Tuesday, 27 August 2013

GBBO Bake along - Week 1

Just when we thought we couldn't wait any longer The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens. We now have week after delicious week of baking highs and lows and I know I will literally be glued to my tv. 
Halfway through the first episode I decided that I was going to attempt to bake-along with the show, choosing either the signature bake, the technical bake or the showstopper.

The technical challenge of week 1 jumped straight out at me. I had vaguely heard of angel food cake, not to be confused with angel cake, but I had never seen, eaten nor made it before. Not only did it look something of a challenge, but it also looked completely intriguing; like a strangely cloudy bath sponge (totally not selling it!). 

And so, after purchasing a crazy amount of eggs and inviting my sister round to help with her electric whisk the GBBO challenge began...

This recipe came from Mary Berry, naturally, and the original is available on the BBC website. 

Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd

125g plain flour
300g caster sugar
10 large egg whites
Grated zest of 3 lemons
1 tbsp lemon juice 
5g cream of tarter
1/2 tsp salt

300ml whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g lemon curd

Start by preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
In a bowl mix the flour and 100g of the caster sugar together, then put to one side. In a separate (large) bowl, use an electric whisk to mix the egg whites for a minute or until they are frothy and have doubled in size. 
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream of tarter, salt and continue whisking until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. 
Then turn the speed up and add the remaining 200g of caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk until firm, but not stiff peaks are formed.
Gently sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture into the bowl of egg whites and gently fold in. Continue gently adding the flour mixture and folding in until all is combined. Make sure there are no pockets of flour mixture, but be careful not to knock the air out of the egg whites. 
Gently pour the mixture into a 25cm tin (DO NOT GREASE OR LINE!!) and cook in the oven on a low shelf for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
When cooked, remove for the oven and immediately turn upside down on a wire rack and leave to cool. 
Once cool remove from the tin by running a knife round the edges and a pallet knife between the base of the cake and the tin. 
While the cake is finishing cooling you can make the topping. 
Whisk the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form. Then spoon the topping over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it down to form smooth sides.  
Finally spoon the lemon curd on to the top of the cake and pull a cocktail stick across in parallel lines to finish. 

Naturally the next step is to cut a slice and try out this cake! 

I have to say, I was unsure about this cake to start off with, but it really started to grow on me. The texture, if you are not used to it, is surprising. But it's a light cake which doesn't leave you feeling full. Not to mention that anything lemon flavor is good with me! 



p.s. Posted just in time for GBBO Week 2.!! (Trying not be apprehensive about bread week!) 

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