The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 8 Challenges.
Total Cooking Time: 45 minutes
The Great British Bake Off is a classic show for bakers and those looking for a friendly competition. All the bakes on the show look delicious and I often want to try baking them myself! I finally got off the couch and into the kitchen to recreate some of the recipes from Bake Off! I chose to start with season eight of Bake Off as it is my favorite season and the one with some of my favorite challenges!
The next challenge is the Week One Technical: Mini Peppermint Rolls. The Judges asked for mini swiss rolls made from chocolate cake and filled with a Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. Each roll is finished with mix of dark and milk chocolate and a white chocolate decoration.
After trying this challenge, all I have to say is that Prue is evil. This is a difficult technical challenge and one I did not think I would ever complete! After trying the original recipe available on the Bake-Off Site (click the link here) and failing miserably with it. I went off on my own to find one that could work for me. I’m not sure if the difference in ingredients between Britain and America had anything to do with why I kept failing at this (I don’t really think it did) but the original recipe definitely requires skill. Since I do not have that skill, I made a simpler version that cheats in places…
The core ingredients in this recipe are similar to the ones used for Bake-Off. The major exception (and the reason that I said I cheated in the process of making the cake) is baking powder. The original recipe called for eggs whites as a natural leavener for the cake. After throwing away several cakes, I gave up on that method and went to baking powder. I feel like I disappointed the judges on this one because I did not stick to the technical method they were trying to test. But I was determine to complete it.
Making the Batter
The cake making process is very fast without the use of egg whites. I still did beat the whole eggs on high for about 2 minutes before adding any other ingredients because I wanted to incorporate some air into the cake. While I may not use the correct method, I still wanted the cake to turn out light and fluffy to withstand the rolling process later. Once the eggs were thoroughly mixed, I added in sugar and vanilla extract and beat everything on high for another two to three minutes to really incorporate everything into the wet mix.
The next ingredients to get prepped are the dry ingredients. This is a combination of flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. There is a very low amount of flour in the recipe because the cocoa powder often replaces flour as a dry ingredient in recipes. Though it can’t fully take the place of flour. I’m not so sure on the science behind this and I think I will keep it a mystery for myself right now. The time for learning is later. At this point, you should melt the butter as well. Then I just threw the dry ingredients and melted butter into the recipe and mixed everything on a low speed until the ingredients were just combined. This step could also easily be done by hand to avoid over mixing of the batter
Baking the Cake
Because the cake needs to be thin, I used a sheet pan to bake it. Whatever you decided to bake it on, grease it. You don’t want anything to stick anywhere. This always feels weird to spread out the cake super thin on a baking sheet, but it is a must! I used the back of a scraper to help even out the batter. Because we’re rolling the cake, it’s best not to have any lumps or bumps. And then into the oven it goes!
The bake takes about 10 minutes so its best to prep the towel for rolling at this point. At first, I just sprinkled the cocoa powder onto the towel. I had a lot of towels that were stuck to cakes. Finally, I painted the cocoa powder on to help prevent the stick. (You can also use parchment paper if you don’t want to use a towel).
You can also make your Peppermint Buttercream Frosting while the cake is cooking! I wouldn’t prioritize the frosting over the cake though because this type of cake is extremely temperamental. There are only a few minutes difference between under and overcooking.
Shaping the Mini-Rolls
When the cake has finished baking, it should be springy to the touch. You can also use the toothpick method of checking if you’re unsure about the doneness of the cake. I had to then immediately flip out the cake onto the towel and peel off the silicone matt that I was using. The cake needs to be rolled while it is still warm. This will help the cakes memory of the desired shape it should be at the end. Since we’re making mini-cakes, I rolled the cake up from both ends to make a cake scroll. I left the cake to cool completely before taking any more steps with it. If you haven’t made the Peppermint Buttercream Frosting, now is a good time!
Making the Rolls
Then it’s time to make the rolls! I gently unrolled the cake and spread the buttercream frosting across the surface. I would recommend spreading a thin layer of buttercream. I think I spread way too much which affect the final look of the mini roll. After spreading the buttercream, it’s time to roll everything up! This part was a very gentle process and involved more nudging than anything else. Once again, I was trying to make my scroll but without the towel for guidance. With the shape in place, it was time to cut the cake and the mini rolls. And it got messy. These cakes are not the best-looking thing I’ve ever made to say the least.
But the look wasn’t complete because they still need to be covered in chocolate! Mixing together dark and milk chocolate over a double broiler, the chocolate should be melted and then drizzled over the top of the cakes. To catch all of the excess runny chocolate, I put a baking sheet covered in parchment paper underneath the cakes. I then melted the white chocolate to make the remaining white line decoration!
Am I ready for Bake-Off? Absolutely Not!! This really feels like the challenge that would send me home!
Melted Butter versus Softened Butter
I’ve always wondered why some recipes called for melted butter while others called for Softened butter. And the biggest difference between the two has something to do with air. Both substances act as a fat for whatever recipe they are apart of, but softened butter can hold air while melted butter does not. The air in softened butter contributes to the structure of the finished bake while melted butter will add more richness in flavor and softness of texture.
Chocolate Mini Rolls
Chocolate Mini Roll Cakes
- 4 Large Eggs
- ⅔ Cups Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter melted
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ Cup Cocoa Powder plus 3 Tbsp for rolling
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- 1 ½ Cup Dark Chocolate
- 1 ½ Cup Milk Chocolate
- ¾ Cup White Chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper – grease thoroughly.
- Beat eggs until airy and bubbly (about two minutes)
- Add in sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well combined (about two to three minutes)
- In a separate bowl – combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Add flour mixture and melted butter into the egg mixture. Gently mix until just combine.
- Spread batter evenly across baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder across a kitchen towel or parchment paper.
- Turn out cake immediately on prepared surface and roll both short ends toward the center of the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.
- Unroll cake, apply desired frosting in a thin layer across the surface (see Peppermint Frosting for the full GBBO experience). Roll cakes back to desired shape and cut into pieces.
- In a double broiler, melt dark and milk chocolate together. Use melted chocolate mixture to cover each roll. The chocolate should cover both the top and sides.
- In a double broiler, melt white chocolate. Put melted chocolate into a piping back and gently draw lines across the surface of each roll.