Gerhard Jenne relives the rush of a television spotlight on Sunday Brunch and the challenge of making a raspberry fudge tart in front of the cameras.
Did anyone catch me on the telly last Sunday? I thought not, so in case you missed it, it is still there! You have no excuse — you can catch up with it on Channel 4’s 4oD.
Sunday Brunch is hosted by the jolly duo of Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer. I’m told women from Land’s End to John O’Groats swoon over them on Sundays, probably along with a few men too. Their show is a pick’n’mix of celebrities, chat and cooking. Conveniently, I was sandwiched between a chess-playing genius and Nicole Scherzinger singing her catchy new tune live on the set.
This was my first opportunity to demonstrate a recipe from Deservedly Legendary Baking in front of a real audience. I hadn’t done a live demo like this before, so luckily the Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Tart is a crowd-pleaser, and, apart from giving me the opportunity to show off a few tricks, allows for some visually stunning moments along the way.
There were about two dozen people milling around the studio, but as soon as the cameras roll, you forget there are also millions out there watching too. Preparation is everything as nine minutes are not very long at all, especially once Simon starts bombarding you with a mix of trivial and professional questions while you’re wrestling with a thin sheet of sweet pastry that needs to go into a tart case for blind-baking.
“And what is the most popular cake you make?” he quipped, just as I realised I should have put the cream for the ganache on earlier! Still, I got the chocolate into the pan with the butter just in the nick of time and managed to melt it into a smooth ganache, as well as put the raspberries into the blind-baked tart case.
“Yes, my sister did get married to the village baker, with whom I then completed my apprenticeship as a baker!” I exclaimed as I poured the smooth, glossy ganache over raspberries and levelled it with a spatula.
And now the decoration! How to fold a parchment piping bag? To explain this and for them to get it right could take a long, long time – with the added complication that Nicole’s seductively husky voice would never get an airing. I hastily rolled one up and filled it with perfectly-melted white chocolate while glancing at Tim and Simon’s wonky Concorde-nosed piping bag efforts.
Quick, the white chocolate must be piped on. “Pipe on the white chocolate in elongated ‘Superman S’s’ as this forms the start of the ‘wow’ factor patterns! They are inspired by Florentine paper-making techniques” I say, and can see Tim being quite enthralled as I drag the “high-tech” toothpick through the white chocolate to form delicate feathers or butterfly wings ready for take-off into dessert heaven.
Not long to go! A few raspberries as highlights, then “bung it in the fridge” as Jamie Oliver would say. “Don’t forget to remove it from the fridge and serve it at room temperature,” I squeezed in as I flew over to the area where a pre-prepared tart was waiting to be cut with a warm knife. A few raspberries on the side for garnish and “Phew, doesn’t she look pretty? That’s my tart!” Well, and Nicole Scherzinger too…