Episode Five – German Week.
It’s week five of The Great British Bake Off and this week our bakers are up against Jürgen ‘the terminator’ in German Week. The pressure is on as Lizzie hails this week ‘Jürgen’s week’, but will he be able to impress the judges and earn star baker for the third time? With buttery German biscuits, royal tortes and yeast leavened cakes, our bakers will be put to the test as they battle not only Jürgen, but the hot weather in the Bake Off tent.
Signature Challenge – Two Batches of Twelve German Biscuits.
To start German week, the judges asked our bakers to produce two batches of twelve German biscuits either dip coated or decorated. Prue explained that these German biscuits are a popular choice during the Christmas period which results in exquisite and intricate designs. Jürgen aims to start the judges on a caffeine buzz with his Tee-Sterne and Milchkaffee-Gipfele, an espresso flavoured biscuit dipped in white chocolate and decorated with dark chocolate. Will the judges go nuts for Crystelle’s Engelsaugen and pistachio heidesand biscuits? Crystelle’s biscuits will be flavoured with cardamom and pistachio and decorated with spun white chocolate and Freya will add some zest to the challenge by baking Lebkuchen and Zimtsterne with glacé cherries and vegan meringue decoration.
It’s feedback time in the Bake Off tent and Jürgen lives up to Lizzie’s declaration as he earns himself a Hollywood handshake for his absolutely perfect bake and strong flavours. Crystelle also impressed the judges with her bake which the judges deemed ‘a triumph’ for its delicate flavours and amazing appearance. Although the judges loved the flavours of Freya’s Lebkuchen and Zimtsterne biscuits, they were unfortunately overbaked. Will Freya be able to redeem herself in the following challenges, or will she succumb to the heat?
Technical Challenge – Prinzregententorte.
It’s Prue’s turn to choose the technical challenge this week and she has gone for Prinzregententorte, a Bavarian torte that consists of eight delicate layers of sponge filled with chocolate buttercream, covered in dark chocolate glaze and decorated with twelve piped rosettes. Prue’s advice to the bakers was ‘don’t panic and try to be methodical’, but the words ‘don’t panic’ often translate to ‘immediately panic’. Freya nearly dropped her sponge on the way into the oven whilst George, trying to avoid the same fate, used his mixture to glue down the baking paper to the tray. The multiple layers need consistency in size and structure which means that the bakers need to rapidly cool their cakes as the cooler the cake, the better they will hold their shape.
It was Amanda who found herself in last place with the inside of her bake being entirely split and Crystelle closely followed in seventh place with a messy appearance as the top of the cake had melted. On the other end of the spectrum Chigs impressed the judges with his beautifully soft bake and neat appearance earning him second place. Ultimately it was Giuseppe who won the hearts of the judges and the technical challenge with his even layers and gorgeous ganache.
Showstopper Challenge – Spectacular Yeast Leavened Cake Inspired by German Yeast Cake.
This week the judges asked our bakers to produce a spectacular yeast leavened cake inspired by German yeast cake with a minimum of two tiers. As an anniversary gift to his wife, George set out to bake a chocolate and tahini anniversary cake with vanilla icing and decorated with sugar paste roses, but will George’s bake have Paul and Prue smelling the roses? Freya hoped to warm the hearts of Paul and Prue with her choice of boozy bake, an upside-down cake with wine poached plums and spiced wine syrup. Despite the bake being German, Giuseppe attempted to put an Italian twist on the bake by using amarena cherries, a cherry that is grown in Bologna and Modena, Italy. Giuseppe will use his Italian cherries to make an Amarena cherry cake with amarena soaked cherries, honey glaze and filled with vanilla crème pâtissière.
Judgement time has arrived but Noel has had to step out of the tent as he is feeling under the weather. Prue loved the wine syrup topping but unfortunately the buzz of the wine did not mask Paul and Prue’s judgement as they deemed Freya’s bake as messy and underbaked. George’s anniversary gift to his wife was commended for its beauty and flavour, but like Freya’s bake, his dough was underbaked and left raw in the middle. Giuseppe’s Italian twist on the German classic caught the eye of the judges with its lovely appearance and delicious flavours.
It was a tight competition between Giuseppe and Jürgen, but this week’s star baker is Giuseppe! Giuseppe’s had a perfect week, with his charming cherry cake and perfect Prinzregententorte – an impressive victory with Giuseppe and Jürgen now tied for Star Baker wins. Unfortunately it was Freya’s time to leave the Bake Off tent this week and our remaining bakers and judges showered her in praise for her outstanding skills all at the age of only nineteen. Although devastated to be leaving, Freya mused that she feels ‘really proud to have even just been able to keep up’ and in her letter noted that, ‘If I have inspired just 1 person to give being vegan a go, that is more of a success to me than winning any day of the week… it’s not that much of a faff, I promise.’ I don’t know about you but Freya has certainly inspired me to give vegan baking a go.
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.