Great British Bake Off S12:E04 Dessert Week Recap

Hi! Welcome back to the Great British Bake Off, I have somehow managed to get SEVERAL episodes behind so I will do my best to catch up quickly! Rolling into my recap of GBBO S12:E04 Dessert Week after the break!

Last time judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith crowned Giuseppe as our second Star Baker of season 12, and we lost Rochica to the vagaries of Bread Week. Let’s see what our challenges are today for Dessert Week!

Oooh right out the gates we’ve got a tricky one, our remaining baketestants will be preparing a Pavlova as their Signature Challenge, hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas are far too excited about that. Two hours and forty-five minutes, go!

Pavlovas are kind of impossible to bake and I don’t even like to eat them so I will be of absolutely no assistance this week.

Giuseppe is making a beach scene for his Pavlova, this fixation must be a European affectation. I can only remember one memorable day at the beach as a child but it involves a leech and I don’t think that’s going to make for an appetizing dessert. Like this one!

Crystelle has gone full key-lime, Paul loves key-lime pie! I mean, who doesn’t? But still. But with kiwi? Hm

Meringue is the most difficult part of pavlova and I don’t even like it so again: not much help. It cracks if it’s baked at too high a heat and gets all wobbly if it’s got too much liquid. Give me a nice solid cheesecake any day.

Oh look, Maggie is making a traditional bake again. I love her, I just wish they didn’t put them in quite such firm boxes.

Oh I love this! Go Amanda!

Vegan Freya is using aquafaba (??) instead of egg whites, just to make it extra difficult. She has a really fun design.

Chigs is planning a “party in your mouth” but he didn’t say who would be coming?

The meringue has to cool in the oven slowly so it doesn’t GEORGE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING MOVING THE HOT MERINGUE??!!?? George, we talked about this!! Don’t make a design that requires two bakes when you’ve only got one oven!!!

That’s mental.

Jürgen’s doing it too! What is wrong with you guys!!?? Who ever heard of a

Lizzie has gone against the tide and made a super bright dessert, I kind of love it although still: zero clue what’s she’s saying.

SO. Not only did George massively mess up his meringue with that little switcheroo into the proving drawer, he also can’t get it off the parchment paper. Watching everyone place their cooled meringues onto their serving platters I realised I was holding my breath the entire time hahahah.

Decorating is similarly breathtaking, what does Freya mean she hopes her raspberry coulis doesn’t make her beautiful meringue mushy?? Didn’t she try this at home?? There’s time for that!

One minute!


Chigs looks as fantastic as George’s looks…not fantastic. I mean, it’s gorgeous.

Crystelle is up first! Delicious and well baked but very thick sides.

Jürgen’s is weird looking and I wouldn’t eat it.

The judges don’t like the look of Lizzie’s pavlova but I think it’s gorgeous. Slightly stodgy but with great flavour.

Amanda should have used more raspberries and less chocolate said nobody ever but Paul Hollywood this one time.

George messed up entirely except for flavours. Sort of.

Paul always takes a crack at Maggie’s designs and he know this is a competition for home bakers, right?

I don’t really understand the look of Giuseppe’s effort. He gets middling reviews.

Freya’s Pavlova looks lovely but it’s fallen and it’s a bit sloppy in the center.

I have to take two shots of Chigs’ masterpiece because it’s gorgeous. The sides alone are glorious.

Paul and I love the look of it. Where did he come from?! Just as I’m wondering if he’ll get a Hollywood Handshake, Paul’s hand shoots out and Chigs and I gasp in unison. Yay! I was obsessed with that Pavlova from the first time I saw it and I don’t even like Pavlova! Great job, Chigs!

On to the Technical Challenge, which has been set by Prue. I think that’s her first of the season, isn’t it? It’s been all Paul’s recipes with such memorable instructions as: ‘make dough.’ Anyway! The bakers will be preparing 4 individual sticky toffee puddings. the song? Oh wait, I’m thinking figgy pudding. And I still honestly don’t know what a pudding is, even though I have recapped at least one Pudding Week.

Pudding in Canada is very specific and very different than in the UK where it seems to mean just a random selection of mushy desserts, this time with sticky toffee!

Chigs looks worried.

I still look confused.

People would eat that? On purpose? Even though it looks all wet?

Prue warned our bakers that this was a complicated recipe requiring much multi-tasking, I’ve already forgotten how long they have to pull this off.

