Wednesday 30 August 2017

An Extra Slice

Okay... so what was the point of my last post? I did what I hate other people doing i.e. refering to something and then not actually telling you about it, like I was being all mysterious! Not really a mystery at all except I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice and was asked to bring a cake. Having been to the final show of the last series it was quite exciting to go to the first one this time. The theme was illusion cakes so I chose to make a cake that looked like one of the new presenters, Noel Fielding... well, sort of!

It was a liquorice and chocolate cake with a blackcurrant filling which I thought would be unusual, dark and mysterious... a bit like the man himself. The show organisers seem to like it and I was chosen to be one of the audience who got interviewed. I say interviewed... Jo Brand spoke to me and asked me one question before moving on. I think I might have blown my five minutes of fame as I was neither funny nor scintillating and there were others far more entertaining than me so I doubt I'll make the final edit. But do watch Chanel 4 tomorrow evening (Thursday) and you might catch a glimpse of me and my cake. My money is on the brocolli baking vicar being featured but we'll have to wait and see. And do look out for my very new best friend Mr. Baker and his phenomenal life size 'mixer' cake.

So did you watch the actual Bake Off last night? The reception on social media seems to be mixed but I really enjoyed it and although the adverts are annoying at least it is a chance to pour another cup of tea (or in our case champagne... but I'm going to be mysterious again and tell you you'll have to wait to hear about that)... or pop out for a quick wee break!

Just like last year I thought I might join in with the technical challenge each week and so have spent rather a large part of today making chocolate mini rolls. As you might guess, I didn't stick to the time that the bakers were allotted, just two hours... but in my defence I have made a cheesecake as well!

Let's just say they are not easy and I have huge respect for the twelve bakers on the show who turned out a dozen of these, in a tent under the scrutiny of cameras and in a limited time. Making the sponge and buttercream was relatively straightforward and even rolling them up wasn't too bad, but covering them in chocolate quite another matter. Mine are far from perfect, with squidges and smudges, lumps and bumps... and I daren't describe the chocolate carnage in my kitchen when I finished. My face was almost as bad... Mrs. chocolate chops, that's me!

There was barely enough chocolate to cover them and it thickened as I worked making it very difficult. There was much scraping up of chocolate that had dripped onto the parchment and reheating it so it was liquid enough to pour. But I did manage to turn out twelve mishapen mini rolls. My swiss roll tins are different sizes so my mini rolls vary quite a bit in size too, but I doubt anyone around here is going to complain.

I followed this recipe pretty much to the letter, but opted not to put peppermint in my buttercream for fear of the toothpaste effect. Instead I added a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of milk to make sure that it was nice and soft and spreadable. I think I got a half decent swirl too.

And although they look 'rustic' they taste pretty good, and have a lovely light texture, if a little too sweet for my taste. It made me realise that I have never actually tasted a commercial mini roll so I can't even tell you if they are "as good as shop" as my ex-mother in law used to say!

Looking forward to next week... biscuits and I'm guessing fortune cookies! Who knows, I might even attempt them in the time limit.


  1. What a fascinating post. Love your cake.

  2. I suppose I could watch it on my laptop but Paul Hollywood, Noel whatsit and adverts would annoy me far too much.

    Do tell if your cake featured though?

  3. Such a great cake! I will look out for you tomorrow night. Your cake really deserves to be featured.

  4. I SO admire your technical bakes Gina! I really wouldn't have the patience. Love the Noel cake and hope you and it gets featured tomorrow eve. I begrudgingly have to admit the Bake Off is pretty good but would still prefer to watch the wonderful "Quacks" loving it and as the youngsters do say I indeed L.O.L.! Much love and look forward to many more Gina technical bakes in the weeks to come. Love very lazy bakey Rocking Dog x

  5. Oh your chocolate mini rolls look great Gina and as for!!
    I only caught the end of the show so can't really make a judgement on it but those illusion cakes did look good!

  6. Our family comment is 'almost as good as a bought one' !

    1. My m-i-l said that to me the very first time I had her over for lunch and made a quiche. I don't think she ever cooked from scratch!

  7. Your cake is fantastic!! Hope to get to see it tonight! I will enjoy watching your technical bakes!

  8. I don't think your mini rolls look at all rustic and am often suspicious and disappointed by shop bought 'perfection'. Your Extra Slice portrait cake is amazing and I shall try to stay awake long enough to see the show tonight! I find that unpacking boxes is just as exhausting as packing them.

  9. Such an interesting post, Gina. Your Noel fielding cake is brilliant and I'm in awe of the chocolate rolls. I forgot bake off was on! Now off to play catch up.... :o).

  10. Lovely to see you recently Gina. I spotted you on Extra Slice, as well as the hideous sounding broccoli things and the huge food mixer - how does anyone eat such a thing! Your mini rolls look terrific - better than most of the bakers and I'm sure much better for the lack of peppermint.

  11. Wow, what a cake. I wish I could have seen the show, but it sounds such fun. Those mini rolls look very complicated and would be streets ahead of anything bought in a shop! I look forward to seeing what you make next week. XX


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