It's Pastry Week on the Great British Bake Off, are you ready for some tense moments of lamination and slinging about loads of choux buns? Me too!! So let's get to it! Rolling into my recap of GBBO S11:E05 Pastry Week after the break!
Last week we lost Sura to a raw cake layer, I don't believe I've ever seen that before.
Lottie scraped by only by the skin of her teeth and our lovely Irish Mark won Star Baker for his first time. He's consistent, I'll give him that!
I've never seen people happy about Pastry Week, I feel all the worried foreshadowing about Linda and Hermine's confidence.
Hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas introduce the first challenge for judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith; our bakstestants will be preparing a bunch of Cornish pasties.
You have no idea how much I want to throw an "r" in there.
Cornish Marc is feeling the heat of representing his entire part of the country like he didn't just do a whole tribute to Cornwall on a plate two weeks ago.
No pressure from Prue!
Laura is using Paul's recipe for a cheater rough puff pastry, he thinks she'll do well on this challenge.
Lottie, Linda and Peter are all using rough-puff pastry for flavour and I get it, but it's tough to beat the fluffiness and flakiness of a lard pastry, you know?
Lottie *sigh* what is this supposed to be?
I'll tell you what it's not, it's not an envelope fold, young lady. Honestly.
Hermine is going completely rogue, a hybrid of shortcrust and puff pastry and I'm listening!!
Woooooo I would eat all of Mark's pasties, he needs to make more!
I take back everything I said about Lottie, I would like all of her pasties in my mouth right now.
I keep fixating on Peter Sawkins' red eyes, he always looks like he's been recently rescued from a basement but I don't know if it's a condition so I've been hesitant to mention anything. Do we know if he's getting exposure to sunlight on a regular basis?
He can keep these for sharing with others.
Linda is cutting chicken thighs in a confusing manner for her Samosa-shaped Cornish pasties, shoutout to the best samosas in Edmonton! Samosa House on 118 Ave, check it oot! Anyway, she calls this yin-yang design a "Karma symbol" and my hippie-raised self must protest.
Almost every single person who uses the word "karma" uses it incorrectly but this is particularly egregious because she is referring to something she actually drew herself. For reference, karma means movement only, it doesn't mean the universe's ultimate revenge.
Did Dave just say this his Thai chilies won't overpower the flavour of his pasties?
I make a dish called Rogan Josh, the main flavour comes from red Thai chillies and I only eat it when I want to burn my face off. This is going to be interesting.
Marc's also using fish in his (no pressure) pasties while representing all of Cornwall, what's a sampire?
Is that a vampire in the winter? Do you think Peter's a sampire?
You can say anything you like about Mark and his devil-may-care curls, snapping eyes and easy manner, but the man knows his stuff. He knows how many crimps are required for a proper Cornish pasty, even if Cornish Marc does not.
Mark and Linda pull their bakes out of the oven literally as time is called, this is a tight one this week. Lottie. Well. It's just gonna be what it's gonna be. She's an excellent baker, we mustn't forget this amidst all these unfortunately timed disasters.
Marc and all of Cornwall await Paul Hollywood's sharp tongue and keen eye: will they pass muster?
They're too dry and too pale.
Paul loves the look of Peter's (slightly) dry whatsits.
There are zero crimps in Lottie's pasties but they taste great and are well-baked.
I mean, can you even call these crimps, Dave?
Can you? His use of rice is the real problem, like Peter he lost the moisture to it.
Mark's pasties are exactly what a pasty should look like. And taste like. He knocks it out of the park but there is no Hollywood Handshake and we're sad.
Hermine's are huge and slightly under-baked but overall excellent.
(still no handshake)
Linda missed the part about crimping in the brief, she's got a decidedly un-crimped set of samosa-looking Cornish pasties for tasting. Regardless, they're fantastic.
Laura's gone back to traditional, the judges LOVE her pasties but I guess we're not shaking hands at all today.
Onward to the Technical Challenge where Prue has set the bakers the task of making three raspberry and three salted caramel (barf) eclairs. I understand about raspberry, but don't tell me those salted caramel nightmares aren't going to be sickeningly sweet.
This is our first brush with choux pastry this week, which we've been expecting and I am looking forward to watching. I have a friend with a birthday shortly, I am hoping to make him a Paris Brest for it so I need the practice!
The bakers work away, starting with their choux of various consistencies and moving on to their posh custard.
Linda is in serious trouble, she's left out the rising agent in her dough or she overwhipped it, either way, she's on her second batch of baking and they're not working whatsoever. She didn't get a paste in the beginning, it was too wet and now she can't get a decent eclair.
With just over half an hour left, she starts the choux for the third time. Third. Oh Linda. I knew that excitement about Pastry Week spelled doom.
I am pretty sure the raspberries were supposed to have their seeds sieved out, but I'm seeing seeds, people! Come on!
Mark and Dave's raspberry creme patisserie is far too runny, yikes.
I always feel empathy for bakers like Mark and others who seem caught by the clock on the regular, right until I look at Peter, who's finished everything on time and cleaned his work station as he went. They're making the exact same thing. Perhaps the cleaning as he goes helps him stay focused?
On to judging
From least awesome to most okay, we have:
- 8th - Linda obvs
- 7th - Marc, there were...a lot of problems
- 6th - Laura
- 5th- Dave and his super runny filling
- 4th - Lottie for her split cream
- 3rd - Mark, even with his runny creme patisserie! They tasted delicious
- 2nd - Hermine
- which means Peter and his tidy work station have won the Technical this week!
Think about what you were doing at 19, would you be winning a technical baking challenge on international TV? Not I!
We will waste no time on reminiscing, we're on to the Show Stopper already where Paul and Prue have requested a caged tart. That reminds me of Caged Heat, did you know Jonathan Demme directed that?? Me either! Where were we? Oh right, a sweet tart contained within a pastry cage because sure.
Most are blind baking their tart crusts first, good plan!
I was wondering how long it would be until someone threw macarons on something.
It's all fun and games until it's time to pry the cages off whatever they've been baked on, I have all my appendages crossed that nothing goes awry. Mark's holey bottle collapses but Peter and Laura are successful. We all held our breath just then, didn't we? I'm astonished any worked at all. Linda's is worse than collapsed, it's in pieces.
Judging time; Dave's looks great.
As does Marc's!
Hermine did a gorgeous cage over her macarons.
I mean, look how fabulous Laura's piece is, compared to, say, Dave's pyramid? She deserved a handshake for this, absolutely knocked it out of the park.
Ah Linda. How unfortunate that you followed that splendour. I like that your chin is up, you're an amazing baker, milady.
On to Lottie's great cage and monochromatic colours. Paul's still in a huff that her tart doesn't have sides, whatevs.
I MEAN LOOK AT THIS
Peter! You're a star! The inside is even better than the outside!
The cage was the least of his worries, the whole thing is shot. That's too bad, I'm glad he did so well the day before, squeak through my friend!
Before we know it, we're to it:
This week's Star Baker is: Laura, yay!! Good for her, she was so down last week and look how she's rebounded!
Sadly, going home to no surprise is: Linda. I maybe cried when they announced her and she talked after. She was astonished when she made it past the first week but she earned every inch of it. She's an incredible baker and it was a pleasure getting to know her.
Cheers, everyone, I promise it won't be so late next time, swearsies!