The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show – Week 7 – Desserts – Recap

We are down to six bakers already! This week was all about desserts and I again I was not thrilled with this week at all – to me the signature and technical challenges were too similar and nothing stood out as a wow to me.

Signature: Eight crème caramel in 2 hours and 45 minutes. We have 360 online recipes in our Library for this dessert.

Darcie: Of the three challenges this week, I thought this was the best because it really is a test of skill in both technique and flavoring and the result cannot be disguised with clever decorating. Cristy’s custards were curdled (try saying that 10 times fast) and poor Matty struggled with caramel. I can identify with Matty, as I can make perfect caramel nine times in a row, but on the tenth it’s a disaster yet I can’t identify what was different. It seems to me that caramel often crystalizes in the Bake Off tent. I wonder if it has to do with the cookware/cooktop, the weather, or the type of sugar. Does anyone care to opine on that?

Josh’s crème caramel were gorgeous, while Paul thought Matty’s looked like a frankfurter that had been cut open. Saku’s were too sweet, Tasha’s were on the sweet side as well, and Dan’s were a triumph, even if he did insist on calling them Thai green curry instead of just Thai-inspired.

Jane’s translation service: non-Brits and younger viewers will have missed Paul’s joke when looking at Dan’s collapsed crème caramel. He said “That’s desperate, Dan” which I’m sure he has been itching to use. Desperate Dan was a character in a comic The Dandy. He was a wild west character whose favorite food was cow pie.

Technical: Set by Paul Hollywood – six individual Orange and ginger treacle puddings in 1 1/2 hours

This was a laugh fest and a disaster of epic proportions. I feel when they are asking for a technical that most younger/newer bakers have not tackled – they should give a little bit more time and a few more instructions. For example – use hot or boiling water for the bain-marie and the puddings must steam for at least 40 minutes. Tasha received first place only because she took her puddings out of the water bath and let them bake a bit to form something more solid. The bakers were in good humor about the situation “the judges are going to need a straw to try these”, Noel said the situation was a “car crash” and asked if anyone needed a flask.

Almost every baker (except for Tasha) offered up raw, molten messes and to add insult to injury – Matty’s syrup was a solidified with the spoon forever implanted in the serving vessel. Paul Hollywood walked in and walked out which also brought fits of laughter.

Darcie: I’ve never eaten or made a treacle pudding or any kind of steamed pudding, so I am in no position to judge. This challenge threw everyone for a loop, as it isn’t something most of the bakers had made before. There were definitely no Hollywood handshakes this round. I thought it was funny when Prue grabbed Paul’s arm as he turned around and said “It’s your duty.”

Jane’s translation service: The judges decided that Saku’s puddings deserved “Nul points” – pronounced with a French accent. This relates to the scoring on the Eurovision Song Contest where the countries competing all vote on each others’ songs. Some countries have the distinction of not receiving a single vote so appear as Zero points on the scoreboard, or Nul points in their vernacular. Nul points has now become a general term for any dismal performance.

We have 208 online recipes for various treacle puddings in our Library.

Showstopper: A sharing size dessert encased in a decorative meringue bombe in 4 hours.

Darcie: This challenge really bombed with me. The bakers were all over the place in what the inside of their bombe contained. Dan’s was the closest to what I had envisioned, where the meringue shell held all of the components without any structural aides. It looked like Josh screwed a platform into his base to hold the dessert which seemed like cheating. Cristy’s attempted croquembouche became a mess of soggy profiteroles, although I quite liked her colorful spiky shell. Saku basically just had a dome over a small amount of filled choux buns, although I thought the dome was the prettiest of the bunch. Overall the attempts seemed clumsy, but I doubt I could have done any better with this strange challenge. This was the first week I felt let down; hopefully the quarterfinal next week will return to form.

Dan was deemed star baker and sweet Saku was sent home.

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  • anya_sf  on  November 11, 2023

    We have never laughed so hard as we did at the treacle pudding judging! So great to see all the contestants took it in stride (easier to do when everyone does poorly). I’m glad the recipe is available, as I do actually want to try it.

  • ldyndiuk  on  November 11, 2023

    The treacle pudding was a good example of the bakers just not being given enough time to complete a challenge. When nobody can do it properly, when none of them are baked enough, then there’s not enough time. Paul said they needed to bake for *at least* 40 minutes but there was a lot that had to be done before they could even go in the oven.

    I’ll miss Saku. I find her so hilarious, and I love that when something went wrong she knew the consequences but she was still able to laugh it off.

  • averythingcooks  on  November 13, 2023

    My partner has now been warned that if he EVER suggests that a dessert I’ve made for him “looks like a frankfurter that had been cut open”…we will be having words.

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