What should I bake for the bake off finale?!
October 25, 2016 3:36 AM   Subscribe

So I've got really into baking while watching The Great British Bake Off. I guess that's happened all over the UK. We have a tradition of enjoying some homemade baked treat during the show. The finale is tomorrow. I've previously made: pecan pie, bakewell tart, croissants, pain aux raisin, baked cheesecake, salted caramel brownies etc etc. Can anyone suggest something similarly "easy" but impressive to make for the finale tomorrow? I don't mind beginning something tonight to be finished tomorrow evening.

Apologies if this is ChatFilter.
posted by dance to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Banoffee pie? No "baking" as such but easy and delicious. You can buy dulce de leche from the shops instead of making your own with condensed milk if you want.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:08 AM on October 25, 2016

If you already have the right kind of vessels, there is nothing more visually impressive and easy to make as a trifle. Either use a large glass bowl that can hold enough for everyone, or individual tall glasses. If you have really big wine glasses those can be fun, simple pint glasses are great too, and if you have a combination of glassware just divide up your portions before layering so you can make sure everyone gets an equal serving.

The baking portion is either lady fingers, pound cake, or some other thing that is simple in flavor and soaks up syrups well without compromising texture. You also need to make one or all of the following: a custard, a whipped cream, and a flavored syrup or jam. Additionally some fresh fruit, preferably a combination that's pretty, seasonal, and compliments your other ingredients. Depending on your group, you can combine the syrup or jam with some kind of tasty dessert booze. As you can see, you can "cheat" and buy pretty much any of these, so pick and choose what you're up for and what you are happy having premade.

Day-of, soak your cake or biscuits in your syrup/booze/jam. Cut up your fruit into little pieces and if it's tart, macerate with a little sugar. Fill your trifle vessel in this order: Cake, custard, fruit, a little drizzle of extra syrup, cream. Repeat until vessel is filled, top with extra fruit and/or syrup. Keep in fridge until chilled, and serve.

Flavor combo ideas!

Mocha trifle with chocolate custard, coffee flavored syrup spiked with some Kahlua, simple whipped cream, and chopped roasted hazelnuts.

Strawberry mint trifle with minted whipped cream, strawberry jam thinned with lemon juice, macerated strawberries and layers of shortcake.

Bananas Foster trifle with caramel sauce, vanilla whipped cream, rum-soaked lady fingers, and broiled bananas.
posted by Mizu at 4:33 AM on October 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

I want to eat Mary's Black Forest Gâteau ALL THE TIME, it's so delicious and looks impressive while not being really all the difficult.

Trifle is a nice suggestion - and my mother does a Black Forest version of that which "sure goes down easy" as she likes to say.
posted by Bretley at 4:39 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Trifle is good—both showy and delicious. I also like the idea of going with a flourless chocolate cake, topped with chocolate ganache, and served with sweetened whipped cream. A deceptively understated appearance for such a wonderfully rich treat.
posted by she's not there at 4:49 AM on October 25, 2016

Dobos Torte is time consuming (lots of layers to bake), but not technically difficult (apart from making the caramel for the decorations), and looks very impressive when finished.
posted by damayanti at 5:05 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Extremely fancy fridge cake/rocky road - make it with high quality chocolate, butter etc. plus preserved black cherries, salted pretzel pieces, maltesers, posh biscuits and such.
posted by terretu at 5:29 AM on October 25, 2016

I've found kouign amann to be much less difficult to execute than advertised.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:50 AM on October 25, 2016

Angel food cake or sponge cake -- which uses a lot of egg whites -- along with crème brulée -- which uses a lot of egg yolks. Both are impressive, and you can always save the crème brulée for later.

For the angel food cake, serve it with freshly whipped vanilla cream and berries. Adjust by putting almost no sugar in the cream, relying on the cake and berries for sweetness. You can put a sprinkle of cinnamon on top if you want more fanciness.
posted by amtho at 5:54 AM on October 25, 2016

If you want a showy frosting, I will share my frosting invention with you: get some freeze-dried berries (over here they're in either the dried fruit or the snack section at either the fancy grocery store or the organic/co-op) and blend them into a powder in your blender. Do not open the blender until the dust has settled!

Then mix this in with an ordinary buttercream - 1.5 C dried berries usually reduces to about 3/4 C powdered, and you can adjust the amount of berries. I feel like you need at least 1/4 cup for frosting for an average cake. (The remainder can be saved in an airtight container.) The color is wonderful and the fruit flavor is unlike anything you'll get from a jar. A good cake made with butter and eggs and frosted with this has gone over as well as any of the fancier things I make.

I've also had great success by making only the top two layers of the Cooks Illustrated Triple Chocolate Mousse. The bottom layer is fine, but more trouble than it's worth IMO.
posted by Frowner at 6:26 AM on October 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

Thumbprint cookies?
posted by sevenofspades at 6:36 AM on October 25, 2016

I also love the trifle idea. Glazed fruit tarts also are beautiful and impressive but not too difficult.
posted by umwhat at 7:21 AM on October 25, 2016

I asked a similar question a few weeks ago, and the thread there was great. I ended up doing a lemon marscarpone crepe cake and people lost. their. damn. minds. over it. Not difficult at all, but highly impressive. I also made a chocolate pavlova the next night with the leftover egg whites and that one was also a show-stopper. Good luck!
posted by LKWorking at 7:58 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've made this black forest trifle, and it's pretty amazing. I think I made my own chocolate pound cake, and you could make your own jam if you wanted to. But the custard pretty much steals the show.
posted by Karmeliet at 7:59 AM on October 25, 2016

Frankly if you can do croissants you have the technical skill to do anything you want to.

I love making fruity meringue pies and people always seem to find them impressive. Personally my favourite is gooseberry meringue pie, but that relies on you having gooseberries in the freezer, which not everyone will have!

The most impressive cake I ever made was this Death by Chocolate Cake but it might be a bit involved for you to make before tomorrow.
posted by kadia_a at 9:05 AM on October 25, 2016

I drew Tom in the office bake-off sweepstakes so my contestant-exit-bake was tea themed. I made a layered Matcha and Earl Grey cake using this really easy recipe, but did it in two batches replacing matcha with finely ground Earl Grey in the second (easy to grind out with a pestle and mortar). Sliced them both in half, and layered alternately, filling with buttercream and piping the rest into concentric circles on the top.

I called it 'Tea for Two' - the layers came out looking great and it was delicious!
posted by freya_lamb at 11:01 AM on October 25, 2016

Braided coffee bread:
posted by 445supermag at 5:01 PM on October 25, 2016

I made eclairs recently, and they were actually pretty easy. You can make the pastry cream and ganache while the eclair shells are baking, and assemble everything the next day.
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:30 PM on October 25, 2016

Not sure if you need to accommodate for peanut allergies, but if you don't, this chocolate peanut butter tart is amazing and pretty simple to make.
posted by Aleyn at 9:24 PM on October 25, 2016

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