You may have noticed that the UK is currently being whisked into a Bake Off frenzy. The new season begins tonight, and viewers will no doubt be attempting (or at least tucking into) some of the delicious bakes for themselves.
To celebrate its return, CV Villas has put together a knead-to-know Bake Off bucket list: the most Instagrammed sweet treats from across Europe. Get an eyeful of these beauties...
1. Cannoli from Italy
Instagram posts: 319,701
Originating from the region of Sicily in Italy, cannoli are pastry-shells filled with a sweet, creamy filling, such as ricotta or sweet mascarpone. They are said to have been invented in the Middle Ages and one of the most famous places to sample them is Piana degli Albanesi in Palermo – head to Extrabar dei Fratelli Petta in the main square for the crème de la crème. The secret is to eat them very quickly, if you leave them too long then the outer pastry loses its crispiness.
2. Eclairs from France
Instagram posts: 337,885
The French have been munching on eclairs since the turn of the 19th century: choux pastry filled with cream and topped with icing. They're currently back in fashion because patissiers have been experimenting with inventive new colours and flavours – such as salted caramel, popcorn and even matcha tea. To sample some of the more out of the ordinary flavours, try L’Éclair de Génie in Paris's Marais district.
3. Pasteis de Nata from Portugal
Instagram posts: 45,424
Thanks to the rise in popularity of Porto and Lisbon, these Portuguese patisseries are having a moment on social media. These delicious custard tarts were first baked in the 18th century by monks from Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon and have been a favourite in Portugal ever since. The original recipe is still being used today at the bakery Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon.
4. Churros from Spain
Instagram posts: 1,211,074
If you’re a doughnut nut then you need to go to Spain to try churros in their country of origin. It’s thought this deep-fried dough snack was concocted by Spanish shepherds hundreds of years ago, but today you can sample churros in every region of the country. The Spanish are particularly fond of them at the end of a night out on the town – sprinkled in sugar and dunked in a mug of thick hot chocolate. It definitely beats a kebab.
5. Baklava from Greece
Instagram posts: 452,924
Who could turn down layers of delicate filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and drizzled with copious amounts of syrup or honey? Baklava is Greece’s national dessert and is a must-try for any baking connoisseur. Although some say they may have actually originated from Turkey, the Greeks have taken the dessert to their hearts and tummies and Instagrammers are currently doing the same.
The Great British Bake Off is on Tuesdays on C4 at 8pm
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