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5 great recipes from stars of the Great British Bake Off

Tonight is the big finale of the Great British Bake Off season six, to celebrate we have gathered together some great recipes from previous stars of the show

Published: October 7, 2015
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So, it will come as no surprise that, like many of you, we will be glued to our television tonight, eating our hastily made cakes - inspired by the show - and waiting to see who will be crowned season six champion of the Great British Bake Off.

Should you like us (seriously, we have been trying to perfect our Victoria Sponge since season 2) are inspired by the show to brush up on your baking skills, then we've taken the short cut of providing you with some excellent recipes from former contestants - the legendary James Morton included - to get you started in just the right manner.

James Morton's Peanut butter brownies

Peanut butter brownies from James Morton's book 'How Baking works'

James says: "This recipe was inspired by the delightful Rachel Allen. When I complimented her on her recipe, she recommended I didn’t bake them for any school fairs, because she had been knocked back due to the presence of peanuts in the past. Fair advice. Still, these are great to make in a hurry."


• 100g softened, unsalted butter
• 150g crunchy peanut butter
• 150g caster sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 100g self-raising flour
• 50g unsalted peanuts
• 100g dark chocolate, chopped

Makes enough for one 8 inch square tin

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1 Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3. Stuff a ripped-off square of baking paper into an 8-inch square tin.

2 In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until paste-like. There is no need to cream as you would for a cake.

3 Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Again, there is no need to develop air.

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4 Add the flour, peanuts and chopped chocolate, stirring gently to combine. Dollop the mixture into your cake tin and spread out to the edges, for it should be quite tough.

5 Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and moderately resistant when pressed. A skewer inserted should come out clean.

James Morton's Pear and vanilla upside-down cake

Pear upside down cake from James Morton's book 'How Baking works'

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James says: "I tried this recipe with parsnips on my first day on The Great British Bake Off, and although there was parsnip flavour there, it didn’t come through as much as I’d hoped. You can try it if you like: add 250g of grated parsnips after the flour and bake for a bit longer."


• 350g softend, salted butter
• 450g caster sugar
• Juice of 1/2 a lemon
• 4 pears, preferably Williams or Conference, peeled and thinly sliced
• 4 medium eggs
• 75g Greek-style yoghurt
• Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
• 260g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder

Makes one 9 inch cake


1 First, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform tin with baking paper, and then grease it well. Preheat your oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3, and place a tray or piece of foil on the bottom to catch any caramel drips.

2 Prepare the upside-down bit. Make the caramel by heating 100g of your butter, 200g of caster sugar and the lemon juice together in a pan, stirring until melted. Pour onto the base of your tin and arrange the pears on top.

3 Into a large bowl, weigh 250g of butter and 250g of caster sugar. Using an electric whisk or a wooden spoon, beat them together until smooth.

4 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the yoghurt and scrape in the vanilla seeds and beat them in. This is likely to curdle and don’t worry if it does.

5 Gently fold in the flour and baking powder using a large metal spoon, just enough to combine. If it isn’t at a dropping consistency, stir in a touch more yoghurt.

6 Carefully pour your mix onto your fruit and bake in the oven for approximately 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown and springy and a skewer comes out clean.

7 Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing the sides of the tin (running a knife around the edge if necessary), then placing a plate or cake stand on top of it. Turn the whole thing upside down before carefully peeling away the base paper. Serve hot or cold.

Richard Burr's Fig and anise millefeuille

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

Makes ten


• 2/3 quantity puff pastry dough
(shop bought is fine)
• plain flour, to dust
• icing sugar, to dust

For the custard
• 170ml whole milk
• 3 star anise
• 2 egg yolks
• 35g caster sugar
• 1½bsp cornflour
• 100ml double cream

For the figs in syrup
• 4 baby figs
• finely grated zest and juice of
• 1 orange
• 50g light brown muscovado sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick

1 Start with the custard. Pour the milk into a saucepan with the star anise and set over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then take off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

2 Put the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and whisk with the caster sugar and cornflour, using a hand or electric whisk.

3 Once the milk has infused, fish out the star anise and pour the milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you do so. Pour back into the saucepan and set over a low heat. Stir constantly, using a silicone spatula, until the custard thickens up, then quickly scrape into a clean bowl. Lay cling film on the surface of the custard (to stop a skin forming) and put in the fridge to cool.

4 While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, you can poach the figs. Cut each fig into sixths, put in a saucepan with the orange zest and juice, sugar and cinnamon stick and set over a low heat.
Once simmering, cook for eight to 10 minutes, occasionally turning the figs. Fish the figs out of the saucepan and lay on a plate. Put in the fridge to cool.

