The Great British Bake Off / Baking Show Recap Episode 4 – Dessert Week

Jane, Darcie, and I are back for another recap of what happened under the tent. We are really getting to know the bakers, so each departure becomes more difficult. Darcie did the lion’s share of this week’s recap. I’ll just add the recipe links and a few of my favorite funny lines.

Jenny’s comments for this week:

I’m just going to say it – the opening routines reek worse than a pallet of spoiled eggs that have been left out in the hot sun for a week. “Born without a mouth?” Indeed, if only. I love you, Noel, but what is passing for comic relief is not at all a relief.

Amanda’s comment when the boys made a “half hour left” time announcement. “People get pay for that?” Noel and Matt said they couldn’t believe it either. Amanda also made me laugh when she opened the freezer door and saw that her dessert was leaking. She then just slammed the door. That is precisely what I do when I open my pantry door and things start to fall out. I just slam the door and ignore it and hope that the next time I open the door things will be better.

George comments when he realized he was burning his caramel: “I’ll just add vanilla to take out the burnt smell.” George, it doesn’t work that way.

Lizzie: “Tuile?” “Tuile?” “Tules?” I love her.

Freya dropped her parchment with the tuiles and said, “Oh no! ….just going to use it – they won’t know.” I love her too.

Maggie had a rough day but I adore her attitude. Her tuile with the small little pile of “gluten-free” pudding looked like that famous dish they serve in the military you know the one “______ on a shingle.”

Jane’s translations for the week:
I may have been too engrossed in the show this week (very relieved the showstopper was proper baking and not an engineering construction project this week) but I didn’t hear any words I thought needed translating for non-Brits. If you couldn’t understand anything, please leave a question in the comments.

Signature: Decorated pavlova in 2 hours 45 minutes

Darcie: George took a chance on using the warming drawer to hold his pavlova so he could use the oven for another bake, which proved to be a disaster. It looked a mess and the judges did not enjoy the flavors much either. Giuseppe’s every day at the beach turned out great. Chigs said the dessert “should be a party on your tongue” and Paul agreed, giving Chigs a coveted Hollywood handshake – not bad for someone who only began baking at the beginning of lockdown! Maggie kept things simple – probably too simple. No handshake for Maggie. Freya struggled with her aquafaba meringue, which doesn’t hold up as well as the egg white version. Amanda’s heart-shaped ‘pav love’ looked good but had too much chocolate and not enough raspberry. The colors in Lizzie’s pavlova were too Willy Wonka-like for the judges but they loved her flavors.

I know that French meringue is the standard for pavlova, but I am a bit surprised that none of the bakers opted for a Swiss meringue. I’ve seen several recipes touting that method as being more foolproof. I was also stymied by the emphasis on the meringue not having cracks – almost every pavlova photo I’ve seen has had cracks in it. Jürgen took a big risk with his flavors and it paid off – as Paul said, “Jürgen’s back.”


Crystelle’s Key-lime Pavlova

Technical: Four individual sticky toffee puddings with crème Anglaise in 90 minutes

Darcie: The short timeline for this technical made it tough for contestants – many of them produced underdone puds that did not look at all appetizing, including Maggie, Amanda, and Freya. Maggie forgot to include a vital ingredient because it was alone on the second page of the brief and she missed it. Even though she laughed about it, you could see the horror on her face. Proving that he is indeed back, Jürgen placed first. Several contestants struggled with the toffee sauce and creme anglaise.

Maggie should have followed her instincts, which told her she was missing something. Her puddings looked like caramelized onion chutney according to Paul. Lizzie placed second, and as I alluded to last week, she is a dark horse who seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough.


Prue’s Sticky Toffee Puddings

Showstopper: Joconde imprimé with fillings in 4 hours

Credit: GBBO

Darcie: The bakers’ designs ranged from abstract to whimsical. Chigs’ geometric pattern was inspired by his sister’s bathroom tile, while Jürgen turned to a 16th century song allegedly written by Henry VIII. Paul ribbed Maggie by holding up a container of flour and circling the flour on her printed recipe as a reminder to include it. Based on two disappointing finishes in the signature and technical the pressure was on Maggie to perform, and it got the better of her because she ended up having to remake her joconde. Crystelle put a little too much booze in her bavarois. Freya’s flavors did not come through but she disagreed with Paul’s assessment of her dessert. Amanda and Maggie both had bad filling leaks.

If you are hiking in the woods with a group of people and are attacked by a bear, you don’t need to run faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest hiker. That was Amanda this week, who did not do well in any of the challenges but was a tad better than the worst baker. As always, I am impressed by Jürgen’s calm demeanor and excellent results. Giuseppe is also performing well and I love listening to him talk.


Chig’s Black Forest Imprimé Dessert

Star baker: Chigs
Sent home: Maggie

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  • anya_sf  on  October 17, 2021

    Once again, the bakers were a lot funnier than Noel or Matt. Maggie deserves praise for her great attitude. I loved this week’s showstopper challenge, as the desserts were beautiful and also looked like something I’d actually want to eat. So often the showstoppers resemble art projects more than food.

    • Jenny  on  October 17, 2021

      Exactly, after all that molding of bread and “gluing” of cookies in those showstoppers – I wouldn’t want to eat it – I have a problem with things that have had that much “hands on” work.

  • Foodycat  on  October 19, 2021

    I thought the tuiles with the STPs were intended to be a tie-breaker if there were too many puddings of a similar standard, but I wasn’t expecting so many people to struggle with the puddings themselves.

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