Week Nine – Patisserie Week.
It’s the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off 2021 and patisserie week! The tent is full of emotions with Giuseppe even admitting, “I’m shocked that I’m standing here. I had to buy new clothes because I wasn’t expecting to make it this far”. I think we can safely say that we’re happy to see Giuseppe here and fully clothed in week nine. With intricate layered slices, tricky tarts and bountiful banquet displays, our four remaining bakers battle it out to make it to the finals.
Signature Challenge – Eight Patisserie Style Layered Slices.
The signature challenge for the semi-final will be eight patisserie style layered slices. The layered slices need to be identical and when cut into, they should hold their form and display clear and visible layers. Crystelle will make yuzu, coconut and black sesame slices with sesame chantilly cream, yuzu curd and caramel brittle. In an attempt to rival Sophie Ellis Bexter’s ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’, Jürgen will be baking ‘Murder at the Opera’ slices with beetroot buttercream, cassis buttercream and tuile daggers. Putting a boozy twist on the classic, Giuseppe will bake tiramisu slices with coffee sponge, marsala soaked sultanas and pâté à bombe, an Italian meringue made with egg yolks instead of whites. Not wanting to overwhelm his bake with chocolate, Chigs is on a mission to balance his flavours with his raspberry and chocolate slices with chocolate ganache, raspberry mousse and raspberry jelly. Pressure is high as our bakers rush around the tent with Giuseppe nearly forgetting to add flour to his sponge.
It’s time to judge the signature challenge and Chigs kicks it off by earning a handshake from Paul for his sharp lines, impeccably balanced flavours and beautiful appearance. Next to impress the judges is Jürgen who was complimented for his stark layers, spot on textures and sensational bake, despite the positive feedback, Jürgen did not receive a Hollywood handshake. Crystelle wow the judges with her bake’s striking appearance and unusual texture, earning a Hollywood handshake as well as the compliment that her bake is ‘a little bit of genius’. Giuseppe rounds off the signature challenge critiques with yet another Hollywood handshake for his elegant, stylish and delicious bake. With three of our bakers receiving Hollywood handshakes, this might be the most intense semi-final yet with the technical challenge having the ability to make or break the bakers.
Technical Challenge – Sablé Breton Tart.
It’s time for the technical challenge and as Prue tells us, one of the trickiest yet. Ominous as always, before leaving the tent Prue warns the bakers to “Use your time wisely and remember the setting and chilling are very important.”. Prue challenged the bakers to make a sablé breton tart; Jürgen and Chigs represent the main reactions to the technical challenge with Jürgen claiming “I think essentially we know what we are doing” and Chigs telling us “I ain’t got a clue what’s going on. I don’t know anything they said besides pistachio and fruit.” I think my reaction would be closer to Chigs’. Noel and Matt told us that a Sablé Breton Tart consists of a sablé breton pastry topped with raspberry confiture, piped pistachio crème mousseline, filled with fresh berries and decorated with gilded meringue kisses and chocolate curls. If you’re like Chigs and I and only recognised the pistachio and fruit, I’m here to give you the 411 on what on earth all of those terms mean. A sablé breton pastry is a French butter cookie which has a texture similar to shortbread, whilst crème mousseline, named after Benito Mussolini, is “crème pat with additional butter” as described by Jürgen. Chigs’ assumption of what confiture is, is quite accurate as he questions, “raspberries, sugar and pectin. That’s just jam, right?” Confiture is a type of preserved jam that is made from fruit being stewed over a long period of time.
It’s judgement time for the bakers and it is Chigs that finds himself in last place with the judges telling him that his tart was underbaked and the mousseline was not set. Crystelle took third place with her thin biscuit but nice flavours. Giuseppe came in second place as his sablé was far too thin but had an overall nice appearance. That leaves Jürgen in first place with a slightly overbaked biscuit bake and ‘nice sablé’. With miniscule critiques and discrepancies between bakes, it’s all to play for in the Showstopper Challenge.
Showstopper Challenge – Spectacular Themed Banquet Display.
For the showstopper challenge the judges asked our bakers to bake a spectacular themed banquet display that comprises of at least twelve individual entremets desserts arranged around a beautifully crafted edible centrepiece. Giuseppe hopes to make the judges go nuts for his ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ bake with pine nut bavarois, chocolate sponge and cherry. Jürgen tells us that he has been fascinated by the Tolli Gate ever since he saw it in the Encyclopaedia that he had as a child; Jürgen’s bake ‘Tolli Gate in the Sea’ will have a gingerbread centrepiece with tuile sails, matcha bavarian mousse and raspberry jelly. Dedicating her bake to her sister, Crystelle will make ‘Tropical Wedding’ Entremets with vanilla and coconut crémeaux, mango bavarois and passion fruit jelly. Chigs will also dedicate his bake to his family with his ‘The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree’ bake with caramel and white chocolate mousse, caramelised apple and hazelnut biscuit which he admits “has never worked for me in practice” which strikes panic into viewers and presenters alike.
It’s the final judgement time of the nail-biting semi-final. Jürgen was told that he has a good balance of flavours with different layers of taste albeit his colours were dubbed as dull by Prue. Giuseppe got his textures spot on and produced an amazing bake, but his pine nut flavour did not shine through. The judges were impressed by Chigs’ family dedicated bake and its exceptional appearance and flavours. Despite Crystelle thinking that this wouldn’t be her week, the judges were stunned, calling her bake a work of art that is flawless. With amazing feedback all around, the judges will not be in an enviable position choosing star baker and the baker who will leave the tent.
This week’s decision is one of the most difficult that the judges have had to face in the competition. Jürgen was spot on when he said “There were four star bakers in there. Simple as that”. Although Jürgen is right that there were four star bakers in the tent, there can only be one official star baker which this week was the amazing Crystelle. Crystelle was brought to tears with her victory telling us that it means more when you succeed at something you dedicated to your family. Unfortunately, someone still has to leave the tent despite the impeccable creations that all of our bakers made this week and that person is sadly Jürgen. The tent was flooded with shocked faces at the announcement that Jürgen will be leaving, but Jürgen tells us that he was not as shocked as his fellow bakers. In an emotionally penned letter following his departure, Jürgen questions “Who wants to fly to the moon when you can be on Bake Off?” Although we are extremely sad to see Jürgen go, he has done a phenomenal job in the Bake Off tent and will always be the Jürgenator in our hearts.
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.
Previous Bake Off Posts:
If you have enjoyed reading about Patisserie Week, you can catch up on what happened in Free-From Week, Caramel Week, Pastry Week, German Week, Bread Week, Dessert Week, Biscuit Week and Cake Week by clicking on the links.