Bake Off

Mini Cherry Tartlets With Cherry Brandy Creme Patissiere

This boozy bake deserves a (creme) pat on the back…

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So it’s the penultimate week of The Great British Bake Off and only a week left until it’s off our screens and we have to go back to resuming our normal Tuesday lives. Mostly we’re upset because we like to have an excuse to eat cake once a week, and somehow tuning in to the evening news while munching on a slice of gateaux doesn’t have the same effect. Anyway, we digress…

This week’s challenge for the bakers is Patisserie Week, which means they’ll be making an array of fancy French delights.

Our skills by this point in the competition are pretty limited. Turns out we’re better at the booze stuff than the baking, so this week’s recipe is nowhere near as fancy as those creations in the tent. But, if you want a fairly simple office/party pleaser with delicious Cherry Brandy in then you have come to the right place. Here’s how to create 16 mini cherry tarts with a Cherry Brandy creme patissiere.

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 600g pre-made shortcrust pastry

For the creme patissiere

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 60g caster sugar

  • 25g plain flour

  • 2 tsp cornflour

  • 280ml milk

  • 3 tbsp Ableforths Cherry Brandy

For the topping

  • Cherries

Method

First, make your pastry cases. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Divide the pastry into 16 equal pieces.

Roll out each one to line a 7-8cm deep fluted tartlet tin and trim, leaving a little pastry sticking up above the tin. Line each one with a paper cake case and add a layer of baking beans.

Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is golden.

While the pastry is cooling, make your creme patissiere.

First, beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and the consistency has slightly thickened.

Next, whisk in the flours until fully mixed with the eggs and sugar.

In a saucepan, heat the milk until it starts to boil. Take it off the heat and pour into the flour and egg mix and whisk together.

Put the whole mixture back into the saucepan and heat, constantly stirring. Only remove when it’s thick and boiling, but smooth.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.

Once it’s cooled, transfer into a bowl and add in your Cherry Brandy. Stir in.

Use a teaspoon or piping bag to put the cream in the tartlet cases. Top with a cherry on each, and enjoy!

Ableforth's Cherry Brandy Buns

Bread week and Cherry Brandy…what’s not to love?

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Now that we’re in week three of The Great British Bake Off, it probably comes as no surprise that we enjoy sweet treats, especially when they’re infused with our range of spirits. And this week is no exception - for Bread Week we’ve baked a batch of Belgian buns…but with a Cherry Brandy shaped twist.

Adding Cherry Brandy really is the um, cherry on top of the cake (or bun, if you will). Sure, you could have regular icing, but would it be as flavoursome? Probably not. Adding the Cherry Brandy makes the classic Belgian bun the grown-up iced treat you probably didn’t know you needed or wanted…until now.

In the spirit of sharing, we baked these and brought them in to Ableforth’s HQ, and they were wolfed down so quickly there was barely time to boil the kettle to make a nice ol’ cup of tea to accompany.

So, without further ado we present to you our Cherry Brandy Bun recipe. We’d recommend making at least three batches of these, because you will have to share. (And eat some for yourself to “test” them…)

Ingredients

Buns

  • 90ml whole fat milk

  • 1tsp of dry active yeast

  • 225g strong white flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 25g unsalted butter

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 1 medium egg

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons of cherry jam

  • 1 large handful of raisins

  • 1 large handful of dried cherries

  • 4 tsp of Ableforth’s Cherry Brandy

Icing

  • 3/4 tablespoons of icing sugar

  • Cherry Brandy to taste

  • 1 glacé cherry per bun

Method

Warm the milk to hand hot in the microwave (around 20 seconds).

Add a pinch of sugar and the fast acting yeast.

Leave this for around 20 minutes you will see the yeast working.

In a bowl mix the flour and salt.

Cube up the butter and then rub in using your fingers to make a breadcrumb consistency.

Stir the sugar into the dry ingredients.

In the centre of the bowl make a depression and add the egg and the yeast/milk mix.

Gradually mix in the flour from around the edge to make a soft dough - if it's too dry then add some more milk to the mix but make sure it is at least room temperature.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead for around 5 minutes until it's smooth and elastic.

Put it in a clean bowl and cover with a dish towel for around 2 hours - make sure it's in a warm location otherwise the dough will take much longer to double in size.

While you wait, mix 4 teaspoons of your Ableforth’s Cherry Brandy in to your jam.

Once the dough has doubled in size knead again for approximately 2 minutes and then roll out.

Spread with the Cherry Brandy jam and then sprinkle on the handfuls of raisins.

Roll up the dough to along the thick end similar to how you would roll a Swiss roll.

Cut into pieces about 3cm thick (this can get a bit messy!)

Place on a greased baking tray and leave for the second rise for around 30 minutes again make sure it's in a warm place.

