Meet the winners: Our Bake Off champion as judged by Mary Berry
22:27 GMT, 19 October 2012
You certainly rose to the challenge when we asked you to create showstopping cakes to be judged by Great British Bake Off host Mary Berry. And here are her winners…
RASPBERRY, PEACH AND WHITE CHOCOLATE MAR BLED SENSATION by Sarah Howe, 28, Shoreham, West Sussex.
Mary says, ‘This is a delightful-looking cake and Sarah shows lots of skill. Good use of piping with the butter cream and meticulous white chocolate bows. Indeed it has the Showstopping wow factor!’
Sarah Howe's raspberry, peach and white chocolate marbled sensation took the crown
For the sponge mixture
225g (8oz) unsalted butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
4 medium eggs at room temperature
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
Red/pink food colouring paste
150g (5oz) each fresh raspberries and sliced peaches, chopped
Additional peaches and raspberries for decoration and filling
For the butter cream
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
400g (14oz) icing sugar
2-3tbsp peach juice
For the ganache
300ml (10fl oz) whipping cream
60g (2oz) unsalted butter
240g (8oz) white chocolate
Red/pink food colouring paste
For the chocolate leaves and curls
100g (3oz) white chocolate, melted
Red/pink food colouring paste
For the white chocolate bows
100g (3oz) white chocolate
30ml (1fl oz) liquid glucose
Mary Berry has chosen the winners and here they are…
Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
Grease and line two 20cm (8in) sandwich tins. Cream the butter and sugar
until fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time. Add a little flour if it
starts to curdle, stir in the remaining flour. Divide the mixture in
half. Into one half add a little food colouring and the raspberries.
Stir the peaches into the other half. Spoon both mixtures into the tins,
adding a spoonful of each alternately. Marble the two mixtures by
inserting a round-bladed knife and swirling it through. Bake for 25-30
minutes.To make the butter cream Beat the butter until soft. Gradually add the icing sugar. Add the peach juice and mix well until fluffy.
To make the ganache Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan until just boiling. Stir in the white chocolate until smooth. Add a little food colouring to colour the ganache. Cool to thicken slightly.
To make the leaves and curls Colour half the white chocolate pink with food colouring then paint it over one side of an edible, washed leaf – such as mint – using a pastry brush. Leave to dry.
Carefully peel off the leaf. Repeat with the remaining pink and white chocolate to make around seven pink and six white leaves.
For the curls, paint melted white chocolate over a smooth surface with a pastry brush. Leave to dry, then using a palette knife, scrape along the chocolate to form curls.
To make the bows Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Stir in the liquid glucose. Cool before using.
Take some of your chocolate and place between two pieces of baking parchment. Flatten evenly with a rolling pin. Remove the parchment and cut out strips 1cm (in) wide, bend around a wooden spoon (see above) to make a loop and pinch the ends.
When dry, slide off the spoon. Repeat to make 12. Also make five flat ribbons with a ‘v’ shape cut into one end. To assemble the bow, place the 5 ‘v’ shaped ribbons in a circle to form a star shape, overlapping the short straight edges. Then carefully place all your loops on top of these in the same way, overlapping the pinched ends, to build up the bow.
To decorate Cover the top of each sponge with a layer of butter cream. On one half arrange a circle of raspberries then peaches, repeat until the cake is covered with fruit. Place the other sponge on top with the butter icing next to the fruit. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of ganache (to set any loose crumbs).
Cover the cake with the remaining ganache and allow to dry. Pipe buttercream swirls around the edge, add the bow in the centre. Position 13 alternate pink and white chocolate leaves. Add curls around the bottom, then finish with a row of raspberries and peach slices.
NEAPOLITAN CHEQUER CAKE by Elaine Snell, 47, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Mary says, ‘It’s very difficult to achieve a chequerboard in a round cake, but Elaine has done well. She has produced a shiny chocolate ganache, with a sparkling meringue topping.’
Neapolitan chequer cake
For the meringues
2 medium egg whites
100g (3oz) caster sugar
Pink and yellow sprinkles
She has produced a shiny chocolate ganache, with a sparkling meringue topping says Mary
For the sponges (makes two)
175g (6oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 medium eggs
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
A few drops red food colouring
tsp strawberry flavouring
A few strawberries, squashed
3tbsp strawberry jam
For the ganache
250ml (9fl oz) whipping cream
300g (10oz) plain chocolate
To make the meringues Preheat the oven to 110C/fan 90C/gas . Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then gradually add the sugar, whisking in between, till thick and glossy and holding its shape. Place meringue in a piping bag with a medium star nozzle. Line two baking trays and pipe small meringues, about 25 in all. Dust a third of the meringues with cocoa powder. Then sprinkle pink over a third and yellow over the rest. Bake for 40 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to cool. Turn the oven up to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
To make the sponges Cream the butter and the sugar, whisk in the eggs gradually, then fold in the flour. Divide the mixture in half. To one half add vanilla extract. To the other add the colouring, flavouring and the strawberries. Mix in gently. Put mixtures into separate greased and lined 20cm (8in) sandwich tins, bake for 20-25 minutes.
For the chocolate layer use the basic mix as above but with 150g (5oz) self-raising flour and 25g (1oz) cocoa powder (you will only need one sponge layer, discard or freeze the second one). When the layer is cooled, use one large and one small circular pastry cutter to cut out three concentric circles – a large ring, a medium ring and a small disc – from each of the flavoured sponges, and gently separate. If you do not have pastry cutters, cut around two circular templates of different sizes.
Warm the jam in a saucepan with a splash of water.
To put the layers together, take a large ring, a medium ring and small circle of cake, each of a different flavour. Use a pastry brush to paint the inside of the large ring with jam then gently place the medium ring inside, then do the same to the inside of the medium ring and gently press in the small circle (see above). Brush all over the top with jam then place another outside ring on top and repeat, and then again for the third layer, making sure each layer has three alternating flavours.
To make the chocolate ganache Heat the cream to a gentle simmer then pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Leave to cool until the mixture has thickened. Reserve 3tbsp for piping, then pour the rest of the chocolate over the cake, spreading down the sides and smoothing round. Put the remaining ganache in a piping bag with a star nozzle and then pipe around the base of the cake and then around the top edge. When the ganache has started to set but is still tacky place the meringues around the top, alternating the colours.
THE BEST OF THE REST
We were inundated with your cakes, tray bakes and biscuits inspired by the fabulous recipes in The Great British Bake Off Showstoppers book (BBC Books, 20). Here are Mary’s third-place choice and four runners-up…
Hansel and Gretel Gingerbread House Hazel Loomes, 32, Newbury, Berkshire
Lovebird Cookie Jackie Riley, 52, Cleveleys, Lancashire
Chocolate Celebration Cake, Kate Haigh, 32, Liversedge, W. Yorks
Raspberry Sponge Cake Lucy
Marshall, 19, Holmfirth, W. Yorks
Keep Calm and Carry On Teatime Cupcakes, Sarah Lee-Pettifer, 31, Combe Martin, Devon