GBBO Bakealong- Say Cheese(cake)

baking, recipes

I’m sorry. The puns get worse every week. I feel like that’s authentic GBBO though, because Mel and Sue definitely whip out progressively more terrible puns as the weeks go on too.

So it was dessert week. I am a dessert fiend. I’ve definitely been known to skip dinner and go for two desserts instead. I can’t physically understand the people that go for a starter and a main when they’re given the option of two courses.

When it comes to desserts, the one I physically can’t say no to is Sticky Toffee Pud. My boyfriend and I once spent 2 hours walking around the city trying to decide where to go for dinner, based solely on whether they sold sticky toffee pudding or not.

There were some amazing creations and flavour combination on this week’s GBBO- I am dying to try apple and tarragon together, or a cream soda cheesecake.

We learnt that Mary is a coconut-phobe, or at least Mat did after both his Signature bake and Showstopper included coconut. Her face at the prospect was amazing.

Ian got star baker again, and while he definitely deserves it and is obviously amazing- it’d be a bit more interesting if there was a bit more competition at the top.
One problem I have with this series is that everyone is around the same level, so you aren’t waiting for the slightly crap ones to get chucked out. It means nobody is safe. One minute you’ve decided on your favourite, the next they’re away home. RIP Sandy. 😥
Although Flora definitely won a few people over when she had her crisis over her cheesecakes being too simple. It’s terrible isn’t it, how we enjoy seeing people do badly? Or at least I do…

Trying to decide what to make for dessert week was a bit of a challenge. Every week, I bring my bakes into Uni the next day (dental students LOVE sugar, the secret is out).

So the prospect of trying to bring a dessert into Uni was a bit daunting. How do you share around creme brulee? As for a Spanische Windetorte, I once brought a cake to Uni and ended up serving everyone handfuls of crumbs (carrot bundt cake crumbs to be precise). There was no way a meringue confection was ever going to survive.

Baked cheesecake though, that could work? So long as I didn’t just turn up with a whole cheesecake.

So these little brownie base cheesecakes, with brulee topping came into existence. The darkly chocolately, fudgy brownies pair deliciously with the smooth and tangy cheesecake, and the crispy crackly top just makes it. Seriously, I had eaten the brulee topping off two of them before I could stop myself.

Not that it was all smooth sailing- using paper cupcake liners meant that when I put my cheesecakes under the grill to brulee, they bloody well decided to catch fire (paper is apparently highly flammable, especially when it’s covered in sugar, who’d have thought?).

Obviously this set off the fire alarm, which was a pleasant surprise for my neighbours at 11pm I’m sure, especially when they have young children.

Even better! The fire alarm broke and wouldn’t stop going off. And taking out the batteries didn’t stop it (I think it was possessed). Several panicked phonecalls to my Daddy, and I decided I should maybe brulee in the morning…

But I got there in the end. This is a fairly lengthy recipe, but it isn’t difficult. Rainy day baking.

My only final word of advice would be to avoid using paper cupcake liners if at all possible, and just cook these desserts in ramekins.

Unless you enjoy the sweet dulcet tones of your fire alarm.

Brûléed brownie cheesecake cups


Brownie base
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 cup flour

1. These 5 ingredient brownies are a cinch, you don’t need to get the mixer out, just mix the oil, sugar and eggs together until they form an even mix.
2. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and mix until the batter is completely combined.
3. Spoon your mix into your desired containers (hint, don’t use paper cupcake liners) until half filled. If using ramekins then ensure they are greased.
4. Pop into the oven at 170C until a shiny top has formed. This will take from 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your containers. It shouldn’t be cooked through at this point, as it’ll be going back into the oven to cook the cheesecakes.

Cheesecake (adapted from

-2 X 200g full fat cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 cup plain yoghurt
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 eggs

1. Beat together cream cheese, yoghurt, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth with no lumps.
2. Add eggs, 1 at a time and ensure they are evenly mixed into the batter. Try not to mix too much air into the batter or it will cause the cheesecakes to rise like a souffle, then drop back down, giving you a sunken middle.
3. Spoon the cheesecake batter onto the partly cooked brownie mix, filling the container nearly to the top.
4. Pop back in the oven (still at 170C) and cook the cheesecakes for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your container). They will be ready when they begin to brown at the edges, and when you poke the cheesecake and it doesn’t leave any sticky mix on your finger (Mrs Precision I know, but it works for me!)

Brulee topping
-Sprinkle a thin, even layer of granulated sugar on the sugar of each mini cheesecake, and place under a preheated grill. Watch extremely closely- everyone’s grill is different so test one cheesecake to begin with to give yourself an idea about how long it will take. It should only be around a minute or so. The topping will be done when brown spots appear on your topping, and you can no longer see the sugar granules.
-It literally takes seconds to burn. So don’t walk away from your brulee to e.g. fix your screeching fire alarm.

Allow your little cheesecake cups to cool completely and enjoy!


Loafing around 

baking, recipes

Ok so first, apologies for the title. I couldn’t help myself. You were saved from much worse puns trust me.

