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The Great British Bake Off Show 1 (Rocky Road Birthday Cake & Chocolate Orange Cuppies)

Today has been quite nerve racking. When I woke this morning I was really quite calm, my 1st thoughts were with my eldest son as today is his birthday. I'd been up late making him a Rocky Road Birthday Cake so I didn't get to sleep until 2am. To be fair I'm not a great sleeper at the best of times, if there was an Olympic sport at solitaire I think I could seriously win.

Anyhow I got up about 6:30am, let El out, cup of and waited for Billy to surface. It reminded me of when my boys were small. Why is it on school days,you almost have to drag them out of bed, there they lay quite as a mouse! Yet holidays and weekends they would be jumping on our bed whacking me with the coco pops box at 6am.

Billy came in, I wished him a happy birthday and off he went to work. This left me pondering on the day and evening before me. As Billy didn't wish to celebrate his birthday at home this evening, a couple of my lovely friends are coming over to watch my TV debut with us. I can't seem to think straight and I am really nervous of how I will look, sound and obviously BATTENBURG GATE!!

That damn cake, I shudder whenever I walk past one in the supermarket, i'm not a lover of marzipan or coffee and walnut cake but in all fairness that isn't it. My mind just went totally to jelly and I couldn't pull myself together and work out the simple logistics of wrapping a piece of almond paste round a blimin cake!

Now you'd have thought simple and to be fair you'd be right but with me when I do something for the 1st time it doesn't come naturally especially when i'm under pressure!

I was really happy with my cupcakes so at this point I was thinking i'd peaked far too early. Day 2 of the challenge for program 1 was the 2 tiered celebration cake. I'd made a one tier version at home 2 or 3 times before used the white buttons, same method, I even thought "yep easy", I can do it, no problem, left nothing to chance, oh but I did, I left my nerve to chance.

The chocolate mud cake all went swimmingly, the white buttons all stuck perfectly, but oh my, when I tried to adhere the collar to the cake it just buckled. Now I know, I have no room for error, what with the dreaded BB the day before, luckily we had to take a break, which gave me some breathing space, and time to think. And thankfully this in turn gave me the idea, that I could make a really fine layer of chocolate to cover the crumbling collar, it worked. Hooray, I actually felt like I didn't breath the whole time I was making it.
 Chocolate Orange Cuppies
100 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
20 g cocoa
zest of an orange
140 g caster sugar
 20 g melted plain chocolate (cooled)
40 g marg
1 egg
120 ml f/f milk

Mix four, baking powder, cocoa, sugar,half the orange zest & butter in a food processor until you have a sandy consistency, add half the milk & blend, mix egg, melted chocolate and rest of the milk together, add to the batter, give another good whiz, spoon into 12 cupcake cases, bake for 20 mins, @ 170, leave in pan.

Orange Drizzle
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
juice of the orange
Mix together, spoon over warm cakes, teaspoon on each.
500g icing sugar
125 g unsalted softened butter
2 tbsp double cream
Mix softened butter and icing sugar, the other half of the orange zest, then beat in double cream, beat in freestanding mixer for 10 mins ( this gives a lovely fluffy finish), pipe onto cupcakes and top with shavings of plain chocolate.

Double Chocolate Rocky Road Cake
For the sponge I just use the same ingredients as for the cuppies but doubled and without the zest, then the same method, but instead of cases split between 2 sandwich tins, bake @ 170 for 25 mins, cool on wire racks.

500 g icing sugar
125 softened unsalted butter
30 g cocoa
2 tablespoons of cream/milk
mix butter & icing sugar until combined, add cocoa and cream,
Beat for 10 mins.
Sandwich 2 cakes together  with the buttercream, then spread the rest on the top, now for the fun stuff.........

I used 2 mars bars chopped, 1 snickers chopped, 2 pkts malteasers, handful of popcorn, marshmallows, white chocolate stars, then I just piled them all on top and drizzled with a 100 g of melted milk chocolate. But you could do any combo that you like.