It’s week six in The Great British Baking Show tent! This week the seven remaining bakers are tackling “Pastry Week.”
For their signature challenge, the bakers were asked to bake two batches of chouxnuts. Chouxnuts are doughnuts made from choux pastry and so are lighter than traditional doughnuts. The judges expected the pastry to be deep fried and aerated. The bakers needed to produce six filled chouxnuts in one batch and another batch of six unfilled chouxnuts that needed to be iced or glazed.
Lizzie surprisingly did well in this challenge. She started the challenge by stating that she hated choux pastry and she hated using the frier. She made one batch of chouxnuts that were filled with hibiscus and raspberry liqueur and an unfilled batch that had a caramel glaze. The judges praised her for the good color of her chouxnuts and her lovely flavors. They were delicate and delicious. Prue even commented that Lizzie was contradicting her belief that to produce good bakes you needed to love what you were baking. It was her best signature feedback to date despite her panic and scepticism.
Chigs also received good feedback on his chouxnuts. This was despite giving himself an extra challenge of producing two types of pastry dough. He made a chocolate pastry for his unfilled chouxnut which went with his lime glaze. He also made a plain pastry dough for his filled chouxnut that was filled with hazelnut praline and topped with almonds. The judges loved his flavors even if they said the chocolate and lime was a bit unusual. They loved how well filled his chouxnuts were as well.
Crystelle sadly made one crucial error that saw her struggle with this challenge. She made the dreaded mistake of forgetting to set her timer. She made one batch of chouxnuts that were filled with mango cream and glazed with passion fruit and another batch that were glazed with white chocolate and miso caramel. Unfortunately, when she forgot to set her timer, it meant that she had no idea how long her chouxnuts had already been frying. She pulled them out of the frier too early and so the judges commented on the pastry being underfried, tight and having lost a lot of definition. Even though her flavors were very good, she was let down by her pastry, which after all was the focus of the week.
Amanda also received negative feedback on her chouxnuts. She had made one batch that were maple and bacon glazed. The judges thought she should have added more bacon, which was purely a judgement call on her part as she had plenty of bacon left at the end of the challenge. She had also made a second batch that were filled with pistachio cream and rose glazed. The judges thought that the rose flavoring was too overpowering and overly sweet.
For the technical challenge, the bakers were asked to make a large baklava with filo pastry in two hours and 45 minutes. This was the first time that the bakers have been asked to make filo pastry in the tent. They needed to use a traditional laminating technique to create their filo pastry, make a pistachio and walnut filling and the baklava had to be cut into a star design. This was a massive challenge for the bakers and sounds of dismay could be heard as the challenge was announced. The bakes were ranked from worst to best in a blind judging.
Filo pastry is notoriously difficult to make as an intricate folding method is needed to create its flaky layers. This pressure was added as the bakers needed to make six layers of this pastry so the folding technique needed to be done six times.
Lizzie struggled with this challenge and ended up coming in last place. The syrup in her baklava was nice and there was some evidence of lamination but she had underbaked it and so it was doughy. Similar to Crystelle earlier, she forgot to set her timer when her baklava went into the oven. She also struggled with the star design. The bakers were given a design to follow which she struggled with and so she ended up modifying it.
George came in sixth due to his baklava also being clumsily decorated. His baklava was delicious but his layers were too thick. Amanda came in fifth, Giuseppe in fourth and Chigs in third.
Crystelle was delighted that she came in second as she has previously struggled with technical challenges. Her baklava was a nice color, flavor and there was evidence of lamination. This left Jürgen in first place. His baklava was beautiful as it was crisp and had good lamination and color.
For the showstopper challenge, the bakers had to bake an intricate terrine pie. They had four and a half hours to make their pie and could use any flavors or fillings that they wanted. However, the judges expected ornate pastry decoration on the outside and another pattern or design on the inside made by the fillings.
