Stir up ex­cite­ment as Bake Off re­turns

Bak­ing guru and Penn res­i­dent Mary Berry of­fers up these sum­mery de­lights

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FOOD AND DRINK -

In­gre­di­ents

AS­COT, Wim­ble­don, sum­mer rain, yada yada yada – now it’s time for the real high­light of sum­mer in these isles – The Great Bri­tish Bake Off.

Bak­ing fans, and those who just like to watch, will be count­ing down to Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 5 when Mary, Mel, Sue and Paul are back on screen with a fresh batch of bak­ers. To whet your ap­petite, here’s a sweet and a savoury dish by the ever­green and tal­ented Mary Berry.

Malted Cho­co­late Cake

(Serves 8-10)

Mary Berry says: “This cake is the per­fect fam­ily treat, and a real crowd-pleaser. The malt ex­tract gives a lovely creami­ness to the sponge, while the malted cho­co­late flavour is echoed in the cake’s top­ping.” Pre­pare ahead: The fill­ing will re­main soft and ready to use in a bowl cov­ered with cling film for two to three days. The fin­ished cake can be kept in an air­tight con­tainer for up to a day. Freeze: Freeze the cake and ic­ing sep­a­rately, then de­frost at room tem­per­a­ture and as­sem­ble when ready to serve. 30g malted cho­co­late drink pow­der 30g co­coa pow­der 225g but­ter, soft­ened, plus ex­tra for greas­ing 225g caster sugar 225g self-rais­ing flour 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der 4 eggs For the ic­ing: 3tbsp malted cho­co­late drink pow­der 11/2tbsp hot milk 125g but­ter, soft­ened 250g ic­ing sugar, plus ex­tra for dust­ing 50g dark cho­co­late (at least 50% co­coa solids), melted 1tbsp boiling wa­ter About 20 Mal­te­sers, to dec­o­rate Ic­ing sugar, to dust

Method

You will need two 20cm round sand­wich tins. Pre­heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 and grease the tins with but­ter and line the bases with bak­ing pa­per. Mea­sure the malted cho­co­late drink pow­der and co­coa pow­der into a large bowl, pour over two ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter and mix to a paste. Add the re­main­ing cake in­gre­di­ents and beat un­til smooth. Di­vide evenly be­tween the pre­pared tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 min­utes. Set aside in the tins to cool for five min­utes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool com­pletely. To make the ic­ing, mea­sure the malted cho­co­late drink pow­der into a bowl, add the hot milk and mix un­til smooth. Add the but­ter, ic­ing sugar and melted cho­co­late and mix again un­til smooth, then add the boiling wa­ter to give a gloss to the ic­ing. Place one cake on a plate and spread over half the ic­ing. Sand­wich with the other cake and spread (or pipe) the re­main­ing ic­ing on top, us­ing the tip of a rounded pal­ette knife to cre­ate a swirled ef­fect from the cen­tre to the edge of the cake. Ar­range the Mal­te­sers over the top and dust with ic­ing sugar be­fore serv­ing..

Wa­ter­melon, Cu­cum­ber, Feta and Mint Salad

(Serves 6 as a main dish or 10-12 as part of a buf­fet) Mary Berry says: “This is my favourite salad at the mo­ment – fresh, full of flavour and crunchy tex­ture. Any small black seeds left in the wa­ter­melon af­ter de­seed­ing can be eaten, although I pre­fer to re­move the larger ones. This de­li­cious salad is best made and served on the same day.

In­gre­di­ents

1/2 cu­cum­ber 1/2 small wa­ter­melon, peeled,

de­seeded and cut into 2cm cubes 200g good-qual­ity feta cheese,

crum­bled into small cubes 50g pit­ted black olives in oil, halved 1 small bunch of mint, chopped For the dress­ing: 4tbsp olive oil (or oil re­served from

the olives) Juice of 1/2 le­mon

Salt and freshly ground black pep­per

Method

Peel the cu­cum­ber with a potato peeler, cut in half length­ways and, us­ing a tea­spoon, scoop out and dis­card the seeds. Cut into cres­cent shapes. Layer half the wa­ter­melon, cu­cum­ber, feta cheese cubes and olives in a bowl. Re­peat again, then sprin­kle with the

chopped mint. For the dress­ing, whisk to­gether the oil and le­mon juice, sea­son with salt and pep­per and pour into the bowl. Serve chilled.

Mary Berry will be back in the new se­ries of The Great Bri­tish Bakeoff at 8pm on Au­gust 5

Malted Cho­co­late Cake

Pic­tures: PA Photo/Hand­out

Wa­ter­melon, Cu­cum­ber, Feta and Mint Salad

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