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S11.E04: Chocolate Week

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It's Chocolate Week and the bakers tackle a deceptively simple traybake signature, a technical packed full of chocolate and nuts, and a white chocolate celebration showstopper.

 

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Lottie is so beautiful!  At the risk of dating myself, I think she looks like a young Charlotte Rampling circa “Georgey Girl.”  Sura is also a beauty.

Edited by TomGirl
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Ah chocolate week, usually my favourite.

Finally, a pre-bake gag that made me laugh, even if it was silly - "Praul and Poo." Heh.

Paul clearly didn't like the sound of Peter's brownies, and I completely agreed. Why ruin chocolate brownies by sticking figs in them? Most of the rest sounded amazing, particularly Lottie's. But man, there were a lot of messy, disastrous looking brownies at the end. I feel like the simplicity of the challenge psyched a lot of them out, as Lottie pointed out - despite Paul saying they should be conservative with decoration and toppings, they were always going to feel pressed to make theirs stand out. And we ended up with no one doing well.

I really enjoyed Lottie again in this one. She takes everything with a wry smile and joke, and is just my kind of person. "Everyone is taking it really seriously, like it's some sort of competition or whatever."

I've never had babka, but I feel like I need to. It looked really nice.

I like Matt openly taking the side of the bakers and making cracks about Prue and Paul being unreasonable. "Yeah, it's sweet! You asked us to bake a cake using white chocolate."

I get a bit annoyed with these chocolate moulding and cake stacking challenges, when everyone knows that it will be too hot. It just ends up with disappointing results, which is the opposite of what this show should be going for.

Sura leaving was sad, but rather her than Lottie. You can't give the judges raw cake.

Edited by Danny Franks
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Oh Brownies. I made a batch of turtle brownies last week to an Ed Kimber (series 1 winner) recipe. They turned out great. Nadiya also did brownies on last week's episode of her baking show (recipe) - oh my cod, they looked fecking amazing.

Maybe being locked up with all the others and the production crew finally took its toll on the bakers and explain the poor performances on the first day of chocolate week. I have to agree with Prue, brownies don't need a ton of overly sweet decoration. All that meringue shebang was too much.

ewww freezer juice.

Dear production crew: get fecking CHEST FREEZERS!

Lovely technical. Babka is great.

White chocolate is pointless. Its just sweet and has very little other flavours (one of the bakers remarked on that). I'll happily pass on white chocolate cakes.

Lottie brought out another Pinterest favourite, the crystal effect cake. Maybe I missed it, but they didn't show a proper shot of that part of the cake, did they?

Well done Mark! He managed to scrape that with very average results in an overall very weak week, but still, his chocolate cake looked the best.

Sad to see Sura go. Damn you, white chocolate! And ruby chocolate too, for not playing ball on day 1.

 

Edited by Aulty · Reason: linked recipe
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Oh, Laura, you don’t get to call something s’mores just because there’s marshmallow on it. You need graham crackers too!

I don’t know how so many people managed to screw up making brownies. I started making them by myself (oven and all) when I was ten. It’s not rocket science to make fudgey delicious brownies that aren’t overbaked or have a cakey texture. 

I’m guessing that all the bakers who didn’t know what chocolate babka was have never watched Seinfeld!

The white chocolate cakes were not of interest to me but I guess I should just be glad that the showstopper challenge wasn’t to build chocolate sculptures. I don’t know how they manage to time chocolate week with the hottest day of the year so often, but it always makes me sad when the bakers’ chocolate inevitably start melting during chocolate week. I’m glad we didn’t see that this season!

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As a choc lover, this was a pretty disappointing episode. Those brownies looked like a 3rd grade home ec class made them. 

I only knew what a babka was because of Seinfeld, @ElectricBoogaloo!

The white chocolate cakes were mostly just... white. I'm still waiting for a showstopper that wows me. 

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6 hours ago, TVbitch said:

As a choc lover, this was a pretty disappointing episode. Those brownies looked like a 3rd grade home ec class made them. 

