At Garden Trading we have baking on our minds. The Great British Bake Off starts Tuesday August 28th on Channel 4 and we are primed and ready to go.
With a few star bakers of our own, we have compiled a list of some of our favourite recipes to share with you.
Ready steady, baaake!
1. Charlotte's Oaty Bars
First up, something healthy.
Vegan and Gluten Free! (Dairy butter can be used for non-vegans)
- 150g porridge oats
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 100g dried fruit of your choice e.g. raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots (chopped)
- 50g chopped nuts/seeds of your choice e.g. walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g dairy free butter, cashew butter or nut butter
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (optional, for a chocolatey taste)
- Preheat your oven to 180C/35F and grease or line a brownie tin/tray
- Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and maple syrup. Once combined add in the vanilla extract and raw cacao powder (if using).
- Add the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well. As porridge oats soak up liquid, it’s always good to add around 100ml of cold water. Add in the water a drop at a time until the mixture looks more moist. You don’t want any excess liquid, but enough to bind the mixture together
- Transfer into a brownie tin or tray and flatten until even
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes (a softer texture) or 25 minutes (a firmer texture), ovens will vary
- Once baked to your liking, leave to cool before cutting into bars (however big or small you like). They can keep in an air-tight tin for up to a week
- They make perfect breakfast bars or they could even be eaten warm with a drizzle of maple syrup across the top
2. Tracy's Courgette Brownies
Something a little more unexpected
Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g plain flour
- 40g best quality cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250g grated courgette
- 60g chopped walnuts
- 6 tbsp best quality cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp butter/margarine
- 250g icing sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vaniila extract
1. Pre-heat oven at 180 C, line a 22 x33 cm baking tin
2. Mix together oil, sugar and vanilla essence until well blended. Combine flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt. Stir into sugar mixture, fold in grated courgette and walnuts,
3. Put into prepared tin and bake for 25 - 30 min.
4. For the icing. Melt butter with the cocoa powder and set aside to cool. Blend together icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Stir into cocoa mixture and spread over cold brownies.
3. Heavenly Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins
- 150g plain flour
- 100g buttermilk or normal milk (buttermilk reacts with the baking powder to give an airier texture)
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 80g blueberries (fresh or frozen – frozen tend to keep their shape better)
- 80g white chocolate chips
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- Preheat your oven to 200C, fan 180C or gas mark 6
- Line a muffin tin with paper cases
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar until smooth
- Crack in the egg and combine together
- In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
- Gradually sieve the dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture until fully combined
- Next add the milk, to achieve a silky consistency
- Once done, add in the blueberries and white chocolate chips and mix
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cases. You can tap the tray onto your kitchen workop to knock out any air bubbles and level out the mixture in each case
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, or until they are golden in colour and a skewer comes out clean
- Leave to cool on a wire rack before indulging
5. Lisa's Showstopper Wedding Cake
Making your own wedding cake may seem like a daunting task for some. But not for Lisa. Here she shares her recipe and how to take the stress out of making a cake for your big day.
Butter 450g (2 packs)
Lemons x 2
Oranges x 2
Brown Sugar 450g
Eggs x 8
Self Raising Flour 200g
- Soak fruit overnight in the lemon and brandy.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Alternate beating in eggs and flour.
- Stir in the fruit.
- Split cake mix between two 9 inch tins.
- Pop in the oven until golden or a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
Lisa's Top 5 Tips for making your own wedding cake
Don't be intimidated by the idea. It's not as scary as it sounds, and, it will save you money!
Keep it simple. Use a tried and tested recipe with decorations you can do with ease.
When stacking real cakes, make sure you use dowling supports to avoid the weight of the cakes above crushing the bottom tier.
I baked 2 tiers of my family favourite rich fruit cake, a recipe I grew up with, and learned how to bake with my Mum every Christmas - the great thing about fruit cake is that it's best baked in advance, so it takes away the stress in the immediate run up the wedding.
The intention was to place two sponge cakes on top of the fruit cakes, but on the day bakes just didn't go to plan. I improvised, leaving the sponge cakes out in the venue kitchen to be cut up and served but popping two iced polystyrene cakes as the top two tiers - no-one knew!
Let us know if the comments if you give any of our recipes a go. We'd love to see your baking skills!