Episode Four – Dessert Week.
The sweetest week in the Bake Off tent has arrived with dessert week. Our nine remaining bakers are eager to please Paul and Prue with their beautiful bakes. With delicate pavlovas, sticky toffee puddings and the highly difficult joconde imprimé, will our bakers satisfy the judge’s sweet tooth, or will their bakes turn sickly sweet?
Signature Challenge – Beautifully Decorated Pavlova.
Upon finding out that the signature challenge is pavlova, Chigs uttered the words of wisdom, or famous last words, “It’s egg whites and sugar, what can go wrong?” Will the bakers perfect their pavlovas, or will the challenge end in an Eton Mess? With only two main ingredients, the bakers will have to be meticulous in their methods as there is nothing to hide behind. Freya, already nervous about her vegan substitutes, will be under further pressure as she replaces egg whites with aquafaba, a liquid that remains after chickpeas have been cooked. On the other end of the spectrum, Maggie hopes to impress Paul and Prue with a traditional pavlova, flavoured with fresh summer fruits, raspberry syrup and passion fruit cream and Chigs aims for a ‘party in the mouth’ with his tropical pavlova with chocolate shards, tropical coulis and Chantilly cream.
It’s time for the bakers to receive feedback on their pavlovas, will the judges be left on a heavenly meringue cloud, or will their expectations be crushed? Just like his nickname the Terminator, Paul declares that “Jürgen’s back”; Jürgen’s execution was a little untidy but he was complimented for his good ideas and great blend of flavours. Chigs not only received glowing praise, but he also became the recipient of the second Hollywood handshake. Unlike the party in the mouth that Chigs achieved with his tropical bake, Freya’s bake, although complimented for its fantastic appearance, was sloppy in the middle and deemed an Eton mess by the judges.
Technical Challenge – Sticky Toffee Puddings served with Sticky Toffee Sauce and Decorated with Triangle Tuiles and Crème Anglais.
Now nicknamed ‘Pruella’, Prue asked the bakers to make four individual sticky toffee puddings served with sticky toffee sauce and decorated with triangle tuiles and crème anglais. Lizzie professes her love for sticky toffee pudding whilst Maggie admits that she has never made one before. Freya drops her tuiles on the floor before it can reach the oven but thankfully she recovers with the age-old solution – act like it never happened. One baker unfortunately makes a mistake that could not be resolved by ignoring it; Maggie forgot to add flour to her sticky toffee pudding as she didn’t spot the ingredient on the second page. I’m sure the judges won’t notice, right?
Paul and Prue step back into the tent to blindly judge the bakes, unfortunately for Maggie, the blind judgement still requires the judges to see her bake. Coming in ninth, Maggie may not have been able to ignore the mistake, but she took her feedback like a true winner by telling Paul and Prue that the bake was a gluten free substitute. Amanda came eighth with raw pudding, burned tuiles and scrambled crème anglais. As Paul stated in the Signature challenge, The Terminator is indeed back with Jürgen finding himself in first place with his excellent bake, closely followed by Lizzie in second place.
Showstopper Challenge – Celebratory Joconde Imprimé.
It’s time to ‘bake’ it or break it with the last challenge of the week and the bakers have been tasked with creating a celebratory themed joconde imprimé dessert. Hoping to win the hearts of the judges again this week, Jürgen will bake his ‘Passtyme with Good Companye’ with an almond joconde and caramelised hazelnut dacquoise base based on what is known as the King’s Ballad, a folk song written by Henry VIII. Chigs aims to impress Paul and Prue with not one layer, but two; Chigs will bake a Black Forest Imprimé Dessert with cherry soaked chocolate joconde, tempered chocolate lace roll and fresh cream and cherries. Giuseppe will also revisit the past like Jürgen, but not as far back. Giuseppe will bake a Red Fruit and Pistachio Imprimé Dessert with strawberry and raspberry mirror glaze, inspired by his father.
After a nail biting four hours, the judges are ready to see the results. Jürgen’s bake is complimented for how amazing his bake looks and the luxurious flavours. Although Giuseppe’s bake lost definition, he received praise for the pretty appearance, great layers and soft texture. It was Chigs’ bake who amazed the judges the most with Prue calling it perfection. Unfortunately Freya found herself in hot water again with a messy appearance and unbalanced flavours.
Star baker is harder to call this week as Giuseppe, Chigs and Jürgen were all strong contenders. However, it is Chigs that achieved star baker, leaving him lost for words as he calls his mother. Unfortunately, it’s time for the Bake Off tent to get a little smaller again with the departure of Maggie. We are devastated to see Maggie go after she brought us four weeks of utter joy. Maggie penned a letter thanking viewers for their support and triumphed ‘I entered the tent as a ‘traditional’ baker (you heard that many times!) but have come out inspired to try things that I would never have dreamed of.’ Maggie has certainly inspired us all to always keep learning and evolving.
Previous Bake Off Posts:
If you have enjoyed reading about dessert week, you can catch up on what happened in bread week here.
Bake Off Kitchen Appliances.
You may have noticed the beautiful appliances in the Bake Off tent, with hidden oven doors and pastel fridges, the tent was designed for beauty and ease. If you are wondering where to purchase these items, you can read more about the appliances here.