‘I acquired obsessed’: the 15 very best reader bakes of lockdown – from cathedral biscuits to excellent brownies | Foods


Rainbow cake

Eve Catherwood, company welcome host, Manchester

To rejoice Pride thirty day period, I challenged myself to bake a rainbow cake. It took me about eight hrs, but I was so happy with the end result. I iced the title of the Woman Gaga tune Born This Way on the best, as it’s my favourite LGBTQ+ anthem and embodies what Pride is all about.

Eve's rainbow cake

Eve’s rainbow cake.

This was my granny’s recipe: 6 eggs, 12oz (340g) self-increasing flour, 12oz butter or margarine, 12oz caster sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, two tsp vanilla essence and different meals colourings. The batter is divided into six bowls, a colour is included to each and then they are baked individually. The moment cooled, they can be layered with buttercream. I also used Skittles to create a rainbow on the side and sprinkles for the best.

It was definitely massive, so I ended up portioning it up and dropping to nearby mates – spreading the adore!

Strawberry tart

Andrea Fahrmeyer, mystery shopper and receptionist, County Dublin, Ireland

Andrea’s strawberry tart

Andrea’s strawberry tart.

Normally, at this time of 12 months, I would fly home to Germany for my mum’s birthday. It’s strawberry period, so we would go to our favourite cafe and choose strawberry tarts. This 12 months, I attempted to make the tart at home – and the end result was shockingly good.

I used 200g digestive biscuits, broken up and combined with 100g melted butter, then pressed into a cake tin lined with greaseproof paper. Upcoming, I melted 120g chocolate and brushed it on to the biscuit foundation. I slash off the strawberry stems and balanced the fruit on the chocolate, flat side down, and loaded the gaps with blueberries. Then, I poured in excess of a little bit heat fruit tart filler (you can make your have making use of diluted jelly granules) and still left it to set in the fridge for 4 to eight hrs. It’s very best served a person hour out of the fridge and with cream.

Easter balls

Jacquiline Singh, researcher, Delhi, India

Jacquiline’s Easter balls

Jacquiline’s Easter balls.

It was on Holy Saturday that it dawned on me that, due to the lockdown, we would not be obtaining any Easter eggs. If we needed to indulge in goodies, it would have to be carried out inhouse. I found a simple no-bake recipe for rum balls on the Bigger Bolder Baking web-site, which was excellent – besides that I did not have most of the elements.

I wore my chef’s hat and made the decision to innovate: cranberry juice for rum honey for maple syrup peanuts for pecans tea biscuits for vanilla wafers. We savored the (no-rum) rum balls on Easter and were grateful that we experienced one thing pleasant on the desk and a roof in excess of our heads in the course of this unparalleled time.

Bloomer loaf

David Rickard, IT worker, Buckinghamshire

David’s bloomer loaf

David’s bloomer loaf.

I have been receiving most of my recipes from Paul Hollywood’s reserve Bread and I doubled up the elements of his white bloomer to make this 1kg loaf. It was a monster – and took a honest little bit of effort and hard work to knead – but it arrived out very well.

I acquired a 16kg bag of flour and a 500g pack of yeast early on in lockdown, simply because I made the decision it would be enjoyable to make loaves when we ran out. I’m now in excess of midway as a result of the sack. I have also built doughnuts and baguettes.

Choco-banana cake

Sudarshana Kashyap, Assam, India

Sudarshana’s choco-banana cake

Sudarshana’s choco-banana cake.

I experienced under no circumstances baked ahead of the pandemic, but in the course of lockdown I found myself on the lookout to check out one thing new. I have been remaining in Delhi for the previous six decades, so obtaining home-baked cakes is a exceptional opportunity. I experienced witnessed a several recipes on YouTube and requested my mom to support me. On common, I have baked a cake just about just about every week considering that.

My very best lockdown bake has to be this choco-banana cake. Fruit was not available in our area for the to start with thirty day period of lockdown and I adore bananas. So, when I could subsequent get them, I considered: why not include them into a cake?

