Nadiya Bakes episode 8 – Celebration Bakes: Nadiya cooks up some wow-factor celebration bakes, from an eight-layered birthday cake to sparkly Mardi Gras king cake, and from hot cross buns to a spectacularly festive biscuit tower.
Nadiya Hussain takes things up a baking gear as she turns her attention to stunning celebration bakes. Having won The Great British Bake Off and baked the Queen’s 90th birthday cake, Nadiya is a true expert when it comes to elaborate cakes to mark a special occasion. First up is a spectacular eight-layered honey cake with a heart on top that has birthday written all over it. At a glance this bake looks fiendish, but with Nadiya’s fool-proof tips and tricks, it is achievable for even the novice baker.
Next is Nadiya’s sparkly king cake – enriched dough filled with a luxurious praline cream, inspired by the New Orleans Mardi Gras and so perfect for a party. In this episode, Nadiya also turns her attention to the religious calendar, as she shares her recipe for the ultimate hot cross buns. With a pink cross on top and stuffed full of jam, these buns are so delightful they could be baked and enjoyed at any time of the year!
And for the series finale, Nadiya wows with a spectacular Swedish biscuit tower. Decorated in edible flowers, and with a stash of chocolates hidden inside, it is the ultimate festive centrepiece.
Nadiya also showcases the extraordinary skills of Nastassja Lusengo, whose jaw-dropping wedding cakes are like works of art.
Nadiya Bakes episode 8 – Celebration Bakes
Nadiya’s hot cross buns – Nadiya Bakes episode 8
Nadiya’s hot cross buns have a surprise jam filling, a bit like a doughnut, complete with bright pink crosses!
- To make the dough, heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Take off the heat.
- Add the flour to a large bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the salt on one side of the flour and the yeast on the other side. Make a well in the centre, pour in the egg and then add the milk mixture. Roughly mix using the back of a spoon or a palette knife, then get your hands in and bring the dough together.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and stretchy. This will take about 10 minutes or it can be done in a mixer with a dough hook attached, which should take about 6 minutes on a medium speed. Pop the dough into a greased bowl and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
- Line a large baking tray or 2 smaller trays with some baking paper. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back the dough. Spread the dough out into a circle and sprinkle on the cranberries, blueberries and orange zest, then knead until the fruit is evenly distributed.
Method part 2
- Take the dough and divide into 15 portions. Shape each piece into a ball and roll until it has a smooth surface. Place on the tray or trays with about a 3cm/1¼in gap between each one to give them space to prove and grow. Leave in a warm place, covered in some greased cling film, for about 40–60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. To make the flour paste for the crosses, pound the strawberries in a pestle and mortar or blitz in a food processor until you have a fine pink dust. Add this to a bowl with the flour and 6 tablespoons of water and mix to a smooth, pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag. Uncover the proven buns and pipe a thin cross on each bun.
- Bake the buns for 18–20 minutes. As soon as they are golden brown and bounce back when touched, take them out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Use the handle of a teaspoon or the end of a cutlery knife to make a hole in the side of each bun without going all the way through. Pop the jam into a piping bag and pipe into the hole of each hot cross bun until full. You will know when it is full as the piping bag will naturally force itself out. Put the buns back onto the tray. Brush the warmed syrup all over the buns to give a sweet, sticky glaze. Filled, fruity and ready to eat!
Nadiya’s delicious praline filled king cake is inspired by a trip to New Orleans. It’s more a sweet dough than a cake and perfect with a cuppa. You could add some edible glitter on top for an extra flourish.
- To make the cake, place the flour, butter, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix until combined. Make a well in the centre. Place the milk in a measuring jug, add the eggs to the jug and whisk just to break up the eggs. If the liquid in the jug does not come up to 350ml/12fl oz, add more milk until it does. Pour the milk mixture into the well in the bowl and mix until the dough comes together. Using a mixer with a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes on medium until the dough is stretchy and elastic. Place in a bowl, cover with some cling film and leave for about 2 hours to double in size.
- To make the praline, line a small tray with some baking paper. Add the sugar to a small saucepan in an even layer, breaking up any clumps. Pop over a medium heat until caramelising and melting around the edges. As soon as it does this, stir the mixture and as soon as the sugar has dissolved and is a golden amber, take off the heat. Add the pecans, stir fast and pour out onto the baking paper, making sure to flatten out the mixture. Leave to set completely then blitz to rough crumbs in a food processor.
Method part 2
- Place the praline crumbs, cream cheese, vanilla and almond extracts in a bowl and stir well to combine.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 40cm/16in square. Take a 2 litre/3½ pint Bundt tin, the least intricate that you can find, and grease generously with the butter. Tip the cream cheese mixture into the centre of the dough square and spread in an even layer all over, leaving just a 1cm/½in border. Roll up like a Swiss roll. Now gently pick up and pop in the tin, making sure the seam is touching the small inner ring. Pinch the ends together. Cover and leave to prove for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- When the dough has nearly doubled, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Bake for 35–40 minutes. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, to make the icing, mix the icing sugar and water until you have a thick icing.
- As soon as the cake is completely cool, pop a tray underneath the rack to catch any spillages and drizzle the icing all over the top, allowing it to run freely down the sides.
- To finish, divide the desiccated coconut between two sandwich bags. Pop some different coloured food colouring into each one and, using your fingers, massage the colouring in. If you want to avoid using plastic bags, place the coconut in bowls and use the back of a dessertspoon to work the colour into the coconut. Alternating the colours, sprinkle the coconut onto the iced cake and cut into slices to serve.
Nadiya’s Russian honey cake – Nadiya Bakes episode 8
Nadiya’s 8-layer Russian honey cake isn’t really cake at all. Layers of honey and browned butter biscuit-like rounds are stacked up with a soured cream and honey icing and topped with hazelnuts and biscuit crumbs.