Bakers unite! A few of our staff decided to try some of the recipes made on the popular English show. We don’t know how many handshakes Paul Hollywood would give out, but we had fun baking these recipes that would be great for Christmas.

Baker: Crystal Rappleye
First thing, I binge-watched some Great British Baking episodes to get pumped. After reading over the ingredients, I Googled a few things to find out what they were and where I could buy them. I was able to purchase all the ingredients except the double cream (although it is available on amazon). I already owned a food scale, and that came in handy when it came to measuring according to the recipe. The mousse turned out to be the tricky part, mostly because it took patience to get the sugar to dissolve and the chocolate to melt. To my surprise, everything turned out. Paul would have told me my churros were a little underdone in the middle, but I would like to think I would have received a handshake for my chocolate mousse. Either way, everything was delicious, and I think I may be adding these recipes to our traditional Christmas-time sweets.

Jamie’s Chocolate Mousse Milkshake & Churros

Episode finder:
2019 Christmas Special


For the mousse:
300 ml. double cream
4 large egg yolks
135 g. caster sugar
150 g. 54% dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. orange liqueur

For the topping:
150 ml. double cream
1 tsp. caster sugar
25 g. milk chocolate, finely grated

For the raspberry coulis:
100 g. raspberries
1 tbsp. icing sugar

For the churros:
30 g. caster sugar
90 g. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp. salt
160 g. plain flour, sifted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 liter sunflower oil, for frying
150 g. caster sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon, for dusting

Make the mousse. Place the double cream in a small bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, whip the cream to soft peaks. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix on a low–medium speed until pale. Place the sugar in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and cook until it reaches 120°C/248°F on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat. Turn the mixer speed up to medium and pour the sugar syrup into the egg yolks in a thin, steady stream. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is pale, fluffy, and cool to the touch. Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Once melted, remove from the heat, stir until smooth, and leave to cool slightly. Fold a heaped tablespoon of the whipped cream and all the orange liqueur into the chocolate, then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture with the remaining cream, trying to keep as much air in the mousse as possible. Spoon equally into 6 serving glasses; cover and chill for about 1 hour to set. Once the mousses are set, make the topping. Whip the double cream and caster sugar together until the mixture holds soft peaks, then place the sweetened cream in the medium piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe the cream on top of the mousse and sprinkle with grated milk chocolate to finish. Chill until ready to serve.

Make the coulis. Blitz the raspberries in a food processor, then sieve the pulp to remove the pips and leave a smooth purée. Stir in the icing sugar, to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Make the churros. Place 240 ml. of water, sugar, and butter in a medium pan over a medium heat and heat until the butter has melted. Bring the mixture to boil, then immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the vanilla and salt, and tip in all the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth paste that cleanly leaves the sides of the pan. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then using an electric hand whisk, gradually whisk in the eggs until you have a smooth, thick paste. Spoon the mixture into the large piping bag fitted with the fine-toothed nozzle. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer (or large, deep pan) until it reaches 190°C/374°F on the thermometer. In batches, pipe the churro dough into the hot fat, making each churro about 10 cm. long (cut each length off with scissors or a knife). Fry for 3–5 minutes per batch, turning the churros as they cook, until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon, then set aside to drain on kitchen paper while you fry the next batch. Roll the warm churros in the caster sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. Serve with the coulis for dipping, and the mousses alongside.

Baker: Ryan Spelts
This Italian sweet bread, which translates as ‘golden bread’, gets its color from egg yolks, so use the freshest and best-quality eggs available. The trickiest part of this was converting from grams and milliliters to cups and teaspoons. The pan was tricky to come by too, but the bread turned out great, with a slightly sweet, golden flavor with hints of citrus.

Pandoro Sweet Bread

Episode finder:
Season 3 Masterclass Christmas


750 g. strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
7.5 g. salt
188 g. caster sugar. Caster sugar is slightly less granulated than table sugar and slightly more coarse than powdered sugar. The way to achieve it is to put the measurement in a blender and pulse 15 times.
15 g. dried active yeast
finely grated zest of 1 orange
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
225 g. softened butter, plus extra for greasing
100 ml. warm milk @ 100o F
3 medium eggs, preferably Burford Brown or other variety with golden yolk
2 egg yolks, preferably Burford Brown or other variety with golden yolk
3 tsp. vanilla paste

Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and caster sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side. Add the orange and lemon zest, softened butter, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and milk. Start on a slow speed and mix to form a wet, sticky dough. Increase the speed on the mixer and mix for 10 minutes. The dough should now be a thicker consistency and adhere to the dough hook. If the dough is dropping from the dough hook, mix for a further 5 minutes or until the correct consistency is achieved. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and gently knead the dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and leave until doubled in size. This can take 4 hours. For best results, leave overnight.

Grease a 750 g. Pandoro mold with butter. Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold in on itself a few times to knock out the air. Shape into a ball and place in the prepared tin, gently pressing into the corners. Cover and leave to rise until it comes to the top of the tin. This can take 11⁄2–2 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 190° C/375°F. Uncover the Pandoro and bake for 35–40 minutes. Insert a skewer and test to see if the cake is cooked through. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Before serving, trim the base so it will sit flat on a serving plate and slice into thick horizontal slices. Rotate the slices and dust heavily with icing sugar.

Baker: Kristina Case
This is a “great British classic,” according to Mary. For starters, I couldn’t locate jam sugar, so I substituted pectin. The different components came together easily, but I feel like during the baking is where it went downhill. The crust seemed like it has way too much butter, and the frangipane took much longer to bake than the recipe stated. Overall, the flavor was good but overly sweet, and while I had no soggy bottom on my crust, it definitely wouldn’t get top marks from Paul or Mary. It was fun to make though!

Madewell Tart


Episode finder:
Season 4, Ep. 5 Technical Bake

For the jam
200 g. (7 oz.) raspberries
250 g. (9 oz.) jam sugar

For the sweet short crust pastry
225 g. (8 oz.) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150 g. (51⁄2 oz.) butter, chilled
25 g. (1 oz.) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1 large free-range egg, beaten

For the filling
150 g. (51⁄2 oz.) butter, softened
150 g. (51⁄2 oz.) caster sugar
150 g. (51⁄2 oz.) ground almonds
1 large free-range egg, beaten
1 tsp. almond extract

For the icing
300 g. (101⁄2 oz.) icing sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
pink food coloring gel

For the jam, put the raspberries in a small, deep-sided saucepan and crush them using a masher. Add the sugar and bring to boil over a low heat until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a shallow container. Leave to cool and set.

For the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter, using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons cold water, mixing to form soft dough. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Line a 23 cm. (9-inch) fluted flan tin and transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes to dry out the base. Set aside to cool a little before adding the filling.

For the filling, spread the base of the pastry case with 4 tablespoons of raspberry jam. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds, egg, and almond extract and mix. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case and smooth the surface using a palette knife. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/356°F and bake for 25–35 minutes, until golden-brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.

For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in the almond extract and about 3 tablespoons cold water to make a smooth, fairly thick icing. Place 3 tablespoons of the icing in a separate bowl and add a little pink food coloring gel to make a raspberry-colored icing. Spoon the pink icing into a small piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. When the tart has cooled completely, spoon the white icing on top and spread to form a smooth surface. Pipe parallel lines of pink icing over the white icing, then drag a cocktail stick through the lines (at a 90-degree angle to the lines) to create a feathered effect. Leave to set, then serve in slices.

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