5 Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and take the pastry out of the fridge.
Roll it out on a floured surface to a neat rectangle 30cm x 25cm and lay this on the baking tray. Lay another sheet of baking parchment on top of this and weigh it down with another baking tray to stop the pastry from puffing up too far. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

6 Take the tray off the top of the pastry and return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven, take the pastry off the tray and off the baking parchment. Set on a wire rack to cool down. Returning to the custard, whip the cream with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks. Take the now-cooled custard out of the fridge and fold in the whipped cream, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Load into a piping bag and snip the end to make an opening about 5mm in diameter.

7 Once the pastry is completely cooled, put it on a chopping board and carefully cut into three rectangles of 25cm x 10cm. Cut each of these into ten pieces, each 10cm x 2.5cm, to give 30 neat fingers of puff pastry. Some of the outside ones may be a bit ragged, but those are generally the baker’s treats.

8 Assemble each pastry: pipe 14 small blobs (two rows of seven) of custard on to the bottom layer of pastry. Lay the next layer on top and pipe on another 14 blobs of custard.

9 Take the figs out of the fridge and cut each segment in half (giving you 48 segments). Lay segments of fig on top of the custard, all facing in the same direction. You might have a few fig pieces left over, depending on size.

10 Lay a third layer of pastry on top and dust with a little icing sugar. Repeat to assemble all the pastries.

Richard Burr's Green olive and rosemary focaccia

Picture: PA

Picture: PA


• 500g strong white bread flour, plus more if needed
• 2 tsp table salt
• 1 tbsp ‘quick’ yeast
• 50ml olive oil, plus more to knead, prove and shape
• 350ml water
• 20 pitted green olives, in brine or oil
• a few sprigs of rosemary
• sea salt flakes and freshly-ground coarse black pepper

Makes two


1 Measure the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl, making sure you add the salt and yeast to opposite sides of the bowl, then mix with a wooden spoon. Add the 50ml of olive oil and all the water, and combine with the spoon until you have a wet dough.

2 Pour about two tablespoons of olive oil on to a work surface and tip out the dough on to it. Knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough will be sloppy and this is going to be a messy business, so don’t worry if you get your hands covered. Use your judgement about whether to add more flour; don’t add too much, as it should remain a wet dough.

3 Oil an ice-cream tub or any large plastic container (more than 2litres capacity) and plop the dough in. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for one to one-and-a-half hours, until it has at least doubled in size. It might be worth taking a photo of the dough on your phone so you can compare later to see whether it has risen enough.

4 Pour another couple of teaspoons of oil on to a work surface and gently tip out the risen dough. Take two long knives and oil the blades. Cut the dough into two equal pieces: use one knife to cut them, then slide the other knife alongside the first and use both knives to push the halves apart. (This is the easiest way of prising the dough into two pieces.)

5 Gently pick up each half and place on a baking tray, lined with baking parchment, forming each into a thin lozenge shape.
Cover with a plastic bag and leave to rise for 45 minutes. (The bag shouldn’t touch the loaves but should form a tent around them.)
Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7 and uncover the dough.
Cut the olives in half lengthways and press firmly into the dough.
Drizzle with a few more tablespoons of oil and lay cut sprigs of rosemary on top. Season with sea salt flakes and pepper.

6 Bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove and cool on two wire racks.
Drizzle with more olive oil before cutting into strips and eating.

Frances Quinn's Panda Scones 


• 400g California prunes

•  300g self-raising flour plus extra for dusting

•  100g slightly salted butter, cut into pieces

• 100g caster sugar

• 150ml whole milk

• 1tsp vanilla extract

• 300ml double cream


1 Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Sift flour into large bowl. Remove a tablespoon of flour and place into a smaller bowl. Cut 100g of prunes into the flour in small pieces. Toss the prunes in the flour to stop them sticking together. Set aside.

2 Rub butter into flour in a large bowl, creating a fine breadcrumb texture. Stir in sugar and toss through cut-up prunes and remaining flour.

3 Stir vanilla extract into milk. Make a well in the dry mix and add, saving a little. Fold through with a spoon. Gently make dough into a ball, picking up any flour from the bowl. Transfer on to a lightly floured surface, then roll to no less than three centimetre deep. Leave to sit for a few minutes.

4 Line baking tray with parchment paper. Cut out six scones and transfer to baking tray. You may need to trim the prunes from under the scones.

5 Brush top of the scones with remaining vanilla milk and bake near top of oven for 10-15 minutes, until risen and lightly golden. Leave to cool.

6 Slice through 12 prunes to create 24 flat eye patches. Cut a further 12 prunes in half for ears. Cut out 12 small prune triangles to make noses and use the scraps to make 24 pupils. Set everything aside.

7 Place the cream into a medium bowl and whip to soft peaks. Be careful not to over-beat as it will thicken as it’s piped. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and cut off the tip to about one centimetre. Pipe the whites of the Panda’s eyes on to the prune eye patches. Place the pupils on to the cream using the tip of a knife or cocktail stick.

8 Once the scones have cooled, carefully cut in half. Spread cream on each halved scone to create a smooth panda face. Place prune features on to each scone face.

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