...or what happens when a raw chef starts a bake off take off ...

Yesterday was the start of the Great British Bake Off.  

If you’re not in the UK, it’s an annual tradition where two very exacting bakers (Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood) give steely eyed stares to people who don’t come up to scratch in an amateur baking competition. It’s on TV and every week someone gets knocked out and it’s a scrum for the final. Never has a jaffa cake or a lemon drizzle been so closely inspected.  

Now, I thought I was strict as I provide a ruler to each participant as part of the kit for the trainings so we can be exact in our pastry work, but these judges take it to a whole new level.  

Held in a quintessentially English marquee, decked with bunting in the grounds of a Country House with enough pastel kitsch and Kitchenaids to make even Cath Kidston weep, it has millions of devoted fans and draws a larger audience than the World Cup Final.

I love watching the programme on so many levels; to see the creativity people put into their bakes, the sense of drama when things go wrong and to challenge myself to make raw versions of what they are making.

And it really is full of cake-type drama. Having had a Victoria Sponge disqualified at The Soudley Village Show back in 2009 because I didn’t follow WI rules, I know that the wounds from cake type drama can take a long time to heal and run pretty deep.  

Who can forget Iain’s Baked Alaska meltdown when it was removed from the freezer by a fellow contestant? Or the chap who used salt instead of sugar in the rum babas?..  Let’s not even mention the opening shot of the squirrel with the outsized nuts.   

Yes the Bake Off is also full of innuendo and you can almost hear collective howls of delight across the UK as the much anticipated comments begin… ‘it’s got a soggy bottom,’ and last night’s classic… ‘I do like the flavour of a Cox.’ It’s a variety of English apple in case you were wondering.

Anyway, now I’ve set the scene, last night, one of the contestants’ challenges was to make a light Genoese sponge with a mirror glaze.  I thought I’d take on some of the challenges and share a few of my own endeavours this season. Here’s my raw version of their challenge; Genoese sponge with a mirror glaze. The inside contains 3 layers of chocolate sponge made with raw courgette and interspersed with a soft chocolate cream. I covered the cake in a simple raw chocolate glaze.


mirror glazeThis photo is appalling. I apologise. Sadly, Dawn Langley can’t always be around when you need her.

We make a version of this cake on the Sweet Online course, without the glaze.


Chocolate Genoese Layer Cake from Sweet Online. Photography Dawn Langley.

Chocolate Genoese Layer Cake from Sweet Online. Photography Dawn Langley.

Maybe it’s time to get inspired by the Bake Off and see what unbaking we can do. I know it will be just as delicious, if not more so.

Until next time, enjoy your week. I’m off to master a raw drizzle.

Deliciously yours,


p.s. I am always interested to see your raw cakes so if you are also attempting to make raw versions of the Bake Off Challenges, please share them on my Deliciously Raw Facebook page.