This recipe mixes two ripe bananas, two eggs, 1.five cups (210g) icing sugar and ¾ cup (170ml) vegetable oil with 1.five cups (210g) flour, four tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp baking powder, ½ tbsp baking soda and ½ cup (115ml) milk. I baked mine in a pre-heated pressure cooker, on a medium heat, for 25 to 30 minutes.

Pink cream and berry layer cake

Catherine Parfitt, university disability services supervisor, Brighton

Catherine’s layer cake

Catherine’s layer cake.

I needed to make my grownup daughter a birthday cake – one thing mild and fruity. Wheat flour shortages called for an different tactic and a buddy experienced provided me some white spelt flour. I mixed about three on the net recipes (to match the elements I experienced in the cabinet), making use of the spelt flour to make the sponge and lining the cake tin with breadcrumbs. For the whipped cream filling, I used a dried red berry powder to get the colour. The moment the sponge experienced cooled, I slash it into levels and poured two tbsp milk in excess of each. Involving each layer, I included the cream blend and chopped fruit, then decorated the best. It was charming and mild, with a a little bit nutty flavour many thanks to the spelt. I considered it would be like a brick, but it turned out flawlessly!

Raspberry pie with a sweet basil dragon crust

Devoney Scarfe, artist, Auckland, New Zealand

Devoney’s dragon-crusted raspberry pie

Devoney’s dragon-crusted raspberry pie.

Throughout lockdown, I made the decision to grasp the art of the pie. I acquired a very little obsessed and built a ton of pies – it’s how I found the harmony between my resourceful demands and the practicalities of feeding a loved ones who were suddenly all at home, all the time.

This a person is my favourite. You just blind bake sweet shortcrust pastry in a pie tin till it’s a deep golden colour. Then, when it’s cooling, place 450g raspberries and 1 cup (200g) sugar in a saucepan and carefully heat. When the blend is effervescent away, sprinkle in three tbsp cornflour and cook for a several additional minutes. Let it amazing and thicken, then tip into the pie crust. Sculpt a pie best even so the temper can take you, then freeze for 30 minutes, ahead of cooking till golden. Then, carefully spot it on best of your pie.

Cathedral biscuit

Jayne Thorn, procurement worker, Berkshire

Jayne’s cathedral biscuit

Jayne’s cathedral biscuit.

Past December, when we were in a position to journey, I frequented Barcelona, exactly where I spent a superb afternoon at the city’s famous cathedral: La Sagrada Família. I adore cathedrals and cathedral architecture and this was pretty exclusive. I experienced usually needed to do a “stained glass window” bake, but fairly than go with the traditional gingerbread property, I experimented with to replicate a window from the cathedral. The orange-hued windows are on the west, using advantage of the heat afternoon mild, whereas the eastern struggling with side has blue and eco-friendly hues, sharpened by the chilly mild of dawn.

I really don’t believe I have carried out any justice to the cathedral by itself, but I truly savored carrying out it and it gave my mind a very well-gained relaxation. I used Fox’s Glacier Fruits for the glass, but I have subsequently discovered that Jolly Ranchers have much more robust colors. The recipe is a person I have tailored a little bit from the National Gallery cookbook – their biscuits have under no circumstances failed me.

Rhubarb cream pie

Deborah, Brightlingsea

Deborah’s rhubarb pie

Deborah’s rhubarb pie.

This is a pie that my neighbour in Minneapolis built for me right ahead of I still left to shift to England in 1987. It was so scrumptious that I considered about it several moments in excess of the subsequent 30 decades. On a whim, I did a Google look for and found a recipe that built this specific pie. The humorous point is, on the web site exactly where I found the recipe, the author describes obtaining accurately the same expertise: obtaining the pie some decades back, then expending a very long time searching for the recipe.

Sourdough loaf

Carol, health care provider, New South Wales, Australia

Carol’s sourdough

Carol’s sourdough.

