The Great British Bake Off – Week 3, Desserts

I really enjoyed desserts week and not just because of my successful Petit Fours, but because I was starting to enjoy the whole crazy rollercoaster that is #gbbo.

The weekend kicked off with trifle and as you’re all now aware trifle is a family favourite in our house.  I decided to make my Mother’s Orange and Ginger trifle, something that my Mam devised a few years ago and has quickly become a favourite.  Mam makes it with shop bought cake (sorry to share the secret Mam!) as well as good old fashion custard powder.  For the Bake Off I had to make all the elements (of course) and also ‘pimped’ up the family recipe with a few extras.  My finished trifle was two layers of ginger cake, orange liqueur, homemade orange marmalade, homemade jelly, orange segments and a crème patisserie and crème chantilly mix…or as Paul likes to call it, ‘slack custard’.  I topped the trifle off with little ginger biscuits and candied orange peel…those three hours flew by but I managed to get everything done and I was happy with the result.  Sadly, although it looked great Paul and Mary weren’t that impressed with the finished product.  Would I have made any changes to my finished trifle?  I could have made the sponge layers thinner and maybe considered only having one layer of sponge rather than two, but apart from that I was happy with what I’d set out to do.  Sadly you can’t always please the judges, but I think that it’s important for you to stay true to your style of baking and that is what I always do.

Next was the technical challenge; floating islands with spun sugar…thanks Mary!  I followed the method to the letter but made my ‘islands’ more in the style of Greenland rather than Anglesey! And because I was worried about splitting my crème anglaise, it was too thin.  All in all, another bad technical for me.

That evening, I had a good word with myself.  I was definitely in the running for the chop but knew that if I did everything I wanted to do with my Petit Fours then I would be happy and hopefully I wouldn’t be going home.

As soon as the Showstopper Challenge started, I was off and wasn’t going to stop until I had produced my 24 Petite Fours.  I had lots of elements for both types and need to get everything finished so that I had enough time to assemble them at the end and present them on my stand.  The Macarons were the first to be made and if they were perfect then I knew I would be fine for the rest of the challenge.

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My beautiful Petit Fours!

The finished results were amazing. I had totally exceeded what I’d set out to do.  Everything went to plan and Paul and Mary loved them.  It was such a relief knowing that they loved them and it gave me a little bit of hope that I wouldn’t be going home…but you just never know until whoever’s name is said at the end of the weekend.

Sadly it was Deborah and Mark that left us that weekend.  The standard in that tent is amazing and it’s the little mistakes that put you in danger of leaving.  They were both missed so much and it was difficult for the rest of us to get our heads around the fact that two great characters wouldn’t be with us the following week.

You can find both of my Petit Fours recipes on the BBC Food website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/beca

Next week is all about Pies & Tarts…soggy bottoms ahoy!

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