The Great British Bake Off - Episode 1 "Angel Food Cake"

It's back. Finally. Tuesday evenings are once again firmly taken up, without any exceptions and well into November with "The Great British Bake Off", my all time favourite television show.
 
Bliss. I'm not ashamed to admit that I did a little happy dance around the living room, to celebrate the start of the new season. I'm a bit hard to live with at times.
 
The first episode started off with a hopeful baker's dozen. Each week one of the eager contestants will have to leave the Bake Off Tent. But let's focus on the positive. A room filled with pastel coloured baking benches and now 12 happy, and sometimes a little stressed bakers, hovering over recipes, cracking eggs, whipping up cream and crouching down beside the oven to check on the cakes in the making. While taking part the contestants have to be prepared to have every aspect of their baking skills tested until one of them, many bakes later, gets crowned the Great British Bake Off's Best Amateur Baker.
 
The show's judges Mary Berry, the Queen of Cakes with over 60 years of baking/cooking experience and Paul Hollywood, the Master Baker and bread expert, are tasting everything and won't hold back with their opinions. The two witty presenters Sue and Mel, an irreplaceable fixture of the show, provide invaluable support to the bakers while at the same time entertaining the baking enthusiasts snuggled into their couches back home.
 
There have been some fantastic bakes on show already and this was only episode 1. Some of the chocolate cake showstoppers looked simply divine. I can only imagine what it must be like to bake under time pressure, while trying to impress the Queen of Cakes and the Bread Master at the same time. The nerves sure kicked in and caused a salty (instead of sugary) cake and a switched off oven. Not to mention all the cut fingers, which left nearly half the bakers covered with dark blue band aids. It's tough. And probably a lot tougher than people might think when they're glued to the television screen in their cosy living rooms.
 
From the comfort of my own kitchen, I would like to try to bake something from the show every week. Each episode features a technical challenge. Some of them might be too difficult for me but I thought I'd give the "Angel Food Cake" a go. That's a light und airy, American, and totally butter free bake. The detailed recipe can be found here
 
While watching the proper bakers I learned that you shouldn't grease the tin to enable the cake to rise properly. There are specific Angel food cake tins out there but my "cake furniture" doesn't host one of these gadgets, so I decided to use a bundt tin instead. The silicone version isn't really what's best here but it did the job.

As a bundt tin has no legs, the homemade workaround consisted of grabbing a bottle and placing it underneath to hold the tin up. It's important to turn the cake tin upside down as soon as it comes

out of the oven, to keep the carefully whipped up air from the egg whites and prevent the

cake folding.

This is a very light cake and the fruity topping adds a nice tangy twist to it. I'm really looking forward to learning more about different techniques during the Bake Off season. This recipe mentioned everything from "soft peaks" to "firm peaks" and "stiff peaks", which made me pause a few times, kitchen mixer in hand, trying to decide how to grade the peaks. There is lots to learn, so let's keep baking :-)

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