This is the essential sourdough loaf from Baking University by Bread Forward. The wait around for the starter to mature was an act of blind religion and I was anticipating one thing resembling a floor tile from the to start with attempt, so could not believe it when I acquired a lovely, chewy, flavourful loaf. I make a person a working day, considering that I have experienced five older people in the property when in lockdown. Evidently all starters have to have a title, so ours is Son of Covid. The dough appreciates if you are receiving far too cocky nevertheless and only offers again as much as the adore and notice you place into it.

Tenting cake

Jan Raposa, administration specialist, London

I built this cake (pictured best) for my wife to cheer her up on her birthday. We experienced been locked down in the property with a three-12 months-previous when juggling work and items experienced begun to get to us. In preparing for a staycation, she experienced treated herself to a new tent, when I acquired tenting equipment for her birthday present. To healthy the theme, I built this cake, which went down a handle. It’s a simple Sacher-motivated chocolate cake, making use of firm ganache for decoration, along with marzipan and icing. A couple of levels of zingy jam slash as a result of the cake so that it did not truly feel far too major. We polished it all off prior to our 2nd lockdown tenting vacation. This time we stayed at … the other side of our backyard.

Lemon custard tart

Sophie, college student, Edinburgh

Sophie’s lemon custard tart

Sophie’s lemon custard tart.

My very best lockdown bake was lemon custard tart – flaky pastry on the outside and a set lemon custard on the inside. I used Dan Lepard’s recipe, which is based on a person from Marco Pierre White’s reserve, White Heat. It was so scrumptious that I built three in a person week!


Bryony Bowie, author, London

Bryony’s sourdough pizza

Bryony’s sourdough pizza.

Like the relaxation of the United kingdom, I jumped on the lockdown sourdough bandwagon, but I hated throwing away flour when I refreshed the starter, as it was so tough to get hold of – so I created a recipe for pizza to use it up. It has a attractive depth of flavour and tanginess, but without having the inconvenience of gradual-climbing or the technicality of a comprehensive sourdough.

For a 14in (36cm) pizza, start out by stirring any liquid again into the unfed starter. Evaluate 250g into a large mixing bowl, then add 125g lukewarm h2o and mix, ahead of incorporating 300g bread flour, 1 tsp high-quality salt and ½ tsp dried yeast. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes, till clean and elastic, then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside for about 4 hrs, or till doubled in dimensions. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan/350F/fuel four), lightly oil a pizza tray, carefully stretch out the risen dough, then use your knuckles to guidebook it to the edges of the tray. Established aside to relaxation for 10 to 15 minutes ahead of incorporating your toppings and baking for 30 minutes.

Four-layer cake

Nick Dunn, sales supervisor, London

Nick’s birthday cake

Nick’s birthday cake.

My housemate was turning 30 and experienced cancelled her significant party. Limited to just the three of us and a Zoom contact, I needed to make one thing that was extravagant, but wasn’t developed to feed fifty. This is a 4-layer cake: raspberry sponge, New York cheesecake, blondie and chocolate brownie cake, with dark chocolate and cream cheese ganache and raspberry truffles. I built each layer individually and the frosting was a blend of butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and cocoa powder.

For the chocolate work, I covered a baking sheet in cling film ahead of freezing. Then, I piped the chocolate styles on to the panels and still left them to set ahead of peeling off the cling film and arranging all around the frosted cake. My housemate wasn’t anticipating everything like it and she enjoys dark chocolate and raspberries, so she was extremely delighted.

Chocolate fudge brownies

Nigel Barnes, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire

Nigel’s fudge brownies

Nigel’s fudge brownies.

Throughout lockdown, I have been making tray bakes and my partner has been using them to her mom, Dorothy, who is 93 and has been having fun with them immensely. She has not been out for ages, so we’ll do everything to bring a smile to her facial area. I was on the lookout for a recipe that did not call for a mountain of chocolate and arrived throughout this a person, which used cocoa powder rather. I also included chopped roasted hazelnuts to give it a very little one thing added. These were just the greatest in “gooeyness” – and of training course I have now experienced to make additional to preserve Dorothy heading.

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