Episode Five: (Biscuits &) Tray Bake

I (Henry) need to find a way of surviving the bake off. What started out as an innocent idea (baking every week) has turned into an obsession in my free time. I’m living to bake, rather than baking to live. It’s exactly the opposite of what Socrates was saying… anyway… in a real bid to survive, I am avoiding chocolate (well, mostly) in my recipes. Instead I’m opting for interesting recipes that involve actual fruits. The little steps I take to counterbalance the amount of sugar I’m ingesting will be worth it – or so I tell myself.

This week my challenge was tray bake. Pish-posh. How easy? Well, actually, yes. I wanted to challenge myself a little and so I decided to make two different tray-bakes. One would be easy, and the second would involve new methods and ingredients.  I’m all about the challenge, me: ]

The first: Strawberry and Macadamia Blondies


(To be honest, if you can’t follow this, you don’t deserve to be reading this post – so go away now)

The second: Lemon Cake with Coconut Crumble


(I chose this recipe because the picture looked so inviting, and to be honest, the photo doesn’t do justice to all the nice colours this dessert gives!)

I’m really going to comment on the Lemon Cake. You simply have to make this recipe at some point. It was my second bake of the evening, and I was very tired, so I probably could have been a bit quicker (and I made a wee mistake towards the end). I’m not a fan of coconut generally*, but it really complements the lemon here, and it’s not as chewy as I thought it was going to be. (*I’m also not a fan of coconut water; so don’t ever buy me any!).

The amount of sugar that went into this recipe is, to be honest, quite shocking. I’m never going to look at cake the same way again. This is a heavy mixture. There are a lot of ingredients, and two or three steps so the risk-factors are higher, and I wasn’t sure my little oven was going to be up for the task, as it tends to cut out at random. I was worried about the weight of the coconut crumble on top of the cake, and I was worried that the centre would be under baked/raw/ liquid. I was a fool to have doubted myself (or the BBC Website). I have to say that I was/ am really happy with the result. which when it emerges from the oven is really impressive. It’s a dessert with height and gravitas (well, as much as desserts can have) and it feels like effort went into it. My pieces were cut up small – and I really feel that you should only serve small pieces of this as it’s very filling (and also very full of sugar). However it will look really impressive cutting this dessert into pieces, as it’s still smoking from the heat of the oven. Those who don’t like coconut can shut up (or just scrape it off).

Um. Yeah. That’s pretty much my bake. The recipes were clear, and delivered what they were going to. I’ve never made brownies (well, blondies) or such a ‘big’ cake before, and if I can do it  – well, maybe there’s even hope for a less talented person (kidding, no, really, I really am kidding: there’s no hope!).

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