I felt the same way. Usually when I watch GBBO, I get all kinds of cravings for whatever they're making that week. Chocolate week is usually a favorite but this year's was a bomb in that sense. I would have definitely eaten a brownie if I'd had one around, but not because the ones presented looked delicious. For the most part, they looked messy and unappetizing.

I guess they were all trying to use extra flavors to make their brownies different but for me, brownies are something that don't need to be extra fancy. I would have made regular old brownies and added chocolate chips to the batter for some extra melty goodness. If I was feeling fancy, I would have put a light drizzle of salted caramel on the top just to add a tiny bit of saltiness to contrast with the fudgey flavor. But all of the "let's pile seventeen different flavors and textures" approaches just had me shaking my head.

I would like to add that I've had brownies with a chocolate chip cookie base, and I've also had brownies with cheesecake batter on top so some of the ideas weren't totally from left field, but most of the bakers added too many elements that weren't doable in the time frame. You know you have only 90 minutes so don't make a brownie that requires TWO bakes in the oven. That just guarantees you won't have enough time to let them cool so that you can cut them cleanly, let alone decorate with everything melting.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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12 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I guess they were all trying to use extra flavors to make their brownies different but for me, brownies are something that don't need to be extra fancy. I would have made regular old brownies and added chocolate chips to the batter for some extra melty goodness. If I was feeling fancy, I would have put a light drizzle of salted caramel on the top just to add a tiny bit of saltiness to contrast with the fudgey flavor.

Yum. Next time you make brownies, call me!

I agree about brownies not needing a lot of pizzazz. I love brownies. Brownies are perfect in their simplicity. Sure, a nice cheesecake brownie hits the spot once in a while, chocolate chips are always a welcome addition. I don't care for walnuts, which my mum always seems to put in hers. 😞 But one special ingredient, and no need to "pretty" them up. Brownies are plenty seductive in their birthday suits. They don't need frills to tempt me. 

Sorry to see Sura go but as usual with this show, it's hard to see any of them go and I can't think of who I'd have wanted to take her place. The best thing about GBBO is that I am always rooting for then and rarely against them. I can count on one hand the number of bakers I've disliked over the entire run of the show. that's impressive. 

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I suppose everyone was afraid if they just made a good brownie they'd probably come in last. My sister makes exceptional cream cheese brownies (swirl in towards the top) & I wouldn't have been confident that those would have been enough in this competition, until I saw the results. Maybe a broader parameter - tray bake or something - would have gotten better results. 

I'm familiar with babkes, but not from Seinfeld. (I occasionally tried but basically couldn't stand watching it most of the time. Few TV shows have ever made me so aware that I was wasting my time!). There was a bakery where I lived in DC in the 90s that made excellent cinnamon babkes, though, & I've been intermittently craving them ever since; perhaps this will inspire me to try baking one. (I think they made good chocolate ones, too, but it's the cinnamon ones that I miss.)

I was dreading the white chocolate thing (why?) but since they were cakes, I actually thought they all looked good; it's a neutral enough flavor that it can be a good foil for things like lemon & passion fruit & so on, that actually do carry some decent flavor; and then there's room for decoration if you're into that sort of thing. I was relieved to see that there was no dumb interpretive sculpture assignment, and to see things that actually looked like they tasted good. Very sorry to see Sura, go, but unfortunately the outcome seemed pretty clear. 

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I forgot to mention one of my complaints from the showstopper challenge: I have hated the naked cake trend since it reared its ugly head. To me, that's a crumb coat.

I was surprised that we didn't get more footage or comments about the amethyst detail. Geode cakes got really popular about four years ago so I was waiting for Paul to claim he'd never heard of them before (as per his usual "gee, what's that?" responses to anything introduced to the baking world after 1995).

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What a mess this week was.

Everyone extrai-ing up their brownies made me think of one of my favorite Frasier quotes, when someone's trying to get him to keep it simple: "Yes, but if less is more, just think how much more more will be!" For once Prue had it exactly right; brownies basically just need a fudgy middle and crackly top. Well, and crispy corners. They were all doing way too much. I don't remember if you could even see the tops of any of them under the decoration.

