Space man baking to remain in The Great British Bake Off

Contestant Rob Smart. Credit: Love Productions

Contestant Rob Smart. Credit: Love Productions - Credit: Archant

AN ENGINEER who saw off two of his competitors last Tuesday will be baking to remain in The Great British Bake Off tonight.

Rob Smart, who lives in Melbourn and works at Astrium in Stevenage, is now one of nine people left battling to be crowned the BBC Two programme’s best amateur baker.

This week pies are on the menu – will Rob hang on or will he be heading home?

Tune in to BBC Two at 8pm tonight to find out.

Rob’s Lemon and Cranberry Cake


280g plain flour

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5ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

230g soft margarine (or softened, unsalted butter if preferred)

230g caster sugar

10ml lemon zest, finely chopped

150g dried cranberries

2 large eggs

250ml buttermilk - you may not need it all

200g icing sugar

30ml juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Grease a 25cm ring cake tin and dust liberally with flour.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, add the lemon zest and set aside.

Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and beat lightly using a fork.

Place the margarine and caster sugar in another mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer until light and fluffy.

While still mixing, slowly pour in the eggs and fully incorporate. If the mixture starts to split, add a tablespoon of the flour mix.

Using a spatula, stir in enough of the buttermilk to arrive at a batter consistency that just drops off the spatula. You should need most of the buttermilk, but may not need it all. Don’t over work the batter at this stage or you will lose some of the gases. Gently fold in the cranberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake on 180°C for about 40-50 minutes.

To see if the cake is baked, insert a wooden skewer into the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for ten minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice a little at a time, stirring all the while, until you get a consistency that will run off a knife.

Put the icing into a piping bag or plastic bag and nip of the corner with a pair of scissors. Cut a little at a time as you can always cut off more to make the hole bigger.

Drizzle the icing over the completely cooled cake and decorate with strips of lemon zest.