This week’s Bake Off took a spooky turn, with contestants dressing up in advance of Halloween celebrations next week, and making Halloween themed bakes for their tasks including a treacherous Technical – making s’mores!
S’mores have a complex history, originating back to Ancient Greece when the plant Althaea officinalis (marshmallow to you and I), was used for medicinal purposes, usually to ease inflammation, although it also was known to have laxative effects. However, it was the French who first took the juice from the plant roots, and combined with eggs and sugar to create a sweet foam-like product. Due to cost and labour, in the early 19th Century, the root juice of the marshmallow plant was replaced with a cheaper, and more available alternative: gelatin.
However, this week’s signature bake focused on another Halloween specialty – apples. With the contestants tasked to create a fresh-apple based pie, after 2 hours, there was a wide range of flavours and variations to a humble classic. Dating back to Celtic times, apples were historically used to welcome the new season at the end of October and offered to the gods as a ‘sacrifice’. Moving forwards in time, apple bobbing became a popular Halloween-themed game, with it being used to identify potential love interests. This fell out of main practice with time, with apples most commonly now being used to make deliciously sweet treats for Halloween, such as Toffee Apples.
Has Bake Off got you inspired to cook with the humble apple? Do you have a signature recipe for an autumnal apple pie?
If not, we have a great recipe for an Apple, Maple and Pecan tart – made with coconut and cinnamon for a fruity, but autumnal flavour. With guidance and the full recipe on our members’ page, now is a great time to sign up and gain access to some comfortingly delicious autumnal recipes!
Why not give it a go, and try something new? Sign up here to gain access to our online tutorial with our resident expert Ben, to get all his tips and tricks and support from a professional!
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