Bakers give top tips as new Great British Bake Off series begins
AS popular BBC show the Great British Bake Off returns to our screens, county cake makers have been keen to offer their tips on the perfect sweet treat.
Helen Roberts ditched her job as a business advisor to set up Ell’s Kitchen coffee shop in Cheltenham Road East, Longlevens last year.
And it is her home made cakes that are pulling in the punters. Helen’s speciality is Victoria Sponge, and is the shop’s biggest seller, shifting seven cakes a week.
“It needs time,” she said. “My secret is using duck eggs and spending time over sifting the flour. I also bake one big sponge and cut it in half, rather than two. It makes it more spongy as it rises more.
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“Eggs must be stored at room temperature, not in the fridge. I bake it for 40 minutes, allow it to cool then add my mum’s homemade strawberry jam.
“It’s something I’m very proud of. The secret is not to rush it and to take time over the baking process.”
Jane Collins, from Just Beautiful Weddings, bakes up to four wedding cakes a week and has been baking for 40 years.
“The secret is to find a recipe that you like and to stick with it,” she said.
“It may sound odd but I use sunflower oil or ground nut oil instead of butter. It leaves the cake far more moist.
“My most popular cakes are chocolate and carrot. It is all about using the best ingredients you can. The chocolate cake is rich, but also light.
“Wedding cakes have to be perfect and mustn't crumble so I can't afford to cut corners.”
The new series of The Great British Bake Off is on Wednesdays on BBC 2 at 8pm.