August is officially here, which means that you've probably seen the trailer for the new series of The Great British Bake Off by now (it's a cracker). That's right - dust off the standmixer, dig out the apron and stock up on supplies, because the season of cake, pastry and bread scoffing is well and truly upon us.
While 2018 presented us with the biscuit selfie – as well as the show's very first 'vegan week' – we're not totally sure what to expect this year. Here's our forecast of the baking trends we very much hope to see....
1. hidden veg
While courgette, carrot or beetroot cakes are no new thang, what about veggie breads? Think wraps coloured with sweet potato or spinach, or peculiarly purple loaves...We wonder if bread purist Paul Hollywood is a fan.
2. ruby chocolate
We might see this year's batch of bakers using ruby chocolate (yep, we hadn't heard of it either). The first new variation of chocolate to be developed in some 80 years, ruby chocolate was unveiled in China in 2017, and only arrived in the UK last year. Slowly becoming more available, we expect it to be a resounding hit (especially considering the current trend for anything pink).
3. Middle-Eastern flavours
Noticed how tahini is appearing in everything from cakes to biscuits and ice cream these days? It's almost like – dare we say it – it's the new peanut butter. Essentially a creamy sesame paste, tahini is mildly flavoured, so fairly versatile. While we're on the subject of fashionable Middle Eastern ingredients, we wouldn't be surprised if rosewater and za'atar are embraced by this year's savvy bakers, too.
4. Sourdough everything
Admittedly we've had the sourdough bug for a while – who doesn't love a crusty artisan loaf or a crispy Neopolitan pizza? This year we might see sourdough used in other lip-smacking ways. Doughnuts? Iced buns? Pretzels? Whatever form it takes, we're on board.
This trend has 'final showstopper' written all over it. Requiring an unwaveringly steady hand and some serious artistry skills, intricately decorated cakes are all the rage at the moment. From Ukrainian embroidery-style decoration (below) to Mexican-inspired florals, we can't get enough of these exquisite tapestry cakes, and we'd love to see this year's contestants having a go in the tent.
Catch the new series of The Great British Bake Off at the end of August. If you're feeling inspired to get baking yourself, remember to shop for everything you need online, or by popping into your local store.