Great British Bake Off blog round-up
As another series of the Great British Bake Off draws to a close, former finalist Holly Bell takes on the role of Paul and Mary to (virtually) taste-test our bloggers' best bakes.
May I start by noting that every entry looks 'really scrummy' - as Mary might say.
I really like the sound of the doughnut muffins featured on Yummy Mummy Survival and Supergolden Bakes. I'm not a huge doughnut fan - I can never get out of my head something I was told in the 3rd year of secondary school about needing to run a marathon to work off a doughnut. But these look delicious and like I could work 5 off through walking the school run. Bonus points for courting Bea's tea room/Starbucks controversy through featuring the muffin/doughnut hybrid.
I'd happily tear chunks out of How To Cook Good Food's rosemary, walnut and fruit loaf. Anything that is further improved by adding slabs of blue cheese is firmly on my 'to bake' and 'to eat' list.
Now cherries polarise, but I am firmly in the love camp and so, it seems, is Cookies Cakes and Bakes with a moist (sorry but really, they do look that way) chocolate brownie studded with walnuts and cherries. Added (ahem) brownie points for choosing a recipe by last year's GBBO winner, John Whaite.
Piñatas get my goat. I'm sure they're a lot of fun at adult parties, but there's nothing more disheartening than watching 40+ kids repeatedly try to unleash the sweets to no avail. The sight that follows, of slightly overweight middle-aged dads beating the crap out of a cardboard donkey, also does little for me. Mummy porn it ain't.
Little Button Diaries' play on a piñata Halloween cake, however, is inspired. Is there anything better than finding cake filled with more sweet treats? Not in my book.
The Baking Beardy has jazzed up scones with the aid of maple syrup and well, they have to be better for it, don't they? Maple syrup is a wonderful thing and scones can be a bit middle of the road. I'd love to try them with bacon sandwiched in the middle and perhaps some roasted tomatoes. Mmm.
Mummy Wife Woman deserves a special mention for her epic Spiderman cake. She puts me to shame on the birthday cake front I'm afraid. I'm mighty impressed with her use of a tape measure too. I do love a bit of precision baking in a competitive environment like this. I also rather liked Wholesome's Building Site Cake. This is exactly the kind of cake making I like to encourage; fun and a total crowd pleaser. I'd pay good money to watch her reveal this to Paul and Mary as her signature bake.
Here's where I don my Paul/Mary hat and announce my showstopper of the blog hop. *Drum roll* the winner is Supergolden Bakes with their Ombre Cake with Raspberries and Praline. Despite Supergolden royally putting their cake photography down, it's really very beautiful - AND this cake includes praline, which Mr Hollywood is almost obsessed with.
He's also crazy for bananas in case any of you are thinking of entering. Other top tips include Mary being partial to a boozy cake, anything ginger and finding coconut most distasteful. You heard it here first.
How to Be a Domestic Disgrace gets first prize for best blog name. I rather like the title of her bake too: Baking for Slackers - Chocolate Ginger Rocky Road. Sounds divine. I'd be even more impressed if Domestic Disgrace snaffled it all before it set. Now that's slummy baking.
I was first drawn to Mabel's Log's Blueberry Cake because I thought someone had passed off a Sara Lee blackcurrant cheesecake as their own. I clearly need a trip to Specsavers as this blueberry cake, upon closer inspection, looks pillowy soft; a proper eat-with-a-cuppa cake. Yes please.
And last but certainly not least, Franglais Kitchen's plum crumble tart looks just the ticket for our cool British Autumn evenings. Delish.
Thank you to everyone for entering. Much like the Great British Bake Off, there's no prize - just a sense of satisfaction at having taken part.
Holly blogs ideas for brilliant family meals over at Recipes from a Normal Mum - alongside some beautiful baked goods, of course. Pop over and nab some kitchen inspiration.
Keep an eye out for our other food round-ups, and if you aren't already a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, do sign up here.