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'Great British Bake-Off' judge Paul Hollywood unveils his best ever recipes in 'Bake'

Paul Hollywood (Haarala Hamilton)
Paul Hollywood (Haarala Hamilton)

Here & Now‘s Jane Clayson speaks with famed “Great British Bake-Off” judge Paul Hollywood about his first cookbook in five years “Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics.”

‘Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics’ Cover (Haarala Hamilton)

Book excerpt: ‘Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics”

By Paul Hollywood

Victoria Sandwich

If you’re new to baking, this should be your very first cake. If you get it right, everything else will be easy. You can make a Victoria sandwich using the all-in-one method, where you mix everything together in a bowl at the same time, but I encourage you to cream the fats and sugar together before adding the eggs, flour and raising agent, as you’ll learn a lot about baking this way. Baking is a science. That’s why, if possible, I prefer to weigh the eggs first and then adjust the quantities of the other ingredients to get the perfect balance. I like to use half margarine for a lighter texture and half butter for a rich flavor. Traditionally, it’s filled with just preserves, but if you’re feeling indulgent, feel free to add whipped cream or buttercream.

8–10 slices

  • 4 large eggs (in their shells)
  • 1 ¼ cups (about 240g) superfine sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups plus 3 tbsp (about 240g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick (about 120g) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the pans
  • 1 stick (about 120g) margarine, softened

To finish

  • ½ cup (125g) raspberry preserves (good-quality)
  • A little superfine sugar, to sprinkle

Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch (20cm) cake pans and line the bases with parchment paper. Weigh the eggs first (in their shells), then weigh the same quantity of sugar and flour. For the butter and the margarine, you need half the weight of the eggs.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, margarine and sugar together using an electric whisk until pale in color and light and fluffy (1). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.

Beat the eggs together in a pitcher, then gradually add to the mixture, beating well after each addition (2). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Sift the flour and baking powder over the surface of the mixture and gently fold in, using a large metal spoon (3).

Divide the mixture between the prepared cake pans. To ensure the cakes are exactly the same size you can weigh the cake mixture into each pan. Gently smooth the surface with the back of the spoon to level it (4).

Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes until risen, golden brown and the cakes spring back in the center when lightly touched with a fingertip. They should be slightly shrunken away from the edges of the pan. Leave the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.

When cold, sandwich the cakes together with the raspberry preserves and sprinkle the top with a little superfine sugar.

Excerpted from ‘Bake: My Best Ever Recipes for the Classics.’ Copyright (c) 2022 by Paul Hollywood. Used with permission of the publisher, Bloomsbury. All rights reserved.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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