The Great British Bake Off has returned!

It’s that wonderful time of the year again, when people of all ages around the UK can distract themselves from the difficulties of everyday life and sit around the TV with a cup of tea, celebrating the culinary skills of ordinary people on a set decorated with British-themed bunting.

It is not shocking to see how the BBC’s Great British Bake Off is so popular with British people. As a nation we are in love with baking and eating, and we are known as one of the best in the world for producing puddings. The Bake Off inspires thousands around the country to don their aprons and get busy in the kitchen.

To start you off, we have compiled a list of three of our favourite classic recipes, easy to do at home or maybe an idea to bring into the classroom to have your own mini Bake Off!

  1. The Victoria Sandwich

A classic British cake that is possibly the easiest to make. A favourite for everyone and a perfect starter cake for novice bakers!

Ingredients:

For the cake

200g caster sugar

200g softened butter

4 eggs, beaten

200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

For the filling

100g butter, softened

140g icing sugar, sifted

170g good quality strawberry or raspberry jam

Icing sugar for decorating

Method:

1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.

2. Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

3. To make the filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in icing sugar. Spread the butter cream over the bottom of one of the sponges, top it with jam and sandwich the second sponge on top. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

We found this recipe on BBC Good Food, click here to see the full recipe and tutorial

2. No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

Really simple and easy to make, not to mention delicious!

Ingredients:

For the base

200g digestive biscuits

100g butter, softened

For the topping

1 standard sized packet of cream cheese

1 small tub single cream (or whipping cream)

250 millilitres icing sugar, sifted

Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

1. Whizz the biscuits in the food processor until you have fine crumbs, then add the butter in smallish chunks through the nozzle while the processor is still running. You should end up with a damp dough-like consistency. If you do not have a food processor then you can crush the biscuits in a plastic food bag using a rolling pin. Then pour the biscuit crumbs into a bowl and add chunks of butter mixing it in with your hands.

2. Butter a tin and press the base mixture down hard into the bottom of the tin, put in the fridge to set.

3. In a bowl, beat the cream until it is thickened enough to nearly hold its shape but not quite.

4. Beat in the packet of cream cheese until the mixture is smooth.

5. Add the sifted icing sugar and lemon juice and beat again until you achieve a smooth thick consistency.

6. Pour topping onto the base and spread, put the tin back into the fridge until the topping has set.

Serves 6 people

This recipe is from Nigella.com, click here for the full recipe and instruction

3. Indulgent Chocolate Brownies

For the chocolate lovers out there you cannot beat a brownie! This recipe from BBC Good Food is one of my favourites and is easy for anyone to do.

Ingredients:

185g unsalted butter

185g best dark chocolate

85g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

50g white chocolate

50g milk chocolate

3 large eggs

275g golden caster sugar

Method:

1. Cut 185g unsalted butter into smallish cubes and tip into a medium bowl. Break 185g best dark chocolate into small pieces and drop into the bowl. Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl on top so it rests on the rim of the pan, not touching the water. Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them. Now remove the bowl from the pan. Alternatively, cover the bowl loosely with cling film and put in the microwave for 2 minutes on High. Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature

2. While you wait for the chocolate to cool, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4 (most ovens take 10–15 minutes to heat up). Using a shallow 20cm square tin, cut out a square of non-stick baking parchment to line the base. Now tip 85g plain flour and 40g cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and you get rid of any lumps.

3. With a large sharp knife, chop 50g white chocolate and 50g milk chocolate into chunks on a board. The slabs of chocolate will be quite hard, so the safest way to do this is to hold the knife over the chocolate and press the tip down on the board, then bring the rest of the blade down across the chocolate. Keep on doing this, moving the knife across the chocolate to chop it into pieces, then turn the board round 90 degrees and again work across the chocolate so you end up with rough squares.

4. Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3–8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is, so don’t lose heart. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. Another check is to turn off the mixer, lift out the beaters and wiggle them from side to side. If the mixture that runs off the beaters leaves a trail on the surface of the mixture in the bowl for a second or two, you’re there.

5. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Plunge the spatula in at one side, take it underneath and bring it up the opposite side and in again at the middle. Continue going under and over in a figure of eight, moving the bowl round after each folding so you can get at it from all sides, until the two mixtures are one and the colour is a mottled dark brown. The idea is to marry them without knocking out the air, so be as gentle and slow as you like — you don’t want to undo all the work you did in step 4.

6. Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in this powder using the same figure of eight action as before. The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and a bit unpromising, but if you keep going very gently and patiently, it will end up looking gungy and fudgy. Stop just before you feel you should, as you don’t want to overdo this mixing. Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout. Now your mixing is done and the oven can take over.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with the spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it. Put in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. When the buzzer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin. Take out of the oven.

8. Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold, then, if you’re using the brownie tin, lift up the protruding rim slightly and slide the uncut brownie out on its base. If you’re using a normal tin, lift out the brownie with the foil. Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into four squares and finally into triangles. These brownies are so addictive you’ll want to make a second batch before the first is finished, but if you want to make some to hide away for a special occasion, it’s useful to know that they’ll keep in an airtight container for a good two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.

Makes 16 squares

This recipe was taken from BBC Good Food, click here to see the full recipe and tutorial

If you fancy checking out more ideas, then take a look at our Pinterest board to see what inspires you! And don’t forget to catch the Great British Bake Off again this Wednesday on BBC1 at 8pm!