Bake Off: The Professionals 2019 – Episode Two

Our five remaining teams were this week challenged with creating 48 fruit cakes and a choux tower showstopper.

The judges called for 24 layer-slices and 24 fruit cake desserts, the latter to be shaped as lemons and include lemon as the main flavour.

Still in the competition were:

  • Richard & Bernadett – Dreamland Cakes Patisserie
  • Reshmi & Daisy – Anges de Sucre
  • Hannah & Martina – Chiltern Firehouse
  • Adam & Sam – Palé Hall Hotel
  • Nelson & Evaldas – South Place Hotel

Following his 10-slice Bakewell sandwich last week, Nelson was set to make 11 layers this time, with team mate Evaldas. Adam & Sam opted for a spiced apple layer cake, Richard & Bernadett a classic raspberry and vanilla combination and Hannah & Martina a seasonal rhubarb & white chocolate creation.

Reshmi & Daisy, keen not to be at the bottom of the pack after coming fifth last week, chose to produce a strawberry slice with Icelandic buttercream topping. All was going well until presenter Tom Allen asked Daisy if she “had the hots for” judge Benoit Blin, at which point she got the giggles and lost her train of thought.

For the lemon cakes, Nelson & Evaldas paired lemon with basil, and were the only team to shape their lemons by hand instead of using a mould.

Adam & Sam paired their lemon flavour with gin and tonic, while Reshmi & Daisy opted for limoncello. Boozy, just like the usual Bake Off – if only Prue were around.

First to be judged were Richard & Bernadett, whose slices were declared by judge Cherish Finden to be “dry”. She was also unimpressed by their half lemons, after specifying a whole one. Tut.

Adam & Sam’s layer slices didn’t look the most exciting, and while their lemons looked the part, Cherish said she didn’t enjoy eating them.

Across the room, Nelson could be seen chatting to Evaldas: “Very expensive moulds don’t always win.” He was pretty smug, given that his hadn’t been judged yet.

Reshmi & Daisy were next – and were told their layer slices were lacking texture and that the lemons weren’t up to scratch either.

Hannah & Martina’s rhubarb layer cakes were described as boring by Benoit, and the gelatine was too much for Cherish.

On to Nelson & Evaldas, who wowed Benoit with their creations as soon as he saw them.

“Every layer complements each other, it’s so beautiful to eat,” added Cherish, also applauding them for their hand-crafted lemon shape.

Benoit declared the team had what it took to go “a long way in the competition”. Turns out they were right to be smug.

For day two, the professionals would be creating a choux showpiece made up of 96 éclairs displayed on a cone.

Richard & Bernadett took inspiration from a dropped ice cream, with a nougatine cone and three flavours of meringue, each topped with a marzipan decoration.

“All three with marzipan?” Benoit asked, looking disappointed. “Is that challenging enough?”

Hannah & Martina chose tonka bean crème diplomat, praline ganache and yuzu curd. And, unlike the others, they would be making their nougatine cone on the day.

“Please tell me you have practised,” said Cherish, to which Hannah admitted they hadn’t done a full run-through.

Reshmi & Daisy were the only team not making a cone, instead opting for a nougatine tower. “We asked for a cone,” Benoit protested.

Adam & Sam opted against nougatine, making a cone out of sugar, although they admitted it had smashed during one of the run-throughs.

While many teams started to assemble their towers and cones, Hannah & Martina’s was still being made. “Martina, can you tell me what the f*ck is going on with that nougatine?!” Hannah said. It was cooling.

Reshmi & Daisy also didn’t have anything to stick their éclairs onto. “Shall we just fill them and not bother with the cone?” Daisy asked, and the team presented their éclairs in a swirl shape on the table.

Adam & Sam were first to be judged. Their tower looked fantastic and, while their choux was overbaked, Cherish liked the flavours.

Richard & Bernadett were next. Their fallen ice cream was described as “a pile of mess”, although the choux was well baked.

Hannah & Martina hadn’t finished putting the éclairs on the cone, and the lengths were inconsistent, but the flavours were good.

And despite Nelson & Evaldas’ creation looking “rushed”, both judges enjoyed the flavours, landing the team first place this week.

Reshmi & Daisy’s towerless choux tower took last place, and the team (pictured below) became the second to leave the challenge.

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