It’s September, the rain is back, the Saturday night telly that signals the run down to Christmas has begun and everyone is lamenting the end of Summer. I’m not so sure though, my friend got married in early October last year and it was a beautiful day, so we could still have some scorchers ahead of us yet.
Meanwhile on this rainy Monday, I’ll share a bunch of delicious cake recipes because if there’s one thing that the arrival of Autumn does bring, it’s the notion of cosying up on the sofa in a onesie eating sweet treats. Or maybe that’s just me?
Anyway it is indeed time for another round up from my Baking Club and over August we tackled an ‘Inspired By’ theme – giving other members recipes a go for ourselves and seeing how we fared. It was a slightly quieter month, as we had a few members on holiday, some off getting married (exciting) and some getting new kitchens fitted (equally exciting), but hopefully with the return of Bake Off spurring us on we’ll have lots of recipes to share come the end of September’s challenge!
I tackled the humble Australian Lamington this month, after it was debuted by another member during our travel theme in April. After a slight hiccup with the first batch (where I realised the Lamington isn’t that humble at all) I managed to pull it back with my second batch and was pretty pleased with how they turned out in the end. A messy but very tasty bake to try.
A couple of members were inspired by the return of GBBO as well as the previous bakes in the group and Natalie did a stellar job of the now infamous Jaffa cake challenge. Don’t they look MUCH better than any of the ones we saw on the show? I have to admit to being dubious about going to the effort of baking a Jaffa cake when I can buy them so easily, but Natalie assures me it’s worth the effort. Find the recipe on the BBC website here. P.S Natalie has just got married so let’s all give her a big CONGRATS!
Meanwhile Sharon, from Lily and Bloom, tackled the Viennese Whirl (another challenge which stumped some of the bakers in the tent) and after seeing a previous bake for Viennese fingers in the club, created these delicious lemon flavoured whirls. Hop on over to her blog for the full low down.
Nikki from the blog, Vintage Baker Gal, is new to the club this month and so instead of baking another member’s recipe, she picked something that was totally new to her to keep up with the challenge. The result was these butter cookies, drizzled with chocolate and almonds. I could certainly polish a few of these off with a cup of tea that’s for sure!
Another new member who baked for the first time this month was Rebecca, who as an American herself isn’t all that familiar with the classic British Victoria Sponge Cake. After seeing other members tackle sponge cakes in various forms, she wanted to give this favourite a go, and boy didn’t it turn out well for a first attempt? She followed Mary Berry’s recipe (we’re all GBBO fans here!) but added buttercream too – good choice if you ask me!
Back for our ‘baking with vegetables’ theme, a few of the group (including myself) tackled brownies, and the happy accident we found was that many of these brownie recipes were super healthy and perfect for those trying to cut out certain foods or on reduced diets. One of our group Claire, is currently navigating the FODMAP way of eating to figure out allergies (something I had to do myself last year so I sympathise as its tough!) and so for this month made these fodmap friendly brownies – gluten free, dairy free and pretty healthy too. You can find my sweet potato brownie recipe here if you fancy making something similar.
On the other side of the brownie, is the blondie! And Jennie from Scarlet Scorchdroppers (who is just back from getting married – woop woop!) tried The Little Loaf’s hot cross blondie recipe. Blondies are a recipe I’m definitely keen to try, but I’d never heard of a hot cross blondie! Two things I love so I’m sure the combination is a winner – if jennie’s pic is anything to go by, they were a success!
We’ve seen many a loaf cake in this little club, and each one is just as delicious looking as the next. It seems we are all big fans of the banana loaf (something that’s quick and easy to whip up, great for using up those bananas which are starting to go bad and smells and tastes amazing fresh from the oven) but this month Cat added chocolate chips and raspberries to hers, making a sweet, sticky, fruity loaf which looks amazing. Will banana loaf ever be the same without chocolate in it now?
Our gluten free baker, Linda, wanted to try her hand at gluten free pastry after seeing a few of us tackle it in pies and tarts, and after being inspired by Chloe’s bakewell tart during last month’s Family Favourites, made this Paradise Slice. It’s a pastry bottom with a fruit and almond filling. It features a lot in bakeries and cafes in Scotland, but I never see it much down south so this was a nice reminder for me and it certainly looks like it’s turned out well. Gluten free pastry a success!
I’m happy to say that a couple of my previous recipes inspired other members, and Chloe decided to tackle my Lemon Meringue Pies. She had the same issues as me with the lemon curd (pesky business) but has created what I’d say are very neat and pretty looking little pies! Yum. Top tip from Chloe – she freezes her butter and then grates it into the mixture which prevents clumps forming in your pastry. I’ll definitely give that a go next time.
And finally, inspired by my chocolate tiffin last month, Sophie from A Lady Bakes blog, made an Oreo Rocky Road – definitely a step up in the chocolate tray bake if you ask me! I love Oreo cookies so this is had me hooked instantly! What an indulgent little treat and not too difficult to make either – perfect for Autumn! Find the recipe on Sophie’s blog, and check out her other bakes too – she has lots of great recipes worth a try!
Well I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to try some of these recipes, thanks again to all the baking club members who joined in in August! If you want to be part of the club, sign up here, join the Facebook group and follow us on Instagram. Tag your bakes with #BBbakingclub to get featured.
So without further ado, here’s the theme for September…
That’s right, I couldn’t resist throwing in a GBBO challenge this month seeing as we’re all so hooked on it already. I didn’t want to choose anything too specific as so far the challenges have been pretty tough (mirrored chocolate – no thanks!) so instead I figured I’d let you all choose your own bake or recipe but just make it worthy of a final showstopper round. Want to make a sponge cake? Make it a whopper with three layers. Want to try an autumn pie? Make it the prettiest pie you ever did see. You get the idea – we want to see the bold, the wacky, the brave and the showstoppingly wonderful. Let’s make Mary and Paul proud eh?