Baking a cake used to be as easy as mixing flour, eggs, sugar and butter, then adding a little decoration at the end.
But that won’t do for the hopefuls on the next series of the Great British Bake Off – they are hoping to wow the judges with yuzu juice and charcoal powder.
Insiders say this year’s contestants have turned to quirky ingredients more likely to be found in a Michelin-starred restaurant than in an ordinary kitchen to give them an edge with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.
Yuzu extract, which is sold in Waitrose for £4.59 for a 60ml bottle, is mainly used to give a citrusy flavour to fish dishes, but can also be added to salad dressings, jellies, sweet curds and cakes.
Taste test: Bake Off stars Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith. Left: Yuzu juice, and, far left, the fruit
Yuzu extract is mainly used to give a citrusy flavour to fish dishes, but can also be added to salad dressings, jellies, sweet curds and cakes
Charcoal powder – which Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop claims has ‘cleansing powers’ – has no taste, but gives a dramatic jet-black colour to bakes.
It can also be used to give a grainy texture to bread, pizza dough and cheese biscuits.
Although it is not yet on sale in supermarkets, it can be purchased at specialist online shops such as Sous Chef, where it costs £11.50 for 50g.
Former hosts Mel Giedroyc (left) and Sue Perkins (right) have been replaced by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, while Prue Leith is taking over from Mary Berry
The new series of Bake Off – the first on Channel 4 since the broadcaster poached it from the BBC in a controversial £75 million deal with programme makers Love Productions – is expected to be screened later this month or in early September.
Former hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have been replaced by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, while Prue Leith is taking over from Mary Berry.
Love Productions said: ‘This year’s bakers are very artistic and to achieve their visions have used charcoal and other edible powders for food spray guns. Yuzu juice is also used.’