The Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016!

Tuesday 23 August 2016
How is August almost over already? It feels like yesterday that I was celebrating my 24th birthday, and now we're almost into Autumn. With the end of Summer comes one of my absolutely favourite TV shows, The Great British Bake Off. Who doesn't love watching Amateur bakers compete in three weekly challenges, sprinkled with perfectly British innuendo courtesy of Mel and Sue, the cold stare of master baker Paul Hollywood, and the ray of sunshine that is Mary Berry. Now I'm not shy about telling people how much I love Mary Berry, I don't think I really knew what an idol was until I came across her.

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you will know that last year I took part in a link up called The Great Bloggers Bake Off, in which a group of bloggers bake along with GBBO. Every week I picked a bake out of the three challenges from the show, and then either made my own version of the challenge, or recreated a bake from the show. So considering that Bake Off is back on our screens tomorrow I thought I would take a look back at the bakes I did last year...

Photo of my Black Forest Gateaux
Week 1 - Black Forest Gateaux 
Week one I took on a Black Forest Gateaux, this choice was actually out of my hands as last year the Bake Off coincided with Tim's birthday, so he got to pick what he wanted for his birthday. Obviously he was going to go with something that contained chocolate, and the every Christmas he loves to order the Black Forest hot chocolate from Costa, so this cake was a no brainer. If you want to try to make this then you can find my post on it here.

Photo of my two types of Biscotti
Week 2 - Biscotti
 Week two saw me take on something that I have always wanted to make, Biscotti. I decided to make not one, but TWO types. So I ended up with Pistachio and Cranberry, and Chocolate Orange and Almond. Even better was that I got to use a Paul Hollywood recipe, and I must say they turned out fantastic, you can find the recipe for these here.

Photograph of my Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Bread
Week 3 - Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Bread
Bread week was one that I was dreading, I love home baked bread, but actually making it, not so much. I decided to go for something a little different and make a chocolate bread, something you don't see very often. Plus anything with caramel is always going to go down well with me. Check out the Chocolate Caramel and Pecan bread here.

Photograph of my Trio of baked cheesecakes
Week 4 - Trio of baked cheesecakes
Week 4 I really pushed the boat out and made THREE cheesecakes. Each one was more delivious than the last, but it was seriously hard to eat three cheesecakes in one week. When it comes to cheesecake my favourite is Lemon so of course I had to make that, and then I made a chocolate peanut butter and then a vanilla honeycomb. I even made my own Honeycomb, which I managed to burn my fingers on, but it was still amazing. If you want to make any of these cheesecakes, or even take on all three then you can find them here.

Photograph of my Ice cream roll
Week 5 - Ice cream roll
Week five was possibly one of my favourite bakes of the entire series. I decided to go with a honey theme and therefore decorated my cake with the stripes of a bee, and then freshly cut flowers to finish it off. Even more amazing is that this recipe is entirely dairy free, you can check it out here.

Photograph of my Apricot Frangipane Tart
Week 6 - Apricot Frangipane Tart
Week six involved making another of my favourite things to bake, tarts. I settled upon another kind of tart that I had never made before, frangipane. This gave me a chance to try a recipe from my idol, Mary Berry. This bake was probably the smoothest out of all that I made, not a single thing went wrong, and it tasted delicious! If you feel like making a tart, then you have to try this one, my post about it is here.

Photograph of Mary Berry's Tennis Cake
Week 7 - Mary Berry's Tennis Cake
This week was very tough, but by the end of it, and seeing the finished product, I have to say that this was hands down my favourite thing to make. It's colourful, cute and seriously tasty. In fact I've been meaning to make another one of these cakes ever since I made the last, if you want to see how my bake went then check out the post here.

Photo of my Eclairs
Week 8 - Eclairs
Week 8 did not go to plan at all for me. I had planned to make the Religieuse a l'ancienne, but it turned out that my eclairs were nowhere near strong enough to be turned into a structure. The shapes didn't turn out so great either, but thankfully the taste was amazing. I went for a Salted caramel chocolate, and a white chocolate and raspberry flavour, both were delicious. I didn't put the recipe up on my blog for these ones as it went so badly and I was feeling a little disheartened.

Photo of my Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Week 9 - Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Can you see a reoccurring flavour profile emerging in my bakes? You guessed it Salted Caramel, this time I also took on some decorative piping using white chocolate ganache. Chocolate pastry was another challenge, but I managed to handle it without having any major mishaps, although I did manage to burn a few batches of caramel. If you want to recreate this tart then here is where you will find the recipe.

Photo of my Classically British Cake
Week 10 - Classically British Cake
When I think of what is classically British I always think of a cup of tea, and when thinking what is a classically British cake, then it's always a Victoria sponge. So in my mind I thought it would be a good idea to combine the idea of tea with the classic Victoria sponge, so I made a cake in the shape of a teapot. I even made my own jam, it was a serious challenge but I am so glad I did it, it turned out pretty good for my first ever spherical cake! The recipe and method for this one can be found here.

So there is my ten bakes from last years Bake Along with the Bake Off, looking back brings back some seriously good memories, and I am super excited to take part again this year! I will be baking every single week again this year so feel free to follow me to see every single bake!
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