Peter with his fig brownies is starting to remind me of last season's David, who never got sweeter than rhubarb and carrots.

I've only seen two episodes of Seinfeld, but one was the cinnamon vs. chocolate babka (the other one was "you can't spare a square?"). That came to mind immediately when they announced the technical. I think New Yorkers might be a bit up in arms again, especially with Prue saying Paul's version was better than what she ate in NYC.

I'm surprised Linda wasn't in the conversation for Star Baker at all. Nothing against Beardy Mark, but it seemed like his name came up out of nowhere; I don't remember either of the judges particularly loving anything he did.

On 10/13/2020 at 3:22 PM, Danny Franks said:

"Everyone is taking it really seriously, like it's some sort of competition or whatever."

I really like Lottie, you guys.

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10 hours ago, akr said:

 

I'm familiar with babkes, but not from Seinfeld. (I occasionally tried but basically couldn't stand watching it most of the time. Few TV shows have ever made me so aware that I was wasting my time!). There was a bakery where I lived in DC in the 90s that made excellent cinnamon babkes, though, & I've been intermittently craving them ever since; perhaps this will inspire me to try baking one. (I think they made good chocolate ones, too, but it's the cinnamon ones that I miss.)

 

If you live near a supermarket with a kosher frozen section, you may find Green's babkes there.

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On 10/14/2020 at 6:07 PM, Lois Sandborne said:

I've only seen two episodes of Seinfeld, but one was the cinnamon vs. chocolate babka (the other one was "you can't spare a square?"). That came to mind immediately when they announced the technical. I think New Yorkers might be a bit up in arms again, especially with Prue saying Paul's version was better than what she ate in NYC.

 

Yep...lol.  First bagels, now babka.  It's more than my homesick for NYC heart can take!  

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On 10/13/2020 at 4:22 PM, Danny Franks said:

I really enjoyed Lottie again in this one. She takes everything with a wry smile and joke, and is just my kind of person. "Everyone is taking it really seriously, like it's some sort of competition or whatever."

 

On 10/14/2020 at 9:07 PM, Lois Sandborne said:

I really like Lottie, you guys.

I cracked up at "It looks like a *literal* car wreck" followed by the glamour(??) shot of her brownies.  Oof.  That brownie round was rough for everyone.

I also about died laughing when Sura sort of folded up her babka, lopped the ends off, and tossed it in the tin with a shrug.  It reminded me of how I fold fitted sheets.

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Wow, that was super sad. I don’t think a Signature has ever been so disastrous as this one was. I felt bad for them.

I need (knead) babke in my life. Heh.

White chocolate needs to go far away, in my opinion. The only thing it is good for is decoration.

When this naked cake fad is over I will be so happy. It’s always just looked absolutely lazy to me.

Sorry to see Sura go. I’m rooting for them all except Dave as he gives me a weird vibe. Like another commenter said, I too can probably count on one hand the bakers over the years with whom I didn’t connect.

Edited by marinite
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I’m guessing that all the bakers who didn’t know what chocolate babka was have never watched Seinfeld!

I know, that's what I kept thinking too.

I thought Matt was really funny during this one, the way he kept referring to Paul as an awful man with a beard, and his Prue imitation was funny too. "It's a bit too sweet!" "Well of course it is, you told us to make it all chocolate!" "You could have cut back on the sweetness by adding some mud."

What a disaster the brownies turned out to be, I can't believe nobody had a decent batch. At least it was a complete wash for everyone.

I thought most of the cakes looked pretty sloppy. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with how hot it is in that tent. Dave's cake looked really nice when he was finishing it but by the time he brought it up to the table it was all lopsided. 

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14 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

What a disaster the brownies turned out to be, I can't believe nobody had a decent batch

Honestly while I do make bread and bake a bit, I use a box for brownies. But so much "too much" on those brownies!

