The Great British Bake Along – Week 1

As you may already know, I am a huge Great British Bake Off fan. This year, I have (foolishly?) decided to push myself out of my baking comfort zone and bake along with the contestants. Every week I will be watching the show and afterwards will be trying to bake the technical challenge from that week, whatever it may be. Heaven help us all…

Last week, the technical challenge was to bake 12 of Prue’s Chocolate Mini Rolls. I have to admit that I was quite looking forward to baking these, I love a mini roll and I thought that having previously made a Yule Log that I would have no problem making something similar. Ok, you can stop laughing now.

It turned out that I don’t have two identically sized baking trays of the correct dimensions, so I made do with two slightly smaller, fatter trays. I didn’t anticipate how crucial this decision would be until I came to assemble the rolls.

Whilst labour and washing-up intensive, the recipe is pretty straight forward and produced a lovely moist chocolate cake that was flexible enough to roll without splitting. The problem with having used the wrong size trays is that my cake was too thick and not long enough to produce “the peeerfect swiiiiirl”, an expression I can now only hear in Paul Hollywood’s dulcet tones. Despite much faffing and swearing, I managed to get the rolls into a kind-of C shape, which several of the GBBO contestants managed too, so I’m in good company. Plus, who doesn’t love a massive collection of buttercream in the middle? Wrong people, that’s who (Paul Hollywood).

Now, I’ve watched enough cake decorating YouTube clips to make me think that coating the whole lot in chocolate was going to be fun. It was not. It was actually quite stressful, which is not something I have ever said about 500g of melted chocolate before. The challenge here was managing to coat everything on all sides before the chocolate started to set and get messy. I thought I would have enough to simply pour over the rolls, but it was quite tight and I ended up having to scoop up the overspill and use it to cover the ends of the rolls with a palette knife.

I am making this sound like a nightmare, but actually it was only the assembly that was hard. The cake recipe was pretty foolproof and I definitely think I’d make them again, using the correct sized trays. I had some very kind feedback from my taste-testers / willing victims, my favourite being “oh good God, they are AMAZING!!!”. Take that, Paul & Prue!

If you fancy melting an absolute ton of chocolate, you can find the official GBBO recipe here: Prue’s Chocolate Mini Rolls

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