One of the main pitfalls of this challenge was time management. The bakers needed to be able to bake their pie and have enough time for it to cool down. If they tried to demould the pie when it was too hot, the pastry could collapse or their fillings may not set in time. The fillings needed to be set so that the judges could slice it nicely and not have the filling pour out. Sadly, a couple of the bakers really struggled with this.
George struggled with his time management with his Christmas dinner inspired pie. He had duck and turkey stuffing for his filling with a bacon and carrot wrapped sausage. His pie had a two-tone decorative design on the pastry. He put his sausage in the freezer to chill but forgot about it. His sausage froze slightly and so he had to wait for it to thaw. He then rushed to get his pie into the oven and put too much egg-wash on it. This meant that the pastry was very heavy. Once he got it into the oven, the top started to split and drop off. He had to remove it from the oven to salvage it. This resulted in him having no time to cool his pie and so he had to partially leave it in the mould to prevent it from collapsing. The judges liked his dramatic pattern and his bacon but they weren’t impressed by his underbaked and collapsing pie. Paul also questioned whether his sausage was cooked because of the mushy texture.
Amanda had similar problems with her pie which featured chicken pate wrapped in bacon sausage, with floral pastry decoration. She also made separate pastry pork pigs which were filled with fennel sausage meat. She put her pie into the oven late because of her decoration. When she began to demould the pie, it sadly started to fall apart and collapse. The top came off with her mould and Chigs rushed over to help her. The other bakers watched on in horror as there wasn’t anything that could be done to save Amanda’s pie. They managed to get the lid resting back on top but sadly one of her sides started to collapse and it looked like a mess. Other than the collapsed side, the judges thought her patterns were pretty but sadly they didn’t like the flavors. Her filling was very dry and her seasoning was too strong.
However, the two stand-out bakers in this challenge were Giuseppe and Crystelle. Giuseppe made a pie beautifully decorated as an owl. It had three sections of fillings: a cauliflower and cheese section, carrot, ham and pecorino cheese section and a section of beef, spinach and smoked mozzarella. The judges thought his design was amazing, his pastry was good and he had a lovely blend of flavors.
Crystelle made a very sentimental bake, which was dedicated to her late great-grandmother and her Kenyan cottage. She had two sections of fillings, one of potato curry and another section of Goan curry. Crystelle risked it all by including curry as it needed enough time to set so that when the pie was cut into, curry didn’t just pour out of her pie. She somehow managed it though. The judges thought it was very brave but absolutely delicious and her pastry was perfect. She had a crack in her pastry but she cleverly managed to cover it up by adding flowers to make it look like a vine down the side of the cottage. It even earned her a Hollywood handshake, although Paul managed to trick her and surprise her with it. It is rare for a showstopper to receive a handshake but Crystelle managed it with her charming cottage.
This week, both George and Amanda were in trouble and both were convinced that it was going to be them that left at the end of the episode. It was Amanda who had to leave the tent this week though. Although I am sad to see her go, she has definitely had a lot of ups and downs through the weeks and so I could not see her lasting much longer in the competition.
Star baker was between Giuseppe and Crystelle this week. It was a great surprise to both the audience and to Crystelle that she got star baker. After her poor performance in the signature challenge, her second place in the technical challenge and her outstanding performance in the showstopper rocketed her to the top this week. We definitely needed a bit of a switch up from Jürgen and Giuseppe winning the title.
Baking Show Best Bits
Here are some of my favorite non-baking moments from this week’s episode!
- Giuseppe in his Italian accent saying it was a “massive hassle” to make filo pastry. It confused Matt as it sounded as though he was saying something else. Check out the clip below!
- Matt, Giuseppe, George and Amanda doing Greek dancing whilst waiting for the pies to bake.
- The innuendo laden comment from Prue about George’s chouxnuts being underfilled. It had Paul and Matt desperately trying to stifle their laughter.
Next week, the bakers will compete in “Caramel Week.” Make sure you check it out on Netflix next Friday, then check back here for the latest recap!