Like most other people in the UK, I’m a big fan of the Great British Bake Off. I love the variety and complexity of the bakes and the drama. In the past I’ve tried a few recipes here and there, and been inspired to try lots of types of bake I’d normally avoid.
But this year my lovely friend Amy (you should totally check out her brilliant travel blog) suggested taking it to another level – The Bake Off Challenge. Every week, a group of us will attempt the technical challenge and share our attempts.
So here it goes! Week 1 did not get off to good start with the technical challenge of walnut cake and my nut allergy. I had to go a little off piste, but I tried to stay close as I could to the recipe, in the spirit of the technical challenge. I used pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts in the cake and made a pumpkin seed brittle (from a Good Food recipe) for the top. It turns out seeds are pretty tricky to individually coat in boiling hot caramel!
Frosted pumpkin seed cake (aka nut-free walnut cake)
So the round up. No Paul and Mary, but based on the opinions of me, my boyfriend and my colleagues, here is the final judgement.
Pros: the cake was moist and had a good crumb with the seeds evenly distributed, the brittle was tasty and bitter enough to offset some of the sweetness, and I think it looked pretty good!
Cons: like many of the contestants, my frosting was grainy. I also though it was far too sweet for the rest of the cake. I toasted it with a blowtorch to try and even out the sweetness but it didn’t do much except give it a nice colour.
Next week, biscuits!