This week marks National Chocolate Week and to celebrate the team at BAKO_NW have put together some mouth-wateringly delicious statistics and tips for baking with chocolate!
With the weather turning colder this month, many bakers will be starting to feature a few winter classics on their menus, swapping light sandwiches for indulgent sausage rolls and pastries. Along with the hearty pies added to the menu come the sweet warming puddings.
For those of you who want to make your pastry from scratch our team appreciate that having the best quality ingredients makes all the difference when producing delicious bakes, which is why we stock a wide variety of high quality produce that can help you whip up the perfect puff pastry.
Don’t worry for those of you who don’t have the time to create it from scratch, we also stock a range of great ready-made pastry products to get you underway. Whether you’re after puff pastry blocks for convenient storage or ready-rolled puff pastry to speed up the baking process, there are plenty of options.
We also stock foils ready lined with shortcrust pastry, as well as lids, which are ideal for making delicious savoury pies and are great as a handy time saver. For those of you looking to speed up your sweet bakes, there are sweet shortcrust jam tart shells and sweet custard shells which are an easy option when creating fruit or jam tarts.
As winter is quickly approaching we at BAKO thought that we would offer some inspirational ideas to entice your customers this year.
Spicy sausage rolls
You can’t beat the classic roll, whether catering for a party or as a convenient lunchtime option, why not add a little something to spice things up?
Simply adding some smoked paprika, fresh chilli and some cumin seeds to your sausage meat will add a gentle heat to this British classic.
If making your pastry from scratch, try adding some paprika during the folding process to create a subtle autumnal colour to your bake.
Cheese and sundried tomato rolls
A brilliant veggie alternative, packed with an incredible mix of gorgeous cheddar, sun dried tomatoes, cream and spices, cheese and sundried tomato rolls are incredibly moreish. Perfect served as a bitesize canape or even with a hot side salad on your lunch time menu these are sure to please both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Although typically a British treat, why not try adding Mediterranean flavours to your menu this winter? A puff pastry base topped with roasted butternut squash, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese will help customers reminisce about the warmer Summer months.
Not only is this pie a winner for its light and delicious flavours, it also makes a perfect option for your vegetarian customers.
The apple tarte tatin is always a popular choice on the menu served with a sweet crème anglaise or a warming custard. Why not mix things up and swap apple for banana this winter? Bananas, brown sugar, butter, and puff pastry are all you need for these caramelized, irresistible tarts.
Eccles mince pies
For some bakers it might be too soon to start thinking of Christmas but how about putting a twist on the traditional mince pie? Swap your traditional shortcrust pastry case for a light flaky puff pastry one to create an Eccles cake style mince pie. Perfect as a mid-afternoon sweet treat or alongside a glass of mulled wine these are sure to prove a hit.
Winter warming Palmiers
These little French pastries, otherwise known as an elephant ear, are perfect served alongside a warming winter drink such as a hot chocolate to satisfy your customers’ sweet tooth.
Fold brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest into your puff pastry to create a comforting treat.
If you have any great advice on how to bake perfect puff pastry, share your top tips with us on our Twitter. We’d love to hear what winter warming bakes are being added to your menu?
With this year’s series of The Great British Bake Off coming to an end, we thought we’d pay homage to one of our favourite baking contests by reminiscing about our favourite showstoppers from the series. From incredible bread sculptures and delicate pastries to jaw-dropping cakes and chocolate masterpieces, this year’s contestants produced some of the most creative bakes yet. So, without further ado, here are our top picks from the 2015 showstopper challenges.
Paul’s King of the Jungle
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) October 6, 2015
One of the most sensational bakes this year has to be Paul’s lion crafted entirely out of bread. Featuring in the third episode of the series, this masterpiece was not only created from different types of bread but was also baked to perfection, a feat that won him a special accolade from the judges.
Ian’s Victoria Crown
— BBCFood (@BBCFood) September 16, 2015
Victorian Week called for the bakers to produce the technically difficult Charlotte Russe, a dessert with a custard or fruit filling encased in sponge ladyfingers. Ian whipped up a structural wonder this week, pulling off a Victorian crown atop his classic pudding which really gave it the wow factor!
Matt’s Gingerbread Fire Engine
— BBC One (@BBCOne) August 12, 2015
If you can cast your minds back to Biscuit Week, you may remember Matt’s delicious gingerbread fire engine. Casting a nod to his own profession, Matt created a structurally sound and attractive biscuit showstopper that carried him straight through to week three.
Nadiya’s Chocolate Peacock
— Great British Chefs (@gbchefs) September 30, 2015
The semi finals were bound to see the four remaining bakers step up their game and Nadiya didn’t disappoint! For the chocolate centrepieces challenge, Nadiya sculpted a blue chocolate peacock with handmade individual peacock feathers and a Krispies based centre. With chocolate being a particularly difficult ingredient to work with, judges Marry Berry and Paul Hollywood were highly impressed with Nadyia’s extraordinary creation.
Tamal’s Mango, Hazelnut and Rosemary Cheesecake
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) August 26, 2015
Tamal’s three tiered baked cheesecake was a triumph of Dessert Week with his experimental flavour combination proving a hit with the judges. The unusual mix of mango, hazelnut and rosemary cast a shadow of doubt to whether the dessert would be successful, however the beautiful balance of flavours made this showstopper one of the highlights of the series.
Ian’s Chocolate Well
— BBC One (@BBCOne) September 30, 2015
Who could forget Ian’s fully functioning chocolate well? Ian’s outstanding chocolate engineering saw him through to this year’s final, with the structure actually lowering a bucket to scoop up the white chocolate below. Despite not ticking all the boxes for the judges, we loved this innovative chocolate centrepiece.
The showstopping final 2015
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 7, 2015
This year’s Great British Bake Off final was without a doubt one of the best ever, with all three finalists producing impeccable bakes. Mary and Paul highlighted that they’d never had better tasting showstoppers in a Bake Off final, so we thought all three of their mouth-watering classic cakes deserved to make our list.
Tamal’s original take on the traditional sticky toffee pudding resulted in an incredible ‘Caramel Sticky Toffee Cake’ which was decorated with spectacular spun sugar cobwebs. Using a fruit cake base, Tamal’s innovative concoction of flavours once again won him high praise from the judges.
Ian whipped up a five tired ‘Colossal Carrot Cake’ which was also well received due to his innovative decoration and delicious flavours. Adding a hint of orange to his classic carrot cake mixture, Paul even claimed that it was the best carrot cake he’d ever eaten.
Finally, this year’s winner Nadiya pulled out all the stops to create her very own lemon drizzle wedding cake, encased in a buttercream and marshmallow royal icing. Her sensational flavours and professional, smooth finish meant her ‘My Big Fat British Wedding Cake’ saw her crowned the 2015 Great British Bake Off champion. Well done Nadiya!
— delcrookes (@hairydel) October 8, 2015
If you’re looking to create your own incredible showstoppers to wow your customers, BAKO North Western stock a whole range of quality ingredients, including everything from edible decorations and flavourings to premade cake and biscuit mixes, to ensure you create unbelievable bakes every time.
What are your favourite showstoppers from this year’s Great British Bake Off? Share them with us via our Twitter.