1. GBP £
  2. USD $
  3. EUR €
  4. HKD HK$
  5. SGD S$
  6. CHF Fr.
  7. JPY ¥
< Back to Blog

Ta Da – Is it Halloween yet? (BI Bakers Dozen Round 4)

by Anneka Swann (Private & On-Trade Sales)

Round Four of the BI Bakers Dozen and our next baker wasn't exactly set on baking fair-and-square. But after a sleeping chef, two burn't cakes and a forgetful memory that Halloween is actually in a couple of weeks time, the resulting cake was not exactly as she had planned.  


When I signed up to the BI ‘Bakers Dozen,’ let’s just say I wasn’t expecting to do a lot of hard work.

Suffice to say that I am a pretty spoiled girl – Not only do I spend my days working with (aka “drinking”) the best wines on the planet, but also my husband is an ex-Michelin starred chef, who actually started his professional life as a pastry chef, serving teas and cakes to clientele such as Queen Elizabeth II. Unfortunately, life as a ‘Chef Wife’ isn’t as peachy as it seems, and sometimes my best intentions (namely to cheat my way through the Bake Club), don’t quite go as planned. 

When I came home from the pub (having decided that a pint or two was necessary to watch the Great Bordeaux Index Bake Off), this is what I found.

Sleeping Chef

Having worked 112 hours in the last five days, Mr. Swann was a bit tired, and having tired of waiting for me, he put a cake in the oven. But it came out a little overdone!

Burn't Choc cake

After waking him up, sounding much like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, he piped, ‘I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!’ and jetted off to a birthday do. Before leaving he did point out that he had left me all the ingredients to Nigella’s Lemon Drizzle Cake, a bake which, "Even you can’t mess up. It just goes in the Kitchenaid and its pretty much done!’  

Well, unfortunately, I did manage to mess that up. I kept forgetting that I was attempting to double the recipe, so who knows what proportion of ingredients went in. Afterward, I realised that my oven’s knob was missing and I had no idea how to get it to the right temperature without it. Having managed to turn the oven on, to what seemed like it may have been the right temperature, I popped in my rather full loaf tin on the middle-ish shelf.

This must have been where the drama happened – my lovely lemony loaf rose a little too proudly, somehow became interwoven with the oven’s heat source, and while we are at it, managed to overflow into a perfectly shaped secondary log of cake. Of course, this resulted in a cake that was simultaneously burnt and raw (more experienced chefs have been attempting this technique for decades, with no avail).

BI oven disasterLemon Cake

Seeing as by this point, I realised the cake was beyond saving I returned to my (or rather, my husband’s) slightly burnt Nutella cake, and was determined to jazz it up in the best way I knew how. I mixed together cream, chocolate, and a healthy ‘glug’ (or three) of La Hechicera Columbian Rum. Absolutely nothing like this type of icing on the cake!

Afterward, I was supposed to decorate with hazelnuts, which I didn’t have any of, so I went for some lovely Halloween-themed sugar decorations, and of course carefully arranged the ‘skull and crossbone’ and ‘poison’ patterns around the burnt bits!

La Hechiecera icingHalloween Cake


To accompany the final bake, the gold naturally fell to La Hechicera Rum. A perfect pairing from our Spirits Guru, Isabel Graham-Yooll. If you have any pairing or baking suggstions, do not forget to visit us on Facebook or tweet us @bordeauxindex

Join us next week for Round 5!

If you missed any of the previous rounds, you can find these below. Happy Baking!

Having followed COVID-19 Government advice, we have temporarily closed our London office until further notice, we are however operating as normal. Click here to read more