Pastry week. Think Eclairs (yum), think Pasties (yum) and think something different. But what? Oh how they tease us on Bake off!
There is hardly any of them! we are getting to similar numbers of judges v’s competitors. Aww I’m sad. Anyhooooooo!
And we are off. Signature bake today is savoury parcels. 12 savoury parcels, in an hour and three quarters. I couldn’t do them in 2 hours. I’m sweating. Goodness knows what its like in the tent – Chetna is excited already. She’s adding ‘flavours’ which seems to be her thing. Luis actually looks calm. Kate doesn’t.
There is more innuendo in this episode about ‘leakage and big lunches’ than ever.
Mary then tries to bring it back to baking.
Mary has spoken. Just three things must be right:
3. The bake.
I find the uniformity required a bit creepy but I do get its about precision. Nancy’s is doing duck. Thats all I have to say about that. Richard is doing lamb. The crimping starts and the innuendo’s keep coming.
Say’s Paul about Luis’s. He likes them ‘dinky’ apparently.
The GBBO blog says: Richard is “nice and flaky”, and Paul says he has “great flavours.” He’s definitely back on form: you can see his pencil perking up a bit. Martha “tastes good”, and has great seasoning. Luis is a bit pale, but, according to Mary, his nice big pastries are exactly the right size: apparently Paul “like them dinky”. Nancy is let down by her “lack of baking”. Kate has “a nice even shape” and “good crimping”, but Paul doesn’t like her pastry. Kate says she was confused. And Chetna is “delicious” and, somewhat predictably, “spicy”.
Mel is too busy stealing the pastries at every taste test. Which is honestly – hilarious.
Next Technical challenge time, and the bakers have to make kouign amann, a traditional Breton pastry. No one knows what it is. ( I certainly don’t so I feel the need to google it) – Wikipedia says:
“Kouign-amann (pronounced [,kwiɲˈamɑ̃nː] Breton pl. kouignoù-amann) is a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The name derives from the Breton words for cake (“kouign”) and butter (“amann”). Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town Douarnenez in Finistère, Brittany, where it originated in around 1860″
Unfortunately that doesn’t help me. Or the bakers. Everyone is flummoxed. Paul is an expert so its easy for him. I’m just feeling sorry for the rest.
The proving seems to be some kind of unspoken battle between the contestants. WHO WILL BLINK FIRST type of scenario. Everyone is leaving it to the last possible minute. People are sugaring between layers and people are not. People are freezing and people are not. Its TENSE.
Its addictive oven watching next. Chetna leaves it the longest and everyone else’s are in. Its kind of like watching a TV programme with your hands over your eyes. Oh, no sorry, thats just me. The stress is palpable. They are out and the judging commences.
Luis’s have gone down in the middle, and don’t have enough layers. Kate’s are too “bready”. Richard’s are “pretty good” with a “nice caramel colour”. Nancy’s are good, but they have a “huge, irregular size difference”. Chetna’s have a “problem with the sugar”, and have been “over baked” and Martha’s are “under proved”.
Its seems no one has done it ‘properly’ and Martha really looks like she might cry this week. Bless her. Richard comes first – seems that butter bashing was worth it.
Showstopper time – Choux Pastry – 24 exactly the same size and shape ECLAIRS.
M&S have started selling baked choux pastry. You can fill with your own ingredients. You can see why. Its hard work!
Eclairs. YUM YUM YUM. I love these. I can’t make them, but I love them. Everyone is being REALLY creative.
I like it. I want to try them all – EXCEPT Kate who is making Chocolate and Basil. Oh and Nancy is making a savoury one. I’m not sure. I like traditional. Richard. He’s made an stair to display them. A set of STAIRS. Wow. His eclairs look amazing too. I WANT ONE.
Jam is being made and Sue and Mel are hovering. Bless em, they must just accept they will be putting on half a stone on this show or have extra gym rations.
Apparently Nancy’s savoury eclairs are “beautiful”, but her sweet ones are ever so slightly sickly. Richard’s raspberry and rose eclairs are “perfect”, because Richard has reverted to being Mr Perfect. Luis’s are “a party”, and Mary is very excited, because they’re all exactly six inches long, and that’s what Mary likes. (Paul smirks a little.) Kate’s lemon meringue eclairs have a good filling, but Mary says she “wouldn’t know that basil was there”. (Somewhere in the country, a man named Basil is hearing those words and crying). Chetna’s mango and chocolate eclairs feel “indulgent”. Martha’s maple syrup and bacon eclairs fall apart too easily, and Paul isn’t impressed. He gives one a long, angry death stare, before swooping in, and taking an enormous bite. It’s exactly like a cat, insulting a mouse, then eating it.
Its decision time. They are all lined up like they are about to be executed.
And Richard is star baker! 3 times! its a Hatrick. Aww bless him. To think he nearly left last week!
So the time has come. We have to lose someone. I hate this bit. So does Mel and Sue. I really wish it wasn’t true but they chose Kate. I’m so sad. I love Kate. Martha is crying bless her! She’s really convinced she was going and you can tell she really likes Kate. Its all a it sad.
I fully intend to follow her on twitter and see how it all end up for her. She’s delightful. I really thought she’d make it slightly further.
So we are at Quarter Finals now people. Next week, next week…..