This episode of Bake Off: The Professionals is brought to you by the letter ‘f’. What does ‘f’ stand for? Friendship, of course.
It also stands for ‘flipping heck this is a disaster’, but more on that later.
While in previous weeks relationships between some of the teams have been strained, their camaraderie in the stressful situation shone through in this week’s episode.
Phrases such as “you’re a structural goddess”, “mate I’d trust you with my life” and “one team one dream” were uttered by the contestants this week.
Here’s a reminder of the teams still in the competition:
- Purple: Kelly and Katie, WI Cookery School
- Pale green: Slav and Maria, R Chocolate
- Royal blue: Leanne and Romain, Hotel Café Royal
- Red: Eddie and Mahshid, Savoy
The teams’, or rather friends’, first task in chocolate week was to create a sachertorte – a moist chocolate sponge with apricot jam and ganache glaze. Emphasis on moist. Unfortunately, what the teams delivered did not meet this description. In fairness, it was a task they couldn’t prepare for.
Hotel Café Royal and The Savoy suffered from dry sponge and questionable ganache, meaning the cakes were coated not glazed.
“I don’t think we can call this one quite a sachertorte,” Benoit said of Hotel Café Royal’s efforts. Cherish said worse to the team from The Savoy: “oh dear, oh dear, oh dear” was her opening line. “With three-and-a-half hours, this is what you give me?”
Run away, run away now.
R Chocolate’s creation was “heavy handed”, but tasted better than it looked. The same went for the WI Cookery School, but mainly because their cake came crashing down as they moved it to the judging table. “It’s a deconstructed sachertorte,” laughed Katie.
Day two and the teams were tasked with creating a showpiece inspired by the four seasons, standing at least 70cm tall with moving parts and accompanied by 48 bonbons. Y’know, something simple.
Hotel Café Royal aimed for finesse with a spring-inspired piece, complete with beehive, bees and zesty raspberry and yuzu bonbons, alongside warming orange and cinnamon ones. It was “very magical” to look at, even if the beehive hanging by an elastic band kind of ruined the illusion. But the bonbons let them down. “More effort into the eating element is needed,” the judges agreed.
The Savoy team suffered with the structural integrity of their autumn-inspired chocolate tree and their moving part was simply a drawer. I’m pretty certain one of the teams in the earlier heat got criticised for this, but apparently it was ok this time, even if it lacked elegance overall.
In what should have been R Chocolate’s time to shine, Slav and Maria struggled a bit. Their tree was “visually stagnant” and the moving part, a swing, didn’t really move. That said, the flavour profile of their Irish cream and biscotti bonbons was “stunning”.
The ladies from the WI were hoping for a better round. On the plus side, they didn’t drop their showpiece. On the downside, it wasn’t finished. Only two of the proposed four seasons were present, and the bonbons were not well tempered. But the motor-powered moving parts were at least the most imaginative of the day.
But bonbons on a conveyor belt was not enough to save them, meaning Kelly and Katie were sent home. Hotel Café Royal came in first, R Chocolate second and The Savoy narrowly escaped elimination.
It’s a shame to see the WI Cookery School go, they were such fun to watch, always upbeat and brought a warmth to the workroom that is lacking in some of the other contestants. At least they had fun.
“We were mates, now we’re best mates,” beamed Kelly.