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On 10/14/2020 at 12:47 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I don’t know how so many people managed to screw up making brownies. I started making them by myself (oven and all) when I was ten. It’s not rocket science to make fudgey delicious brownies that aren’t overbaked or have a cakey texture. 

As soon as I could read the recipe on the back of the Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate squares box, it was THE go-to recipe.  My mom never even bothered to buy commercial mixes, as I could get a batch of the real stuff in the oven as quick. 

I always liked to take a few tablespoons of the batter, add in a few good spoons of peanut butter, drop on the top & swirl in the batter before baking.  Just enough of an extra touch.   But in my family, peanut butter was it's own food group.  

Still lovin' Lottie and glad Sura screwed up enough to get booted.  Can't really explain my dislike, but Sura just came off surly.  

Babka's for me go way back to the TV show "Perfect Strangers" with Balki, Larry & the baby Babka song.  

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I can still hear the exact way that Elaine said "chocolate babka" on Seinfeld! I was waiting for someone, anyone, to say it like that at least once during this episode.

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On 10/14/2020 at 9:07 PM, Lois Sandborne said:

I'm surprised Linda wasn't in the conversation for Star Baker at all. Nothing against Beardy Mark, but it seemed like his name came up out of nowhere; I don't remember either of the judges particularly loving anything he did.

I really like Linda both last week and this week. She's been very calm in the tent especially during the technicals and her babka did look amazing. Her exchange with the judges about how she won the technical was cute too. I think Mark won out because he had better Showstopper and probably the most consistent week.

Hermine is another of my favourite. Prue's reaction to her cake was great. When Hermine gets her flavour right, she seems to hit it out of the park.

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On 10/13/2020 at 3:23 PM, Aulty said:

White chocolate is pointless. Its just sweet and has very little other flavours

True dat. 

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If there are any British viewers here, is it normal to have so much stuff on top of brownies?  That seemed to be the downfall of most of them.

I guess I couldn't use a box mix to make these, could I?

On 10/13/2020 at 3:23 PM, Aulty said:

White chocolate is pointless. Its just sweet and has very little other flavours (one of the bakers remarked on that). I'll happily pass on white chocolate cakes.

It's the worst and frankly I take it as an insult that it was so featured during "chocolate week."

On 10/14/2020 at 12:47 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I’m guessing that all the bakers who didn’t know what chocolate babka was have never watched Seinfeld!

From what I understand, Seinfeld wasn't nearly as popular internationally as it was in the US so it's possible that they had never seen it.  (For the record, cinnamon over chocolate.)

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 1:18 AM, TomGirl said:

Lottie is so beautiful!  At the risk of dating myself, I think she looks like a young Charlotte Rampling circa “Georgey Girl.”  Sura is also a beauty.

I was thinking a young Lena Olin.  I thought of LO when I saw Lottie's picture on the gingham altar.

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I also agree.  Cakey brownies are...cake.  I was sad to see everyone psych themselves out on the brownie challenge.  It made for a bit of a downer episode.  I was also sad to see Sura go, though I knew the moment we saw the raw cake that it was coming. 

Plastic knives are best for cutting brownies.  I don't know why, but I was told about it, tried it, and it's true.

I'm glad Lottie is still in, and like other posters above I was happy for Linda's success in the past two episodes.  In the first episode I was a little afraid that she was going to be overwhelmed by the competition but she's really come back.

Here's a clip from the babka episode of Seinfeld.  Also, Binging with Babish had chocolate and cinnamon babka in a Seinfeld themed video.

Is Matt narrating the sketch overviews with Noel?  If so, his voice sounds completely different than when he's talking with the bakers.  He sounds a bit like David Attenborough narrating a baking documentary. 

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Well it never fails that the heat shows up when intricate chocolate work is in the house 

Brownies are my jam.  It was the first thing I ever baked on my own so when I saw people going for cheesecake topping and merengues I was just all "bake a damn brownie!". I suppose in week 4 they don't want a dreaded too simple comment but I would have just added something simple like hazelnut or peppermint (Mr. kat loves his Xmas peppermint brownies.).  Makes for an easy viewing treat for next week.

