I shall start by saying this is a long post, so a cup of tea would make fitting company whilst reading this, and I apologise in advance if this post makes you hungry for some cake.
So today’s post is slightly different to what I set out to do … as it’s not really a review of entertainment … but rather just an overview of a very fun day: filled with plenty of delights, laughs, and of course not forgetting the most important element: cake!
So for those of you who do not know, The Great McKee Bake Off is (obviously) based off the highly popular BBC TV baking competition: ‘The Great British Bake Off’. However, instead of entering what seems like one of the most stressful, but rewarding competitions on TV, we thought we would do our own little competition right at home, minus Berry and Hollywood, and tweaking the name ever so slightly…
Yesterday marked the third McKee Bake Off, with the instructions for the bake being to simply bake a two tier cake of our choice. This year we had four cake entries, all baked secretly so that the three judges would not know who baked what cake, they then judged the appearance and taste of each cake out of five (sounds like quite a good job right?) – resulting in each cake having a total score out of thirty.
So let’s find out a little more about each of the cakes:
Cake One: White Chocolate Passion Cake
This was my entry, and before you comment on how I’ve put my own cake first because I’m completely biased, this was how it was set up so zip it!
Right, so my scrumptious cake was based on a recipe by Peggy Porschen in her fabulous baking book Boutique Baking. The cake had a flavoured white chocolate sponge, filled with mango and passion fruit jam, (an apparently rarity amongst jams!) and topped with a white chocolate buttercream with some funky decorations.
Cake Two: Black Forest Truffle Cake
This entry was from our newest competitor to the McKee Bake Off, and boy did she mark her spot! After brainstorming ideas with her aunt and finding a recipe for her chocolate sponge on the trusted BBC GoodFood website, Jessica added a cherry infused cream as the filling between her chocolate sponges, and topped off her bake with a chocolate ganache decorated with some homemade cherry brandy chocolate truffles and a couple of fresh cherries.
Cake Three: Raspberry Ripple Cake
Keeping with the apparent fruit theme is Sam’s Raspberry Ripple Cake. Sam based her recipe from thepinkwhisk.co.uk using a teaming up of a raspberry ripple sponge with a raspberry ripple cream cheese filling. Moving onto the topping of the cake, Sam decided to showcase her crafts skills by making a miniature bunting, and as you can see on the picture there is a little cupcake featured on each of the triangular segments. (I’ve been told she was using her initiative in using some old birthday wrapping paper, if you wanted to know)
Cake Four: Blueberry and White Chocolate
Last but not at all least is Bronwyn’s experimental bake which was inspired by a range of different recipes she saw online. Bronwyn focussed her bake on achieving a white sponge by using egg whites and whole milk rather than the traditional butter and egg yolk sponge seen with the other bakes. The white sponge was filled and topped with a natural blueberry cream, decorated with some real raspberries and blueberries, completed with some grated white chocolate.
So, how did each of these bakes fair up against our three judges?
In joint third place was…
Cakes Three and Four! Well done to Sam’s Raspberry Ripple cake and Bronwyn’s Blueberry/White chocolate cake, both scored 22/30.
Coming in second was…
Cake Two! A comfortable place for our newcomer, who’s Black Forest Truffle Cake, was awarded a score of 27/30.
And the champion, or shall I say the STAR BAKER of The Great McKee Bake Off was…
Cake One! My very own White Chocolate Passion Cake was crowned the best bake with a score of 30/30!
I know this must come across as very biased as I am the author of the blog, and anything I say now will look modest, but I was generally surprised by the results! Of course the judges did say it was a tough decision as the all the bakes were great, and apparently there were some differences of opinions (drama!) amongst the judges.
Finally, we ended the day with a game of Pointless, or shall I say lots of games of Pointless…
Bake Off is a brilliant little competition that anyone can do which does not have to be family based; it could be with friends, housemates, or even work colleagues. Plus, our rules are not concrete so you can make up your own rules to fit in with your own bake off, making it into a unique experience.
I hope you have enjoyed this post with a little bit of a difference and our next bake off is scheduled for around Christmas time, with the memo being a Christmassy biscuit construction (send help!) but for now I’m just going to sit here and enjoy a cup of tea in a new addition to my mug collection.