This year looks set to see kitchens abuzz with baking activity once more. We asked the experts to predict what cakes and bakes you’ll be mixing up in 2014.
Baking is ever the buzzword of the food world and it’s evolving all the time. As you’re becoming more adept with your mixing bowls, you’re not afraid to tackle creative, elaborate bakes or tricky classic techniques. We asked baking experts to gaze into their crystal balls and predict the trends hitting the scene this year.
The trend: Back to nature
BBC Great British Bake Off 2013 winner Frances Quinn thinks this year will see us shunning synthetic fondant icing and unnatural colourings in favour of rustic, natural ingredients. No better example of this is the cake that netted her the GBBO crown – a Midsummer Night’s Dream wedding cake with cascading vegetable ‘petals’.
"I think there’s going to be a return to more natural ingredients,” Frances told us. “I’m a perfectionist, but more rustic finishes appeal to me. For instance, instead of using fondant icing I use traditional ganache, and also make my own marzipan using pistachios or orange blossom." Flavours like lemon and lavender tick the box, especially when given a natural-looking finish - what Frances calls “naked cakes”.
The trend: A choux-in
The first ever winner of Great British Bake Off Edd Kimber predicts our pastry will be brushed with a hint of Parisian patisserie this year. “If I had to bet on one recipe becoming really big, it is the choux pastry,” he says. “Éclairs have started to become fashionable again, and Parisian pastry chefs have been showing us that there is so much you can do with choux.”
This classic French pastry has a slightly chewy texture and buttery flavour but isn’t as difficult to achieve as it sounds. Our video on making éclairs should help, or try your hand at profiteroles. Thischoux bun recipe is filled with popcorn-flavoured cream and the sauce that refuses to slow in popularity – salted caramel.
The trend: The bakeover
BBC Good Food assistant food editor and resident baking expert Cassie Best predicts that ‘mash-up’ bakes will be a hit this year. Dishes like ‘sticky toffee pie’, and ‘party dodgers’ are set to make waves.
Our bakeover series takes a traditional cake and throws a whole new spin on it. In our January issue Cassie’s lemon drizzle loaf is transformed into a razzle dazzle roulade. Expect to see Eccles cakes and Battenberg given the same treatment in coming months.
The trend: Technical baking
2012 GBBO winner John Whaite also predicts big things for patisserie this year, but on top of that thinks that as our bakery skills are growing, people are becoming more apt at technical baking. He cites mirror glazes, tempered chocolate and edible gold as three characteristics of this. There’s no better place to start than with John’s chocolate chiffon cake- it’s a great opportunity to practice piping professional-looking ganache turrets.
The trend: South American bakes
Cassie sees our tastebuds taking a trip across the Atlantic this summer. “With the World Cup knocking on our doors I can see lots of Brazilian and South American bakes being popular,” she says. She recommends trying bakes like alfajores, a South American biscuit sandwich with dulce de leche caramel. If you fancy getting into the World Cup spirit try Brazilian cheese buns (pão de queijo), small cheese-flavoured rolls. Our cheese roll-up recipe isn't far off.
The trend: Modern flavours, retro bakes
Edd predicts this year will see bakers throwing a modern flavour spin on vintage bakes – with melting moments as a good example of this. “There’s nothing new about melting moments and I’ve been making these for years, so they’re absolutely ripe for reinvention,” says Edd. “[In this recipe], I’ve merged them with the fashionable flavours and stunning colours of red velvet cake.”
Follow a standard recipe for these little biscuits, then experiment with your filling. Salted caramel, mascarpone, grapefruit curd, dulce de leche or flower water cream would all work well.
Do you have a baking prediction for 2014? Share your Nostradamus-like ponderings with us below, or for more inspiration visit our cakes & baking recipe hub, or how-to page packed with videos and guides.