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It’s amazing how the smell or taste of certain foods can catapult us back to our childhoods.

Remember the sticky sweetness of pineapple upside down cake? What about when Black Forest gateau was the height of sophistication?

The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens on Tuesday 28th August at 8pm on Channel 4. The contestants have been revealed and we’re looking forward to being inspired by this year’s bakes.

To get you in the Bake Off spirit, we’ve revisited our favourite desserts from decades past. From baked Alaska to Battenberg, we hope this selection conjures up happy memories. If you’d like create one of these classic puddings yourself, simply click on the underlined text to get the recipe. On your marks, get set…bake!

1950s

Baked Alaska

Back in the day, no 1950s dinner party was complete without a baked Alaska. This showstopper of a pudding combines ice cream, cake, and meringue for a truly decadent dessert. It’s tricky to get right, but impressive once you master it!

Baked Alaska pudding
No 1950s dinner party was complete without a baked Alaska. Image: BBC.

 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try these Bake Off apple cinnamon baked Alaska tarts. For a more traditional approach, we love Mary Berry’s own recipe which uses cherry jam. Try adding some fresh red berries to give this timeless classic a summer twist. Blowtorch optional!

1960s

Crêpe Suzette

One of the showier recipes to come out of the 60s, crêpe Suzette was brought over from France by those who could afford to travel across the Channel to Europe. It elevated the humble pancake to a luxury dessert and it was served in restaurants up and down the country.

Crêpe Suzette
Crêpe Suzette gave us a taste for orange zest back in the 1960s. Image: The Great British Bake Off.

 

Paul Hollywood’s recipe uses Grand Marnier, while Delia Smith suggests complimenting the orange flavours with Cointreau. If you’re feeling brave, you can flambé the crêpes before serving. Bon appétit!

1970s

Pineapple upside down cake

This classic has made something of a comeback in recent years. In the 1970s, kitchen appliances made baking easier than ever before and the presentation of food became more of a focus. The increasing availability of tinned pineapple helped make this quick, simple cake a staple in many families.

Pineapple upside down cake
Pineapple upside down cake featured at dinner parties and children’s birthdays across the nation. Image: Betty Crocker.

 

The BBC’s Good Food recipe is an easy one to follow, but if you fancy something a bit different, try making these individual upside down cakes. But is tinned pineapple or fresh pineapple the secret to the perfect upside down cake? We’ll let you be the judge!

Black Forest gateau

Black Forest gateau is a true 1970s classic. It features several layers of chocolate sponge, an abundance of whipped cream and of course, a generous helping of cherries. Not forgetting the all-important chocolate shavings for decoration!

Black forest gateau
Black Forest gateau was the must-have dessert of the 1970s. Image: BBC.

 

There are hundreds of variations out there, including Black Forest gateau cake and even trifle, but we love Mary Berry’s which uses black cherries in kirsch and white chocolate for decoration.

1980s

Trifle

Trifle is arguably the ultimate British dessert. A favourite of adults and children alike, this iconic dish is both indulgent and easy to put together. It was amazing just how good sponge fingers, tinned fruit, jelly (or blancmange) and Bird’s custard could taste! All finished off with plenty of whipped cream and a healthy splash of alcohol on special occasions.

Traditional trifle
You can’t beat a good trifle. In fact, you probably don’t even need a recipe! Image: BBC.

 

As Jamie Oliver says: “A really good trifle recipe never goes out of fashion.” Whether you make yours using finger-shaped biscuits, Swiss roll, or something else entirely, there’s always room at the dinner table for this classic treat.

Battenberg

Battenberg is an afternoon tea staple. The taste of marzipan takes us right back to our summer holidays and enjoying a slice of cake on a family picnic. There’s nothing quite like the gaudy, distinctive yellow and pink checked pattern. Some say it was created to celebrate the marriage of Princess Victoria to Prince Louis of Battenberg but whatever the origin, this favourite has stood the test of time.

Battenberg cake
There’s no mistaking the distinctive yellow and pink checks of a Battenberg. Image: BBC.

 

Until recently, Fornum and Mason’s Battenberg recipe has been a closely guarded secret. They’ve been making it at their Piccadilly home since 1926, but now it’s been published in their latest cookbook. Does it live up to expectations? Give it a try and let us know what you think!

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