Yan bags a Fortune in Great British Bake Off 2017

Great British Bake Off Week 2

Signature Challenge
First on the menu is 12 Sandwich Biscuits. Yan opts for peanut butter and banana buttercream cookies. She names them Mrs Marion’s PB ‘n’ B Biscuits and dedicates them to her partner of 16 years.

Fully aware that the key to success is to create all 12 biscuits in identical shapes, sizes and colours, Yan even uses a scale to measure each cream filling, ready to impress with that extra precision.

Although the judges feel the filling could benefit from more time to set, they like Yan’s biscuits. There are also some incredibly creative displays from Stacey’s sparkling biscuits and Julia’s middle Eastern-inspired biscuits with a jelly filling.

Great British Bake Off Week 2Technical Challenge
With a little bit of luck, our bakers may just figure out how to make 12 fortune cookies – 6 almond and 6 orange flavoured – from a cryptic recipe.

The level of frustration is high in the tent, as the contestants attempt to create the unique shape of fortune cookies and snap more in halves than they can remember!

Yan wins her first challenge, serving fortune cookies with a cracking flavour and texture. Sophie comes a close second.

Great British Bake Off Week 2Showstopper
This week’s showstopper is an all-round creativity challenge for the bakers. They need to bake a board game that is both playable and edible – a Biscuit Board Game.

Yan comes up with Adventures in Bakeland which uses matcha powder, lemon zest, orange and cardamom to give the judges’ palate one hell of a ride.

Baking multiple pieces that require different levels of attention and skills, this challenge truly pushes the bakers to reach new heights – from piping their biscuits beautifully to executing impeccable timing.

Yan finishes making her board game on time and presents them in appealing flavours, but the judges feel the biscuits’ texture is too rubbery.

Star Baker belongs to Stephen again, whose Check Bake emerges as the board game champion, with delicate pieces punching with flavour.

Great British Bake Off Week 2Leaving the white tent in Week 2 is Chris, who falls short in his technical delivery despite delighting the judges with his wonderfully creative spirit.

The next episode of the Great British Bake Off will air at 8pm on 12th September on Channel 4.


Yan enjoys Sweet Start in Great British Bake Off 2017

Great British Bake Off Week 1

On the first week of the Great British Bake Off 2017, Yan has proven that growing up in a Chinese household where steaming and frying are the default cooking methods, does not hinder her baking skills even when she is up against some of the best bakers in the country!

Signature Challenge
For this fruity challenge, she makes a classic Apple Crumble Cake, but forgets one key element – turning on the oven! But she keeps calm, quickly whips up a second batch and bakes on. The judges love the sponge, but it is clear Steven’s Bonfire Night Cake has won their hearts in this challenge.

Technical Challenge
Who would have thought making 12 Chocolate Mini Rolls can be so complicated? But Yan pulls it off, placing fourth out of 12 with her evenly-shaped rolls, each filled with a beautiful and creamy swirl. Winner is Kate from Merseyside.

Yan in GBBO 2017 Week 1

Yan’s idea of an illusion cake is a Banana-Ramen Cake, with such delicate details like the Salmon roe and noodles, it totally fools the judges’ eyes. Paul Hollywood calls it ‘a work of art’.

Yan in GBBO 2017 Week 1Star Baker belongs to Steven who stuns with a simple yet surprisingly realistic BLT Sandwich illusion cake, made with a delicious chocolate hazelnut sponge and peanut butter frosting.

Yan in GBBO 2017 Week 1

Leaving the white tent in Week 1 is Peter, whose coconut cake and showstopper with a broken knife fail to impress. Placing 10th in the technical challenge has not helped.

The next episode of the Great British Bake Off will air at 8pm on 5th September on Channel 4.

How to see Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget (1)

Day 1

  • Itinerary: Vatican – Castel Sant’Angelo – Piazza Navona – Pantheon
  • Total Cost: €96.20 per person

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

1. Vatican ~ €55

Take Line A on the Metro to Ottaviano (€1.50). To make the most of your time at the world’s smallest state, join a guided tour so you can skip the queue and absorb all the knowledge your tour guide has to offer.

A standard ticket to visit the Vatican costs €16, whereas guided tours vary between €40 and €300 depending on the nature and length of the tour.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

I joined Maya Tours on one of their morning groups for €55 – no particular reason, they simply were the first one that I came across on my way to the Vatican.

The 2 1/2-hour tour included access to all Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, and was led by the charismatic Deborah, who made sure our time was as enjoyable as it was educational. Don’t miss the Swiss Guards as you exit the Basilica!

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 2pm

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

2. Lunch ~ €3.80

Stroll along Via della Conciliazione (directly facing St Peter’s Basilica) and enjoy lunch with a view at your choice of cafés and restaurants, or pick up a couple of pizza slices to go for just €3.80.

3. Castel Sant’Angelo ~ €13

Sant Angelo Castle is just a stone’s throw away. Outside, you will be greeted by street artists and musicians. Take a glimpse of River Tiber and Ponte Sant’Angelo, and brace yourself for a more majestic view from the top of the castle.

Movie fans like myself will also remember one of the most climatic scenes in Ron Howard’s 2009 thriller Angels & Demons was filmed here.

Opening Times

Daily: 9am – 7.30pm

*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

4. Piazza Navona

Just 15 minutes walk away is this beautiful plaza, buzzing with street performers, travellers, families and young crowds. The oval-shaped plaza is best known for its three fountains, most notably Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of Rivers).

5. Gelato ~ €3

Stop for a delicious scoop or two at Punto Gelato on Piazza di S. Eustachio.

Opened in 2014, Punto Gelato is one of three ice cream parlours of Gunther Rohregger, the founder of Gunther Gelato Italiano.

Gelato doesn’t get more Italian than this – made with natural and local ingredients like Marsala Wine, Piedmont Hazelnut, Sicilian Orange and Gorgonzola Cream. You will be pleasantly dazzled by the range of unique and unimaginable flavour combinations!

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

6. Pantheon

Around the corner is the world famous Pantheon. Once an ancient Roman temple, it is now the home of Christians and holds masses every week.

But it is more than a place of worship. Even the great Michelangelo marvelled at its architectural beauty. It boasts the largest self-supporting concrete dome in the world, with a diameter of 43.3 metres – which is also the height measured from the top of the dome to its marble floor.

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 8.30am – 7.30pm
Sunday: 9am – 6pm

*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

7. Dinner ~ €19.90

Following a friend’s recommendation to avoid tourist trap, I had dinner at a cosy little place called La Fiaschetta, just 15 minutes walk from the Pantheon.

Tucked in an alleyway and secluded from the buzz of the city, it offers the most delicious and authentic Italian food I’ve had in Rome, epitomising the philosophy of simple things done well. All for great value, too.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium BudgetGet in the mood for a holiday in Rome with this gorgeous tune by the legendary Andrea Bocelli and Ariana Grande, and look out for my post on what to do and see in Rome on Day 2!