So it’s quarter final week in the bake off tent and things are getting tense. So we decided to set ourselves the challenge of the technical bake, Mokatines. Let’s just start by saying we thought this challenge would be a lot more easy than it was, when the show aired we realised it would be a bit more tricky but we could handle it. It was major faff. A genoise sponge, 3 types of icing, nuts & piping….

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We followed Mary Berry’s recipe for these Mokatines, the first recipe we found called for self raising flour and another for plain. Thinking we knew best and that genoise sponge has no raising agent, we went for the plain flour recipe.

Big mistake.

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Compared to other genoise sponges this recipe has quite a high fat content leading to a denser sponge and our sponge didn’t rise. We started again. This time we used a recipe directly from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible which used self raising flour and 1 tablespoon of cornflour. The second attempt was better but still not quite perfect.

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The ‘coffee icing’ which we thought was just going to be a plain buttercream was different to what we expected, melting the butter just seemed strange to us but it turned out fine.

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The creme beurre was also a bizarre recipe and so much effort for such a small amount of icing. We thought this step would be easiest in a stand mixture with pouring the syrup in at a slow thin stream. Oh how we were wrong. With 1 egg yolk and a tiny amount of syrup the whisk barely touched the mixture and we had to stand there holding the bowl up closer to the whisk – we recommend you use a hand whisk for this step. It looks how it should but the texture was a bit slimy and strange (still tastes good though).

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Yields 9
Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge
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Genoise sponge
  1. 40g butter
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 75g caster sugar
  4. 65g self raising flour
  5. 1 tbsp cornflour
Coffee icing
  1. 50g butter
  2. 1 tbsp instant coffee
  3. 225g icing sugar, sifted
Crème beurre au moka
  1. 40g caster sugar
  2. 2 tbsp water
  3. 1 large egg yolk
  4. 75g softened butter
  5. 2 tsp coffee essense
Fondant icing
  1. 100g ready to roll icing
  2. 4 tbsp water
  3. dark brown food colouring paste
To assemble
  1. 100g almond nibs, toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and line a shallow 18cm square cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. For the genoise, gently melt the butter in a pan, then set to one side to cool slightly. Measure the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and whisk at full speed until the mixture is pale and mousse-like and thick enough so that a trail is left when the whisk is lifted from the mixture.
  3. Sift the flours together into a bowl. Carefully fold half the flour into the egg mixture, gently pour half the cooled butter around the edge of the mixture and then fold in. Repeat with the remaining flour and butter. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until well risen and the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  5. To make the coffee icing, measure the butter into a small pan and gently heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee powder until dissolved. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and glossy. Set aside to thicken.
  6. For the crème au beurre moka, measure the sugar and water into a small heavy-based pan. Heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then boil steadily for 2-3 minutes until the syrup is clear and forms a slim thread when pulled apart between 2 teaspoons.
  7. Put the egg yolks into a small bowl and give them a quick whisk to break them up. Pour the syrup in a thin stream over the yolks, whisking all the time until the mixture is thick and cold. In another bowl, cream the butter until very soft and gradually beat in the egg yolk mixture. Stir in the coffee essence to flavour. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a No. 7 star nozzle.
  8. To assemble, cut the cold cake in half horizontally and sandwich the slices together with the coffee buttercream. Trim the edges and cut the cake into 9 equal squares.
  9. Heat the apricot jam in a pan, then pass through a sieve into a small bowl. Brush the sides of the cakes with apricot jam and press the chopped, toasted nuts around the sides.
  10. Pipe tiny rosettes of crème au beurre moka around the top edge of the cake, piping them closely together so the fondant icing doesn’t run off the top. Pipe tiny rosettes of crème au beurre moka around bottom edge of the cakes.
  11. For the fondant icing, beat the fondant icing with a wooden spoon until smooth. Gradually add the water and food colouring to make a coffee coloured glaze. Carefully spoon the glaze into the centre of the top of the cakes and leave to set.
Baking a Mess
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