The Great British Bake Off Season 9 is back!! Inspiring home cooks up and down the nation to grease those cake tins, get out a big wooden spoon and whip up something delicious for 10 glorious spongy sweet weeks.
We are big fans of the show, so naturally Saint Cooks are baking alongside the bakers in the tent and putting our Saint Helenian twist on it.
Week one was Biscuit week. So we decided to do a mix of the first challenge of creating regional biscuits that said something about each baker and a place in the British Isles, mixed with the showstopper challenge of creating a 3D biscuit self-portrait.
We pulled out our Artistic License Platinum membership cards and reinterpreted British Isles to British Overseas Territories and the self portrait part as 3D sculpture and … hey presto our Shortbread biscuits, shaped as High Knoll Fort and flavoured with coconut and lemon were born.
St Helena doesn’t really have a regional biscuit so we adopted one of our all time favourites, Scottish shortbread, as a base for our homage to St Helena. We decided on a pairing of coconut and lemon for the “say something about us” part. Coconut being the main star of St Helenian coconut fingers. And Lemon as a tenuous nod to the beautiful popular family gathering spot called Lemon Valley.
We’ve watched enough GBBO over the years to know that no baker, worth their weight in icing sugar, wouldn’t miss the chance to push the envelope when it came to 3D sculptures. So of course we needed something equally ambitious and glorious as our first offering for Biscuit week. We choose the iconic Island WW2 fortification High Knoll Fort.
We think the end product turned out pretty good and we enjoyed shortbread for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the following 3 days.
55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g/6oz plain flour
- Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
- Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
- Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste.
- Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
- Cut into shapes and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Eat!
- To construct our 3D shape of High Knoll Fort we used a thick icing sugar mix flavored with a few squeezes of a lemon as the mortar to hold it all together. You could also use a chocolate spread, Jam or a royal icing as your glue when constructing your favour shapes.