Monday, 8 October 2012

Great British Bake Off Showstoppers

I know I'm definitely not the only one completely obsessed with the Great British Bake Off.  Settling down to watch the next episode is currently my favourite treat of the week. For each series so far they have also released a book to go with the show. The previous two have been more focused on learning the basics, and improving your baking skills. This year's is slightly different. As the name might suggest, it's about creating your own showstopper bakes.

They don't throw you completely in at the deep end though. Each section has three levels of showstopper: easy, takes a little time and needs a little skill. You could build your way up through the levels, or just stick to the easier recipes. Every section has plenty of recipes to try that haven't been seen on the show.

But there's also the technical challenges featured in the show such as the tea cakes they all struggled with in the summer heat, the doughnuts and the plaited loaf. And as with all the previous books, plenty of 'best of the bake off' recipes, including Ryan's Key Lime Pie the judges adored.

There are still sections intended to teach you new skills such as layering cakes, using royal icing and piping meringue swirls. Many of these focus on making your bakes look amazing rather than baking the actual cake/pie/biscuit in the first place, but there are plenty of other places to find those tips.

My only small gripe would be the lack of photos of the bakes. They found space for images of the Bake Off kitchen and all the contestants but many recipes don't have any images at all. Personally I find it easier to make something when I have an idea of what I'm aiming for! But the recipes have always been super clear so it shouldn't be a huge issue.

The Great British Bake Off has once again convinced me I could be star baker, even if that will only ever be in my own kitchen!

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