth. Add the vanilla extract and, a tablespoon at a time, add 5tbsp of the cooled caramel, and then mix until smooth.

Level the cakes if necessary and divide the buttercream between 3 bowls. Secure one of the sponges to the cake board using a little bit of buttercream.

Using the buttercream from one of the bowls, spread it over the top of the sponge on the cake board, and on top of two other sponges, stacking them on top of one another. Top the cake with the remaining fourth sponge. Using the buttercream from the second bowl, carefully spread it over the outside of the cake with a palette knife. For the semi-naked look, run a cake scraper around the outside of the cake with a firm pressure, so that parts of the cake appear through the buttercream. 

Chill for 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the cooled salted caramel into the paper piping bag, twist the top to seal and snip the end. Pipe around and over the edge of the cake to create drips running down the side. Spread the remainder of the caramel over the top of the cake. Spoon the final third bowl of buttercream into the piping bag fitted with the nozzle and pipe around the top of the cake. Do not pipe too close to the edge, as the buttercream can slide off. Decorate with caramel chocolates, popcorn or honeycomb.

LOTTIE’S BLACK FOREST GATEAU 

Lottie created a fun and delicious twist on the retro favourite black forest gateau, pictured, and she claims it suits the tastebuds of even the fussiest eaters

Lottie created a fun and delicious twist on the retro favourite black forest gateau, pictured, and she claims it suits the tastebuds of even the fussiest eaters

This gâteau is a retro family favourite in our house. It is an intensely chocolatey cherry combo that seems to please all demographics, from the ‘I-remember-these-from-the-70s’ types to the ‘I-hate-cherries-but-this-is-all-right’ types. Just make sure to serve with a fork to hand; it tends to be too messy for fingers.

YOU WILL NEED 

  • 20cm round cake tins x 2, greased, then base-lined with baking paper 
  • 1 large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
  • 1 baking sheet, lined with baking paper
  • 2 small paper piping bags

Hands on 2 hours Bake 1 hour 10 mins Serves 12

For the soured-cream sponge

To create Lottie's (pictured) recipe, you will need to set aside around three hours

To create Lottie’s (pictured) recipe, you will need to set aside around three hours

  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter
  • 400g (14oz) plain flour
  • 250g (9oz) golden caster sugar
  • 100g (3½oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 50g (1¾oz) cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½tsp salt l 3 large eggs
  • 150ml (5fl oz) soured cream
  •  1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml (4fl oz) sunflower oil 

For the whisked sponge

  • 6 eggs 
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar 
  • 150g (5½oz) unsalted butter
  • 100g (3½oz) plain flour 
  • 60g (2¼oz) cocoa powder

For the filling and sides

  • 100g (3½oz) morello cherry jam
  • 390g jar of cherries in kirsch
  • 750ml (1pt 7fl oz) double cream 
  • 2tbsp icing sugar
  • 200g (7oz) 54 per cent dark chocolate, very finely grated

To decorate

  • 75g (2¾oz) 70 per cent dark chocolate
  • 75g (2¾oz) white chocolate
  • 200g (7oz) cherries

Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. First, make the soured-cream sponge. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then remove from the heat and leave to  cool. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, both types of sugar, and the cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined. 

Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the eggs, soured cream and vanilla in another bowl until fluffy. Using the same hand whisk, mix the sunflower oil into the cooled butter, then whisk in 300ml water to form an emulsion. Gradually pour in the egg and soured-cream mixture, whisking until smooth. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and whisk again until smooth. Divide the mixture equally between the lined cake tins and level with a palette knife. Bake for 40-45 minutes until risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Make the whisked sponge. Grease and re-line the cake tins. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, on high speed for about 10 minutes, until thick and mousse-like and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk. 

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold this into the egg mixture, taking care not to knock out the air. Gently pour the cooled melted butter down the inside of the bowl and carefully fold in.

YOUR BAKING LARDER 

Dark chocolate, with around 70 per cent cocoa solids, is the kind most used in recipes as it gives a good balance of flavour. 

White chocolate doesn’t have any cocoa solids, just cocoa butter. 

