The return of The Great British Bake Off has once again awakened the nation’s baking spirit and we’re loving it. This year, contestants will no doubt be taking their desserts to new heights by trying out some of the hot new baking trends.
So as the show continues, let’s take a look at the ingredients and baking styles we can expect to see not only on this season of Bake Off, but everywhere.
‘We’re predicting trends will include plant-based bakes, and a focus on Middle Eastern and Japanese inspired ingredients such as halva and yuzu,’ says Tassy Goodall, Development Chef at Sainsbury’s. ‘We know our customers love to get behind the show and take on the baking challenges themselves, and we have both ingredients and finished bakes to mark the occasion.’
Similarly, Cutter & Squidge agree that it’s all about the natural flavours. ‘Whilst the design of cakes is getting simpler, the flavours are more experimental – keeping in mind that freshness is key, no synthetic ingredients or colours!’ they say.
Here are the five baking trends that the experts say will guarantee you that star baker status.
The biggest baking trends 2018
1. Plant-based bakes
With the rise of veganism, it’s no surprise that this is one of Sainsbury’s biggest predictions for the season ahead. All plant-based baking requires is replacing classic baking ingredients with vegan alternatives – for example, use soy or almond milk where you’d use dairy milk, make your own cashew cream as a substitute for whipped cream (it’s just as rich and delicious) and try oil or fruit in place of eggs. (Top tip: vegan YouTubers Bosh!’s ultimate chocolate fudge cake, pictured above, is a great place to start…)
2. Middle Eastern baking
From baklava to kanafeh, middle-eastern desserts are known for their wafer thin pastries and sweet syrup coating. However, there are a lot more treats to explore – from date puddings and turkish delight doughnuts to halva, and if ever there was a time to try them all, those in the know say it’s right now.
3. Japanese ingredients
Move over, orange and lemon – right now it’s all about yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit with a fresh, zesty flavour. While it can also be used in cooking and cocktail making (yes, yuzu martinis are a thing), yuzu is set to be a big hit in desserts. From yuzu cheesecake to yuzu sorbet and macarons, the options are quite literally endless. It can even be used as a fresh ingredient for decoration.
4. Geometric designs
Who knew maths could be both fun and delicious? Geometric baking allows you to really show off your creativity and create a true masterpiece – we’re talking desserts that look like they belong in a museum. ‘We’re seeing a huge trend for all things geometric – from honeycomb cakes to kaleidoscope cookies, even geometric-inspired flowers, fish and snake cakes,’ says Veronica, Lakeland Bakeware Buyer. ‘We have our fantastic new Geometric Multicutters in Square, Triangle and Hexagon shapes, which let our customers create impressive bakes with these intricate designs in one quick press.’
5. Imperfect finishes
According to the experts at Cutter & Squidge, ‘we will see rustic finished buttercream with gold edges and fresh flowers (inspired by the Royal Wedding)’ – good news for those of us who aren’t as handy with a piping bag as we’d like to be. ‘It’s all about stripping it back to basics and earthy flavours. Consumers are also becoming aware of what is in their food and are looking for honest baking with a little finesse. Think more beautiful natural hues, fresh fruits, flowers, nuts.’