Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake #GBBOBloggers2016 Week 10 – Finals #GBBO

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake #GBBOBloggers2016 Week 10 – Finals #GBBO

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Can you believe it is Finals week already in the big white baking tent? It is extra sad this year, because as this seventh series draws to a close, it also brings with it an end to an era for the Great British Bake Off. I do wonder what will happen in 2017 to the format and its presenters and its move to Channel 4. I really hope it will continue to be first class entertainment as it has been on the BBC. Of course there are also rumours that the BBC will start a new show with Mary and possibly Mel and Sue. All I do know, is that it is all change which I think is a shame.

Anyway, enough doom and gloom, back to tonights show. So the theme was Fit for a Queen and the baking categories were:

Signature : A filled meringue crown (3 layers)
Technical : Victoria Sandwich
Showstopper : 

As I write this a couple of hours before the final episode is aired, I am thinking that Candice is my favourite to win BUT I do think that Andrew has really come back in the last couple of weeks, and I think he could be the surprise winner. Anyway, by the time this is published it will be over and the 2016 winner will be crowned.

Talking of crowns, I have made a rather abstract cake this week , going on what I read about this weeks themes and having chatted with some other #GBBOBloggers2016, I decided to incorporate possibly two of the categories into one bake. I have no idea if this is right of course, the is the trouble baking ahead of the show, BUT what is done is done, and there is no going back! Last Sunday, I decided to get creative and make a Victoria Sponge with 4 layers, and instead of being flavoured with vanilla, the sponge contained elderflower cordial. I layered it with Strawberry jam and then once sandwiched together, I covered the cake in elderflower flavoured buttercream.

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Now, I wanted to make a Meringue crown to sit on top of my cake. I had no idea if I was actually going to be able to construct this from meringue, but I gave it a go anyway. I made a base , the size of which made by tracing the 8 inch sponge tin that I made my Victoria sponges in, which was like a pavlova which was all chewy and mallow like – scrumptious! Anyway, so with the remaining meringue mixture i placed it inside a piping bag and piped long, thin triangle and some straight lines, which I hoped I would be able to stick onto my base to make my crown peaks. Well, once baked, these piped meringue pieces were too fragile and crumbly, so I had to just use the tops of each triangle which is why they are not as elegant or tall as I had initially planned for!
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Before ‘crowning’ my cake I melted some white chocolate and spread all but a small bit of it over the top of the cake, and allowed some to drip down the sides. I stuck silver edible balls on to the drips, and some strawberry slices. I don’t know with hindsight, if this was a good idea. Maybe I should have just left it plain, with only the buttercream surrounding it, but in for a penny and all that! As I say, this is a rather abstract cake!

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake

I stuck the meringue base on to the top of the cake, and then I whipped up some double cream which I flavoured with more elderflower cordial, and spread that on to the meringue. Then using the remaining melted white chocolate, I stuck the meringue shapes on to the front and front sides of the meringue base, and stuck a silver ball to each one too. Finally, I added some more sliced strawberries to the cream and some more silver balls – for some extra bling – and sprayed all over it with some edible gold glitter spray. 

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It is not perfect by any means. A little rough around the edges, but I think it fits the brief. It was totally off the cuff, I had an idea for a cake and it kind of worked. Whether the Queen would be happy to be presented with it, well she might look at it and think how odd it looks, but it tasted delicious! I think it is a typical Mummy Mishaps kind of cake!

Here is how I made this epic Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake 

Strawberries and Cream Meringue Crown Cake
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • *Cake*
  • 400g butter
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tsp Elderflower cordial
  • 400g self raising flour
  • strawberry jam
  • *buttercream*
  • 75g butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • dash of milk
  • 1 tsp Elderflower Cordial
  • *meringue*
  • 4 egg whites (I used the 4 yolks in one of the sponges)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g icing sugar
  • *decoration*
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tsp elderflower cordial
  • 1 punnet of fresh strawberries
  • edible silver balls
  • 125g white chocolate
  • edible gold glitter spray
Instructions
  1. *for the meringue*
  2. Preheat the oven 110oC / 100C (fan)
  3. Place the 4 egg whites (save the yolks for the cake sponges) into a large clean mixing bowl and beat them on a medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture stands up in stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted.
  4. Turn the speed up and gradually add the sugar slowly, just a spoonful at a time, alternating between caster and icing sugar
  5. Do not over whisk!
  6. When it is ready, the meringue mixture should be thick and glossy
  7. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper, and on one draw round the base of an 8 inch sponge tin *(the same as the ones used for the main cake). Pour on ¾ of the meringue and smooth to for inside the circle you have drawn.
  8. Fill a piping bag with the remaining meringue and pipe some tall peaks - fingers crossed these will work for you!
  9. Bake for approx 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath
  10. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack.
  11. *To make the cakes*
  12. Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan)
  13. Grease and line your 4 x 8 inch baking tins (or, as I did, use my 2 x 8 inch tins twice)
  14. Cream together your butter and sugar until pale and creamy
  15. Add your eggs and the elderflowers cordial and beat well
  16. Add sifted flour and fold until just combined
  17. Pour into your prepared cake tins and bake until cooked - about 20-25 minutes
  18. Leave to cool
  19. *make the buttercream*
  20. beat the butter for a few minutes until it is soft
  21. add the icing sugar, slowly and in smaller quantities , and add the elderflower cordial and beat until smooth .
  22. add the milk - just a little to start with until your buttercream is soft and smooth and a nice consistency.
  23. Once cool, sandwich each sponge with jam and then cover the entire cake, from top to bottom and all over, with the buttercream
  24. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes
  25. Melt the white chocolate, and also whip the double cream with the elderflower cordial, until thick but not stiff and leave to one side
  26. Remove your cake from the fridge
  27. Pour over the white chocolate (but leave a small amount about a spoonful) and if it drips down the cake thats fine
  28. Put the meringue base on top of the cake to sit on top of the melted white chocolate
  29. Cover the sides of the cake with some strawberry halves and silver balls.
  30. Top the meringue with the cream
  31. Add the crown peaks and stick to the meringue with the remaining white chocolate, and stick a silver ball to each peak
  32. Then top the cream with strawberry slices and more silver balls
  33. Spray the cake and the meringue with the gold spray for a regal look

