It’s pretty sad how excited I am about the return of The Great British Bake Off tonight but considering I hardly watch any real TV these days (Netflix and Now TV don’t count) this is one show that I never miss. As a keen baker it provides endless inspiration (Mary Berry is my hero), I love the tent camaraderie and Mel and Sue are presenting gold. Plus I get rather addicted to scrolling through the Twitter hashtags to see what people are thinking – the Ruby debate last series fascinated me!
This season I’m getting involved in a hashtag of my own, but don’t worry no contestant bashing will be occurring here. No, I’m proud to announce that this post marks my first involvement in a blogger link up! And what better one to start with than the #thegreatbloggerbakeoff.With every new series of the show (2012 is still my favourite- Catherine cracked me up!) I proclaim to GB that I will play along with the themes each week and let him judge me, but it never happens. But this series will be different as, yup, you’ve guessed it, that’s pretty much the premise of this blog feature (minus the judging). I was introduced to the link up through the lovely Megan (go check out her blog – she’s a babe) and it’s been started by Laura at I Love Crafty. The idea is that each week a bunch of bloggers all attempt our own bake in line with the shows themes and share it on our blogs on the Wednesday to tie in with the airing of the show. I can’t guarantee I’ll be joining in every week as;
1. Work often has a habit if getting in the way of things like this and…
2. From what I remember the themes get steadily harder as they go on so I’m pretty sure the minute tiered cakes or meat pies are mentioned I’ll be out.
But with the first week easing us in gently on a nice generic theme of ‘cake’, I thought I’d give it a go and kick things off as I mean to go on. If you’d like to join in, then do! It’s all for fun and there’s no competition so any recipes will be welcomed (I’m certainly no pro). To see everyone’s bakes each week simply follow the #thegreatbloggerbakeoff hashtag on Twitter or like the Facebook page.
So onto the bake itself and for this first week I chose a simple yet new recipe and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make. It might not be the most adventurous recipe in the world (If I was on the real GBBO I’d surely be kicked off) but it certainly floats my boat.I’ve been meaning to try a flourless chocolate cake for a while, both my Mum and brother are gluten intolerant and I’m currently trying to cut out wheat and gluten from my diet to decipher whether I too might have the allergy (a few recent stomach problems are pointing towards an allergy of some sort). Seeing as chocolate fudge cake is pretty much one of my favourite things in the world, the thought of giving it up completely is not one I want to entertain, so I set about finding an alternative.
Although you can buy gluten free flour nowadays, it can make cakes quite dry so there are a number of flourless recipe tricks to keep cakes spongy and light, but this was by far my fave due to its simplicity. The addition of olive oil keeps that soft gooey texture and the ground almonds replace the flour to stodge it up.
You will need…
(adapted from a Nigella recipe)
150ml olive oil
50g good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
125ml boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
How it’s done…
1. Preheat your oven to around 170C and lightly grease your baking tin with some olive oil.
Let me know if you give it a go, and be sure to check out the other bloggers bakes too! All that’s left for me to say is ‘Ready, Set, BAKE!’.