I did like the technical.  Seinfeld lovers rejoice!  And the second week in a row that Linda has won.  I am surprised she wasn't considered for SB.  I thought they sort of liked her brownies and the piping on her showstopper wasn't great but the cake was good.

I did like the Fraisier cake Dave did it reminded me of the Season 3 technical where James said he would make that cake.  I wish Hermine would have a consistent week, I know she has a SB title or two in her.

Overall not too surprised at the results.  Even with throwing Lottie's name at the bottom it was obviously going to be Sura.  Raw cake is raw cake.

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34 minutes ago, kittykat said:

I did like the Fraisier cake Dave did it

Ha, because of all the Seinfeld-related talk due to babkas, I read this as Frasier.  Good ole "Must See TV on NBC" stuck in my head.

34 minutes ago, kittykat said:

It was the first thing I ever baked on my own so when I saw people going for cheesecake topping and merengues I was just all "bake a damn brownie!"

Cream cheese brownies are delish.  The trick is just keeping it simple when and do some sort of mix in or top swirl which is baked with the brownie but still lets the brownie come out.  So cheesecake swirled in instead of cheesecake with liquidy raspberries all over.  Or do a caramel/pecan with sea salt or a peanut butter swirl.

But all those toppings? No.

Edited by Irlandesa
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How can so many bakers screw up making brownies? People need to stop trying to come up with an all new version of whatever they're making & concentrate on baking a perfect version of what they're making.

I thought Sura was going to be there for a lot longer, but one bad week is all it takes to go home.

Edited by GaT
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4 hours ago, MisterGlass said:

I was also sad to see Sura go, though I knew the moment we saw the raw cake that it was coming. 

I thought it was really strange to add water to "dilute" to the white chocolate. Did she just "invent" that idea? It seemed Paul gave her a bit of a look when she described doing that.

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7 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

If there are any British viewers here, is it normal to have so much stuff on top of brownies?  That seemed to be the downfall of most of them.

I guess I couldn't use a box mix to make these, could I?

It's the worst and frankly I take it as an insult that it was so featured during "chocolate week."

From what I understand, Seinfeld wasn't nearly as popular internationally as it was in the US so it's possible that they had never seen it.  (For the record, cinnamon over chocolate.)

 

Growing up about 20 miles from New York City (in a town with a significant Jewish population), I had never heard of or seen this type of babka until I saw it on Seinfeld. Oddly enough, the Polish side of my family made an entirely different type of babka, which was more like a slightly denser Italian Panettone with raisins.

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Babka is a huge favorite in our house. I make a chocolate (with or without chocolate chips), a Nutella (more chocolate!), and a walnut (with brown sugar). All are delicious. The King Arthur Baking recipe is my go-to: you can make your own filling. More importantly, I was chuffed to know exactly what to do during a technical! "Yep. That's how you cut it. Noooo--don't stick the ends up there! Oh, Sura, that's so long!" 

I'll definitely try Paul's recipe, but it's not up on the site yet (@ElectricBoogaloo: link is broken)

In this house, we say, "Another babka?" I always make two.

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Really liking Linda too. Hearing about her child made me so sad. But Linda, while still grieving, has embraced the good parts of her life. Not sure I'm explaining that well. 

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24 minutes ago, cherrypj said:

I'll definitely try Paul's recipe, but it's not up on the site yet (@ElectricBoogaloo: link is broken)

 

You're right, it's not there now, but I printed it out yesterday planning to make it. Hope it's not down because it's got a mistake somehow, LOL.

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4 hours ago, GaT said:

How can so many bakers screw up making brownies? People need to stop trying to come up with an all new version of whatever they're making & concentrate on baking a perfect version of what they're making.

This got me wondering about the Covid bubble they're all in.  These bakers are spending vastly more time together than the bakers normally do on this show.  Everybody used to go home during the week and they'd come back to the tent each weekends.  I wonder whether all that time together is going to start having an effect on how they decide what and how to bake each week.  