Although I do feel like Dorret really missed out on a big opportunity to call her messy bed Showstopper “You’ve made your bread, now sleep in it”. Just saying.

So last night was Bread Week. I LOVE bread week. Baking bread is so much fun; kneading so therapeutic, the excitement of seeing the bread rise and prove, and that fresh bread scent that just fills the house, corner to corner.

I can tell you’re looking at my chocolate quick loaf going, well you haven’t even used yeast, what are you on about?

I found the challenges a bit, well, challenging to be honest this week. Quick bread means no yeast, so no kneading 😢

And you have to take into consideration here that I take in my bakes to share at uni the next day: delightful though they may be I’m not sure sharing a baguette out in class would be popular, or practical. The same can be said for the showstopper. I looked odd enough carrying the world’s biggest Tupperware down the street this morning, never mind trying to transport a bicycle or a lion made of bread.

So I’m holding out for enriched dough week for my proper bread fix! Fingers crossed.

In the meantime I had the dilemma of Quick Bread. Which according to Wikipedia (fountain of all knowledge) is “Quick bread is any bread leavened with leavening agents other than yeast or eggs.
Quick breads include many cakes, brownies and cookies—as well as banana bread, beer bread, biscuits, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones, and soda bread.”

Riiiiiight. So basically most baked goods. Excellent.

Well I could at least make it loaf shaped.

And not a brownie. I feel like that would be taking the p***.

And so came into being my chocolate quick bread with white chocolate and salted caramel drizzle. Because salted caramel on anything is amazing.

As for the actual episode (rather than me rambling about my quick bread crisis). Again I loved Sandi because she’s impossible not to adore. Flora, unfortunately for her, comes across as slightly overconfident which I know is just to do with her class and upbringing (actually being able to admit you’re good when you are- imagine that!). She’s still amazing at everything. And her Instagram is a dream.

It was definitely Dorret’s time to go, god bless her but you don’t go on GBBO and not have practised your showstopper?

But anyway, down to it.

Get some chocolate, covered it in salted caramel, pop in a loaf tin and call it bread. Then you can eat it for breakfast. And second breakfast. Maybe lunch….and afternoon tea? Ok maybe that’s just me.

Chocolate loaf cake (derived from Nestle Loaf Cake recipe-


-1/2 cup softened butter 

-1 cup granulated sugar 

-2 large eggs

-1 cup natural yoghurt, thinned out slightly with milk- say 3/4 cup yoghurt, 1/4 milk (or buttermilk if you have some)

-1/2 Tsp baking powder 

-1/2 tsp baking soda 

– 1 and 1/2 cups plain flour 

-1/2 cup cocoa powder

-1/2 cup white chocolate chips (mine melted but they were in there. Promise.)


condensed milk (try not to open this and spoon it out of the jar prior to baking 😳😳😳)

-1/2 quantity of dark brown sugar and butter. By this I mean if you have two cups of condensed milk, add 1 cup butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar. I used 1 cup condensed milk (because I ate a lot of it). To 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup condensed milk. But use the whole can rather than throwing some out of you have it!


  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder, mixing well, and add the yoghurt when it starts to come together. Mix until a nice even chocolate batter.
  5. Add white chocolate chips and fold into the batter evenly.
  6. Dollop into your tin and pop in the oven. It should take between 45 mins and an hour. If it begins to brown too quickly, put some foil over the top until baked through and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. When the loaf is cooled and ready for drizzle, place your butter, condensed milk and brown sugar and allow to melt, then bring to boil slowly while mixing. Allow to bubble for a few minutes (3/4) and add sea salt to taste. I used around a teaspoon. Drizzle liberally with the fudgy salted caramel sauce and some melted chocolate if you like.
  9. Pop in the fridge to set if you can wait!
  10. Eat. You probs don’t need instructions on how to.

Follow me on snapchat at mkm27 for more bakealong nonsense, or keep up to date on Caityskitchen Facebook or Instagram. 🙂

Great British Bakealong- Biscuit Week

baking, gbbo, recipes

GBBO returns this week, thankfully with fewer cracks about, well, cracks.

It was an exciting week, as usual. I for one found watching Mary Berry eat a dozen different rock hard biscotti-and wondering how her poor teeth would hold up to the strain- more fear-filled than I’ll ever admit (dental student problems).
Marie’s little mental breakdown to Paul where she babbled about her conspiracy to stick back together the broken biscotti, was amazing and made me instantly LOVE her. She had a lot of flack in the press this week about how she was professionally trained- but it was a 5 day course 30 years ago? She’s not a Michelin starred pastry chef pretending to be a cute Scottish granny, come on now.

Then the arlette Signature challenge- with more rolling, folding and chilling than should probably be legally allowed. I was quite invested in this challenge, because I’d spent the day making inverted puff pastry (I know, the excitement of my life). It was my first time ever making puff pastry, and although I enjoyed it- it’s definitely a rainy day job, you’ll be chilling and rolling (sounds like a dance move) for at least 4 hours so probably buy the ready made stuff if you e.g. have a social life.

