3 September 2014

The Great Vertbaudet Summer Bake Off

I am, as you may be aware, a fan of cake.
I'm far from an expert baker, but I've found that the ability to whip up something simple means that I'll never go short of cake, and so it's a very valuable skill to have.
I was recently invited to take part in Vertbaudet's Summer Baking Challenge, which seemed like a great opportunity to, well, eat more cake! The idea behind it was to create a summery baked masterpiece and show it to you all here. The winner of the bake-off gets vouchers from not only Verbaudet, but Lakeland too, so they can have lots more baking fun!
yorkshire scones
(I'm working at a slight disadvantage in that, much like this year's GBBO hero Norman, my goodies often taste better than they look, so working in a purely photographic medium I think my chances of winning are slim - perhaps I should include testimonials from my tasters?)
Anyhoo, the challenge guidelines suggested that we should take our inspiration from the British Summer, so two thoughts instantly popped into my head:
1 - Rhubarb. Rhubarb not only feels very 'British', but more specifically 'Yorkshire' - and we all know Yorkshire is the best bit of Britain (and beyond). Plus, my dad has a garden full of the stuff so I would have easy access to the freshest of ingredients! (My rhubarb went from being in the ground to being cooked and eaten in around an hour.)
2 - Scones. There is no better British summer pastime than Afternoon Tea, and arguably the most important part of the event is the scones.
And that pretty much gave me my answer. Still, I know rhubarb isn't everyone's cup of tea so thought I'd balance them out with something a little sweeter and make Rhubarb and Strawberry Scones. And here's how I did it:
unusual scone flavours

Ingredients - Makes around 8

250g self raising flour
60g caster sugar
50g butter
pinch of salt
1 egg
100ml buttermilk (regular milk will do just fine!)
1 stalk of rhubarb
about 8 big strawberries (or more little ones!)

And you'll need extra flour and sugar for sprinkling!

sugared rhubarb

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Chop your rhubarb up and set aside in a bowl with a good sprinkling of sugar in the hope of sweetening up that bitter beast while you get everything else ready!  I used Demerara sugar, but any will do. Might as well chop your strawberries while you are at it but I don't usually find I need to sugar these!

Sift together your flour, sugar and salt and rub in the butter 'til it goes breadcrumby. Whisk together your buttermilk and an egg, then add it to the flour mix. Give it a good old mix in, adding a touch more milk or flour if needed. Then mix in your fruit. This might need to done by hand and is a bit sticky and gross...

When it's all mixed in and the right consistency (sticky but not too sticky!), pop it onto a heavily floured surface and give it a gentle flattening (either with a rolling pin or clean hands), 'til it's around an inch thick.

I'd usually use a cutter to cut them out (only because I'm a traditionalist and have a cutter I only use for scones that is older than me) but since I didn't take it to my dads, where I'd gone for easy access to the rhubarb and a clean kitchen, I just sorta chopped it up into lumps and put them on the baking tray!
Give them a light brushing with the buttermilk, and sprinkle on just a touch of sugar. 

Then into the oven they go for about 20 minutes. They're best served fresh with proper butter and strawberry jam and, naturally, a cup of tea.

great scone recipe

Now the important thing, how you pronounce the name of these culinary creations?

Big thanks to Vertbaudet for inviting me to be part of their bake-off, and for sending me some ace baking equipment to send me on my way. If you want any more baking inspiration, they've compiled some of their favourite recipes here!


  1. oh such a nice opportunity! I agree that it gets a bit difficult to judge food from pics..hmmm..
    but they do look very rustic and indeed english! :D
    I never had rhubarb, but would definitely try these!!!
    good luck!
    Alice|Alice's Beauty Madness

  2. I'd love to try these! Good luck with the bake off :)

    Telina | Love, Telina

  3. These look absolutely divine, I adore rhubarb as well x

  4. These look amazing! I'm so obsessed with the great British bake off!

  5. I love anything rhubarb - these look incredible.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

  6. That looks heavenly, mind you i'm a sucker for all and everything rhubarb. You actually reminded me now that I finally got a garden to work out when I need to plant myself a rhubarb (bush, plant - I donno what it really is lol).

  7. What a great opportunity! These look amazing! x

  8. mmmmm these look amazing! x


  9. Yum!!! All the best!

  10. They look so yummy! :-)



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