Last week saw the return of our BBC summer favourite – the Great British Bake Off is back on our screens. I for one am rather excited for the baking, creating, piping, icing and judging to commence.
Week one saw an unusual amount of blood, this year’s candidates seemed to zest fingers rather than ingredients. The first aider was on hand to earn his keep. Cake week divided the group into the impressive and the flapping- I’ve already picked out my favourite to win (I would say, but it might jinx them). Truth be told I wonder how they’ll all survive the nine week competition. The pressure of the tent got too much for Toby and he was week one’s ultimate casualty.
It’s week two and with 12 bakers remaining, the heat of the competition has notched up. Paul was in his element and was on the lookout to see who could master the yeast. From breadsticks, to a technical challenge of English muffins (shocking discovery that they are covered in semolina which is slightly off putting) and a showcase of festive loaves – from peacocks’, to a mind-reading octopus, and even a ying yang sweet and savoury bun – the bakers were certainly stretched.
The Great British Bake off has always been a show that sees the highs and lows of every contestant and those who failed one week can raise to be the crème de la crème the next. The youth definitely took on the old this week as Roxy and Ali really pushed the boat out. Their flavours, ideas and technique were a far cry from their dismissal first week attempts. Roxy even secured star baker! [SPOILER ALERT] This week Jo succumbed to the wrath of Paul. As I reclined watching the wonders emerge from the oven I had two realisations, one that I was craving crispy, extravagant breadsticks and the other that people crouching on the floor by their ovens look slightly unhinged. This did not deter me from entering the kitchen myself and taking up the spoon.
Over the bank holiday weekend, and invigorated by The Great British Bake Off being back, I decided to attempt my own cake masterpiece. I will admit the recipe was from Ramsey, the ingredients were sourced from fabulous place called mother’s cupboard and I was not against the clock. I chose a banana and golden syrup loaf/cake. Though this might appear a simple option, it does in fact present a challenge in terms of moisture:dry and banana:syrup ratios (technical stuff I assure you.) More importantly I know the results are delicious. If after reading this your mouth is salivating, here is the recipe and above is a wee picture of my creation.
4oz margarine (softened)
2oz Soft Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp Golden Syrup
4 Ripe Banana’s (mashed)
8oz Self raising Flour (sifted)
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/GM4, and grease and line a loaf tin. Cream together the marg & sugar before beating in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the syrup and mashed bananas.
Fold in the flour, using a metal spoon so you don’t bash your hard-earned bubbles! Pour into a 2lb loaf tin lined with baking parchment, or greaseproof paper and bake for 50-55mins, until golden and springy. The bananas will stay moist until the cake cools, so you can’t test it with a skewer.
Allow the cake to rest in the tin for 10mins, on a wire rack, before turning out (and nomming).