October 2, 2019 10:39 am Leave your thoughts
All aboard – we’re off on a 1970s dessert trolley rollercoaster ride this week! Plunging and soaring through a mish-mash of meringues, bavarois, crèmes dacquoises and jocondes, round the twists and turns of triumph and despair – we could be in France!
Some of the contestants think they are. ‘In Le Touquet’, reminisces Henry, ‘which is a little coastal town in France’ – I don’t know, you may have heard of it – ‘there are loads of lovely patisseries and one of them does this lovely pistachio and chocolate millefeuille thing….’ Muttering away, in an Eton Mess of a shirt-and-tie-combo, we’re treated to glimpses of his holiday memories: ‘crème pâtissiere’, he murmurs softly, ‘….ornate chocolate work….voluptuous….bulbous….’
The camera crew leave him to it.
Alice, meanwhile, is making a Black Forest ‘omage. Someone else is blowtorching their ingredients. Steph feels ‘an impending doom on the horizon’ (but it turns out just to be Noel’s choice of shirt). David and Rosie profess themselves to be ‘not dessert-y people’, which is a little unfortunate in a competition based entirely around sweet baking.
‘A particularly nasty version of mauve’ (Prue)
Following a ‘daunting cooling process’, the cakes Face the Judgement etc.
David’s layered meringue cake is ‘like a painting’, but breaks Paul’s heart by not tasting as good as it looks. Michael’s meringue has ‘sweated’ (he looks like a man who has long since stopped caring). Henry produces something that resembles an over-gilded church kneeler, but apparently tastes a lot better. Paul and Prue hurl sarcastic adjectives around the tent.
‘That’s a particularly nasty version of mauve’, remarks Prue, cattily, about Priya’s cake – presumably jealous because she doesn’t have a pair of glasses in that precise shade.
Want to flavour your own meringues? Of course you do! You’ll be needing our range of finest nuts, in that case. Most of the contestants plumped for hazelnuts, which, if you’re quick, are falling off the trees in bucketfuls right now. If you can’t be bothered to forage, we sell amazingly fruity, nutty, organic hazelnuts, in whole, chopped and ground form.
We’ve got pistachios too, whole and in kernels, for a more elusive – perhaps somewhat French? – flavour. And nuts of all other varieties as well: almonds, cashews, Brazils, macadamias, walnuts, pecans…. Eat them, bake with them, feed them to squirrels – they’re the best you can get.
‘By dessert, I’m usually quite drunk’ (Noel)
The technical challenge is One of the Most Bizarre the Tent has Ever Seen (they may have said Complex). Layers of mango compote, coconut panna cotta and raspberry jam are topped with a crumbly streusel and a snappy sablé biscuit on top of a glass. Yellow, white and red – it’s the exact colours of the flag of Swiebodzin in Poland, if anyone is interested.
There’s a slo-mo race to get them to the table. Everyone sweats. Henry even swears.
Should you ever need to replicate this at home, we sell beautiful, organic, silky smooth coconut milk at Naturally Good Food. And here’s a slightly more detailed recipe for making panna cotta from it than the contestants were treated to.
No Surrender Desserts
Had enough of all these unheard-of desserts? Looking for something a little more substantial – perhaps a good old rib-sticking British autumn pudding? We’ve got recipes for the very best. Bake, eat, hibernate, as they say.
- A great big (golden syrup) steamed pudding recipe
- Marmalade sponge pudding
- Sticky toffee pudding
- Fruity bread and butter pudding
- Apple mincemeat Eve’s pudding
- Brown Betty pudding
It’s a celebratory bombe dessert for the showstopper (and it’s also Michael’s birthday – the judges couldn’t be so mean as to send him home…could they?). With Paul and Prue looking for layers of spherical or near-spherical baked and unbaked elements, made in an upside-down pyrex dish, with the outside to look as spectacular as the inside tastes, Noel speaks for the country when he muses ‘I’m surprised people don’t just do this show smashed’.
It’s a challenge that puts a bombe under previously under-performing contestants. Henry embarks on a complicated freezing process. Priya, with a time-bomb ticking under her, is making long pink and white obscenities. Steph, meanwhile, lights the fuse of success under her cake.
Alice – poor Alice! can’t get hers out of the tin. A nation wills her along.
Prue and Paul, bombe-disposal experts, are called in to assess the damage.
‘That’s one of the best things I’ve had to eat for a long time’, Paul admits, of Steph’s mirror-glazed bombe-shell. But Rosie’s cake ‘reminds them of Noel’, which is A Bad Thing. Henry’s is ‘dreadful’: ‘bland and stodgy’. Michael’s ‘looks like the Queen Mother’s hat’ (you have to be a certain age to get that reference, but I think it’s fair to say that Prue is).
Proof of the pudding
The judges discuss who should win. What about David? wonders Prue. The name rings a faint bell for the others, but no-one can really place him.
So who went to bed without pudding? Priya, off back to a world of Lego and Calpol and dreams put on hold.
And who put in their thumb and pulled out a plum? Steph (again). It’s an ‘istoric third win in a row for her. She is deeply upset and promises not to do it again.
The last word goes to Henry, who had, a little prematurely, looked defeat firmly in the face and already worked out what he was going to pilfer from the tent on his way out. ‘An apron’, he tells the camera. ‘A spoon. Maybe a bowl. A whisk….’
Flippin’ heck, Henry. Or as they say in the small coastal village of Le Touquet, Sacre Bleu!
A bientot, mes amies.almonds, Brazil Nuts, cashews, coconut milk, Dessert Week, GBBO6, Great British Bake Off, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, Nuts, organic nuts, pecans, pistachios, pudding recipes, walnuts
This post was written by Yzanne