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S11.E08: Dessert Week

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The signature round features a miniature cheesecake, while the technical challenge features a dish that dates back to the 17th century. Finally, for their showstoppers, the bakers must concoct a jelly art dessert cake constructed of delicate sponge.

 

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A few episodes ago I thought Matt and Noel were actually ok, but I spoke too soon. With every childish bit they come up with - like that stupid spoon - I like them less.

The showstopper was alright. I wouldn't want to eat all those artificially flavoured jellies, but it is on trend and something that people will try at home.

Why did Marc put two heavy gelative blocks on top of mousse? Peter's looked like a pastel tie-die. The rest looked alright.

I call BS on Laura being 'in line for star baker' after the first two challenges. From here it looked like they were all on the bottom and in danger of going home after yet another set of messed up and overthought signatures and a catastrophic technical (people on Twitter were in agreement that Prue should have given them more time to steam those puddings and I saw someone who had made this before saying that it takes a very long time for the lemon to soften).

Well done Hermine for clinching it with a stunning show stopper. If Laura had put a white chocolate collar or something like that around her cakes, SB would have been hers.

 

Edited by Aulty
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Lots of underwhelming cheesecakes. I appreciated Noel and Matt lamenting the "mini" status of them. You can never have too much cheesecake, even if they're a bit rough looking, with bits that aren't set.

The technical looked... gross. Suet, syrup and a whole lemon. I just... what? Not even custard could save that swamp pudding, or whatever it's called.

The amount of gelatine they use on this show is disconcerting. I'm not squeamish about the stuff, and came to terms with the fact it's ground up pig or cow a long time ago, but it's still not something I'd choose to eat in the sort of quantities the showstoppers required. They looked impressive, but I don't think I'd be desperate to try them, because jelly is rubbish.

I think losing Lottie last week, and Irish Mark the week before, highlighted something - this is a very dull bunch. Dave has no real personality, Marc is nice but dull, Peter's main characteristics are "young" and "keen" and neither Laura nor Hermine are really big personalities. The dullness of them is so pronounced that I'm not even completely sure I remembered all of the remaining bakers to list, here.

I guess of those left I'd be happiest with Hermine winning, as she's been the most consistent throughout but seems to be moving ahead of the others.

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Hahahaha, I love that after all our discussion of British pronunciation in previous weeks, Hermine mentioned the atrocious way that genoise is pronounced by the British! I've actually been wondering how her name is pronounced because the judges and hosts have said both her-mine and her-meen.

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6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Hahahaha, I love that after all our discussion of British pronunciation in previous weeks, Hermine mentioned the atrocious way that genoise is pronounced by the British! I've actually been wondering how her name is pronounced because the judges and hosts have said both her-mine and her-meen.

Based on my year of high school French from 1963, my guess would be that the correct pronunciation would be "Air-meen" . . . 

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40 minutes ago, Aulty said:
1 hour ago, Lovecat said:

So...(American here, looking to be spoiled)...who went home??

Marc

And now I officially hate this season!

Mostly kidding, but my three favorites just went out back to back. Booooo. Go Peter I guess. I kind of felt from day one he was going to win because he's young and fresh and innovative-ish.

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It's been a long time since they've made anything as revolting as those pond puddings. Even the model version the judges ate turned my stomach. But, it was definitely super obvious that the bakers hadn't been given enough time to produce the ideal atrocity.

Why not just make a whole cheesecake?

Can't remember if it was here, but wasn't somebody joking about the show throwing out an aspic challenge? This was close enough. I'm pretty sure I have an over-sensitive stomach, but the though of eating all that gelatin with mousse and cake and all sorts made me queasy too.

I will miss Grey Marc. He is so sweet and upbeat; it seems a shame for him to go on such an awful week.

At this point I guess I'm all in for Hermine, but I'm not really rooting rooting for anybody, and that is strange.

 

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7 hours ago, Lois Sandborne said:

Why not just make a whole cheesecake?

I think it was partly for time because a regular sized cheesecake would take longer to bake and then to cool. But I also think it was also because they wanted the bakers to have the stress of decorating multiple cheesecakes. 

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8 hours ago, Lois Sandborne said:

Why not just make a whole cheesecake?

They did full size cheesecakes as a signature in dessert week of series 2. Alas, back then the signature challenge wasn't the decoration Olympics.

