Bake Off Bake Along
Comments 26

Goodbye Comfort Zone, Hello Victorian Balls | #bakeoffbakealong

Is it just me that found all of this weeks bakes rather unappealing? I’m practically a vegetarian, so the hand raised game pie was not going to happen in my kitchen. Fruit cake is one of the worst things one can do with eggs, butter, sugar and flour in my opinion so I wasn’t mad keen on tennis cake, and bloody hell that show stopper looked insane.

The bakers, as usual, managed perfectly well with each though. I thought all the pie decorations were amazing, although Ian’s jelly made me feel queasy (again I say, practically a vegetarian). All I remember from the tennis cake round is Tamal saying “size is important” – take from that what you will.

Whatever, the only thing any of us really care about this week is the fact that Tamal got star baker. Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

Blondies for the Tennis Cake     Blondies for the Tennis Cake

So, on to what I got up to this week. My loathing for fruitcake aside, tennis cake was by far the most attractive bake to me. I hope I won’t be hung for treason against Victorian kitchen culture but I brought it into this century by making blondies for the base instead. I followed this recipe sans frosting and used pecans instead of macadamia nuts.

Marzipan from Scratch     Marzipan from Scratch

The blondies went smoothly, that was the easy bit. I was intimidated by the concept of making my own marzipan but guys, it’s so easy! Just ground almonds, sugars, egg and almond essence brought together and kneaded. Absolute piece of piss, I’ll be doing that again.

I should make a confession at this point, I suppose. I didn’t make my own fondant. I really would have done, but the ingredient list required was just unjustifiable to my bank account. Sorry for being one of those people, Mary.

Royal Icing     Royal Icing

In stark contrast to the super easy marzipan, royal icing is a right tedious job. Mixing in loads of icing sugar just 1 tbsp at a time, it was like making a really labour intensive risotto. I pushed through though – and look at how pretty the colours were!

Royal Icing

Not quite the right colours, mind you. The recipe calls for “dusky pink” and “autumn leaf”, I managed to find “hot pink” and “yellow sunset” – rather garish in comparison.

This is where I started really crapping myself, I won’t lie to you. I cut my marzipan and fondant to size, whacked them on top of the cake and got to rifling through my Nan’s collection of piping thingies (basically implements of torture).

Piping Equipment

I have a very, very unsteady hand. I inherited it from my Father (hey Dad, if you’re reading). You know the shakes you get when you’ve got a t’riffic ‘angover? I have those but like, all the time.

Icing Tennis Rackets

It’s for this reason that to me, piping is terrifying. Just terrifying. I managed it, and I managed it with pretty good grace if you ask me, I’ve no idea how I got those lines so straight.

It did absolutely exhaust me though, honestly, I had to have a lie down on the sofa once I was finished. Nobody was allowed to talk to me until I’d had at least two cups of tea and repeated “it’s ok, it’s over” to myself a few times.

Tennis Cake

But guys, as you can see from the image right at the top of this blog post, I got the fucking net to stand up. I’ve never been happier, really.

I’ve rambled on for far too long in this post, but let that be a reflection of how long this took me.. you won’t catch me applying for bake off any time soon, I don’t know how on earth anybody managed this in three hours.

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26 Comments

  1. As usual I’ve been getting annoyed with people not taking their bake along seriously. I’ve seen so many fruit cakes this week and not one tennis court. I’m glad to see you haven’t let me down (I have no problem with the blondie base, let’s face it the tennis court is the tricky part of the challenge not the cake!)

    Very impressed with yours, especially the standing up net.

    Completely agree about Tamal too. It’s about time!

  2. Amazing amazing work Cate! Seriously! I totally get what you mean about it being exhausting – I was absolutely knackered when I was done! Yours looks so super though x

  3. Seriously, that fruit cake is the WORST. (and it uses 250g of butter… gag!) I wish I had taken the route you did instead of pull that abomination of a cake together. Really looks nice – well done!

  4. Cate you’ve done an amazing job. And definite blondie > fruit cake! Can’t wait to see what you rustle up next week 🙂

  5. It looks amazing!!! I like your pipping and this competition is all about pushing limits and learning. For the decorations I made my own vegan marzipan and it is fab, only 3 ingredients and is delicious. I made fruit cake this week as I love it and for Christmas I’m going to bake it again instead of buying from the supermarket, it’s so exciting. I am vegetarian, so game pie is not for me and the charlotte russe is complicated to make with vegetarian gelatin as it has different setting temperatures.

  6. Wow! Super impressed by this – I mean it looks like a tennis court and looks better than most of what they did on the show! Also – completely agree, the idea of a game pie was horrendous to me and so is fruit cake – so i made a show stopper that looked a bit sad haha. And yay Tamal!

  7. Pingback: Happy Sunday | Cate in the Kitchen

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