Cue the madness – the craziness that Bake Off: The Professionals induces in its contestants and the musical stylings of Suggs and crew.
Ok, so Madness wasn’t actually there but Slav from R Chocolate gave it his best rendition of ‘It must be love’ as the teams embraced romance week.
This week also saw the remaining six teams come together having battled it out in two separate heats. It’s been nearly a month since we’ve seen some of these teams so here’s a quick reminder as to who’s still in the competition:
- Pale green: Slav and Maria, R Chocolate
- Royal blue: Leanne and Romain, Hotel Café Royal
- Red: Eddie and Mahshid, The Savoy
- Orange: Theo and Hideko, Sweet Art Lab
- Purple: Darryl and Bharat, Resorts World
- Pink: Emmanuel and Sam, Hilton Park Lane
First up is breakfast as Benoit and Cherish challenge contestants to create 24 beautifully crafted croissants and 24 Viennoiserie creations the likes of which have never been seen before.
The croissants made many contestants nervous. “We don’t make the croissants, the bakers do,” said The Savoy’s Eddie. Romain had a clear advantage as head baker at Hotel Café Royal, but he claimed to be more nervous than everyone as his reputation was on the line.
Luckily for him, his reputation was still intact after Benoit pronounced his creations to be the best in the room. “There isn’t a shadow of a doubt that these are the best croissants today,” he proclaimed.
Their flower-like creations made from Danish pastry with jam and a pistachio sable biscuit also impressed. The same could not be said for the duo from Hilton Park Lane whose croissants were described as “disappointing” while their cookie/brioche hybrid was criticised for being messy, leading Cherish to brand it one of their worst challenges.
R Chocolate, Resorts World, Sweet Art Lab and The Savoy also suffered from lacklustre croissants with many branded as heavy, and some undercooked. But, The Savoy clawed it back thanks to an innovative combination of a brioche and profiterole filled with a hazelnut mousseline.
“I think you did really well, I’m very proud of you. Well done,” beamed Cherish. That might have been the nicest thing she’s said all season.
The happiness didn’t last long though. Into day two and the contestants are charged with creating a romantic sugar showpiece, accompanied by 32 pulled sugar sweets and 32 designer marzipan bites.
So what does romance mean? For Cherish it’s all about Valentine’s Day, hearts and flowers. For host Tom, it’s all about… Grindr. Let’s hope the contestants are more in tune with Cherish on this one.
The closest we got to Tom’s interpretation was marzipan sweets shaped like egg on toast by Sweet Art Lab, which Theo said represented breakfast in bed after a “wild night”. Oh my. Tom, bemused, replied: “After a wild night out you like to make someone egg on toast?”
Creating the sugar showpiece was, arguably, one of the toughest challenges the contestants have faced in the kitchen. The constant heating and cooling, along with the brittle nature of the sugar, made it a stressful experience. Not just for the contestants – watching it got my heart rate up.
Even more so after a catastrophe struck the team at Sweet Art Lab. With not much time left on the clock, their Parisian-inspired showpiece collapsed and shattered. Oh dear. Luckily, their egg on toast was “a cracker”. But whether it was enough to keep them in the competition remained to be seen.
Hilton Park Lane pulled out all the stops, with oodles of techniques and delicious marzipan treats as did Hotel Café Royal. Resorts World’s piece was somewhat wonky but, importantly, still standing by the time the judges got round to it while The Savoy’s was described as “poorly executed”. R Chocolate also suffered from poor execution with swans that looked more like Daffy Duck, according to Benoit.
As Daffy and his Looney Toons pals would say, that’s all folks! R Chocolate was eliminated with Sweet Art Lab clinging on to the competition. Hotel Café Royal came first, followed by Hilton Park Lane, Resorts World and The Savoy.