Look for brands with 30 per cent or more cocoa butter. 

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Divide the mixture equally between the lined tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until springy to the touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the jam in a small pan until melted. Drain the cherries (reserving the juice), chop them a little and stir into the jam. Set aside to cool completely. 

Pour the juice into a small pan and bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, or until the syrup is reduced to about 4tbsp. Brush 1tbsp of the syrup over the top of each cake.Whip 550ml of the cream with the icing sugar to soft peaks. Place 1 soured-cream sponge on a plate, spread with jam and a little cream, then top with a whisked sponge and repeat the jam and cream. Place the second soured-cream sponge on top and repeat, finishing with the last whisked sponge (use the most attractive, flattest cake for the top). 

Using a palette knife, spread the remaining whipped cream around the sides, but not the top of the cake. Place the finely grated chocolate on a dinner plate. Carefully, holding the top and bottom of the cake, lift it and roll the sides in the grated chocolate until coated. Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks. Spread a little on top of the cake to cover and spoon the remainder into the piping bag with the star nozzle. Pipe rosettes of cream around the top edge.

To decorate, melt the white and dark chocolates separately in small heatproof bowls set over small pans of barely simmering water. Dip half the cherries in white chocolate and half in dark. Place on the lined baking sheet and chill for 5 minutes, until set. Pour the remaining melted white and dark chocolate into separate paper piping bags and snip off the ends. Drizzle the white chocolate cherries with the dark chocolate and the dark chocolate cherries with white chocolate. Chill for 10 minutes, until set, then arrange on top of the cake.

HERMINE’S HAM, CHEESE AND CHIVE COURONNES 

These were the first breads I made, and they’re my son’s favourites. 

Hermine's ham, cheese and chive couronnes (pictured) were one of the first bread-based recipes she tried to make and take just over two hours from start to finish

Hermine’s ham, cheese and chive couronnes (pictured) were one of the first bread-based recipes she tried to make and take just over two hours from start to finish

YOU WILL NEED 

  • 2 proving bags

Hands on 1 hour plus rising Bake 20 mins Makes 4

Hermine's (pictured) recipe is one her son's favourites that she makes

Hermine’s (pictured) recipe is one her son’s favourites that she makes

For the dough

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) strong white bread flour
  • 90g (3¼oz) caster sugar 
  • 10g (¼oz) fine salt 
  • 10g (¼oz) fast-action dried yeast
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 beaten egg
  • 120ml (4fl oz) whole milk, warmed 
  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes and softened 

For the filling

  • ½tsp smoked paprika
  • 300g (10½oz) smoked ham slices 
  • 200g (7oz) gruyère cheese, grated 
  • 10g (¼oz) chives, snipped
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

Make the dough. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and add enough warm milk to make it up to 290ml. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on slow speed for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. With the mixer on slow, mix in a quarter of the butter, then add the rest, a quarter at a time, mixing well between each addition, to a soft, shiny dough. 

Cover the bowl and chill for 4-5 hours, until the dough is firm enough to shape.  (Leave it overnight to develop more flavour, if you have time.) Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out each piece to a 45 x 22cm rectangle. Sprinkle the paprika equally on top of each rectangle, then lay the slices of ham on top and sprinkle the cheese and chives over. Season with black pepper.

Roll up each piece of dough from a long edge in a tight roll, then cut in half lengthways to give you 4 equal pieces. Take 1 piece of dough and twist it along its length, then form it into a circle and press the ends together to seal. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces. Place the couronnes on 2 baking sheets, then transfer to a proving bag and leave to prove for 4-5 hours, until the dough is soft and puffy, and almost doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Brush the couronnes with the beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. (Cover with foil after 15 minutes if they become too brown.)

PAUL’S CHOCOLATE BABKA

Paul's chocolate babka, (pictured) a recipe which featured on one of the earlier episodes of this year's Great British Bake Off, is best eaten on the day it is made with a mug off coffee to wash it down

Paul’s chocolate babka, (pictured) a recipe which featured on one of the earlier episodes of this year’s Great British Bake Off, is best eaten on the day it is made with a mug off coffee to wash it down

Best eaten on the day it’s made, this fudgy chocolate babka is easy to wrap and take with you to share with a friend alongside a good cup of coffee.

