I know, I know – I’m late to this party. The excuse for my tardiness lies somewhere between being on holiday for most of last week, unthinkingly baking a giant chocolate cake just before the first episode aired (couldn’t bake another cake straight away, could I?) and a general scepticism about whether I’d want to get on the Bake Off Bandwagon at all this year.
I’ll admit that along with the rest of the nation, I was unsure about the move to Channel 4. This wasn’t helped by the fact that just as the dust had settled and we’d all started to make peace with a Mel, Sue and Mary-less GBBO, somebody or other important at Channel 4 trailed the new series with a doom-laden reference to giving the show a “Channel 4 edge”. If you’ve ever seen Channel 4 offerings like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, you too would be concerned as to what on earth this “edge” might be.
Turns out it’s mainly just the presence of Noel Fielding. And not really knowing who he was but being slightly put off by his hair (sorry) I have to admit I think he makes a pretty nice host – friendly and goofy rather than obnoxiously edgy. Plus he is charmingly offset by the British institution that is Sandi Toksvig, so we can all calm down and enjoy another helping of basically-the-same-old-GBBO. So I’ve decided (belatedly) to bake along!
Initial thoughts aside, it’s (well, was… see above) cake week. The signature challenge was a cake with fruit in it. I decided to adapt a beautiful orange and marzipan cake I’ve made before to include more blackberries and a little less orange. I had lovingly collected a heap of them at the cost of scratched shins, nettle stings and purple-stained fingertips, so they needed a home.
For the cake
- 175g (6oz) butter
- 100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
- Zest and juice of one large orange (reserve 2 tbsp for the icing)
- 140g blackberries
- 250g (8oz) white marzipan, fairly finely chopped
For the icing
- 100g (3½ oz) icing sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- Set the oven to 180°C (160 fan) and line a square or rectangular tin with grease proof paper.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a handheld mixer.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with a tablespoon of the flour each time, then beat in the orange juice (reserving two tablespoons for the icing) and zest.
- Fold in the rest of the flour and half the marzipan pieces.
- Sprinkle a handful of blackberries onto the bottom of the tin, then spread about a third of the mixture on top. Sprinkle in about a third of the remaining berries, and about a third of the remaining marzipan. Add half of the remaining mixture on top. Repeat – add the rest of the marzipan and blackberries (expect a handful) then spread the rest of the mixture on top. Sprinkle the handful of blackberries evenly over the surface.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Leave in the tin for 10 minutes to cool slightly before removing from the tin to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, mix the two tablespoons of orange juice with the icing sugar to reach a consistency with a good dribble.
- Once the cake is cool, slice into 16 squares before drizzling the slices with the orange icing – leave to set.
Recipe adapted from goodtoknow.co.uk; all other content and photographs are © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2017.