Edited by Aulty
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I'm getting annoyed with Paul announcing to contestants that he doesn't like this or that. The other week it was pickles and this week it was passion fruit. Paul, you are there to judge the quality of the bakes and their decoration, not to have the contestants make stuff you personally like! I'm glad Hermine didn't change her recipe like the others did, cuz she ended up winning the signature. 

Matt brings out a kind of pervy side to Noel that is not appealing. I don't want to hear about Paul or Peter being naked during a baking show.  

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Did I mishear or did Paul try to claim he was 40 (after Prue said she’s 80 and likes those pond puddings)? According to the internet, he’s 54. 

He was joking - they all laughed when he said it.

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We’re 11 seasons in, and it’s just NOW that Paul has decided he doesn’t like passion fruit??  I feel like passion fruit shows up in at least one bake every week. 

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1 hour ago, zibnchy said:

Quick question about the technical bake. Are you meant to eat the lemon? Rind and all?

Yes, but you can also just spoon out the inside if you don't like the rind. The lemon represents the frog in the pond in this pudding.

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37 minutes ago, Aulty said:

Yes, but you can also just spoon out the inside if you don't like the rind. The lemon represents the frog in the pond in this pudding.

Thank you for clearing that up. I am often bewildered by the technical bakes but this one really confused me. As a person who does not love the taste of lemon, I was mostly horrified.

This technical seems like a pretty egregious example of setting the bakers up to fail. They simply weren't given enough time to steam their puddings so pretty much everyone ended up with soupy garbage with a gross lemon in the middle. Everyone failed. I'm not really interested in watching that.

Are they doing Patisserie Week this year? I always enjoy that.

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24 minutes ago, zibnchy said:

Thank you for clearing that up. I am often bewildered by the technical bakes but this one really confused me. As a person who does not love the taste of lemon, I was mostly horrified.

This technical seems like a pretty egregious example of setting the bakers up to fail. They simply weren't given enough time to steam their puddings so pretty much everyone ended up with soupy garbage with a gross lemon in the middle. Everyone failed. I'm not really interested in watching that.

Are they doing Patisserie Week this year? I always enjoy that.

Yes, pretty much everyone's technical was crap, and they acknowledged that.  I also wondered what you ultimately did with the lemon.  I love it, generally, but even cooked through, the rind still seems inedible.

Patisserie Week is next week.

 

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Pond puddings was a bad challenge from the judges. Every feedback was 'needed to steam longer.' Well who established the time limit? Even the judges' demonstration bake wasn't done very well.

Laura is this season's baker who could've gone home a number of times but was saved by someone else doing slightly worse that week. I don't wish her ill will, but I also don't want to see her in the finals.

Glad Peter squeaked through. Did the judges say why his cheesecakes collapsed ? I wonder if he could've put together a quick sauce to fill the puddles as if it were meant to go with the cheesecake (like gravy on mashed potatoes)?

I liked Marc because he seemed like a baker who worked his way through the recipes. Some bakers are innately talented, but he had to work harder, and he made it to the quarterfinals.  

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2 hours ago, Rammchick said:

I also wondered what you ultimately did with the lemon.  I love it, generally, but even cooked through, the rind still seems inedible.

Quite some years back, this clementine cake was all the rage in home cooking circles. It uses whole clementines which are cooked a long time. Certainly lemons aren't as sweet as clementines, but with all that sugar they were cooked with, I imagine they can be tasty if cooked long enough. (The recipe even mentions a lemon variation with more sugar.) But why on earth weren't they given enough time? It seemed like if they knew EXACTLY how to form the pastry, and had done it one thousand times before, that they would have had just enough time to get them steamed properly.

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/clementine-cake

Edited by dleighg
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We watched the show this morning. We still think Matt is very funny, but we're a little uncomfortable with Noel and his spoon. I kind of got the feeling that Matt felt the same way. The scene with Matt and Marc, with Matt mentioning biting off your foot and Marc responding that he'd already done that once... We were on the floor laughing.

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I liked this show a lot better without so much of the contrivances.  Did we need Mr. Spoon and Matt’s over-enunciated P’s?

Decent signature challenge idea. While Hermine’s was a good concept to make them look like...candles (I guess) and they looked pretty, I figured part of the brief would have been that they could not be in a container, as they’re supposed to be canapé-sized. 

What a weird technical. I can’t imagine trying to eat something with a whole, intact lemon inside like that.

The showstopper - I was wondering just how decorative jellies like that would actually taste, but the judges seemed pleased enough.  Hermine’s was absolutely gorgeous.

