Its time for week nine! And that means it’s time for patisserie!! The signature challenge this week was 24 choux buns. I was nervous coming into the signature this week because I had never made choux dough before. And I had never made any type of choux bun! I was doing a choux bun with a craquelin top. In the show, they did two flavors of choux buns (12 of each), but I tried to keep it a little simpler for this because I didn’t want to go crazy quite yet. I’m saving up that energy for the showstopper! I just did one flavor: orange. This was inspired by Kate’s recipe from the show!
I’ve made it to the showstopper challenge for week eight! This forgotten bake showstopper is a savoy cake! I feel like I kind of dropped the ball on this bake. While I put every effort into the cake, I didn’t really put as much effort into the decorations as I probably should have. This is a showstopper after all! And it’s week eight no less! That’s not time to slack…
The technical Challenge for forgotten bakes week is a Cumberland Rum Nicky. Yea, I have no idea either. Basically, it’s a fruit tart made from dry fruits and rum. I tried my best to stay true to the Paul Hollywood recipe but, I’m not going to lie, this tart doesn’t sound like my cup of tea. I’m not a huge fan of dried fruits, ginger, or rum. And that’s like… seventy five percent of the dish!
I feel like Week 8 of season 8 had one of the weirdest themes I have ever seen in Bake Off: It was the forgotten bakes week. These are bakes that were made in the past and tended to stay there. I would think for good reason but we’re going to revive them once again! The signature bake for this week is a Bedfordshire clanger. I didn’t have a recipe to go off from the show (probably because they didn’t expect anyone to do something like this) so I created what seemed to be the best recipe for me based on what research I did. A Bedfordshire clanger isn’t difficult to make but has some interest twist to make it a truly unique dish.
I’ve made it to week Seven! I honestly cannot believe how much I’ve done so far. This challenge was a lot more than I expected and I’m still three weeks away from the finale! But Week Seven is one that I have been both excited and nervous for; it’s Italian week! And the Signature challenge of Italian week is Cannoli!
The Showstopping challenge of week 6 has arrived, and it is a family sized hand-raised pie! This little pie started out so small and over years and years it grew. Just kidding. A hand raised pie is one that is wrapped around the outside of a cake tin. It is able to stand due to the structure of the pastry with no outside help! I decided to base my recipe this week off Kate’s Bombay Potato Curry Pie. I can’t help it, when I go savory, I tend to go Indian. Indian cuisine provides so many great options for vegetarian flavors! This potato curry pie is also topped with a delicious spicy and sweet mango salsa! The post below focuses mainly on the pastry, it is pastry week after all.
The Week Six technical is the most intimating challenge that I have faced to date: Pastéis de Nata. This is effectively a pastry tart filled with custard. It doesn’t seem intimidating, but the pastry was originally a puff pastry. Which is something I have never tried before because of the amount of work that goes into make a puff pastry. Luckily, the recipe that Paul Hollywood uses is a rough puff pastry. This means that I got to grate the frozen butter instead of pounding it out into a large slab. While it’s a daunting process, the best way to conquer those fears is to jump right in!
It’s a new week and that means a new theme! This time, it’s pastry week and I am ready to take a break from all the sweet desserts! The signature challenge this week is four shortcrust savory pies. Sounds like the perfect dinner to me! I was inspired by Stacey’s Old Fashioned Minced Beef Pies. Since I’m a pescatarian, I had to make some slight modifications to the pie, but I absolutely loved how they turned out! Even the journey was easy!
I made it to the end of the Pudding Week! And this challenge was a doozy. The showstopper challenge was to make an ornamental trifle terrine. I was inspired by the trifle terrine made by Sophie on the show. Hers was a yuzu and raspberry trifle terrine. I didn’t have access to yuzu so I decided to go with something more accessible: a lemon and raspberry trifle terrine. This dessert was absolutely delicious. It did not last more than a day in the house because I wanted to eat all of it. But it also was an extremely complicated dish made up of six layers with five different recipes going on.
The Week 5 Technical is something I was very excited about: Molten Chocolate Pudding!! Who doesn’t like chocolate? Especially that gooey center! That sounds absolutely irresistible! This was quite a challenge, and I definitely underestimated the difficulty of this challenge. My baking instinct betrayed be for this pudding (cake). But that’s what a technical challenge is all about so let’s get to it!
We’re finally back in it and this time, it’s pudding week! This was a major disconnect for me because the classic pudding desserts from Britain are very different than the American idea of puddings. The signature challenge was a steam school pudding which meant absolutely nothing to me. Not only is this an older tradition in Britain, it’s also not a thing in the U.S.! I leaned heavily on the show for any ideas for this one.
We’ve made it to the Showstopper challenge of caramel week: A caramel cake! In the Great British Baking Show episode, the winner for this week is Kate. I believe a large part of this decision is due to her caramel toffee apple cake. Even Prue wanted the recipe! So, I also stole the recipe for Kates caramel apple cake and decided to run with it. This seemed like a great way to start 2022!