Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Cake and Bake show

So...on Saturday we were so very lucky to be allowed to attend The Cake and Bake show at Earls Court!  It was a truly amazing day.  So many people wanted to have pics with us and we signed lots of 'autographs'...needless to say this was unbelievable, so unexpected and flattering, we couldn't believe it! If you were there and saw/spoke to us..."hi, and thank you" such an overwhelmingly wonderful response from people

We met up with our gorgeous fellow baker John for a little potter around! 

It was a spectacular show, with so much going on.  Highlights included seeing the very very lovely Paul Hollywood (sadly we didn't see Mary as she was there on the Sunday) who cheekily watched a little of one of our demos from the sidelines (this added to the nerves but was a huge honour).  We also met and saw so many other amazing people.

We did two demos, one for The Grain Chain:
grainchain.com is a curriculum linked education resource for teachers and parents to inform school-aged children about the story of grain-based food - from the farm to mill to plate. Find tailored teaching materials, worksheets, videos, quizzes, recipes and activities about farming, milling and baking.

We showed some recipes great for baking with and for children and here they are.....

Monkey Bars

Ingredients for the base:
16 plain digestive biscuits
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
75g unsalted butter

For the filling:
6 large ripe bananas
50g milk chocolate chips
50g white chocolate chips

For the sponge:
170g unsalted butter
170g caster sugar
170g Self raising flour
3 eggs
1tbsp milk
80g desiccated coconut

For the topping:
50g white chocolate
50g milk chocolate

You will need a Swiss roll tin lined with greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 160 °

First make the base by crushing the digestive biscuits, either with a rolling pin or in a food processor.

Sprinkle in the cinnamon.

Melt the butter and pour over the crushed biscuits. Mix well until all the crumbs are coated with butter.
Press the crumbs into the base of the tin in an even layer and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the base is cooking, chop up the bananas.
When it’s baked, take it out and arrange the bananas in an even layer over the whole thing.  Sprinkle over the white and milk chocolate chips.

Make the sponge by first creaming together the butter and caster sugar. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour and baking powder, set aside.
Add one egg at a time to the butter and sugar mix with one tablespoon of the flour mixture.  When all the eggs are incorporated add the remaining flour and the milk.  Stir until just combined.  Carefully fold in the coconut.

Spoon the sponge batter over the top of the bananas and chocolate chips and spread flat with a palette knife.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, melt the milk and white chocolate. Then drizzle over, first milk and then white and leave to cool and harden completely.

Cut into bars and serve.

Pizza and flat breads

For the base/breads:
500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
300ml warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce:
1 carton Creamed tomatoes
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Pinch of sugar

For the toppings:
Grated mozzarella
Mozzarella balls
Cherry tomatoes
Red and yellow peppers
Fresh basil
*or any other preferred

For the flat breads:

A large handful of raisins
A knob of butter to griddle
Sugar and cinnamon to dip in when hot

Preheat the oven

Put the flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl and mix

Dissolve the salt in the warm water, add the oil and then add this to the flour

Bring together, knead for 10mins, put in an oiled bowl, cover and leave for an hour or so (until doubled in size)

Make the sauce, prepare the toppings

When the dough is ready, divide in half.  One half to use for pizzas and the other which will be used for the sweet flat breads

For the pizzas

Pat, press and pull the dough into shape on baking paper

Turn oven up to maximum with trays in ready

Top the pizzas

Transfer on the paper to the hot trays and bake for 15mins

Add some fresh basil and serve

Meanwhile for the flat breads

Knead in the raisins

Divide and shape

Heat large flat griddle pan

Add a little butter

Shape and cook the flat breads for 2mins each side

Dip in cinnamon and sugar

We then went onto the even bigger stage 'Cake Kitchen' where the most incredible people had been giving demos all day.  we had an incredible turn out! We made a (slightly disastrous) very delicious Autumnal apple cake with pecan praline and mini toffee apples


after this demo I note the '5 P's'....Planning and Preparation Prevent a Pants Performance!!!!!

Here is the recipe

Autumnal apple cake

For the cake:
3x 8inch sandwich tins, lined with baking parchment

5 Bramley apples
1 lemon
6 eggs
350ml sunflower oil
200g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
400g plain flour
200g dried apple
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of ½ an orange

For the icing:
350g cream cheese
100g unsalted butter (very soft)
500g icing sugar
100ml maple syrup

For the pecan praline:
250g caster sugar
100g pecans

For the miniature toffee apples: *optional as quite fiddly
5 granny smiths (melon baller needed, which we can bring)
Icing sugar

Caramel (x2 one for toffee apples one for praline)
200g catser sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons water
Few drops of vanilla extract

Cocktail sticks

Preheat the oven to 170˚c

Core and roughly chop the apple, pop in the processor along with the dried apple, put in a bowl and squeeze over lemon juice

Beat the oil and sugar until combined and smooth

Gradually add the egg

Squeeze most of the juice from the apples and stir this, orange zest and chopped dried apple through the mixture

Sift the flour, b.powder, bicarb and cinnamon into the bowl and fold through with large metal spoon, making sure its all incorporated

Divide into the three lined tins and bake at 170 for 35mins

Meanwhile make the praline and icing

To make icing, cream the sugar, butter and syrup until light fluffy and smooth, then add the cream cheese and beat until just combined (don’t over beat or it goes runny)

Now make mini toffee apples, ball the apples popping into lemon water

Dry, and pop in the freezer briefly, make the caramel, bring out the apple balls spear, coat in icing sugar and dip, pop on greaseproof paper to set

Cool cake

make caramel by putting ingredients in a heavy based pan, stir ONLY UNTIL SUGAR DISSOLVES, then leave to heat to 'hard crack' stage (if no sugar thermometer just until a golden caramel colour is fine!!! and pour over pecans on a lined baking sheet, allow to cool/harden

using the same caramel method dip the apple balls in when ready and pop on greaseproof paper to harden

Blitz praline

Ice and layer the cake, covering top, middle and sides

Pat the praline around the sides

Finish with mini toffee apples and icing sugar dusted pralines!

The Cake and Bake show will be in Manchester on the 5-7th April 2013...don't miss it!



  1. Those monkey bars sound delish! My boyfriend doesn't like bananas, so I'll just have to eat them all myself, obviously!! Hahaa. I'd love to go to the next Cake and Make show.... just gotta save up some pennies now!

  2. We wish we had seen you at the show but we went on Sunday to see Mary lol x x

  3. Hi Sarah Jane & Cathryn. This is a really good blog. We also use the bake off program as a great resource for our GCSE Food and Catering courses. I am a Curriculum leader for Design & Technology at a School in Hampshire. Would you consider visiting our school to run a baking event for the children. It would be a priviledge to have you in school and a very exciting and inspiring event for the children. Many thanks. Neil

  4. I love your blog, and loved you ladies on The Great British Bake Off!
    Perhaps you could take the time to check out my blog, ive only written one post so far! But im only 15 and have a passion for catering so it would mean alot if you could look and reply to me at twitter.com/E_F_Walters