Monday, 19 September 2016
GBBO - Week 4
Last weeks Bake Off episode started with a tone of sadness. Not the episode itself but the viewers who (from what I've read) are all saddened by the recent news. If you have been hiding in a cave you may now have heard that the BBC have lost Bake Off and channel 4 will be it's new home. As a result there will be no more Mel and Sue and who knows what other changes will take place. This is one of those shows (in my humble opinion) which doesn't need changed. Bake Off fans like it the way it is. That's a year away so for now we can enjoy it.
Last week was batter week. Sounds easy but far from it. I've never really worked with batter before. I think helping my mum with pancakes years and years ago doesn't really count.
First up was Yorkshire puddings. Not only did the bakers have to make perfect mini puddings but they had to fill them. Val mentioned that you can be kicked out of Yorkshire for a rubbish pudding (paraphrasing) and another said that there are lots of debate on the perfect recipe. A friend of mine once told me that she judges everyone on whether or not they make their own and it should be perfect. Unfortunately Val and a few others didn't quite manage it. There were a few flat puds about. Selasi did not have that problem as most of his could be described as giants and they were well filled with a Sunday roast. Jane also did well with her Sunday roast filling. However, Salasi received Hollywood approval for his crackling.
The technical challenge involved pancakes. Seems simple for bake off but they bakers had to make sure that they were lace. This has proven to be popular over recent years. Facebook is flooded with these videos of people creating famous characters from pancake mix. A few over cooked their pancakes while others didn't quite manage the lace pattern. Benjamina won with the perfect design and bake. If you want to try your own the recipe is here on the Bake Off website. I am going to have a go this week too. Who doesn't love a pancake. I don't promise that the pattern will look brilliant mind you. Decoration is far from my strong point.
For the show stopper the contestants had to make cheeros which is a spanish sweet dish popularly sold at street vendors. You have no idea how glad I am that this wasn't the technical challenge as I don't do hot oil. Benjamina again made the perfect cheero. She went with a simple design and flavour and put her flavours into the dip. A fab idea as she was the only one who impressed Paul and Mary. Tom and Andrew made the mistake of making the cheeros as is commonly done which involves cutting the batter straight into the oil. This made for lots of uneven cheeros. Rookie error as Paul and Mary like their conformity. In fact poor Tom did not have a good week overall as he succumbed to the curse of star baker.
Benjamina was the clear star baker. There was really no contest. She did well with her Yorkshire puddings and came out on top with the final two. I have always like Benjamina and she seems to do well with most of her bakes. I'm hoping she continues to do so despite winning star baker last week.
Sadly it was the turn of Kate to leave the show. I was actually a little surprised by this. She did have a bad week with all her bakes. However, Tom had a bad week too and Val seems to be scraping by each week. I have a feeling that Val's time on the show is growing short but I can't help but like her.
As always the above images don't belong to me and were courtesy of the Bake Off website.
After humming and hawing for days over whether or not my first bread attempt should be the technical bake (Dampfnudel) I decided to stick with my orignal challenge. I had no expectations as to whether or not I would manage it or even like it. I actually surprised myself. I managed it and they actually tasted good. They aren't as doughy or revolting as I thought they would be. Like Mary said they are a little like a sweet bun without the icing. This is thanks to the lemon zest that is added to the dough.
I confess that while I liked them I don't think the effort that went into them was quite worth it. My favourite was actually the sauces which went with them. The vanilla sauce tasted much like vanilla ice cream and I was impressed with managing to make the plum sauce. All first for me. Anyone else have a go?