European cake week….Eurovision inspired quotes and general gentle Mickey taking of all things cliched about Europe and some VERY complicated cakes. I feel completely out of my depth and I’m just watching! eeekkk.
So the first challenge for the bakers is create a signature european bake. I’m already struggling with this as traditionally these bakes are very yeast driven. Not something that I find easy( or in fact tasty) so I’m already glad I’m not in that tent tasting.
Its hard to get the yeast to rise if you add even one extra ingredient so the bakers need to be really careful ( or so Paul/Mary explain). For the first time this series I’m really honestly feeling I couldn’t have done this challenge. This week just seems professional baker skills required. I’m definitely not equipped.
Kugelhopfs, Gugelhopfs and a good few Savarins were the tongue twisting names of the day. I need a lie down already.
Kate – kind of broke the rules by going for an Israeli cake with a chocolatey, cherry cake definitely not from Europe, Nancy also broke the rules with a Caribbean banana, passion fruit and orange bake… can’t really place how that’s European – but hey ho. It did look like a recipe from Del Boy’s kitchen.
Nancy also lost her star baker shine with her seventies looking Savarin complete with glacé cherries and cocktail umbrella (see below)
To keep their cakes within the realm of a decent bake many of the contestants made a proven sponge first, before baking.
Unfortunately Richard didn’t prove his enough and was let down, as was his cake.
Next up – Technical Bake. What a technical bake it was. Mary made this face, which isn’t good. She almost ‘told’ the bakers this was a challenging bake and to be prepared. Not sure they all got the tip….
Prinsesstårta, or Princess Cake to you and me, a massive monster of a cake with 26 separate ingredients including crème patissiere, jam, thin cake layers and topped with a green marzipan cover. Plus a carefully crafted fondant rose. Simple then.
What a task! The bakers literally looked terrified and started a bit of headless chicken behaviour. Rushing around and trying NOT to panic.
Meant most of them actually did. Panic.
Kate and Chetna both had to hurriedly bake second cakes after their first attempts at the lighter-than-air sponge didn’t rise.
Martha looked at the ingredients for her crème pat with a face that said ‘I’d rather be studying Chaucer than doing this right now’
Nancy had completely lost it telling Sue she didn’t know if she was ‘Arthur or Martha’ and asking: ‘What did the male judge say again?’ Er, that would be Paul, Nancy. Which I laughed at sooooo loudly. (this continues into next week and Paul even tweets about it – genuis)
Martha managed to get good layers inside her Princess cake as did Luis who also got brownie points for nice chocolate decoration. Mary was a fan of Chetna’s lurid green marzipan but overall her bake didn’t look good. Kate’s with its hastily patched up marzipan topping wasn’t great.
Nancy took the top spot in this week’s technical as the tent performed a collective collapse.
Finally, the Showstopper. I’m almost relieved to get here.
This is how it starts. They set them a crazy task.
Make a Dobos Torte, a Hungarian cake with seven layers, if that wasn’t enough, they had to top the cakes with Caramel in some form. Now this is where I would have done an Ian and walked off for a bit. Blimey. A 7 layered cake AND sugar work. Blimey. I’m exhausted just watching.
I have to say, most of them did OK and Luis and Chetna really went all out. Kate realised at the end that she hadn’t done anywhere near enough ‘sugar work’ and most of the Dobos Torte’s themselves looked close to collapse but all were delivered for judging. Luis seemed to be the most in control. Richard looked stressed. Kate looked worried . Martha looked sad. It was a challenge of epic proportions.
Chetna was star baker and then the big reveal….. (which kind of wasn’t a HUGE surprise) that da daaaa no one was going this week! PHEW – Kate and richard (love them) were too hard to choose between so neither go. Yipee.
Bless em, there was tears. But all good. Live to bake another week!
So next week is pastry. I hope its a smidgen easier than this week but the end of the show prompts the line….Pastries, including pasties, choux and an unheard of technical … Here we go again 🙂 Love the bake off.