The Great Office Bake Off!
The people who work in the office at Payplan decided to challenge and inspire each other to bake cakes by organising a ‘bake off’. Each fortnight one member of the group has a turn making a cake, and the others judge it on Taste, Presentation and Difficulty. I am eager to follow their competition because I love inspiration to get people cooking and, well, I get to try a lot of cake recipes!
Gemma of PayPlan says ‘Having a baking competition is fun and inspiring and we are already getting interest from other departments in our organisation’
Baking Together And Sharing
Cooking together is more fun than cooking alone and sharing your cooking is much better than eating alone – especially when the recipients are grateful for your efforts!
How much fun it is to cook for your colleagues and then see them enjoy the results. I wonder if there are any other groups of people having a bake off. If so I would be delighted to hear about it. The bake off type programmes on tv have certainly got people watching – but it is good to know they may have inspired some friendly cooking competitions too!
Everyone knows that homemade cakes are so much tastier than shop bought ones – and you know exactly what has gone into them! They will always be cheaper to make than a cake of similar quality would be to buy, too. And they can make great gifts for all occasions.
So without more ado – here are the results of weeks 1 and 2
The first one was a Raspberry and Amaretti cake. Now I can really vouch for this one – because I have cooked it too! It is delicious and really very easy to make. Definitely an ‘all-in-one’ cake mix.
Raspberry And Amaretti Cake
For the Cake:-
175g / 6oz margarine or butter
175g / 6oz caster sugar
140g / 5oz self-raising flour
85g ground almonds
For the Filling:-
115g / 4oz amaretti biscuits, roughly broken
175g / 5oz raspberries (ideally fresh but can be frozen
- Put the main ingredients (apart from the biscuits and the raspberries) in a bowl and whisk with a mixer
- Put half the cake mixture in the bottom of a deep cake tin (I used a loose bottom one) and smooth
- Place one half of the raspberries, and one half of the biscuits over the cake mixture
- Cover with the remaining cake mixture
- Place a final layer of biscuits and raspberries
- Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees C for about an hour
- Check to see if ready by placing a sharp knife or skewer in the centre of the cake
- If it comes out clean it is done, otherwise cook for another 4-5 minutes and check again
This cake scored as follows:-
Taste – 7.6
Presentation – 6.6
Difficulty – 7.5
The second was made at the time of Halloween as may be apparent from the photograph!
It is in fact a themed Red Velvet cake:
And the score?
Taste – 6.7
Presentation – 8.7
Difficulty – 8.1
The photo certainly brought a smile to my face :-)!
250g /8oz self-raising flour
15g / 3/4oz cocoa powder
110g/ 4oz butter or margarine
300g/ 10oz sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
240 ml buttermilk
2 tablespoons red food colouring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing
1 roll of white icing
- In a bowl sift the flour with the cocoa powder
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time
- Add the red colouring to the buttermilk
- Add part of the flour to the butter, sugar and eggs
- Add a little buttermilk
- Continue adding flour and buttermilk until it is all incorporated
- In a small cup mix the baking soda and vinegar till it fizzes
- Immediately fold it into the cake mix
- Split the mixture between two greased 9inch / 23cm cake pans
- Bake at 180 degrees C for about 25 minutes
- Insert a skewer or sharp knife in the middle to see if it comes out clean
- If it is not clean bake for 2-3 minutes and check again
- Allow to cool before turning out on a rack
- Fill with buttercream icing and cover with icing as required