The Bake Off Bake Along Week 8 Roundup & Week 9 | Patisserie

Oh hi. OK... so I missed a week and I feel really bad about it. I'm sorry, it's the first time I've ACTUALLY missed a week of baking in three years. I have no excuse other than I just started a new job, moved house and was away the weekend I was supposed to do the Tudor bake. Had I have attempted, I would have loved to have made the pie, but probably only one big one. I was mega sad that Benjamina was booted out - I genuinely had her pipped to be in the final but alas, Selasi clung on for another week. I do love him but how he managed to cling on will always be a mystery.

Without further ado, it is my turn to announce the winner of the Tudor week bake - a big round of applause to EVERYONE involved, these weeks can be such a pain. Amanda and I were totally bowled over by Laura's Gluten Free Peacock! It looks totally fab, well done such a strong effort!

I normally get quite excited for patisserie week but this year, not much tickled my fancy. In all honesty I would have loved to have tried the Savarin, but I just didn't have the time to get everything I needed, otherwise I woulda been ALL OVER IT. Instead I decided to go for the Fondant Fancies, which in all honesty were a bit of a disaster - due to lack of equipment, I didn't have my piping bags and I accidentally bought icing sugar and not fondant. Eejit.

Anyway, I did think the sponge tasted lovely, even though it definitely wasn't my best ever bake. I also ATTEMPTED a buttercream crumb coat, with not much success but ho hum, it's all about the learning process isn't it? I am determined to get good at it, I expect I'm not using the correct consistency, if anyone knows of any good tutorials to do this, let me know!

The Bake Off Bake Along Week 7 | Desserts

Hooray, for once a bake that hasn't gone horribley wrong!!

It's Amanda's turn to announce the winner of last weeks bake so head on over to her amazing blog to have a look and see who we picked as our week 6 winner!

After the faff of the last few weeks, I'll be honest, I wanted to try something a bit more simple, that wouldn't require me to bake all day - cue the roulade.

Me and roulades actually go way back, along with meringues, I used to make them for some weird reason when I was younger - and I mean like 12 maybe even younger - my parents had a lot of faith in me not burning down the house.

In more recent times, my efforts of roulades and swiss rolls has been less than desirable to say the least so I felt like I had something to prove. I used this recipe, made it, saw how HUGE the sponge was and halved it. My tin was slightly too small, by 1cm but let's be honest, six eggs is way too many.

Anyway, I loved the idea of peach and raspberries so I carried on, and by halving it I cracked it and it came out excellently. I feel really happy in that I am confident in my ability in most situations to know how the mixture should look at certain points in order to achieve the correct result, and that is hugely satisfying. I definitely feel like I have a great base level of knowledge when it comes to baking now. I'm still a bit slap dash in places but more often than not, the bake is good.

I didn't cut off the edges because I forgot - there's that slap dash nature I was just talking about. But I don't think it looks bad at all and it certainly tastes brilliant. I made my own coulis because why buy when it's literally the easiest thing to make in the world.

The outside of my rolls always look anaemic because the brown comes off on the paper - it's intensely irritating - does anyone know why this happens and how I can stop it? I decided to remedy that by drizzling the coulis all over - job done.

I'd just also like to say that I'm SO glad Selasi is still in, I love him, he cracks me up big time. And I'm totally rooting for Benjamina. Although I like Candice and Jane, Benjamina is solidly consistent and deserves to win I think!

The Bake Off Bake Along Week 5 Roundup & Week 6 | Botanical

I'll be honest, when I first heard the words 'botanical week' I thought that I was going to hate every single challenge but instead, it left me wanting to try every single one! Especially that fougasse mmhhmmm. But I decided to actually... for once, attempt the show stopper LOL. I made a two-tier cake, so not the WHOLE challenge, because who has time for three tiers when you're not ACTUALLY in the bake off? Eh? But still, I made an attempt and I'm proud.

But before we get into all that, it's my turn again to announce our favourite bake for pastry week. We umm'd and aah'd over all of the bakes because you're a talented bunch. In the end Amanda and I decided Angela of Only Crumbs Remain and her gorgeous danish pastries just had to be given some attention, they look totally fab so well done on your danish pastry patience Angela!

But we couldn't move on to my bake without a special mention to Anca and her UH-MAZING Breaking Bad Bakewell Tart, I so chuckled to myself when Amanda pointed me in this direction. Make sure you head over to Anca's blog to check out the photos. Oh how I laughed at the topping of this tart!

And so, on we move to my bake for Botanical week.

I decided to do the two-tier cake because well, I haven't baked a proper cake this series yet and I do love baking cakes.

Thinking about the theme, I decided to use Orange Blossom water as a main ingredient for one cake and found this recipe which I adapted slightly and cooked in two deep 7 inch tins (bought for £3 each from Sainsburys I'm warning you NOW they have a lot of bakeware reduced to clear right now). I also loved the idea of use camomile in my cake, taking my inspiration from the show and remembering I once made Ruby Tandoh's camomile infused cupcakes I sought out that recipe and adapted it to bulk it out a bit more to cook in two deep 6 inch tins. If anyone is interested I'll be happy to write out the recipe because it actually made a cracking cake with a lot of height.

In fact I'd probably even go as far to say that it's probably one of my favourite bakes EVER. High praise indeed.

I've ALWAYS wanted to make a rose cake, in terms of decoration and I was determined to do it. I'm really pleased with how the top of the first cake came out, it gets a bit rough and ready down the side though, I guess it'll get better with practice? Perhaps? I had also planned to pipe the bottom cake the same way but some how a pistachio got caught in the nozzle and everything basically went to shit.

So I decided to just smooth the icing back over and make the best of it. I'm not happy with it, as I'm sure you can probably tell, and then when I lifted the top cake off for photographs everything really did go tits up. SO LET'S JUST IGNORE THAT CAKE FOR NOW. And focus on the nice looking pink one. It's tall, well risen and you can actually taste the camomile. Well done me. AND AND AND, the rose on the top looks quite nice I think.