Other than that it's been good.  Except this was the first week I found myself agreeing with the people criticizing Matt.  I didn't think he really brought much to the episode, other than the same "make fun of Paul and Prue" joke he told half a dozen times.    

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9 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

If there are any British viewers here, is it normal to have so much stuff on top of brownies?  That seemed to be the downfall of most of them.

 

No, it's not. Brownies tend to just be brownies, perhaps with something drizzled on top. Some bakeries do more complex ones, using other chocolate bars to add different flavour - one near me sells a dozen different brownies and blondies flavoured with Kinder chocolate, Biscoff, Mars Bars, orange, mint etc.

 

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The trouble with the brownie challenge is that brownies are best when they’re pretty simple, and they’re pretty easy to bake. Any contestant is going to think that they need to distinguish themselves by bringing the creativity, and in this case it was pretty much a disaster. But what contestant would want to risk putting out a plain brownie?

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On 10/14/2020 at 1:56 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I would have made regular old brownies and added chocolate chips to the batter for some extra melty goodness. If I was feeling fancy, I would have put a light drizzle of salted caramel on the top just to add a tiny bit of saltiness to contrast with the fudgey flavor. But all of the "let's pile seventeen different flavors and textures" approaches just had me shaking my head.

Exactly this for me (except the salted caramel drizzle because salted caramel is an abomination 😜). I  found a brownie recipe that I love and it’s pretty stripped down. I use half the sugar and throw in some white chocolate chips instead of nuts (most of the time, nuts are also an abomination)...and now I’m going to have to bake brownies today. Yay!

Good for Linda on her babka win. That actually looked like something I would like to try. Hmmm.

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On 10/14/2020 at 4:56 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I guess they were all trying to use extra flavors to make their brownies different but for me, brownies are something that don't need to be extra fancy. I would have made regular old brownies and added chocolate chips to the batter for some extra melty goodness. If I was feeling fancy, I would have put a light drizzle of salted caramel on the top just to add a tiny bit of saltiness to contrast with the fudgey flavor. But all of the "let's pile seventeen different flavors and textures" approaches just had me shaking my head.

 

15 hours ago, dleighg said:

Honestly while I do make bread and bake a bit, I use a box for brownies. But so much "too much" on those brownies!

I never make brownies from scratch! I spend $2 on Ghirardelli brownie mix and they come out great with much less effort. Its the only thing I prefer to make from a mix. To jazz them up I'll add dried cherries, or espresso powder and use coffee instead of water, or sprinkle mini marshmallows on top while they're still hot so they get all melty, or drizzle with a little caramel, or add peanut butter chips or swirl some peanut butter in the mix. 

I'm so sad that Sura's gone. I thought she'd go all the way. I loved her and Noel's relationship too. They were so cute and funny together. 

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Has the signature bake ever played such a significant role in the competition that it needs to be so over-the-top?  It seems that while it's relatively important, it just needs to be solid and not a cluster.  Maybe they're not practicing as much in quarantine as they would at home?

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3 hours ago, Rickster said:

Growing up about 20 miles from New York City (in a town with a significant Jewish population), I had never heard of or seen this type of babka until I saw it on Seinfeld. Oddly enough, the Polish side of my family made an entirely different type of babka, which was more like a slightly denser Italian Panettone with raisins.

Grew up in NJ just outside of NYC--my maternal grandmother was part Polish and Belarussian (sp?), so at Easter we always had babka like you described, with or without raisins or other dried fruit. It's become my job to make it now, with varying degrees of success since the original recipe was lost years ago (also, it called for a 5 cent piece of yeast, lol).

It's an enriched dough, kind of like a kugelhopf/pannettone (I bake it in a tube or Bundt pan)--but I've also seen it with cheese.

As for white chocolate--not my favorite, but some of the cakes did look delicious.

