The Bake Off tent has been invaded by space turtles! No, this isn’t a crossover with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld – it’s Kim-Joy’s showstopper.
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, the bakers had to perfect the roulade. All eight of the bakers that is as Terry was off sick. But he’ll be back, hopefully with his fancy ‘tache, next week.
Personally, I’m not into roulade. I don’t really have much need for meringue in my life unless it’s on the top of a lemon meringue pie, so the signature was rather uninspiring.
Paul and Prue seemed rather uninspired as well, criticising many of the bakers for not achieving the perfect swirl in their roulades, even if the flavours they were presented with impressed.
“I use a technique called hope,” joked Jon as he got ready to roll his mango and passion fruit roulade. He was one of the few who achieved the highly-sought swirl, even gaining a Hollywood handshake for his efforts. Dan did as well, thanks to his delicate decoration of his Florida roulade flavoured with coconut, mango, strawberries and lime.
Briony’s treacle tart-inspired treat impressed with flavours, but it was not a looker, while Karen’s coffee cream creation looked a bit sad and flat as the result of an underdone meringue.
Into the technical and we’re travelling back in time to the 1970s to create the school dinner staple of blancmange. Raspberry blancmange, to be exact, with 12 langues de chat (or cat’s tongue biscuits as they’re also known). Like the roulades, I’m not eager to try this.
“The only thing I know about it is it looks like a brain,” said Briony. If that doesn’t sell it, nothing will. The desserts became even less appetising after they were released from their moulds. If a pink wobbling mass wasn’t appealing, a pink melting mass certainly wasn’t going to be.
Manon’s was by far the meltiest, securing her bottom place in the technical, followed by Karen, Kim-Joy and Briony. Rahul was fourth, Jon third, Ruby second and Dan (pictured below with Noel) top of the table.
And that pretty much represented how much trouble they were (or weren’t) in, going into the showstopper, where they were asked to make a chocolate sphere which is melted with a hot sauce to reveal a dessert in the middle.
This sort of surprise inside pudding is very on-trend right now, particularly with Christmas looming. Some of the bakers’ creations were certainly worthy of a place at the centre of the table, others not so much.
Briony suffered from a collapsing sphere, serving up a melted white chocolate mess that covered her amaretto and blood orange sticky toffee tart. Ruby also struggled to mould her white chocolate, ending up with a dome rather than a sphere, which hid her “sickly” exotic tart with pistachio crumb.
Karen was also in trouble going into the final round, but served up an “absolutely delicious” and rather decadent raspberry liqueur chocolate brownie surprise.
It was impressive, but not as impressive as Kim-Joy’s. Her galaxy-themed dome melted down to reveal choux pastry space turtles, complete with chocolate orange craquelin shells and an orange liqueur filling. Paul even went as far as to say the design was flawless.
“I think Prue and Paul are sold on space turtles,” Kim-Joy beamed. I’m also sold. The turtles had adorable little faces on them, which I couldn’t help but smile at and I’m certainly not going to say no to devouring a choc orange turtle with salted caramel sauce. Plus, I’m a sucker for anything with a ‘personality’. Right now, I have a pack of Mini Colin the Caterpillar Cakes on my desk and their goofy faces just make me giggle.
Dan’s dome also looked like a planet, even if it was supposed to be a peach. Nevertheless, the peach and hazelnut mousse cake inside impressed the judges. It was the cherry on top of a great weekend for Dan, who was named Star Baker.
Karen (right) and Briony (left) were on the chopping block. It was tense. You could see it in their faces. So who went home? Nobody. Yep, that’s right. The judges felt it was unfair to send anyone home with Terry absent from the tent, so everyone lives to fight another week. That’s not to say there won’t be a double elimination next week, so stay tuned.
Here are a few titbits based on this week’s episode:
Most likely to win: Rahul
Who should have gone home: Briony
Most fun to watch: Kim-Joy and her space turtles
Quote of the week: “I’ve got some warm water for a quick slip and slide out” - Ruby