Calling all amateur bakers

A review of this week's 'Great British Bake Off' episode and a delightfully fruity cake recipe

by Natalie Hammond

Biscuits were on the menu this week at ‘Great British Bake Off’ HQ.


Short of finding one of Paul’s beard hairs in her biscuit batch, Kimberly seemed set to triumph. The flavour-combinations up her sleeve – from her spice-sprinkled bread to her turmeric-laced filo pastry pie – have had her churning out goodies worthy of Ottolenghi’s deli counter. After coming second to last in the technical challenge however, she desperately needed a stupendous showstopper. Instead, her Viennese tower – fatally under-baked – was cracked in almost every layer and looked like a biscuit incarnation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.


One baker who’s been on a bit of a downward trajectory is Howard, bless him, who faced elimination last week after a wobbly batch of custard tarts. After squidgy yoghurt-icing coating his breakfast tray bake and a set of deformed tuiles, it looked like the target might be on his head. But his Japanese tea-flavoured pagoda – which saw him emptying tea bags to create his subtly-perfumed biscuit dough – meant he came up trumps against some of the more consistent but less inventive bakers.


Rob (aka millimetre-perfect Mr Scientist) has similarly been slipping, first with his disastrously blobby ‘Paul the psychic octopus’ tribute loaf and then by failing the critical ‘bend or snap’ test (note the ‘Legally Blonde’ reference by Paul) with under-baked tuiles. His electric-blue Dalek biscuit tower, which had unappetising splodges of glue and cocktail sticks in its gun mount, sadly sealed his fate as the fifth baker to be exterminated.


If you’re feeling inspired by Glen’s macaron helter-skelter or Frances’ Jenga-tower of billionaire banoffee blocks, whack on the oven, don those oven mitts and join us to celebrate national cupcake week! We’ve got all sorts of recipes for the amateur to the expert baker, including Mary Berry’s vanilla cupcakes with swirly icing


For those craving something a little more homely, why not try this strawberry drizzle cake recipe from Waitrose? As a novice baker myself, I’m not too fond of gizmos like piping bags or flour sifters but this recipe was super quick and makes the most of summer’s sweetest spoils (or what’s left of them at least).


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes plus cooling

Serves: 12


You will need


100g salted dairy butter, at room temperature

200g golden gradulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling

1 large egg

120ml semi-skimmed Milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g self-raising flour

600g strawberries, halved

50g icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (gas mark 4). Grease and base-line a 23cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper.


2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then add the egg and milk and whisk again. Beat in the vanilla and flour then spoon into the prepared tin. Set aside 6 of the halved strawberries and arrange the remainder, cut-side down, on top of the cake. Sprinkle over the reserved 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Bake for 50–55 minutes until golden and set.


3. Meanwhile, chop the reserved strawberries, sprinkle with 1 tsp of the icing sugar then set aside for 15 minutes. Press through a fine sieve to extract the strawberry juice.


4. Leave the cake to rest in the tin for 5 minutes, then lift out and cool on a wire rack.


5. Mix together 1 tbsp of the strawberry juice and the rest of the icing sugar until smooth and thick. Drizzle over the cake and leave for a few minutes to set. Slice and serve with softly whipped cream.




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Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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