Hi again. I’m wondering now if watching Bake Off at 5.45am will mean that I don’t stuff myself with cakey goodness while I’m watching it. It might just mean that I’m starving for the whole rest of the day but we’ll see.
We’re down to the final four now Jane, Andrew, Candice and Selasi.
Selasi says that he had a dream that he made it to the final and he was baking in a dress. I’m looking forward to seeing that next week if he makes it!!
First off, the bakers have to make 24 palmiers. The bakers have to make these using a puff pastry.
Candice is making red onion, cambozola and walnut palmiers (let’s ignore those as they have nuts on) and mushroom, streaky bacon and parmesan palmiers (now those sound tasty and like the sort of breakfast I’d like to be tucking into in a couple of hours…)
Jane is making pesto and sundried tomato palmiers (ignore those as pesto contains nuts usually) and goats cheese, olive and parma ham palmiers (mmm, not sure, not overly keen on goats cheese or olives).
Andrew’s puff pastry is looking rough as; there’s butter leaking out of his pastry as he’s rolling it. If he does make a decent pastry then he will be making cheesy elephant ear shaped palmiers and herby treble clef palmiers. I’d probably give both of those a go.
Selasi is making sundried tomato, onion, pepper and parmesan palmiers (yum) and salmon, spinach and mushroom palmiers (less yum but I’d try them). Hang on, there’s some hidden pesto in one of them!
Andrew gets his ‘puff pastry’ out of the fridge and it just looks like a big blob of butter. Meanwhile Selasi is telling the bakers that there is two hours remaining and Mel and Sue have a joke with him about being furious that he’s taking their job. The dynamic between them all is excellent.
Andrew has to start his pastry again, it looks better but will it chill enough??
The bakers are now to the stage of rolling and folding and cutting their palmiers. The palmiers then start to go in the oven. Jane and Selasi are starting to have a panic about their palmiers not cooking.
Sue asks Selasi if this is the first time that he’s not calm as there’s a lot of patrolling going on. He admits that this week he is scared. Cut to Jane looking absolutely terrified.
Mary tells Jane that her pesto and tomato ones aren’t quite cooked, Paul tells her the other ones are a bit soggy inside.
Candice’s mushroom ones are criticised for being a bit thick. Paul and Mary say there is way too much filling in the onion ones and the shape has been lost so it can’t be classed as a palmier.
Paul tells Selasi that his needed a bit longer in the oven. Paul is waving them around telling him that they’re not just underbaked, they’re raw but he does concede that the flavour is good.
Paul likes the flavour of Andrew’s but says that they are not at all buttery. Paul does tell him that he got away with it.
The technical challenge this week is one high end savarin. Never heard of that. It’s nice of Paul to tell Mary to look at the one he’s made and see how perfect it is – toot your own trumpet Paul!! Off to go to Channel 4 Mr Hollywood, on your own…
The bakers start to make this doughy, yeasty cake that needs a couple of proves. They also have to make some sort of liquid, some caramel and chocolate ovals with the word Savarin piped on them.
The bakers have to pipe cream all over their cakes so there is a rush for the freezers to cool the cakes down. Selasi ends up decorating his in the freezer. We did have some very, very hot days this summer so if they baked this on one of those days then it would have been very hard.
They start by tasting Candice’s and it’s under proved and over baked. Andrew’s is again under proved and over baked. Selasi’s is inconsistent in colour and the decoration is a bit messy and the liquid has only soaked in the very top of his cake. The last one is Jane’s and the bake looks good but the liquid hasn’t penetrated the cake again.
In reverse order they are placed Selasi, Candice, Andrew and Jane winning.
Selasi needs to blow the showstopper away to have a chance of staying this week unfortunately. The showstopper is 36 fondant fancies. I absolutely love these! I haven’t had one for years though as I can’t find any that don’t have a nut allergy warning on them and I’m not going to make them – I’ve seen them made before and they look very, very difficult!
Mary Berry tells us that in the real world the sponge would be made the day before so that the sponge can harden a little so that you can cut it nice and sharp. They want perfection from the bakers but don’t give them the right conditions to achieve it.
Jane is making pistachio (nuts again!) and raspberry fondant fancies together with lemon curd surprise (that’s more like it). Paul tells Jane that she has to do well to go to the final. Mel rolls her eyes and tells Jane that’s great advice, do well, don’t do badly!
Andrew is making philharmonic fondant fancies. One is vanilla with white icing and one is coffee with brown icing. Andrew says that he’s not done it to time in his practices at home.
Candice is making two types of Genoese, one is chocolate flavoured and one is almond flavoured. She’s making chocolate praline fondant fancies and cherry bakewell fondant fancies.
As they approach Selasi he is pulling bright pink sponges out of the oven. The first thing that Paul says to Selasi is that he didn’t have a great technical challenge. I’m sure he needed to be reminded of that – nice one Paul but he does tell Selasi that he wants him to do well ‘mate’. Selasi is making lime and ginger fondant fancies and pink velvet and raspberry Prosecco fondant fancies – I would definitely eat both of those (says me as my tummy starts to rumble about cake at 6.42am!)
Selasi is very behind and is just putting his last sponges in as the other bakers are taking their last ones out. The bakers have to buttercream the outside of each fancy – it looks like a horrendous task.
Jane’s bench looks like an explosion has taken place – what a mess!
Candice’s display looks ok but I’m not sure I’d go for a grey cake. Mary thinks that they taste beautiful
Selasi is up next and there are slight problems with his – the sponge is peeking through and they are a bit sweet. Paul thinks the sponge is brilliant but the icing is much too sweet – how do you make icing sugar less sweet?
Jane’s look a proper state. She hasn’t buttercreamed the outsides so when she has poured the fondant all of the crumbs are highlighted. The judges think the fancies taste good but the appearance of the sides has let her down.
Mary thinks the presentation of Andrew’s fancies looks very good. The vanilla ones are good and the chocolate ones have too much buttercream.
Unfortunately, I think this week we are going to have to say goodbye to Selasi. It would take a miracle for him to stay.
The star baker this week, revealed by Mel, is Andrew. Sue has to tell Selasi that he’s going this week. Mel and Sue look genuinely upset about him going and argue with each other about who is going to hug him most.