Baking is a relatively new skill for me (and 'skill' is not really the right word to use when it comes to me and baking) but I've found it is a way of escaping and enjoying the satisfaction of throwing together some eggs, flour, sugar and butter and ending up with cake.
Whilst we've enjoyed watching Bake Off for several years, it was only last year that I was actually brave enough to have a go at baking along with some of the bakes. We had some baking successes and failures - but most of all we had fun.
|week 1 - Madeira cake - On your marks, get set, bake!|
Week 1 was of course, Madeira cake; Something I have never baked before. So I stuck to a classic version and didn't try any twists. We used Marie's recipe for Zingy Citrus Madeira cake from the BBC Food 'Recipes from Programmes' section of the website.
I tried to stick closely to the cake part of the recipe but ended up winging it for the citrus syrup and candied citrus as I couldn't fathom how to get it crispy. I did try putting them in the oven on low heat after they'd been on the hob in sugar and water but that didn't seem to make too much difference.
|Struggling with the citrus!|
I didn't have oranges but had saved some frozen orange zest in the freezer so used that. I used clementines for the syrup and candying part instead of oranges. I did make some of the citrus juice icing described in the recipe but didn't risk putting it on the cake as I thought it wouldn't look good.
I got the mound, the crack, the close texture and the flavour was good. So I'm happy.
On my way around the internet trying to find the best recipe to use I enjoyed finding out more about Madeira cake, like why it is called Madeira cake and this piece about drinking Madeira. I keep a bottle of this long lasting fortified wine at home for use in cooking, although I didn't actually drink it with my cake.
Silver Mushroom who we have grown fond of recently with their brilliant kitchenware are hosting a 'Bake Along With Bake off' challenge this year and will be chatting along on twitter with the #BWBO hashtag after GBBO each week so we are joining in with that. Find out more here.
I'm also linking up with the wonderful Mummy Mishaps with her annual Great Bloggers Bake Off
I won't be able to join in with these challenges every week - due to holidays, other commitments and the unexpected hospital visits which seem to have become the norm with Miss T's JIA - but we are going to be baking along whenever we do manage to get the chance. I really enjoyed having a quiet morning to myself this morning, but no doubt the kids will want to get involved sometimes too.
Roll on week 2!