To be fair, the cinnamon sugar smell wafting through my flat, at half eleven last night, did make it almost worth it. The buttery, delicate and crisp biscuits are ridiculously moreish. Miiiiiiight have been breakfast…

For info on making puff pastry I’d recommend going to

Once you’ve got your puff pastry, just roll out into a rectangle.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll up (by the long side so you get the most swirls in). Once you’ve got your sausage shape, wrap tightly in cling film and pop in the freezer for half an hour. Then cut out your swirls about 0.5-1cm thick and roll them out as thin as you can, with lot’s or icing sugar to stop things sticking. Put them in a hot oven (180C) for 6-8 minutes- I did 7 and actually timed something for once in my life because you have to be precise with these biscuits and their high fat content. Then allow to cool and enjoy!

Finally, the Showstopper challenge. As Mary said, you need a sturdy biscuit to make sure it’s strong enough to build a structure from. And to be honest I couldn’t think of many biscuits sturdier than biscotti- which- very handily, meant I was making something from each challenge.

I was a bit nervous for this to be honest- the only structure I’ve ever made out of biscuits was a gingerbread house. It was a massive fail and shored up on all sides by for instance, my pencilcase, my hand and stacks of gingerbread men.

With this in mind I decided I was going to make a cube- for ease and/or laziness. I stuck it all together with caramel, and even made a domed lid. I made the inadvisable decision to make a little caramel handle, and the lid ended up looking vaguely obscene…

I spiced my biscotti with cinnamon and nutmeg, and tossed in a few sunflower seeds- but didn’t want to pack the biscotti with too much dried fruit and nuts- structural stability sadly was more important than taste on this one.

To be honest though, the most flattering thing I can say about my box is that it was sturdy- easy on the eye it wasn’t. Tasted good though! For the biscotti recipe I used, check out my biscotti post from a while back!☺️

Not going to spoiler anyone that hasn’t watched it yet but I was so sad to see that person go! Still adore Sandy, she’s bloody mad and I love it.

So until next Wednesday (frigging love Bread week)! If you’d like to keep up with my Bakealong, follow me on snapchat at mkm27, or follow Caityskitchen on Facebook or Instagram.😘😘😘

Great British Bakealong

gbbo, recipes

So it’s back. Bright blue contacts have been inserted. The pastel hued paradise tent has been erected (I don’t even want to talk about the puns), and my GBBO chocolate and tea stash has been bought.

For me this is as good as TV gets. The GBBO tent is heaven, and I could (and have) watch it on repeat. Just so I don’t miss any jokes you understand.

But seriously, I’ve already watched last night’s episode twice.

So this year I wanted to feel like I was part of the whole thing. It’s not like there’s any shortage of pastel in my flat, so I’m already ahead on that front.

I decided that each week, I would do a new GBBO inspired bake, and then feed it to my poor classmates in our groupwork session the next day.
Inspired by this week’s episode featuring both Madeira cake as the signature bake, and Black Forest Gateau, I put on the quilted apron my mum made me, ran to the shop to get ingredients before it closed, and baked a black forest fruit Madeira loaf. Studded with juicy cherries and zesty with lemon– I’m hopeful for this one.
The batter was extremely thick, but for stopping the cherries sinking this can surely only be a good thing? And this is my first bake in my new (extremely old) oven, so getting a hang of it will take a wee while.

I also decided to snapchat along with GBBO and my baking afterwards; add me on mkm27 if you’d like to see how I got along!

Initial impressions of this series- decent contestants, although it is so hard to tell this early on who is going to be amazing. Flora is definitely the Martha of this year- lovely and frightfully posh. Her angst over not preheating the oven because the Aga is always on at home gave me a good giggle. To be fair to her, we have a range at home too, and it’s a bloody nightmare- always flaring up and burning things on one side, and no way of seeing if your bake is done with the solid metal doors. So maybe a depature from the Aga may be no bad thing?
And my heart completely went out for Dorret and her mousse disaster- I’ve cried over much smaller things than a cake going arse up on national television. I think she took it quite well actually. I’d have either done an Iain from last year and thrown it in the bin, or gotten a spoon to it and started comfort eating the gooey mess on the spot.
My fave at this early stage though has to be Sandy- “random with a trendy twist” is basically my life goal.

Anyway, here’s the recipe I used for the Lemon and Black Forest fruit Madeira! Try to make sure your chunks are evenly dispersed…


120g butter

120g caster sugar

170g flour

2 eggs

1 heaped tsp baking powder

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 cups cherries (I used frozen)

Icing sugar

Method- Make sure oven is preheated to 170C and have a loaf tin lined

1. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

2. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled at this stage

3. Add the flour and baking powder, lemon zest and juice of half a juicy lemon. Fold in cherries and pop in a loaf tin. The mixture will be very thick.

4. Bake for around 45 mins to an hour, depending on the size of your loaf tin. Mine was quite large, so the batter was more thinly spread out and cooked more quickly. And I’m only getting used to my new oven! If it starts to brown too quickly then cover in foil. It’ll be done when a skewer comes out cleanly