Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
24 September 2013

Beca from “Bake Off” Sings the Big Brew Up’s Praises for SSAFA

Singing baker Beca Lyne-Pirkis has created an autumn themed cake recipe specially for our Big Brew Up tea party fundraiser.

Beca from “Bake Off” Sings the Big Brew Up’s Praises for SSAFA

Singing baker Beca Lyne-Pirkis, who is currently appearing as a contestant on BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off, has created an autumn themed cake recipe specially for SSAFA’s Big Brew Up.

Beca is hoping the recipe will inspire people to take part in Big Brew Up Week, 7 - 13 October. Beca, whose husband Matt is a medic in the Army, is also a member of the Aldershot Military Wives Choir. The Military Wives Choirs Foundation is part of SSAFA and brings military women together through singing.

Beca regularly bakes for Matt's regiment as well as for her family. She says: “Any excuse to get your apron on and whip up a bake to enjoy with a cup of tea sounds like a great idea to me. As the wife of a serving soldier I am really aware of the important work that SSAFA does to help the whole military family across a lifetime, whatever their need. So I’m encouraging everyone to get baking and organise your own Big Brew Up to raise much needed money in the name of SSAFA.”

The cake she has created for SSAFA is named “Beca’s Autumn Bake” and is a Blackberry and Almond Cake with Apple Compote and Vanilla Mascarpone. She says: “I’ve created a cake especially for the Big Brew Up campaign, and it was successfully tested by my friends. I wanted to make something that was easy yet tasty and used seasonal fruit to reflect the fact that we’re definitely in autumn.”

Catherine Bernet-Wilson, on the Fundraising team at SSAFA says: “Every year we need to raise enough funds to deliver a breadth of projects that improve thousands of lives. These projects include our Support Groups for families affected by bereavement or injury, Short Breaks for Children with Additional Needs and Disabilities and our Norton Homes for the loved ones of injured, wounded or ill serving personnel. By holding a Big Brew Up you will be helping us keep these vital projects running."

There's still time to show your support for our Forces and their families with your own Big Brew Up.

Sign up now for your fundraising pack.

Beca’s Autumn Bake

Get baking in aid of the SSAFA Big Brew Up this October.

Blackberry & Almond Cake with Apple Compote and Vanilla Mascarpone


For the Blackberry & Almond Cake
200g baking margarine
200g light brown sugar
150g self raising flour
75g ground almonds
4 eggs
1 tsp. mixed spice
100g blackberries
Handful flaked almonds
1 ½ tbsp. demerara sugar

Vanilla mascarpone
150g mascarpone cheese
130ml double cream
2 tsp. caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Apple compote
3 eating apples (like Royal Gala)
1 tbsp. caster sugar
100ml water
Juice ½ lemon


Preheat oven to Gas 3 ½ (170 Degrees Celsius) and grease and line two 8 inch (20cm) cake tins. Combine all the cake ingredients except the blackberries, flaked almonds and Demerara sugar. Divide the cake batter equally between the two cake tins and smooth the tops with a spatula. Lightly push into the cake batter an equal number of whole blackberries and then bake on the same shelf for 25 minutes. After 20 minutes, scatter one of the cakes with the Demerara sugar and flaked almonds and bake the cakes for the remaining 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool whilst you prepare the fillings.

For the apple compote, peBeca's autumn bakeel and core the apples and place in a saucepan over a low heat with the water and sugar. Heat until the apples are soft enough to be ‘mashed’ with a potato masher. You want the texture to still have the odd chunk of apple but also be able to spread onto the cake. Add the lemon juice to taste. For the vanilla mascarpone, put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk until the mixture reaches the consistency of thick clotted cream.

To assemble, place the cake with no almonds on top onto a plate or cake stand. Spread all the mascarpone mixture onto the cake and top it with the apple compote. Place the top cake onto the filling and stand back to gaze lovingly at your masterpiece, before cutting a large wedge of it to have with your brew.