I had Peter down as the one to go until Marc’s showstopper was presented.  I didn’t think it’d be that bad until they tried to cut through that made-of-brick dacquoise.  It almost seemed like everything up to the showstopper was a wash.

 

Edited by Yajmele
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It's just such a lackluster season. I was sad to see Lottie go last week, and now Marc, who I wanted to make to the final. I agree with whomever said in another thread that Lottie would be a good host for the show.

I know that typical puddings from the UK are alien to us here in the US, but they mostly look like something good to try. This weeks lemon horror just looked awful. I love lemon desserts and lemon anything, but that example, even the judges bake looked horrible and unappetizing.

Beige moist brain looking mound,  beige runny liquid, a whole lemon, then more runny sauce poured on. Just no, and what a dumb challenge, born out by the failure of every baker. I'd say there is a reason no one knows about this "dessert." Because it needed to be forgotten.

For no reason, I don't like Laura. She should have gone home last week.

I like Noel and Matt, but not as a team. They are just too juvenile. In a tent full of different tools etc, we get Spoonie again?

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On 11/12/2020 at 1:36 AM, Lois Sandborne said:

It's been a long time since they've made anything as revolting as those pond puddings. Even the model version the judges ate turned my stomach. But, it was definitely super obvious that the bakers hadn't been given enough time to produce the ideal atrocity.

I'm not one of those people who says, "oh, the show has changed so much since it moved to Channel 4" but one thing I'm sure of is that the technical challenges are sometimes designed to produce drama rather than competently made bakes. There have been a few where the time allotted was clearly insufficient, and there was no way that any of them could do it properly. This was the most overt example of that, which Prue even gave away by saying the pudding needed to steam for longer than they had to steam it.

1 hour ago, Deskisamess said:

It's just such a lackluster season. I was sad to see Lottie go last week, and now Marc, who I wanted to make to the final. I agree with whomever said in another thread that Lottie would be a good host for the show.

She would be a good host. That sardonic, very dry humour bounces really well off Noel's giddy boyishness. She made a self-deprecating crack on her Instagram the other day, saying that a month ago she only had eighteen followers and now she has over 100,000. She also revealed herself to be a cat person, which totally scans (all the best people love cats).

I think there's definitely a media career waiting for her if she wants it, like Ruby Bhogal from a couple of years ago and, obviously, Nadiya.

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I feel there should be a permanent ban on passion fruit.  5 out of 6 used it in the cheesecake challenge.  In previous seasons it was used in just about every challenge.  It’s tired and overdone.

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Given what a horrible cook my grandmother was, I can honestly say this is likely the only time I will be able to say with certainty that my granny would have rocked (an Americanized version) of that odd showstopper, lol. She had not one, but two, Christmas Jello-mold cake things (one red, one green) that she made every year at the holidays. She couldn't "bake" much, but the few things she did well were always great (and kinda weird). I never thought I'd see a fancy version of them anywhere, much less on the Bake-Off. Hee.

As for the Technical...that was a whole lot of NO. When even the expert version looks sad and unappetizing, I'll pass. I do love a good cheesecake, but I wasn't overwhelmed by much of what we saw there, either. Throw in the over-the-top and intrusive hosting (I didn't think it had been all that bad until this week) and this wasn't my favorite episode. I did think several showstoppers were attractive, though, especially Hermine's.

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3 minutes ago, tljgator said:

I did think several showstoppers were attractive, though, especially Hermine's.

yeah, some of them were very pretty, but I have zero desire to actually eat them. Jello on mushy cake? Nah.

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Random question, as I'm reading some recaps and thinking of my grandma's Jello molds, lol -- are the bakers not allowed to use spring-form pans? I'm presuming they're banned since I can't recall ever seeing one on the show.

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Generally while watching GBBO I somehow am convinced I could totally do that. This weeks showstopper though had even my over active imagination going NOPE!

Also I finally figured out who Peter looks like to me. If Ellen and Joey McIntyre had a baby it would be Peter

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This was a great big "no" show for me.  I am not a fan of cheesecake although they didn't sound too bad.  But that horrendous technical was like some sort of really bad joke.  And then jello on top of a cake?  You couldn't pay me to eat that.  Ugh.

Noel and Matt need to shut the hell up and go sit in a corner. They are getting more and more annoying and intrusive.  The whole spoon thing is just second grade level humor, no offense to second graders.