Oh no, George adds stuff to his caramel and Amanda doesn’t even have caramel. Freya drops her tweals on the ground and doesn’t miss a beat. She’s still going to serve that!

I feel as though….Maggie is in trouble.

I could live the rest of my life happy if I never had to watch Jürgen’s biceps ever again.

Maggie left out the FLOUR. She left out FLOUR. On a baking show! She says everyone watching will feel bad for her but I’m flabbergasted.

It must be said that most of the puddings are woefully underbaked, I give credit to Paul and Prue for soldiering through one mess after another. In order of Maggie’s ‘gluten-free’ bake to the best, they are:

  • 9th – Maggie of the NO FLOUR
  • 8th – Amanda not only under baked her dessert, she burnt the tweals and scrambled the cream anglais. As Paul says” other than that..”
  • 7th – George – raw
  • 6th – Freya – raw
  • 5th – Crystelle – raw
  • 4th – Guiseppe – mostly raw
  • 3rd – Chigs went past sticky toffee sauce and made toffee!
  • 2nd – Lizzie pulls a surprise second place finish with her actually baked pudding
  • Jürgen wins

Amanda will never, ever make another sticky toffee pudding, that’s what her husband’s for!

On to our Dessert Week Show Stopper! We’ll be watching baketestants prepare a celebratory Joconde Imprime, which needs lots of layers in not a lot of time. It’s a whisked sponge with ground almonds and there’s a collar and has something to do with Mona Lisa. Four and a half hours, go!

The designs:

Oh I love George’s, peanut butter!

Something terrible has happened to Amanda’s sponge…

All she can do is watch it bake.

I have no idea what Freya’s was supposed to look like but it doesn’t look like anything. Maggie’s not happy either, she’s doing hers again.

Giuseppe has this type of bench compared to Jürgen’s clear workstation.

Holy shite, Crystelle is using half a cup of coconut rum in her bavois.

Assembly starts across the room, save Maggie, there’s no time to do it fast. Oh goodness, I’m not one to get caught up in style, I will take substance every time but I am immediately obsessed with Guiseppe’s cheesecake pan.

What a beautiful colour! Is that a dreamy teal? Misty turquoise? I must know!

Amanda makes a scary mistake during construction. Will it turn out alright?

Bakers actually yell at Chigs for wobbling the floor as he runs by. Multiple bakers! And nobody’s joking!

Amanda has sprung a leak. So has Maggie.

I am shocked at how amazing the ones that didn’t leak look!

There’s no time for tears, we’re on to judging starting with another excellently and boringly executed dessert from Jürgen:

White chocolate with PEPPER. Seriously. Paul jokes that he doesn’t get the pepper, Jürgen tells him to wait for it, Paul asks if he’d like to sing and Jurgen DOES. This is entirely my problem with Jürgen. He has no sense of humour.

Amanda’s bloody mess literally looks like blood.

Giuseppe gets five stars from Paul for his professional-looking joconde imprime.

I must say I’m quite impressed with Lizzie’s work, when did she learn to pipe like that? Plus the shardy-type things in the middle?

It doesn’t taste all that great, unfortunately, tough sponges and the like. Let’s hope Crystelle’s tastes as good as it looks!

It does! Slightly more lime-y than you’d expect an Englishman to complain about but whatever.

George gets points for two layers but the bottom layer doesn’t have a very fancy design, does it?

It’s chock full of peanuts, apparently too many if you believe Paul but whoever heard of too many peanuts? Never

Chigs has done a right fancy two layer treat as well, wow. Paul calls it ‘perfection’ and ‘superb”, where did this guy come from??

I see very little definition in Freya’s design and the top just looks wet. The flavours and textures are out of balance, she gets middling reviews.

I mean.

We have to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Maggie and her ‘essence of summer.” On the other hand, here we have Chigs in serious contention for Star Baker for the first time, his joconde imprime impressed everyone and I can’t get over his gorgeous Pavlova. Of course Jürgen will be in there, not Giuseppe’s best week nor Freya’s neither but they’re not at risk. Amanda is, although I’m fairly certain Maggie will be smiling, crying and shaking that terrible shag at us shortly.

So! Our Star Baker is: Chigs!!! Yay!!! Good for you, Chigsy! Only been baking six and a half months and knocking it out of the park!

And leaving is: Maggie. You were lovely and I shall miss you. Top 9 in Great Britain!! You’re amazing!