Mahnoor Mahmood, Events Organiser for UCLU Baking Society, gives us some yummy recipes to satisfy our post-Bake Off blues.
Last week, a whopping 14.8 million people tuned in to watch the finale of Great British Bake Off (#GBBO). That’s more than half of our viewing public in Great Britain, sitting in front of their televisions at 8pm, eagerly awaiting to find out who would be crowned this year’s winner. (Spoiler alert: it was Candice!)
However, as the episode ended, a collective sadness fell on the nation, as it truly sunk in that this was officially the last episode of GBBO as we know it. Where Mel and Sue would make the lamest of puns, Mary Berry would be her cute little self and Paul…. well, we all knew he wouldn’t leave.
Now, if you’ve read the article so far and have absolutely no clue what I am talking about, then 1. you have probably been living under a rock and 2. no worries, keep reading, there is something for you here I promise!
As an ode to the GBBO ending, it only seems fit that we all continue to bake delicious desserts and aspire to find a suitable replacement for our Wednesday evenings. I don’t know about the latter, but I have you covered on the desserts. These recipes are fan favourites of our members in the Baking Society, so know that they have been tried, tested and loved. Whether you are a beginner, or a potential GBBO contestant, they are guaranteed to be easy and most importantly delicious!
So in the words of Mel and Sue: “On your marks, get set, BAAAKE!”
Almond and Lemon Curd Biscuits
Makes about 20
- 250g softened butter (unsalted)
- 140g golden caster sugar + extra for decoration
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 300g plain flour
- 100g ground almonds
- a little milk, to seal
- 3tbsp lemon curd
- flaked almonds, for decoration
- Heat oven to 190C.
- Beat the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until smooth.
- Fold in the flour and ground almonds. Separate your dough into two separate pieces and shape into rounds. Flatten them, and wrap in cling film to chill until firm, about 30 mins.
- Roll out 1 piece of dough on a floured surface to about a £1 thickness, then stamp out rounds with a 7cm cutter. Brush with milk and spoon 20p-size blobs of lemon curd into the middle of half of the rounds.
- Place the remaining rounds on top of the lemon curd and seal tightly using your fingers. Scatter a little caster sugar and flaked almonds on top. Bake until light golden (about 15-18mins). Repeat with remaining dough. You can freeze the cut-out biscuits before baking, but be sure to increase the baking time by 5mins.
Pro tip: Leave out the lemon curd to get simple lemon biscuits.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 325g plain flour
- ½ rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
- a large pinch of sea salt
- 225g softened butter (unsalted)
- 100g caster sugar
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 250g dark chocolate chunks
- Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and set aside.
- Cream together the softened butter, caster sugar and soft light brown sugar in a stand mixer for 3-5 minutes until pale and very soft. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, add the vanilla and mix again.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add a little at a time to your creamed mixture and mix. Do so until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix again to combine. Finally, fold in the chocolate chunks. At this point you can bake the cookies immediately but I find that their flavor develops better if you cover and chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 170C and bring the dough to room temperature at least 30 minutes before baking if frozen.
- Spoon rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, allowing plenty of space between each. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 10-12 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be golden brown and the middle slightly soft.
Pro tip: If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, you can substitute milk chocolate. One alternative I truly love is to add 100g of chopped macadamia nuts along with white chocolate instead of dark, to make some great white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.