This week on The Great British Baking Show, the six remaining bakers are competing in “Custard Week.” They will face three custard-themed challenges to compete for the title of Star Baker and to avoid being eliminated from the competition.
For the Signature Challenge, the bakers were asked to make eight floating island desserts. They had an hour and a half to make their islands which had to consist of poached meringues floating on crème anglaise (English custard).
Syabira made mojito-themed floating islands. Her meringues were coated in minty sand crumble, and her custard was flavored with lime zest. The judges thought her design was clever and looked quite nice, but the meringue did look a little like breaded chicken. Her meringues were perfectly poached, and her flavors were lovely and fresh, which contrasted with the sweet custard and meringue.
Janusz made vanilla latte floating islands. His meringues were floating on coffee and vanilla custard and were topped with marmalade-flavored biscuits. They were served in little glass mugs, and he managed to shape his meringues into little swirls to sit on top, making it look like cream floating on coffee. His design was very clever. The judges loved his textures and flavors, as his custard had the perfect amount of coffee.
Maxy made blueberry lagoon floating islands. Her crème anglaise contained blueberry sauce, and her meringues were topped with caramelized sugar swirls, pistachios, and glitter dust. The judges loved her combination of flavors, with the acidity of the blueberries countering the sweetness of the meringue. However, they felt that her desserts were quite small and weren’t generous enough. Her custard was also a little watery as she had become impatient when waiting for the custard to thicken.
Kevin made prosecco meringues floating in rose-flavored custard topped with lychee and raspberry coulis. These were topped with a pink tuile biscuit. The judges loved his flavors, particularly the lychee and prosecco. However, the inclusion of the prosecco in the meringue broke it down slightly and caused it to flatten. His coulis had also watered down the custard, although it was still very smooth.
For the Technical Challenge, the bakers were asked to make six pistachio and praline ice cream cones using a recipe that they had never seen before. They had to make waffle cones dipped in chocolate and nuts alongside the pistachio and praline ice cream in just two hours and 45 minutes. The ice cream was made using a crème anglaise recipe as a base. The judges ranked the bakes from worst to best in a blind judging, not knowing which ice cream belonged to which baker.
This challenge was a little different than usual, as there was staggered start and finish times. This was to make it fair so that the bakers’ ice creams were judged as soon as they were finished rather than having time to potentially melt. Sandro was left alone in the tent as he was starting first and he looked terrified as the other bakers left.
One of the challenges of this bake was knowing how to chill the crème anglaise base. It needed to be chilled as quickly as possible to give the final finished ice cream as long as possible to set. However, since the crème anglaise was warm, it needed to go in the fridge to chill. Syabira and Janusz both put it in the freezer to chill it as quickly as possible. This raised the temperature of their freezers above freezing point, so when they put their ice cream into the freezer to set later, it could not.
This left Syabira in last place as her ice cream was completely liquid. Her praline also lacked crunch because it had been sat in the liquid. It was described as “pistachio soup.” Janusz came in fifth place as his ice cream, although not completely liquid, was still very soft and melted everywhere as soon as it was removed from the freezer. His praline was still good, though, and his ice cream had a nice flavor.
Abdul came in fourth due to his waffle cones. He burnt his first one and had to throw it away. He still managed to overbake the rest, with them being brittle and a little bitter. His ice cream was lovely and smooth but was melting very quickly. Kevin came in third place, and Maxy in second.
Despite being terrified of starting first, Sandro managed to get first place. His ice creams were attractive, and he gave the judges a generous amount. His cone was lovely and crisp, and he made a great judgement call of filling his waffle cone with the spare chocolate. Judge Prue Leith commented that this stopped the ice cream from making the cone soggy. His ice cream was delicious and set perfectly. The judges could not fault his ice creams.
For the Signature Challenge, the bakers were tasked with making a set custard gateau. They had four hours to create their gateau, which had to consist of multiple baked layers sandwiched and supported by set custard. They could use any flavors they wanted, but the custard had to be the star of the show.
Syabira made a pina colada-inspired gateau. It had alternating layers of coconut milk, rum-soaked sponges, pineapple, and lime crème patisserie. Her cake was coated in coconut rum crème Legere and topped with pineapple flowers and pineapple pastries. It looked absolutely amazing, and the judges were impressed that she had thought to coat her cake in custard as well. They were also amazed by the large amount of set custard she had in her dessert, and yet it was still very stable. Her custard had an amazing texture and had a great wobble without being rubbery. To top it all off, her flavors were also spectacular.
Sandro also did quite well in this challenge with the gateau he made in tribute to a friend who had passed away. He managed to make a stunningly high, three-tiered cake, with each tier having different flavors. His bottom tier was coconut sponge with mango custard, the middle was joconde sponge with coffee custard, and the top was orange sponge with vanilla custard. The judges were a little bit skeptical when he said he was going to be microwaving his custards. However, it seemed to mostly work. The judges loved his decorations and his flavors, particularly the coconut and mango, calling it a “triumph.” Unfortunately, his coffee custard was gluey and dry.
Janusz made a Neapolitan-inspired gateau. His biszkopt sponges were soaked in limoncello and tea and were sandwiched with dark chocolate and raspberry custard, strawberry and ruby chocolate custard, and white chocolate and vanilla custard. It was covered in condensed milk buttercream and decorated with what is becoming Janusz’s signature white chocolate drip. It looked colorful and impressive, and the judges liked the amount of custard that he had used. His sponges were good, but all of his custards were dense and gluey. The judges didn’t like his flavors either, with judge Paul Hollywood saying it was like wallpaper paste.
Kevin also struggled with this challenge. He was very ambitious in producing a dessert that was mostly custard. His gateau consisted of a dacquoise base topped with honey, thyme and bay leaf custard, and raspberry jelly. This was then topped with sliced nectarines and raspberries, bay leaves, prosecco-infused macarons, and swiss meringue buttercream swirls. He planned for it to be three-tiered, but unfortunately, his custard did not set fully. He was supporting his tiers with dowels, but they kept moving within the custard. There was a very tense moment where it looked like his top two tiers were going to collapse into and destroy the bottom. This meant that he had to present the bottom layer separately. The judges could see that his custard wasn’t as set as it should have been, as it had dropped and buckled under the weight of the decoration. However, they loved the flavor of his custard. Prue said that he had invented something wonderful and that she was going to make it herself.
This week Sandro and Syabira were in very close competition for Star Baker. Syabira just managed to scrape the title due to her spectacular Showstopper. Despite coming last in the Technical, she came top in the Signature and the Showstopper.
Although the judges mentioned that Janusz was in danger this week, it was fairly clear that Kevin would be eliminated. Although he managed to do alright in the Technical, both his Signature and Showstopper were disappointing, and he was up against some astoundingly good bakers.
Baking Show Best Bits
Here are some of my favorite non-baking moments from this week’s episode!
- Sandro giving us “salt bae” vibes when asked to step away from his Signature bake.
- Syabira, Janusz, and Maxy coming to Kevin’s aid at the end of the Showstopper Challenge when he was struggling to finish on time.
Next week, the bakers will compete in “Pastry Week.” Make sure you check it out on Netflix next Friday, then check back here for the latest recap!