I used ingredients purchased from Tesco this week – I have to be honest I do most weeks ! So thank you to them for my voucher . I use their value strawberry jam in all my bakes (and Jenson’s sandwiches) I think it is great, and I always buy their value chocolate for baking because it lets well and tastes really nice. 

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On your marks, get set and baaaaaake!!!!!

Mummy Mishaps

So as it is finals week at last, I can reveal the magnificent prizes that have been kindly donated by my #GBBOBloggers2016 sponsor –  Tesco  who have been brilliant at allowing 30 of us to receive a £20 gift voucher to bake with during this series bake along. Thank you to them again,  because here are the 3 prizes which 3 lucky bloggers will win if they are named Star Baker by an independent judge – yes I will not be judging the final , a person from Tesco bakery will instead 🙂 I think you will agree that these prize bundles are amazing! 

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So here are the rules for this final bake along linky for 2016:

Anyone of you who have linked up at least once to my #GBBOBloggers2016 linky is allowed to enter to be in with a chance of winning one of these prize bundles.  You need to enter a bake inspired by tonights i.e., the final show – you can be abstract like me or follow a recipe more closely. You know how it works, as many of you have done this a few times now. I have extended the deadline so you have a week from today to link up your amazing showstopper. 

I want to thank each and every one of you who has supported this bake along – it would not work without your bakes, your time and love of the show and I love our little #GBBOBloggers community. I also want to thank Tesco and the other brands who have generously supported this bake along, it means so much to me.  I really hope we will be able to do this again next year . Good luck to you all and I cannot wait to see all of your magnificent bakes xxx

 


Casa Costello

Strawberry, Apple & Elderflower Cobbler

Strawberry, Apple & Elderflower Cobbler

In the colder months I do love a fruit crumble, there is something comforting about the warm fruity sweetness mixed with the buttery crunchy topping  – mmmm just thinking about a portion served with ice cream or custard is making my mouth water! In the warmer months of the year, however, I do like to treat myself to a cream tea once in a while because a home made scone topped with jam and clotted cream (or even just butter if I were having one at home) goes down perfectly with a hot cup of tea – mmmm again!

Therefore, what better dessert to have in the summer than a fruit cobbler – a combination of a crumble and a scone and when served with Cornish clotted cream oh my it is just heavenly and a lovely pudding to serve at this time of year, if you use fruits that are in season here in the Bristish isles.  My cobbler uses strawberries and apples but you can use any combinations you like, raspberry and sweet peaches or nectarines would be good, maybe plum and almonds or even just apple – anything goes really and at the moment there are so many different fruits available to buy. I added a little twist to my cobbler as I added some elderflower cordial to my scones and with the fruit, which I think made a wonderful addition to this dessert.

So here is my Strawberry, Apple & Elderflower Cobbler

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Strawberry, Apple & Elderflower Cobbler
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: desserts
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 300g strawberries - cut in half if big
  • 6 medium to large eating apples , sliced and cut into chunks (or slices of you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 100ml natual yogurt
  • 30ml elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 oC / 160 oC (fan)
  2. You will need to use an oven proof dish to place it all in as you would a crumble
  3. Place all the fruit in your dish and add the cordial - if you have a sweet tooth you could add a little sugar but I didn't
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the flour and butter (which needs to be cold and cut into cubes) and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (about 5 minutes)
  5. Stir in the sugar and then add the yogurt and cordial and mix with a knife to make a dough
  6. Divide the dough into 6 balls and place on top of the fruit
  7. Scatter the remaining sugar over the scones
  8. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes until scones are cooked
  9. Serve with your choice from clotted cream, pouring cream, ice cream or custard!!

