Ah yes, the Great British Bake Off, or the Great British Baking Show as it’s known here in the USA. Are you a fan? The seventh session of this wildly popular baking contest series just started in the UK, with an audience of upwards of eleven million viewers. The premise is this: twelve avid and passionate home cooks gather in a large white tent, situated on the grounds of a grand English manor house. Over the course of a weekend they tackle three baking challenges: a signature bake, a technical challenge, and a showstopper. Each contestant brings to the competition their own “portfolio” of original recipes. The judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, make the challenge assignments. A signature bake might be something as common as a drizzle cake, but each contestant will have their own version of the cake. The technical challenge presents each baker with a very limited set of instructions with the expectation that he/she will know what they have to produce and how it should look and taste. And the showstopper is just that; a grand bake with a professional appearance and outstanding flavor. Some examples of the showstopper include a bread lion, a matchbox cake, and a chocolate peacock. In each episode one participant is awarded “star baker” and one individual goes home. The two presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins bring a quintessentially British style of humor to the proceedings. The newest episode featured a drizzle cake as the signature bake and I couldn’t help but be inspired to try to produce one of my own. Well, actually, it’s not an original recipe, but I think it’s a good example of a sweet summer cake, crowned with fresh fruit and a crunchy, sugary topping.
The cake is similar to a pound cake, but made simple by mixing it all up together in one bowl. A portion of the fruit is layered throughout the cake (the thick batter makes a good foundation for juicy berries).
Then a sugar and citrus juice drizzle, combined with additional fresh fruit, is applied to the warm, baked cake. It is really very pretty, and quite delicious. I didn’t change anything in the recipe, but there is one caveat: there are two quantities of sugar listed. Don’t add both to the cake! The larger quantity is meant for the cake batter, and the smaller quantity (granulated sugar) is for the fruit drizzle topping. No disrespect meant to BBC Good Food website, but it’s a rather confusing way to construct a recipe. So, in the words of Mel and Sue, “on your marks, get set, BAKE!” The recipe is here.