I like them all but I have to say I am rooting for Hermine at this point.

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About a year ago, I was inspired by the show Blown Away (Netflix) about glassblowers and went to a glass blowing place while on vacation.  (Remember those?)  I bought a beautiful paperweight that looked very similar to what the showstoppers looked like.  Beautiful design covered by clear glass (or here, jello).  I would really not want to eat the top but I do have to say they were impressive and would be really cool at a celebration.  I'd just remove the top like it were fondant, though.

I was disappointed in the lack of variety of the cheesecakes.  I guess I haven't had passion fruit enough to know why it'd be so good in cheesecake but I was surprised that no one tried chocolate or a liquor based cheesecake. 

Now for my maybe somewhat against the grain opinions.  I actually quite like this year in that I don't have a strong favorite (Hermine and then Peter are ahead of the others).  And I like that I don't have a strong least favorite.

And in what I'm sure will be unpopular--I'd actually love to try the technical.  I don't know how I'll feel about the rind as I am not usually a fan of zest (I usually use extract instead when I'm baking) but the dark inside juice mixed with the pastry and creme anglaise made me think it'd be kind of good.

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I usually like the weird, historical technicals, but what a cheat not to give them enough time to actually cook it.  The whole lemon is showy but picking seeds out of a dessert sounds terrible.  The peel I can kind of see because there is candied lemon peel.

The showstopper was interesting but like everyone else I can't imagine eating all that gelatin.  Marc was the only person who mentioned an actual flavor for his gelatin as far as I remember.  Laura's koi pond and Hermine's poppy were lovely. 

I like Marc, and it was sweet to see him walking off with his kids.  He does seem like a good guy.

Yeah, Matt and Noel don't necessarily bring out the best in each other, or at least not comedy that I really laugh at.

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Went back to watch with the closed captioning on to settle the Swayze debate - he said "my dad's dog".  There, I can sleep tonight.

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2 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Went back to watch with the closed captioning on to settle the Swayze debate - he said "my dad's dog".  There, I can sleep tonight.

I didn’t hear the “dad” or the “dog” so thank you!

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Welp that happened.  I'm all for a cheesecake signature but it was pretty much downhill with that technical.  

They had 2 1/2 hours.  Why not just give them 3 or 3 1/4.  The creme anglaise was easy but it was definitely a time thing.  I'm guessing no one's steamed more than an hour maybe hour and a half and prue said it needed at least two.  Badly thought out technical although I always get squicked out when they use suet.

I'm not a huge fan of jelly but I'm glad mostly everyone got theirs right.  Laura seemed paved for Star Baker until Hermine nailed it, kind of the reverse of what happened on Pastry that flower was absolutely gorgeous. And she made it to pattiserie week, Yay!

I felt for Peter since he was definitely in the bottom on his own but once Marc bombed the showstopper there was no question especially when they said Peter had good flavors. 

At this point I too have no idea who is getting left behind.  Laura always seems to redeem herself at showstopper.  By all counts I'd say Dave is the weakest link, which probably means he'll nail it.

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On 11/10/2020 at 1:50 PM, Danny Franks said:

I think losing Lottie last week, and Irish Mark the week before, highlighted something - this is a very dull bunch. Dave has no real personality, Marc is nice but dull, Peter's main characteristics are "young" and "keen" and neither Laura nor Hermine are really big personalities. The dullness of them is so pronounced that I'm not even completely sure I remembered all of the remaining bakers to list, here.

Maybe that's why this season is barely holding my attention. While I'm watching, I keep realizing that I have no idea what they're supposed to be making, my attention is always wandering off to something else & I miss a lot.

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21 hours ago, dleighg said:

Quite some years back, this clementine cake was all the rage in home cooking circles. It uses whole clementines which are cooked a long time. Certainly lemons aren't as sweet as clementines, but with all that sugar they were cooked with, I imagine they can be tasty if cooked long enough. (The recipe even mentions a lemon variation with more sugar.) But why on earth weren't they given enough time? It seemed like if they knew EXACTLY how to form the pastry, and had done it one thousand times before, that they would have had just enough time to get them steamed properly.

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/clementine-cake

The Nigella recipe calls for the clementines to be boiled for two hours, cut in half to remove the seeds/pips, and then pulping in a food processor, it doesn’t use the whole fruit at all, unlike the Sussex Pond Pudding that has whole lemons cooked into the dessert.

