‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Season 12, Episode 4 “Dessert Week”


Time is flying by in the tent as we are already on the fourth episode of The Great British Baking Show. Today will see the nine remaining bakers tackle “Dessert Week.” Who will rise to the challenge?

Signature Challenge

For the signature challenge, the bakers had to produce a decorated pavlova in two hours and 45 minutes. It could be any flavor but the judges expected a crisp outer shell and a soft centre. This was more challenging than it sounded as the meringues needed to be well-baked enough to support the fillings and decoration, but if they were overbaked then the bakers risked the meringues cracking and falling apart.

Jürgen rebounded from his dreadful performance last week and regained his status as “flavor king.” He was inspired by the holiday of Passover and had flavors of charoset and chocolate matzah. Although the judges were sceptical about his inclusion of dates due to them being overly sweet, they were proven wrong. They thought it was a very unusual but great blend of flavors, even if his meringue was a little untidy and cracked.

Lizzie also did surprisingly well with her meringue inspired by Easter. Her flavors included blueberry meringue, rosemary crème diplomat, and lemon curd. It was not an attractive meringue with its rather garish colors. However, the judges loved the flavors.

‘The Great British Baking Show’

Neither of these meringues managed to beat Chigs’ though. His meringue was flavored with mango, passion fruit, and chocolate shards. His meringue looked stunning with a lovely swirled edge. It was remarkable that he managed to make his meringue so tall yet stable. The judges thought the texture was perfect and the flavors well-balanced, which earned him the second Hollywood handshake of the series.

‘The Great British Baking Show’

Freya didn’t do well in this challenge with her peach melba inspired meringue. Since Freya is vegan, she used aquafaba in her meringue instead of eggs, which unfortunately is not as stable. Her meringue looked fantastic with her fancy piping skills but was sloppy in the middle due to the aquafaba. The judges also thought her flavors weren’t strong enough.

George also disappointed the judges with his lemon and speculaas biscuit meringue. He aimed to impress the judges by also producing biscuits but this backfired. He had to remove his meringue from the oven quite quickly in order to free it up for his biscuits. Meringues tend to crack if they are exposed to cool air too quickly. He tried to put it in the proving drawer to prevent this but it didn’t work. His meringue was very cracked and looked awful even if his flavors were great.

Technical Challenge

The technical challenge asked the bakers to produce four individual sticky toffee puddings with tuille triangles, sticky toffee sauce, and crème anglaise in 90 minutes. The bakes were ranked from worst to best in a blind judging.

Maggie came in last place with her dreadful puddings. Unfortunately she forgot to put flour in her puddings due to it being on a separate page of the recipe. Her tuille was good but her puddings were thin, burnt crisps. The judges didn’t want to even risk trying them.

Amanda came in eighth place, as she burnt her tuille, scrambled her custard, her caramel sauce was underdone, and her sticky toffee puddings were raw. Then, from worst to best, came George, Freya, Crystelle, and Giuseppe.

Chigs came in third place due to his well-baked sponge and nice tuille. This is in spite of the fact that his caramel sauce was more like toffee and the judges couldn’t get it out of the jug. Lizzie came in second with a delicious pudding and good sauce, tuille, and crème anglaise. Jürgen came in first place. He produced a very good sticky toffee pudding, a lovely crème anglaise, and a nice tuille. He certainly made a come back from last week!

Showstopper Challenge

For the showstopper challenge, the bakers make a celebratory joconde imprimé dessert. This is a layered dessert. The bakers could choose any layers they wished, wrapped in a joconde cake collar. The bakers had four and a half hours to produce their dessert with a highly decorative collar.

Some of the bakers produced stunning imprimé cakes. Jürgen made a lovely cake inspired by a piece of music written by Henry VIII. His flavors included an English wine jelly with fresh strawberries, mint, and black pepper, white chocolate bavarois and caramelised hazelnut dacquoise. The judges loved his textures and the wine flavor. Paul Hollywood mentioned that he couldn’t taste the pepper and Jürgen said that it hit you a bit later. Jürgen serenaded the judges with the tune he had written as sheet music on his collar whilst the pepper flavor finally came to Paul.

‘The Great British Baking Show’

Chigs was also a stand out in the challenge. He made a two-tiered Black Forest inspired imprimé. His layers included a cherry jelly, cherry mousse, and chocolate bavarois. His dessert looked stunning with a geometric design on his collar, which was inspired by his sisters’ bathroom tiles. It was very original and the judges loved his flavors and textures.

Amanda struggled with this challenge. She made an Adam and Eve themed imprimé cake with caramelised apple jelly, calvados bavarois, and maple syrup glaze. Unfortunately her collar broke slightly, allowing the fillings to spill out. Amanda jokingly tries to pass off the leaking red mess as her being inspired by a crime scene. Her flavors didn’t pull her out of danger either. The strong alcoholic flavor of the calvados was too strong and overpowered everything else.

Maggie had problem after problem with her imprimé cake. Her layered dessert included strawberry bavarois and strawberry coulis. She originally made a collar inspired by the Paris skyline but she took it out of the oven too early and so it wasn’t stable enough to hold the layered dessert. This resulted in her having to start the collar again, so she went with a simpler design of a pattern of strawberries. Her new collar still wasn’t stable enough to contain her layers though. When she removed her acetate her collar immediately broke and her layers spilled out of the side. The judges thought her flavors were lovely. Her dessert was a mess, though, and Paul questioned whether bavarois with a coulis on top really counted as a layered dessert. He also questioned what she had been doing with the time.


This week both Jürgen and Chigs stood out. However, Chigs won the title of “star baker.” He earned a handshake with his signature meringue and his showstopper challenge was stunning. He definitely earned the title! It is amazing that he has only been baking since lockdown.

Maggie and Amanda really struggled this week but it was unsurprising that Maggie was eliminated. She had definitely been struggling the last couple of weeks and this week was nothing short of a disaster.

Baking Show Best Bits

Here are some of my favorite non-baking moments from this week’s episode!

  • Matt announced that the bakers had one hour left in the signature challenge. He shouted it rather loudly near Amanda who visibly jumped and almost dropped her mixing bowl.
  • Matt decided to conduct an impromptu spelling test to see who could spell “bavarois.” George got it wrong, spelling it “bavoir,” but Amanda spelt it correctly. It is thanks to Amanda that you have it spelt correctly throughout this article.

Next week, the bakers will compete in “German Week.” This seems to be a big advantage to Jürgen, who is actually German. Make sure you check it out on Netflix next Friday, then check back here for the latest recap!

Lynette has been a lifelong nerd and over the last few years finally learned to let her freak flag fly. She likes to dip her toe into almost every fandom but is particularly passionate about Supernatural, Stranger Things, Marvel and Disney. When she isn’t binge watching programs, she loves to swim, sing and (true to her Ravenclaw nature) read. Lynette joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2019 and loves sharing her nerdy knowledge with the world.

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