At long last, The Great British Bake Off is back – and we couldn’t be more excited. In fact, when the hit TV show appeared on our screens for the first of Season 6 last night, we could barely contain ourselves. The only problem? The episode left us with a serious case of bake-envy, so when we got word that two of Britain’s top chefs and former GBBO stars Miranda Gore Browne and Brendan Lynch had publicised their ultimate Elizabeth Sponge cake recipe, we just had to get hold of it.
The revelation comes in celebration of the Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history this September. But Miranda and Brendan aren’t alone – Kitchenware company Kenwood have enlisted three more of Britain’s top chefs (including Matt Tebbutt, Rosemary Shrager and Dean Edwards to create their ideal recipes), one of which will then be voted the official “Elizabeth Sponge” by the public on Kenwood’s Facebook page. Ooh, the excitement..
If you fancy getting involved (who wouldn’t?!), we’ve got the full recipes just for you. Happy baking!
Elizabeth Sponge by Miranda Gore Browne
A golden honey sponge with crunchy chocolate biscuit, fresh raspberry cream and honey drizzle
Prep time: 25 – 30mins
Cooking time: 20 – 25mins
· Kenwood CHEF Sense with bowl and Balloon Whisk
· Two seven inch sandwich tins (or two eight inch tins can be used) lightly greased with oil or butter and lined with non-stick baking paper
· 225g unsalted butter (softened)
· 115g runny honey
· 100g Fairtrade caster sugar
· 4 large eggs (brown preferred as these are the Queen’s favourite)
· 225g self-raising flour (grown and milled on our ‘green and pleasant land’)
· 2 teaspoons of baking powder
· 2 tablespoon of semi skimmed milk
· 180g Bourneville (or good quality dark chocolate) – coarsely chopped
· 100g rich tea biscuits – roughly crumbled into almond sized chunks
· 300ml whipping cream, chilled
· 100g icing sugar
· 300g fresh raspberries
· 2 tablespoons of runny honey (for drizzling)
Highland shortbread crunch
· 55g unsalted butter (hard)
· 25g caster sugar
· pinch of seasalt
· 65g plain flour
· ½ teaspoon of seasalt
· 20g semolina or ground rice
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Put the butter and sugar into the mixer bowl of the Kenwood CHEF Sense. Use the balloon whisk to whisk at a high speed for about three minutes or until pale and fluffy.
3. Sift in the dry ingredients and use the folding mechanism to gently fold them in to the mixture. Add the milk and honey and fold in gently.
4. Sprinkle half of the chopped chocolate and crumbled biscuits into the base of each tin – spread evenly to cover the base. Spread the cake mixture on top and gently smooth with a palette knife. Put in the preheated oven to bake for 5 minutes before adding the Highland shortbread crunch.
Highland Shortbread Crunch:
1. Set the timer for five minutes.
2. Whilst the cakes are in the oven chop 55g of unsalted butter (hard) in to a bowl and rub in the flour, sugar, semolina and salt then stir in the sugar (or whizz in the CHEF Sense).
3. After five minutes open the oven door and spoon half of the shortbread mixture over the top of each cake.
4. Return to the oven to bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes until the shortbread topping is golden and crisp and the cake is springy to the touch (or the knife comes out clean).
Miranda’s tip: This cake is also delicious without the Highland shortbread crunch layer. Simply omit this stage and bake the cake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until spring to touch and a knife comes out clean
Raspberry cream filling:
1. To make the filing, whisk the cream until stiff using the balloon whisk. Use a metal spoon to fold in the icing sugar.
2. Squash about a 100g of raspberries with the back of a spoon and add these to the cream and gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Use immediately or keep in the fridge until ready to serve the cake. Keep the remaining raspberries to one side for decorating.
3. Take the cakes out of the oven and leave to cool in their tins until almost cold (the chocolate at the bottom needs to set and firm up) before carefully removing them to a wire rack.
4. Make sure the cakes are completely cool before sandwiching with the raspberry cream.
To assemble the cake:
1. Take one cake (shortbread topping up) and place onto a cake stand or plate.
2. Spread the raspberry cream onto the cake with a palette knife or put the raspberry cream into a piping bag, snipping off the end to make a hole about 1cm in diameter.
3. Pipe blobs of raspberry cream in a circle around the edge of the cake, then arrange raspberries in a smaller circle.
4. Pipe a generous amount of the raspberry cream in a circle inside the raspberry circle, and then finish with a spiral of buttercream so the cake is completely covered.
