Fantastic theme this week with the good old fashioned traybake - the backbone of the school fete, an easy way to get a midweek treat on the dinner table, a speedy method for dinner party canapés. I could go on but as we learned in the historical interlude, the traybake originated in my neck of the woods - Norf London! Tottenham to be more precise where Thomas Chalkley, a Quaker baker - goodness I am starting to sound like Sue! - created this simple, affordable sponge cake for the children of the neighbourhood. The sponge was topped with an icing made pink using the mulberries from the tree within the Quaker house. Fascinatingly simple. All this time in Enfield and I never knew!
I was intrigued and excited for some new ideas. Aside from Glenn and Frances, most of the bakers played it safe. Glenn won my vote at an attempt to make marshmallows from scratch within the time limit. I will be using his freezer trick in future. Regardless of their “grotesque” appearance, I think he met the brief to create complementing layers and textures and I bet they tasted bloody marvelous
And Frances. Finally! She got a flavour combo right for the judges and delivered style and substance! Hurrah! I loved her Jenga tower of Banoffee Millionaire Shortbreads and was willing the judges tastebuds to regard her favourably and confess to a little cheer and air punch when they did.
Howard had a lovely idea with his breakfast flapjacks with a grapefruit topping but I was worried for him and his lack of layering and indeed this was his critique. Ruby, Kimberley and Christine opted for Bakewell based bakes.
Of the three I preferred Christine’s Three Berry Bake. It looked gorgeous and I think I might have a bash at baking that with the next batch of berries from the allotment.
But…but…BUT the traybake I wanted to grab through the screen was Beca’s Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies. Again I was worried for her and her timing. I didn’t think she’d manage to cool brownies enough for gooey vs oozy but thankfully she did. Well done Beca!