Pre-heat the oven at 200C (180c in a fan oven) and bake the buns until golden brown. (about 15 minutes - N.B the time between perfect and burnt is very small)

Mix the icing sugar with enough cherry brandy to make a smooth paste which can be spooned onto the buns.

Remove the buns once cooked and place on a wire rack to cool down.

Once they have cooled add the icing and place a cherry on the top.


Rumbullion! And Ginger Traybake With Lime Buttercream Frosting

On your marks, get set...rum!

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It’s week two of the Great British Bake Off and that means it’s...CAKE WEEK. This week, the bakers in the famous tent will be creating traybakes as one of their tasks, so we took on the challenge ourselves, and have come up with recipe we think you’ll like.

This cake is not only really easy to make, it’s also absolutely rum-tastic. (As in, it’s filled with lovely Rumbullion!* And it’s also pretty tasty). Made with rum and ginger with a lime buttercream frosting, it’s spicy, zesty and all-round delicious. We’ve eaten quite a bit of it in the name of research**, so we can confirm it’s nice. But if you don’t believe us then we’re happy to have another slice...

Plus, the great thing about a traybake is it’s a real crowd pleaser, so if you need to impress at a birthday or make office friends, just throw together this booze-filled bake and you’ll be the star baker in no time.

*We should point out that this recipe has a fair bit of Rumbullion! in, but you could use less - adjust according to your taste requirements (and your audience!)

** Research or greed…

Serves 20

Ingredients

Cake

  • 4 large eggs

  • 225g margarine, softened

  • 175g light muscovado sugar

  • 200g black treacle

  • 300g self-raising flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice

  • 1 tsp ground allspice

  • 100ml Rumbullion! (Add more or less as required)

  • 3 pieces stem ginger, roughly chopped

Frosting

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened

  • 475g icing sugar

  • 2 tbsp Rumbullion!

  • Juice of 2 1/2 limes

  • Lime zest to decorate

Method

Grease your tin (we used a 13”x 9” roasting tin for this) and line with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 160c or gas mark 3.

Measure all of your cake ingredients apart from the Rumbullion! and add them to a mixing bowl. An electric mixer is best, or you can mix by hand if preferred.

Mix for around a minute, then slowly add your rum. Continue to mix for another minute, or until the mixture is smooth.

Pour your mixture into your tin and level out. Then put in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

While the traybake is in the oven, make your frosting. To do this, grate your limes and put the zest aside. Then combine the butter, icing sugar, lime juice and rum in a mixer for around two minutes. Put put in a bowl and refrigerate for half an hour.

Once your sponge has cooled and your frosting is set, spread the frosting on top, sprinkle the lime zest over, slice up and enjoy!

Bathtub Gin & Tonic Cheesecake Recipe

Celebrate the return of The Great British Bake Off with this delicious gin-infused cheesecake creation

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We love The Great British Bake Off, we love cheesecake and we love gin. So what could be better than celebrating the beginning of 2018’s GBBO season with a tasty gin-infused treat?

The new series of Bake Off kicks off with biscuit week, so this crumbly, creamy, zesty cheesecake is the perfect way to get your biscuit and booze fix in one.

While we’d normally serve our Bathtub Gin with a wedge of orange, for this recipe we’ve instilled the help of orange’s citrus cousins lemon and lime too. The result? A zippy, fresh and velvety dessert with a delicious gin hit. Oh, and there’s no actual baking involved, which might not earn you a Paul Hollywood handshake, but it’ll definitely be a showstopper...

Makes 6 individual cheesecakes

Ingredients

Biscuit base

250g biscuits (digestives or oaty biscuits work well)

80g unsalted butter

Filling

560g cream cheese

500g mascarpone

80g caster sugar

1 lime juice & zest

1 lemon juice & zest

4 tbsp Bathtub Gin

4 tbsp premium tonic water

Gin & tonic topping

6 gelatine leaves

1 lemon juice

1 lime juice

½ orange juice

100g caster sugar

4 tbsp Bathtub Gin

300ml premium tonic water

Method

Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they’re a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and mix together.

Press the mixture into your bases, then refrigerate until needed.

Next, put the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, lemon and lime zests and juices, gin and tonic into a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to mix together until smooth.

Spoon over the chilled biscuit base and ensure each cheesecake is level. Put back in the refrigerator and leave to chill for two hours.

For the top layer, place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soak for five minutes.

While they’re softening, put the lemon, lime and orange juice into a saucepan and heat on medium. Add in the sugar and stir to dissolve. This should form a citrus syrup.

Once the gelatine has softened, squeeze the water from the leaves and add them to the citrus syrup until dissolved.

Add the gin and tonic, whisk and then pour over your cheesecake.

Continue to chill in the refrigerator for four hours, or until set.

Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!