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This was beyond yummy and made a lovely change from a crumble and for my first ever cobbler I think it turned out rather well, even if I do say so myself. Well I have to actually, as my boys would not try it and my OH took one mouthful and declared he preferred crumble!! *stomps about a bit* Well, I can assure you it was delicious and if I ever get any cobbler loving family for lunch one day, I will make it again!

This would be a perfect pudding to make during the Commonwealth games which are starting very soon in Glasgow (6 days to be exact!). It can be cooking in the oven while you enjoy watching the sporting action, and then watching the athletes work up an appetite and smelling the fruity aroma from your kitchen, you are bound to be ravenous by the time it is cooked!  It is very exciting to think that the UK is hosting the games and fingers crossed that Team GB makes us very proud 🙂

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Casa Costello

linking up to Supergolden Bakes

I was sent a voucher towards the cost of making this dessert.

Berry, Elderflower & Granola Traybake

Berry, Elderflower & Granola Traybake

I was recently sent some Jordans Crunchy Oat Granola to try in a baking recipe. I decided to make a tray bake as this is an easy kind of bake and always goes down well and tray bakes are so versatile too – as anything pretty much goes. Based on a recipe for Mixed Berry Traybake with Rosehip Syrup by GBBO winner Ed Kimber, I had a go at making my own version using strawberries, blackberries and elderflower cordial (yes, again!  I do like it in cakes in place of vanilla extract) and of course the crunchy oat granola.

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Berry & Granola Traybake
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: desserts
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 275g self raising flour
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp elderflower cordial
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g of mixed fruit of your choice
  • 100g granola cereal (i removed the raisins)
  • 1 tsp elderflower cordial
  • 100ml yogurt - either vanilla or a fruity one
Instructions
  1. pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan oven)
  2. line a rectangular baking tin with grease proof paper
  3. cream the butter and sugar together
  4. beat in the eggs and your choice of either elderflower or vanilla
  5. then fold in the flour
  6. pour into your baking tin and smooth down
  7. scatter the fruit and the Jordans crunchy granola over the top
  8. place in the oven and cook for aprox 40 mins until cooked right through

 

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This was really delicious and a very moist cake – due in part to the yogurt but also the fruit. The granola adds a lovely texture to the softness of the fruit and sponge too. This went down very well with the Mum’s at my toddler playgroup, and one even asked me for the recipe!

I was sent some of Jordans cereal for the purpose of a baking review, as the brand is revealing its very first garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. Designed by the award winning garden designer, Selina Botham, The Jordans Wildlife Garden has been created to portrary the long term commitment to the British countryside from Jordans. The recipe is my own, but was inspired by the one that Ed Kimber has created for Jordans.

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linking up to Supergolden Bakes

Strawberry & Elderflower Cream Cake Stack

Strawberry & Elderflower Cream Cake Stack

Last weekend was the 30th wedding anniversary of my OH’s Aunt and Uncle, and his cousins arranged a surprise party for them Saturday afternoon with lots of their friends and family present. All the guests were asked to contribute something to eat and , of course, I offered to make a cake (or 3!). With the sun shining and British strawberries very much in season now, I thought that a cake layered with fresh, juicy, sweet strawberries and double cream mixed with elderflower cordial would be the perfect cake for a summery party. A Strawberry & Elderflower Cream Cake Stack if you will, and although it does look a little reminiscent of the Leaning Tower Of Pisa (lol!) due to the weight of  the filling, it tasted lovely and went down very well with the party guests. And here is how I made it

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Strawberry & Elderflower Cream Cake Stack
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: desserts
Serves: 16-18
Ingredients
  • 200g unsalted butter & extra for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 450 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 3 punnets of fresh strawberries
  • strawberry jam
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160o C (fan)
  2. Grease and line 2 x 8 inch sponge baking tins
  3. In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar for about 4 minutes until pale and soft
  4. Add the eggs, the cordial and 1 tbsp of the flour and beat for a couple of minutes until light and airy
  5. Carefully fold in the remaining flour
  6. Then divide the batter between the 2 cake tins and cook in the oven for about 22-25 minutes until cooked right through
  7. Allow to cool completely
  8. Once cooled, cut each sponge into 2 sponges to give you 4 thin sponges
  9. Slice 2 punnets worth of trawberries (remove the green stalks)
  10. Place the double cream and elderflower cordial into a bowl and whisk until thick - but not too thick, as you want the cream to not be stiff
  11. The assemble the cake by spreading the bottom of each sponge with a thin covering of jam, then add some cream and then some slices of strawberries
  12. Repeat this until you get to the top sponge layer
  13. Re-whisk the cream to make it a little stiffer
  14. Then add some to the top sponge - adding a little height to the centre
  15. Cover the bottom of the top sponge with some more sliced strawberries and then add whole ones ot the top cente and pile them high
  16. Before serving dust with sieved icing sugar

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I do not have any photos of the cake cut as it was done so several hours later and I felt a bit silly taking photos of a cut cake in front of people I did not know!! But it was very tasty and the sponges very light, despite the slightly lop sided finished cake!  Great flavours for a summer cake.

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