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Real Foods guide to the Great British Bake Off 2016

The Great British Bake Off

On your marks… get set… Bake!Union-Flag-with-Wales

Bake Off is back on Wednesday night telly on BBC1 and we’re ready with our guide to each week's show below

Enter our Bake Off competitions on this page for the chance to win and show off your your own confections

If you've any questions about ingredients or requests for new products, please email webshop@realfoods.co.uk and we'll do our best to answer the Bake Off related questions and queries we receive this year…

The second week's theme was biscuits (yum!) So here's our guide to biscuit week...

The Signature Bake

This week's signature bake was 24 iced biscuits, with the aim being to keep them 'crisp and uniform'. The contestants tried attempted Bara Brith inspired rich teas, along with scotch bonnet spiced biscuits and a chai frappelattecino concoction.

The winner of the challenge was deemed to be Kate with her Bergamot and Lavender infused biscuits, but the judges were also impressed by the taste and look of Malt Chocolate Iced Beers along with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Orange ones. They were not so impressed with a Coconut & Lime combo or biscuits inspired by beehives with honey.

The Technical Challenge

It was Viennese Whirls this week. This is the basic recipe they had to work with.

For the Jam

200g/7oz raspberries

250g/9oz jam sugar - we don't sell this - but here's pectin to add to sugar and make your own

For the biscuits

250g/9oz very soft unsalted butter (only available in our Edinburgh stores)

50g/1¾oz icing sugar

225g/8oz plain flour

25g/1oz cornflour

For the filling

100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened

200g/7oz icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

½ tsp vanilla extract

The Showstopper

The challenge this week was a 3D Gingerbread Story. Despite a few mishaps, including collapsing buildings, burnt bits and a gingerbread sadly missing the flavour of ginger, the creations were impressive.

Candice won star baker for her efforts. Making an amazing 3D gingerbread pub complete with green jelly pool table.

The first week’s theme was cake. Here’s our Real Foods guide to Cake Week!

The Signature Bake

Lemon-Drizzle-CakeThis week’s Signature Bake was Drizzle Cake. Or as Sue put it, making your Drizz’ the Shizz’.

Core ingredients of traditional lemon drizzle cakes are:

Butter (sorry we don't sell it online yet, but our Edinburgh customers can buy this organic one from Graham's Dairy in our stores)

Sugar - most recipes call for Caster Sugar, some for Granulated Sugar, and a few for demerara

Lemons - organic unwaxed lemons are recommended to use the zest, or try bottled organic lemon juice

Eggs (again not online yet, but a good range is avilable in store - see here)

Self-Raising Flour - the range is available here

Mary Berry’s recipe also calls for some Baking Powder to improve the rise of the cake.

This week’s bakers tried these twists

Gin and Tonic- Yes we do indeed stock organic Gin here! Tonic water can be found here

The Star Baker was Jane this week - she made a Lemon and Poppy Seed drizzle

Benjamina added Pistachio and Cardamom to her lemon drizzle, while Candice used Raspberries and Rhubarb to flavour her cake.

The Technical Challenge

This week was a Jaffa Cake for which you’ll need

Butter, Eggs, Caster Sugar and Self-Raising Flour. You will also need

Gelatine (we use Agar Agar flakes as a vegetarian alternative)


Plain or Milk Chocolate - you want around 365% cocoa solids. We recommend Montezuma's Giant Milk Chocolate Buttons so you can get exacly the amount you need and relish eating the rest of them! They're 34% cocoa colids minimum.

The Showstopper

The first weeks showstopper was a Mirror Cake. That's a Genoese sponge with an incredibly shiny glaze!

Contestants tried these twists

Matcha Tea - to colour and flavour the cake. Try Pukka teabags or Clearpsring Matcha Powder

Guide to Bake Off

Each week has a theme and three challenges.

The theme varies, first week was cakes, second week is biscuits and we won’t know until the trailer for week 3 comes out what exactly they’ll be doing then.

The Signature Bake- a tried and tested recipe the contestants have cooked for friends and family.

The Technical Challenge – a fiendish recipe (often with parts obscured) and a blind tasting of the results.

The Showstopper – Think extravaganzas and epic attempts, previous years have included choux bicycles and tiered wedding cakes.

Star Baker is awarded to the person who impressed the judges the most and one unlucky soul goes home (with a lot of hugs and exhortations to remember they’re one of the best amateur bakers in the country nonetheless – Bake Off is a nice show!)

If you want to know more about the show and its presenters and judges – follow this link to the official site online.

The most commonly asked questions last year were...

Q. Is almond flour the same thing as ground almonds?

A. Pretty much, it's often a finer ground in the flour though, so if you need it fine, pulse or grind it a little. Find Ground Almonds here and Almond Flour here

Q. Do you sell gelatine flakes?

A. No, Gelatine is not vegetarian, we recommend Agar Agar flakes or readymade jelly crystals

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