Hello week 7, it’s a pleasure to meet you! So close to the final, yet still so far – week 7 saw the 6 remaining Bakers tackle yet more pastry in the tent of dreams, but who would leave our lovely baking bunch at this late stage?
We started the pastry filled weekend with suet pudding for the signature challenge, either sweet or savoury – what ever takes your fancy and I fancied a little bit of lamb and some yummy gravy! I don’t automatically think about what Welsh recipe can I incorporate into this week’s #gbbo, but roast lamb is a favourite and I knew that it would work well in a suet pudding and any excuse to eat gravy is fine by me! I was a little surprised to be the only baker making a savoury pudding, but I don’t have a sweet tooth so happily chose to make mine savoury, much to the delight of the production crew!
Here’s one I made earlier, with some posh gravy in the background for effect.
Paul and Mary loved my pudding and were very impressed with how I’d cooked it, with Paul commenting that my gravy was beautiful. A great start to the weekend for me, now I just needed to concentrate on the technical…but who knows what that was going to be!
We were tasked at making 8 Religieuse and I had never seen or heard of the dessert before, but I do make choux pastry often as well as ganache, all I needed to do now was not make slack crème patisserie then all would be good! I kept my head down during the technical and really pushed myself to make the best gaggle of nuns ever seen in choux form…and guess what? I only came top of the technical! Wow! I was and still am very chuffed with myself. Have a go at making this fabulously posh team of profiteroles, great for a dinner party…or wow the ladies at the next coffee morning!
The final challenge of the weekend was going to be tough. I had written out a timetable of what I needed to do and when, because there was just so much to do and I had no time to rest. We were tasked to make proper puff pastry, not rough puff, not flaky pastry…not even shop bought! We then had to make 3 different kinds of delicacies from the pastry, all within 4 hours!! Normally you need to leave at least 24 hours to make puff pastry because the gluten needs to rest and the butter needs to be cold so that when it does hit the heat of the oven the pastry will puff up.
My 3 puffs of choice were, Chocolate & Hazelnut Vol au Vents, Pistachio Frangipane with Nectarines and Strawberries & Cream Mille Feuille. I was ok, until hour 3 arrived and then I felt like I’d gone into a Bake-Off Black-Hole…no idea what was happening or where the time was going, but I appeared the other side with 36 pieces of puff that I was sort of happy with. I was kicking myself so much that I’d run out of time to glaze my pastries…I had everything ready, but I had to decide between finishing the Mille Feuille or glazing the other two. I could go on and on, but although they weren’t quite ‘finished’, Paul and Mary were very impressed with the rise in my pastry and said that it was yummy and buttery.
The challenges this week kept us all very busy and there was little or no banter in the tent to prove this. It also meant that you couldn’t really check in with each other to see if everything was ok. At the end of the showstopper we had a look around at each other and everyone was knackered and covered in icing sugar…we had truly been through the (flour) mill.
Frances, my lovely Frangipane was crowned Star Baker this week, a well deserved accolade to a very talented lady. Sadly, it was my buddy Glenn’s last bake in the tent. Losing Glenn, definitely changed the mood in the tent and I was gutted that he left. But I know that it would not be the last of Glenn’s antics, as I knew he would be loved by all #gbbo fans.
Next week is the quarter finals…now it’s getting serious.