YOU WILL NEED 

  • 900g loaf tin, greased, then lined (base, sides and overhanging the short ends) with baking paper
  • Proving bag (optional)

Hands on 30 mins plus proving Bake 45 mins Makes 1 loaf

For the filling

  • 65g (2½oz) blanched hazelnuts
  • 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter 
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar 
  • 80g (3oz) 70 per cent dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder 

For the dough

  • 275g (9¾oz) plain flour
  •  5g (¹/8oz) fast-action dried yeast
  • 25g (1oz) caster sugar
  • ½tsp fine salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50ml (2fl oz) whole milk
  • 80g (3oz) unsalted butter, cubed and softened

For the syrup

  • 100g (3½oz) caster sugar

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Make the filling. Tip the hazelnuts into a baking tray and roast in the bottom of the oven for 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until light golden. Tip onto a chopping board, leave to cool, then roughly chop half the hazelnuts and finely chop the remainder. Set aside.

Place the butter, sugar and chocolate in a pan and melt very slowly over a low heat, stirring until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool and thicken slightly.

Meanwhile, make the dough. Tip the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the sugar and salt to the other side. Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and milk, then mix on slow speed for 2-3 minutes, until firm. Increase the speed to medium and add the butter, a little at a time. Mix well between each addition, allowing the butter to incorporate before adding more.

Once you have added all the butter, continue kneading with the dough hook on medium speed through the sticky stage, until you have a ball of smooth, silky, shiny dough.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 40 x 30cm rectangle, with a long edge closest to you.

Spread the cooled chocolate mixture over the dough, leaving a 1cm border all around. Sprinkle all the toasted hazelnuts over the top.

Starting from the long edge closest to you, roll up the dough into a tight spiral, with the seam underneath.

Trim about 2cm off each end to neaten, then turn the roll through 90° clockwise so that a short end is closest to you. Using a large, sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice lengthways, down through the middle of the dough, cutting it into 2 long pieces.

With the cut-sides facing upwards, gently press the top end of each half together to seal, then lift the right half over the left half, followed by the left half over the right half. Repeat, twisting the dough to make a two-stranded plait, then gently press the bottom ends together to seal.

Carefully lift the loaf into the lined tin and cover with a clean tea towel (or place in a proving bag, if you have one). Leave at room temperature for about 2 hours (or in a proving drawer for 1 hour), until doubled in size.

Fifteen minutes before the end of the proving time, heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5.

When the babka has proved, bake it for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3 and cook for a further 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

To make the syrup, tip the sugar and 100ml water into a small pan, bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes, until syrupy. Leave to cool.

When the babka is ready, transfer it in the tin to a wire rack. Brush the cooled syrup over the top of the hot babka, then leave in the tin until warm enough to handle. Turn out onto the wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

MARK’S CHICKEN TAGINE PIES

Mark's chicken tagine pies, pictured, were inspired by his travels abroad and the handy-sized savoury treats take around two hours to make

Mark’s chicken tagine pies, pictured, were inspired by his travels abroad and the handy-sized savoury treats take around two hours to make

I started making these after a trip to Marrakech, using ras el hanout that I brought home. They’re very easy with shortcrust pastry, but they’re also good with puff.

YOU WILL NEED 

  • 11cm and 7cm round cutters
  • 12-hole muffin tray, greased
  • 6-hole muffin tray, greased

Hands on 1.5 hours plus marinating and chilling Bake 30 mins Makes 18

For the filling

Mark, pictured, started making his pies after a visit to Marrakesh

Mark, pictured, started making his pies after a visit to Marrakesh

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1tbsp harissa paste
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2tbsp ras el hanout
  • ¼tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½tsp smoked paprika
  • ½tbsp plain flour
  • Juice and finely grated zest of ½ an unwaxed lemon
  • 150ml (5fl oz) chicken stock, plus extra if needed
  • 50g (1¾oz) raisins
  • 4 dried apricots
  • 120g (4¼oz) chickpeas from a can (drained weight)
  • 30g (1oz) pitted green olives, chopped
  • 1tbsp chopped coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Place the chicken thighs, harissa paste and salt in a bowl. Mix until the chicken is covered in the paste, then cover the bowl and leave to marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge, or overnight if you can. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Place the flour, butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse for 2-3 seconds at a time until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse to combine. Add about 5tbsp of water, one at a time, until the mix comes together.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, bring it together into a ball, then flatten slightly. Wrap and chill until needed. Continue to prepare the filling. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry over a low heat for 5-10 minutes, until transparent. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the ras el hanout, cinnamon, paprika and flour. Cook for 30 seconds.