While I miss Lottie and Scottish Mark, I also like the remaining contestants. It’s one of the reasons I live GBBO, the lack of need to have everyone be a “big” personality.

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9 minutes ago, NYCFree said:

The Nigella recipe calls for the clementines to be boiled for two hours, cut in half to remove the seeds/pips, and then pulping in a food processor, it doesn’t use the whole fruit at all,

My point was simply that it does use the entire rind, which seemed to be what a lot of people were averse to.

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I have Paul's British Baking cookbook at home and he has a recipe for Sussex Pond Pudding in there.  His recipe is a bit different than the technical in that the lemon is left whole, no cuts in it, and it may have been bigger.  It steamed for 3 hours.  A whole lot more time than they were given in the technical challenge.  From some of Prue's comments, she expected the contestants to be familiar with steaming suet puddings as they were very popular at one time..  Add that to another recipe, one should be familiar with before coming on the show.

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Okay Prue. If none of the bakers get the challenge right then there's something wrong with it, not them. Also, gross. No pond pudding for me thanks.

The gelatin cakes were an interesting idea but not something I would see home bakers doing, so I was actually pretty impressed with all of them. Marc just chose the wrong type of base, and should have done only one gelatin layer.

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Just watched this episode and I have to agree with others--no Sussex pond pudding for me, either. I do like lemon, but a whole one, seeds and all does not sound appetizing in taste or texture. Candied rind is usually hardened--and I can't imagine the pith is much less bitter, even with that amount of sugar?

 

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I completely missed that they liked the way that Peter's showstopper tasted, so I was confused why people were saying "good job", when it seemed like they hated it lol. But now it makes sense, as Marc's was even worse and it was that what decided who went home as they were both at the bottom. 

I agree with those who are saying the technical was gross and not something I'd want to eat. I'm not a huge fan of lemons so anything more then a little bit is to much for me. I think that they realized that they didn't give them enough time (as everyone had the same problem) and essentially throw it out of the judging. It's okay that the judges made a mistake on picking one that wasn't going to work, as they didn't hold it against anyone. So it came down to the other two rounds.

Edited by blueray

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On 11/10/2020 at 4:50 PM, Danny Franks said:

The amount of gelatine they use on this show is disconcerting. I'm not squeamish about the stuff, and came to terms with the fact it's ground up pig or cow a long time ago, but it's still not something I'd choose to eat in the sort of quantities the showstoppers required.

ummm... what do you think hamburger is?  It's "ground up cow", and people eat it by the pound.  Don't mean to be picking on you, it's that I've heard people say this before about gelatin, and I find it funny that they have no problem eating a giant hamburger but have issues with gelatin.

Peter is lucky Marc's showstopper failed in every possible way.  I was certain Peter was going home before that.  I liked that Hermine and Laura both seemed so close to Star Baker.  Both of their showstoppers looked absolutely amazing, but Hermine's flavor edged out Laura's.  I may not find the actual dessert appetizing, but damn, these were true "showstoppers"!

I agree - no "big" personalities remaining, not there really were any to begin with this year.  But that's ok with me.  It lets me concentrate more on the bakes. 

Hermine's cheesecakes in the jam jars - I definitely think it's on trend for a way to serve individual desserts.  But I've always wondered about the crust, exactly what the judges pointed out.  The crust will always be soggy when baked that way. 

Agree with everything said above about the technical.  A total fail by production, not the fault of the bakers.  And, ew.  Just ew.

 

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18 hours ago, PaulaO said:

I feel there should be a permanent ban on passion fruit.  5 out of 6 used it in the cheesecake challenge.  In previous seasons it was used in just about every challenge.  It’s tired and overdone.

Is passion fruit cheaper in the UK?  Cause I found it at a large store near me, and it was crazy expensive. I know GBBO can afford it, but the bakers need to practice too. Same thing with cardamom. I looked it up, and the price made me go 😳

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1 hour ago, chaifan said:

ummm... what do you think hamburger is?  It's "ground up cow", and people eat it by the pound.  Don't mean to be picking on you, it's that I've heard people say this before about gelatin, and I find it funny that they have no problem eating a giant hamburger but have issues with gelatin.

Not the same parts of the animal, not the same texture, not the same taste. The idea that people are okay eating meat but don't relish the idea of eating ground up bones shouldn't be that surprising. The argument 'well you eat one bit so why not eat the other' may be logical, but it's not particularly realistic.

Edited by Danny Franks
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