Finals Week of The Great British Bake Off….A Trio of Technicals… By Lucy Simmons
October 22, 2014
This wonderful trio includes: mini victoria sponge cakes filled with home made strawberry jam, oozing with lightly whipped cream, perfectly baked tea time scones and mini lemon tarts. The final Great British Bake Off technical challenge! it's been an journey, some perfect bakes and some just perfect in their imperfections with fun, tears and laughter . Until the next time.
- Prep: 1 hr 40 mins
- Cook: 1 hr 20 mins
- Yields: 1
Let's start by making the mixture for the sponge:
. Firstly make the jam for the filling. Place the strawberries into a large saucepan and crush.
. Then add the jam sugar. Heat moderately, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves.
. Keep stirring, increasing the heat, bringing it to a full rolling boil (DO NOT stir).
. Boil for four minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
. Next make the batter. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Lightly grease the muffin tins with butter.
. To make the cakes, cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mixture is pale and light.
. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the mixture, mixing well in between. Add the vanilla extract to and mix well.
. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in until the mixture is soft and smooth.
. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins and level out.
. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden-brown and springy to the touch.
. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for two minutes and then ease them onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
. Cut each cake in half horizontally with a sharp knife.
. Whip the cream until it reaches soft peaks and place in piping bag with a star tip nozzle.
. Spread the jam onto the cakes then pipe a circle of stars around the outside and one in the middle and sandwich the layers together.
Next is the tea time scones
. Preheat the oven to 220C/ Gas 7.
. Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips, stop when the mixture reaches a stage when it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar to add the sweetness.
. Beat the egg in a measuring jug and add the 100ml of milk. Set aside a tablespoon for glazing the scones later.
. Add half of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Then slowly add the rest of the liquid until the dough becomes soft and slightly sticky.
. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out until it is about 2cm/¾in thick. Use a 4cm/1½in fluted cutter to stamp out the scones. Try not to twist the cutters when cutting the dough as this can affect the rising in the scone.
. Get the spare cuts of the dough and re cut.
. Arrange the scones on the greased baking trays and using a pastry brush, brush the tops with the rest of the milk.
. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown. Put onto a cooling rack.
When serving you can use the left over whipped cream and jam or you can use clotted cream. Both are absolutely delicious.
Finally making the lemon tarts
. To make the pastry put the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and tbsp of cold water. Pulse again until it starts to stick together.
. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
. Grease 12 x 7.5cm/3in fluted tart tins. An alternative is a muffin tin.
. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5mm/¼in. Use a 10cm/4in cutter and cut out 12 circles, using them to line the tins, re-rolling the pastry if needed. Place the tart cases in the fridge to chill.
. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
. Cover the base of the tartlets with baking paper or foil and fill with a few baking beans. Bake blind for seven minutes then remove the baking paper and beans.
. Place the pastry cases back to the oven for another 4-5 minutes or until they are light golden-brown. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
. Now reduce the oven temperature to 170C(150 fan)/Gas 3.
. For the filling, break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with a wire whisk until it becomes pale and creamy.
. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and whisk again until it becomes smooth.
. Pour the filling mixture into a jug and then into the cooled baked pastry cases.
. Bake for about seven minutes, or until just set but with a slight wobble in the centre.
. Leave to cool slightly, then carefully remove from the tartlets from their tins and place on a cooling rack.
. For the decoration, melt the chocolate in a bowl. Spoon the melted chocolate into a small disposable piping bag. Snip off the end and pipe anything you would like on top of the tarts. Enjoy and it's been a blast, Lucy xx