YOUR BAKING LARDER 

Store your butter tightly wrapped in the fridge, away from strong flavours.

If you need softened butter, leave it out at room temperature and don’t use the microwave to heat – you want it to yield when pressed, but still hold its shape.

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Add the chicken thighs and stir to coat in the onion and spice mixture, then add the lemon juice and zest and the chicken stock, making sure the liquid covers the chicken. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and there is no sign of pink meat. Remove the chicken from the pan, shred it with two forks and return it to the pan.

Add the raisins, apricots and chickpeas and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the olives and cook for a further 5 minutes, adding more chicken stock if the mixture is too dry – it should be moist, but not too wet. Stir in the coriander and season with salt and black pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the filling to cool completely. Remove the pastry from the fridge and leave to soften for 5-10 minutes. 

Cut off two-thirds of the pastry and roll out on a lightly floured work surface until 3mm thick. Using the 11cm cutter, cut out 18 pastry discs and press into the hollows in the greased muffin tins. Press out any pleats to make the pastry an even thickness all round and trim the tops evenly. 

Divide the tagine mixture equally between the pastry cases, pressing it down well. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little of the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured work surface, until about 3mm thick. Using the 7cm cutter, cut out 18 pastry lids, then use a skewer to pierce a hole in each or a sharp knife to cut little dashes, to allow the steam to escape.

Place a pastry lid on top of each pie, pressing the edges together to seal. Brush the tops with the remaining beaten egg and then chill for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Bake the pies on the middle shelves for about 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Serve hot or cold.

DAVE’S TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE BROWNIES 

David's favourite thing to bake is triple-chocolate brownies, (pictured) and have white, dark and milk chocolate in them making them a rich tasty treat

David’s favourite thing to bake is triple-chocolate brownies, (pictured) and have white, dark and milk chocolate in them making them a rich tasty treat

Young or old, everyone loves my triple-chocolate brownies. They’re pretty much the only dessert my partner eats!

YOU WILL NEED

  • 33 x 23cm tray bake tin, greased, then base-lined l small paper piping bag (optional)

Hands on 20 mins Bake 30 mins l Makes 12

David's recipe of triple-chocolate brownies is one of the only deserts his partner will eat

David’s recipe of triple-chocolate brownies is one of the only deserts his partner will eat

  • 375g (13oz) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 375g (13oz) 54 per cent dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 350g (12oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • ½tsp crushed sea salt
  • 150g (5½oz) white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 150g (5½oz) milk chocolate, roughly chopped

To decorate

  • 25g (1oz) 70 per cent dark chocolate 
  • ¼tsp sunflower or coconut oil

Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the dark chocolate, remove the pan from the heat and stir until melted and smooth. Leave to cool slightly. Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl and, using a balloon whisk, mix in the sugar until combined. Gradually pour the

melted dark chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour and salt, then stir in the chopped chocolates. Pour the brownie mixture into the lined tin. Bake for 25 minutes for very gooey brownies, 27 minutes for slightly gooey (easier to cut) and 30 minutes for slightly cakey brownies. Leave to cool, then remove from the tin.

To decorate, melt the dark chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the chocolate over the brownies. For a neater effect, pour into a piping bag, twist the top and snip the end into a fine point, then drizzle in swirls over the top. Leave the topping to set, then cut into 12 squares to serve.

The Great British Bake Off ®: Love To Bake by The Bake Off Team (Little, Brown £22). © Love Productions 2020. To order a copy for £18.70 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £15. Offer price valid until 7/11/2020. 

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