5. Drizzle with honey (letting it drip down the sides a little) then place the second cake on top.
Elizabeth Sponge by Brendan Lynch
A traditional British sponge with raspberry-rose and lemon flavourings
Prep time: 90mins
Cooking time: 10-12mins
· Kenwood CHEF Sense with bowl and Balloon Whisk
· One piping bag with a small star nozzle
· Additional mixing bowl
· Four round, loose-bottomed sponge tins with a 24cm diameter brushed with melted butter; side lined with a strip of non-stick parchment and base lined with a disk of the same. The non-stick paper should be brushed again with melted butter and then set aside
· Alternatively, if you do not have four tins, use two tins twice but have the paper and the melted butter ready so the mixture does not have to wait around for too long. Keep the mixture in the fridge while the first two discs are baking
· 6 large eggs at room temperature
· 460g of almond-and-sugar powder (equal quantities of ground almonds and icing sugar mixed)
· 1tsp of lemon oil or the zest of 1 large lemon grated finely
· 70g plain flour
· 6 large egg whites at room temperature
· A pinch of cream of tartar
· 70g caster sugar
· 40g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
· 600ml/g of double cream
· 280g full fat soft cheese
· 120g icing sugar
· 1 tsp rosewater, or more, to taste
· 450g – 500g fresh raspberries depending on size
· ⅔of a 454g pot of seedless raspberry jam. If you can’t get hold of seedless jam, use raspberry jam with seeds, heat and when liquid, strain the seeds out through a sieve
· 100g of limoncello liqueur
· Untreated rose petals set aside in fridge (optional)
· Plus I x 28cm cake board or cake stand
1. Preheat oven to 210ºC (fan assisted); Gas Mark 7; 425ºF.
2. In the bowl of the CHEF Sense, place the whole eggs with almond and sugar powder and the lemon oil, or zest, and whisk at medium-speed (speed 5) using the balloon whisk for 7mins until light.
3. Use a spatula to transfer this mixture to a large, clean bowl. Sift the flour onto the mixture and set aside.
4. Clean the CHEF Sense bowl before placing the egg whites into it. Use the balloon whisk to whip at low speed until the whites start to froth then add the pinch of cream of tartar.
5. After 1 minute, increase the speed to 5 until the whites start to stiffen and slip around the side of the bowl. Add the caster sugar and beat for about 10 seconds to stiffen the meringue.
6. Spoon about ⅓of the meringue into the egg/flour mixture and stir gently to incorporate. Now add the remaining mixture and fold in gently with a spatula.
7. Put a prepared cake tin onto the weighing scales, and return the reading to zero. Weigh 240g of the batter into the tin. Smooth the batter with a small palette knife until evenly distributed across the surface. Continue with the other 3 tins using the same quantity for each.
8. Transfer onto baking sheet in pre-heated oven and bake for 10-12mins till pale golden and firm to the touch. (Do not overbake or the sponge will be dry. If this happens, brush generously with a liqueur, or a simple sugar syrup).
9. Remove from the oven. Wait 2mins and turn out onto cooling racks. Remove the paper slowly. The greased paper will come away easily. Allow to cool completely.
1. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and rosewater in the CHEF Sense using the balloon whisk to soft peak stage.
2. Meanwhile, put the tub of soft cheese into a bowl and cream it with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes or use a hand held whisk.
3. Add the softened cheese to the cream, and mix it in slowly with the balloon whisk until just incorporated, about 30-45 seconds.
4. The combined cream and cheese filling will now be of pipeable consistency.
5. Set aside.
To assemble the cake:
1. Place one disc of cold sponge onto a cake board that is about 2.5cm bigger than the sponge itself. Brush with limoncello all over surface.
2. Put approximately 1/4 of the cream filling onto the brushed surface and spread evenly to 1cm from the edge. The thickness of the filling should match approximately the thickness of the sponge layer – see photo.
3. Put a quarter of the cream filling into the piping bag and pipe a small border around the edge of the sponge disc. Place the next disc on top of the filling, pipe as before, and continue as for first disc. Also for third disc.
4. The final top disk does not have any filling. Instead brush with warmed jam to create a sticky surface to hold the raspberries in place.
5. Arrange the raspberries in concentric circles until the whole surface is covered
6. Finally brush the raspberries with the warm, raspberry glaze.
7. Put in fridge for at least 1 hour to set. If made for the next day, place the cake in a large plastic, sealable container to prevent drying out overnight in the fridge.
8. To present the cake for special occasions, scatter rose petals around it.
Psst, we’ve also got the full list of Great British Bake Off 2015 contestants..
By Bridie Wilkins