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From Fondant Fancies to an Elizabeth Sponge, have a whirl at great British baking

22 OCTOBER 2012

After the mouthwatering final of this year's Great British Bake Off, we've become inspired to do more celebrating of 2012 being a year synonymous with all things British.

And with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the first British Wimbledon finalist for 74 years and the London Olympics, there's plenty to commemorate.

One of our favourite recipes is the Elizabeth Sponge cake – a spin on the classic Victorian sponge. Inspired by the Queen's fondness for peppermint creams as a child, the recipe comprises a dark chocolate cake with luxurious peppermint cream filling and glistening chocolate ganache.

Or have a whirl at Fondant Fancies to see if you can do any better than the Great British Bake Off finalists.

 

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It's the sense of achievement which baking gives that can really lift the spirits. After a gloomy winter's day there's nothing better than to fill your kitchen with the satisfying smell of anticipation as you wait for that cake to rise.

And because certain recipes cannot be rushed, it's a great excuse to relax. This year's GBBO finalist, John Whaite, told the Radio Times: "I always baked as therapy in times of stress, and it's helped me be really organised".

So, like John, why not enjoy the therapeutic process of baking and revel in the end result.

You can even turn this pleasurable hobby into a family event by getting your kids or friends involved.

That's the wonderful thing about baking, it can turn into a social event and all you need to get started is an oven, a recipe and a few basic tools.

So grab your apron, your baker's hat and try one of these great recipes...

Elizabeth Sponge Cake

Fondant Fancies

Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Afternoon Tea Strawberry Scones

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