Archive for December, 2014

End of a fantastic year

Posted on: December 16th, 2014 by Harriet Low No Comments

Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but the last few weeks have been completely manic. Since the second leg of my 2014 tour Paul Hollywood’s British Baking Live began at the beginning of November I have been on the go non-stop. I visited 25 different towns in just over one month, with 30 shows in total. My tour was absolutely brilliant. It was so great to meet all you fellow bakers, share tips, talk cakes and pies, and at the same time visit all these fabulous places round the UK. Highlights of the tour for me were baking with our Bake Off champion Nancy Birtwhistle in Grimsby and the show in my home town of Liverpool where my darling mum came to see me.

In amongst my British Baking Live craziness I also found time to catch up with Mary for the BBC Good Food Show Winter. I love doing the Good Food Shows and it’s always great to bake with Bezza. In fact I am back with Bezza on your screens tonight for The Great British Bake Off Christmas Masterclass. For more Christmas recipes don’t forget to check out the recipe section of the website where you can find two different Christmas cake recipes, some fab chocolate alternatives, two mince pie recipes, my Christmas buns and a couple of savoury Christmas pies, including my brilliant Christmas Leftover Pie.

I am hoping for a few days off with my wonderful family to celebrate the end of a fantastic year. If I am lucky I might even get some time in the mountains. Till then I haven’t had a chance to even start my Christmas shopping so it’s off to the shops for me. If you still have gifts to buy then check out my online store. This weekend from the 19th to the 21st there will be big savings on everything, so you can grab yourself as bargain as well as make a baking mad friend happy.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.

Buche de Noel

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Heat your oven to 220°C. Line the base and sides of a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper and brush the paper lightly with oil.

2. Using an electric hand-held whisk, whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl until creamy.

3. Put the chocolate and water into a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of gentle simmering water and leave until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly, then fold into a whisked mixture.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff but not dry. Gently fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon (use a gentle action and avoid overmixing). Pour the mixture gently into the prepared tin.

5. Bake for 12-14 minutes (no longer), until the sponge is risen and just firm to the touch. Place the tin on a wire rack and leave the sponge to cool for at least 2 hours.

6. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on a board. Once the sponge is cold, with one bold movement, turn it out onto the paper, then lift off the tin. Carefully peel away the paper and trim off any scraggy edges.

7. For the raspberry cream filling, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Spread the inverted sponge with the whipped cream, scatter over the raspberries and sprinkle with a little Drambuie, if you like. Roll up a long side towards you, using the paper to roll; don’t worry about the cracks. Transfer to a flat serving dish.

8. To make the chocolate buttercream, beat the butter until soft. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa together over the mixture, add the milk and mix to a soft icing. Carefully spread the icing over the cake and mark decoratively with the prongs of a fork. Chill until needed.

 9. Sift some icing sugar over the log just before serving. Finish with some festive decorations if you like.


Paul’s brand new book, Paul Hollywood’s British Baking, is available now.