Bake Off Bake Along Week 1 roundup & Week 2 - Biscuits

Yippee, hooray, huzzah!

Don't you just love the Bake Off? I feel like everything in life is better when the Bake Off is on. And oh my gosh have Amanda and I been so overwhelmed and excited by everyone's contributions to the bake off so far. I'm bowled over by how talented everyone is, and it's only week two!

Before I get on and show you my second week bake, I have the pleasure of announcing our favourites from the first week, cake week. We've decided to pick a favourite from each category, as you know you can bake along with any of the challenges set in the program, so without further ado, here's our top three for the first round:

For the Madeira Cake we've gone with Saskia's of Girl In Brogues, beautiful Lemon & Poppy Seed Madeira Cake. Will you just LOOK at the rise on that cake, not to mention the crack... Top notch!

For the Walnut Cake technical challenge, Amanda and I were astounded with Hannah of A Bond Girl's Food Diary and her stunning cake. Not only are Hannah's photos beautiful but the cake itself looks like it should be in a patisserie shop window - bravo Hannah! 

And last but not least, the Black Forest Gateau, which was quite clearly not the blogger favourite this week. I personally didn't pick it because I just knew the shopping list would be huge (and I think I saw a few other exclaim this)... but we both fell head over heels for Vicky's of Eat More Cake, showstopper - because it really is! It looks so decadent, I bet it lasted less than a day in your house Vicky!

So those are our favourites from week one, even though the choice was genuinely so hard to make because you're all smashing it!

I'm absolutely loving flicking through the #bakeoffbakealong hash tag on instagram and seeing everyone tackling the challenges throughout the week. I guess at this point I should say we've confirmed a couple of prizes for the end of the link up, so keep an eye out, I'm sure we'll be announcing these very soon! Please continue to tweet us and include your bakes in the link up - this week's is at the bottom of this post :)

Now on with my own bake for week 2 - biscuits. I'll be honest, I was dreading this... quite a bit. Biscuits are in no way, shape or form my forte, and last year's attempt was quite frankly a total embarrassment! However, when I saw the option of biscotti for the signature as well as the technical, I was torn and excited over which one to tackle.

I decided to go with the biscotti because it's definitely going to be more useful in the future. And now that I've baked them, I cannot wait to try loads of different flavour combinations. I used this recipe as the base and decided to have my flavours as toasted almonds and apricot with... wait for it, a honey icing - POW right in the kisser!

My dough was a lot more wet than I imagined it would be, which in turn made it difficult to handle and subsequently ended up in a more flatter biscotti than I would have liked, but overall I love the flavours and the biscuits have an excellent 'snap' to them, so I'm pretty pleased all round with these. Dark chocolate and morello cherries next I think...!

See here my flat, post-first bake biscotti, prior to being cut.

Look at them they're like little mini soldiers, ready to go to Italian Coffee battle.