3 Feel-Good Recipes From Bake Off’s Sandro Farmhouse

By Ellie Smith

3 weeks ago

The GBBO star has released a feel-good cookbook


Sandro Farmhouse won the hearts of the nation after starring on the 2022 series of Great British Bake Off. A former nanny and community worker for children with autism, Sandro quickly became known for his kind heart and charming demeanour – and although he didn’t take home the crown, he has thrived since the show ended. Now, Sandro is sharing his recipes in an uplifting new cookbook, Good Vibes Baking, designed to celebrate the mood-boosting, therapeutic effects of baking. You’ll find three of our favourites below.

Sandro Farmhouse Baking Recipes

Cookie Pizza

Cookie pizza

© Liz Haarala-Hamilton and-Max Haarala-Hamilton

Serves 8

Cookies are just the best and this cookie pizza gives everyone a chance to be a part, top the slices with your favourites and it’s the perfect recipe to share and make together.

Ingredients:

  • 175g (11/2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 100g (1/2 cup) golden caster sugar
  • 100g (1/2 cup) light soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 300g (21/4 cups) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 75g (21/2oz) white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 75g (21/2oz) milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 75g (21/2oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 50g (13/4oz) mini marshmallows
  • 50g (13/4oz) pretzels, broken into pieces
  • 50g (13/4oz) roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Equipment:

23cm (9 in) springform cake tin, greased and lined

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until lighter in colour and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla paste, and mix well to incorporate.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt, and then combine with the sugar and butter mixture to create to a dough, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Fold in three-quarters of the chocolate chunks and marshmallows, along with all the pretzels and hazelnuts.
  5. Press the cookie dough into the cake tin until the base is covered.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  7. While still warm, top with the remaining chocolate pieces and mini marshmallows.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 15–20 minutes before scoring ten slice lines across the top – this allows for easy cutting later.
  9. Let cool completely, then slice for an indulgent dessert, or allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, release carefully, and serve the slices warm with ice cream.

Madeleine Baba

Serves 6–9

For this bake, the hero is the syrup. The madeleines are so cute and tasty, but when dipped in that wonderful boozy syrup, it gives that special kick that I think is always needed.

Ingredients:

For the madeleines:

  • 140g (11/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 125g (1 scant cup) self-raising
  • flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt

For the baba syrup:

  • 200g (1 cup) golden caster sugar
  • 75ml (5 tbsp) dark rum
  • juice of 1 orange (use the orange above and make up to 120ml/ 1/2 cup with water, if needed)

Equipment:

  • 12-hole madeleine tray

Method:

  1. Start by melting the butter in the microwave. Use a pastry brush to brush the madeleine tin with some of the butter. Use a small sieve and dust the holes with flour to coat well, tapping out any excess. Set aside. Set the remaining butter aside to cool.
  2. Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and airy. Add the orange zest and fold through. Sift in the flour and baking powder in two parts, folding through between each addition. Add the salt and then drizzle in the cooled melted butter, stirring to mix well. Rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours.
  3. Make the baba syrup by adding all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heating gently to dissolve the sugar.
  4. When you’re ready to bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6).
  5. Add a heaped tablespoon of mix into each of the shells and bake for 10 minutes. Leave in the mould for 2 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Re-grease and flour the mould, and then bake another half batch; you should get around 18 madeleines altogether.
  6. Dip each madeleine in the syrup and serve with an extra drizzle! I like to serve 2–3 per portion in a small bowl.

Strawberries & Cream Tiramisu

Strawberries and cream tiramisu

© Liz Haarala-Hamilton and-Max Haarala-Hamilton

Serves 6-8

One of my all-time favourite desserts is a classic tiramisu, but I love the idea of combining it with the strawberries-and-cream flavour combination, so I made a tiramisu with strawberries instead of coffee. It’s sweet, it’s fresh, and it’s perfect for spring and summer (but, let’s be honest, you can make this dessert any time of year and nobody will judge you).

For the coulis:

  • 600g (1lb 5oz) strawberries
  • 150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

For the tiramisu:

  • 200ml (scant 1 cup) double cream
  • 250g (9oz) mascarpone
  • 150g (51/2oz) cream cheese
  • 100g (scant 1 cup) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste
  • 200ml (scant 1 cup) strawberry and cream liqueur
  • 32 sponge fingers (about 200g/7oz)
  • 75g (21/2oz) white chocolate

To decorate:

  • 400g (14oz) strawberries
  • white chocolate
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Equipment:

  • 24 x 17cm (91/2 x 61/2in) rectangular dish

Method:

  1. Start by making the strawberry coulis. Slice the strawberries in half if they’re on the larger side and then pop in a pan with the sugar and lemon zest and juice. Heat gently over a medium heat until the strawberries are completely broken down and the coulis is slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.
  2. To make the tiramisu, in a large mixing bowl, add the cream, mascarpone, and cream cheese. Mix until combined and then sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla paste. Whisk until thickened.
  3. Add the strawberry and cream liqueur to a small bowl and gently dip each sponge finger in on both sides. Add a layer of soaked sponge fingers to the serving dish, followed by half of the cream and coulis.
  4. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off white chocolate shards from the bar. Repeat to make a second layer.
  5. Decorate with some fresh strawberries, more white chocolate shavings, and sprigs of mint to garnish. Leave overnight in the fridge if you can, or for a minimum of 6 hours.

Good Vibes Baking cookbook cover

Good Vibes Baking by Sandro Farmhouse is published by DK, 23 May. £20. Photography © Liz Haarala Hamilton and Max Haarala Hamilton 2024.