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IN SEASON


Getting Technical... Uniform bakes: How to avoid wonky rises and dry sponges G


etting consistency through your bakes is one of the trickiest eggs to crack. Who better than 2014 Great British Bake Off


winner Nancy Birtwhistle to teach us how to achieve the perfect bake across all our batches.


Nancy’s top tips:


1. Weigh mixture between cake tins or when making mini cakes or cupcakes use an ice cream scoop to help.


2. A gentle tap of your tins on the worktop before putting them in the oven will burst any large air bubbles that may aff ect the appearance of your fi nished cake.


3. Don't overbake - take your cakes from the oven when they have a pale golden colour and are springy to the


JAFFA ORANGE CAKES


For the ambitious baker - try Nancy's showstopper from week 1 of her Bake Off experience.


Makes 12


FOR THE ORANGE ZEST 1 Jaff a orange 200ml water


FOR THE JELLY Flesh of 1 Jaff a orange 90g caster sugar 75ml water


1 sheet leaf gelatine Red/yellow food colour 1 tbsp Cointreau Spray vegetable oil for greasing pans


14 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


touch. Not dark and hard or your cake will be dry.


4. I always use soft margarine in cakes. It creams well, resists curdling and therefore no additional raising agent, other than that in the fl our, is needed.


5. For a light, even cake batter, always make sure your eggs are at room temperature - don't use eggs straight from the fridge.


FOR THE CAKES 190g soft margarine 190g caster sugar 3 eggs, beaten 1 tsp vanilla extract 190g self-raising fl our


FOR THE CHOCOLATE


100g dark chocolate, 70-75% cocoa solids


FOR THE BUTTERCREAM 75g unsalted butter 250g icing sugar 25ml whole milk Half tsp orange extract


FOR THE ORANGE PASTILLES Leftover orange rinds 50ml water 50g caster sugar syrup


FOR THE TOPPING


75g milk chocolate, melted Gold food colour 2 tbsp icing sugar


1 Make the orange zest pastilles by fi rst paring the rind from the oranges and place the strips in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring this to the boil, simmer for 2-3 mins then strain and reserve.


2 For the jelly, chop up the orange fl esh and place in a saucepan with the 90g caster sugar and 75ml water. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves then bring to a


simmer and cook for 20 mins. Put the sheet of gelatine in a jug of cold water to soften for 10 mins.


3 Blitz the cooked orange mixture with a hand blender until fairly smooth, then to enrich the jelly appearance, add a couple of drops of red and yellow food colour.


4 Finally add 1 tbsp Cointreau and the sheet of gelatine. Leave to cool and fi rm up.


5 Next make the cakes. Grease the 12 mini cake tins and place on a baking sheet. Whisk together the soft margarine and caster sugar until very light and mousse-like.


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