Friday, 9 September 2011


Well, I'm sure by now that most of you will have seen the car crash that were my Macarons on week four of 'The Bake Off'  If you haven't, just move along, nothing to see here, keep going.

I was always dreading getting as far as week four because of Macarons, what's wrong with good old fashioned coconut macaroons with rice paper on the bottom, I like those and the image they conjur up of Mrs Overall from 'Acorn Antiques' carrying a wonky tray laden with said delights.

No it had to be the french one's for 'The Great British Bake Off!'  I must have made thousands of them I kid you not, but could I get the hang of the darn things.  Perhaps I'm not precise or literal enough and my Macarons got a little lost in translation. I've never claimed to have any finess when it came to fiddly things and they're not something you can freestyle with, alter something slightly and you're stuffed.  I like to be able to add a little of my personality to by baking, a little heart but maybe my heart was just not in it, I don't know but what ever the reason, it was never going to happen for me.

My flavours however, did win them over, Paul really liked the coconut and pineapple and Sue thought that the chocolate and lime were in her top 3 favourite bakes from both series, so I did get something right.

Coconut & Pineapple
Coffee & Walnut
Chocolate & Lime

The Pistachio & Chocolate Biscotti also went down well, Paul said he would have liked more nuts (I'm saying nothing!) but the bake was perfect and Mary said I'd been very clever for getting it so right. They have also now given me my first ever credit on the BBC Food website, Woohoo, it's like having my name in lights and makes me grin broadly.

90G Plain Flour
½ tsp Baking Powder
55g Sugar
35g Pistachios
20g Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Egg
½ tsp Vanilla paste

Preheat oven to 160C.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well to form a dough.
Knead dough on a floured surface till smooth.
Shape into a log on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool.  Cut into thin slices.  Place slices onto baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes till crisp.

In these I've used half pistachios and half hazelnuts along with chocolate chips.  You can add all sorts to change the flavours.  Use different nuts, macadamia, pecan, almond or dried fruits such as cherries, blueberries and cranberries.  If you want add flavours like coffee, orange or cinnamon there are no limits.

I'm off to make some coconut macaroons now, where's the rice paper?


  1. Oh Yasmin, I really felt for you! Your flavours sounded so scrummy (chocolate and lime, mmm) that it was such a shame that the substance didn't hold up for you. I was really willing you on. But hooray for the biscotti. I'm not normally a biscotti fan but I will certainly give your Chocolate and Pistachio recipe a go when I feel brave. I am grateful no cameras will be trained on me! All the best.

  2. Thanks Kellie, I really appreciate your support.

  3. I loved your selection Yasmin - thanks for posting the recipes. One day (after many years baking experience) I may dare to try making macarons... maybe. ;) xx

  4. Thank you. One day after many years of baking, I may try Macarons myself!

  5. I was searching the BBC food website for another unrelated recipe, and came across your biscotti recipe. I hadn't even heard of biscotti before this (I don't bake very often). I didn't see the episode where you made these, but liked the sound of them, and duly followed the recipe (which states one egg yolk rather than one whole egg) and of course found that the mixture wouldn't come together. So decided to add the egg white too, and then it was fine, so I'm glad to find your blog today and see that it should indeed be one egg. I substituted chopped almonds for the chocolate, and lemon zest for the vanilla paste, as I didn't have any. The end result was pretty good, not as neat as yours, but liked by everyone. We've been dunking them in our tea since then, and the good thing is they've virtually no fat. You've spurred me on to try other variations. Thank you.

  6. Glad you got it sorted, I've had other people comment on the BBC recipe not working - I don't know why they've altered it.

  7. Yasmin what was the silver hand blender/mini food chopper used in the Great British Bake Off as i would really like one and i can't identify the brand or make yet. Ps. Loved your biscotti recipe.

  8. I'm really sorry Matthew, I can't remember what the make was but I use a Kenwood mini chopper and it's great. Good luck with your search.