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Just now, cynicat said:

Has the signature bake ever played such a significant role in the competition that it needs to be so over-the-top?  It seems that while it's relatively important, it just needs to be solid and not a cluster.  Maybe they're not practicing as much in quarantine as they would at home?

 

3 minutes ago, Pepper Mostly said:

I'm so sad that Sura's gone. I thought she'd go all the way. I loved her and Noel's relationship too. They were so cute and funny together. 

I really liked her too, however at least there's no controversy in her leaving. She had a terrible week, but it happens to the best.  If Lottie had gone, that would have been suspect.

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5 hours ago, dleighg said:

I thought it was really strange to add water to "dilute" to the white chocolate. Did she just "invent" that idea? It seemed Paul gave her a bit of a look when she described doing that.

Yeah, that was odd.  White chocolate is high fat and shouldn't really emulsify in water.  Melting wafers have extra oil to dilute them and make them smooth.  I wonder if there was too much liquid in the cake because of that.

In retrospect I think Peter had the best idea - just put white chocolate chunks in.

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17 minutes ago, Pepper Mostly said:

I never make brownies from scratch! I spend $2 on Ghirardelli brownie mix and they come out great with much less effort. Its the only thing I prefer to make from a mix. To jazz them up I'll add dried cherries, or espresso powder and use coffee instead of water . . . 

Oooooh . . . that sounds yummy!!!!

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On 10/14/2020 at 9:07 PM, Lois Sandborne said:

I'm surprised Linda wasn't in the conversation for Star Baker at all. Nothing against Beardy Mark, but it seemed like his name came up out of nowhere; I don't remember either of the judges particularly loving anything he did.

Me too. I was expecting them to at least mention Linda. She won the technical and they liked her show stopper. It just needed better decorations which to me wasn't a big deal. I remembered Mark doing well too in the show stopper. He came in (third?) in the technical I don't recall either signatures at all. And Peter did really well in the show stopper. So it should have been between the three of them.  Mark may have still won, but Linda should have at least been mentioned in the conversation. 

Edited by blueray
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It seems that the technical challenge no longer holds any weight. Rowan circled the drain from jump, tanking on the technical each time. Mak was axed after finishing third in the technical. And now Linda, placed first, and not a nod? Why bother with the technical if the result doesn't factor in? 

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1 hour ago, cynicat said:

Has the signature bake ever played such a significant role in the competition that it needs to be so over-the-top?  It seems that while it's relatively important, it just needs to be solid and not a cluster.  Maybe they're not practicing as much in quarantine as they would at home?

In the first few series the signature was introduced as a tried and tested recipe the bakers would make for their families - the soda bread they bake every week, their go to recipe for brownies, their recipe for easter buns, their favourite madeira cake etc. So what we got was the odd candied peel, glazes (often including a tipple), decorative incissions in pastry, maybe some fancy piping.

It became the decoration olympics a few years ago. Dunno whether thats down to how the challenges are worded, or just the way the bakers approach it.

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Lottie is so beautiful!  At the risk of dating myself, I think she looks like a young Charlotte Rampling circa “Georgey Girl.”  Sura is also a beauty.

I think she looks a bit like Kate Middleton.

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10 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Ha, because of all the Seinfeld-related talk due to babkas, I read this as Frasier.  Good ole "Must See TV on NBC" stuck in my head.

Cream cheese brownies are delish.  The trick is just keeping it simple when and do some sort of mix in or top swirl which is baked with the brownie but still lets the brownie come out.  So cheesecake swirled in instead of cheesecake with liquidy raspberries all over.  Or do a caramel/pecan with sea salt or a peanut butter swirl.

But all those toppings? No.

Right.  I've done cheesecake swirl and peanut butter swirl before.  I think one extra flavor with a nut/crunch element is fine. 

I think I drew the line with the merengues because if you're going to add accompanying flavors it should be something that cuts through the richness of the brownie and merengues are just like SUGAR BOMB!

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I had never heard of that So. African liqueur Amarula Cream. I looked it up, it sounded interesting so I bought a bottle at the store today. I will see how it is tonight!

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