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The Great Canadian Baking Show

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I think what I just felt stir in my heart was hope.  It's a terribly unfamiliar sensation at this juncture but I'm fairly certain that's what it was.  I was, of course, both startled and frightened at first because it had been just that long.    

Where is this and how might I find it?  Is it airing on something in the U.S.?   

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On 2017-07-14 at 11:27 AM, SirOsisOfLiver said:

Dan Levy? Please God, no. He would make this show unwatchable for me. I probably won't even check it out, knowing this.

If he hosted in the persona of his character on Schitt's Creek it could get annoying fast, but I think it's a safe bet to assume he'll be there as himself and I don't find him particularly annoying.

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We tried to watch the CBC 150 birthday special he hosted and had to turn it off halfway through. He severely annoys me. I think he finds himself way funnier than I do. I won't watch this show with him in it.

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According to the CBC website, the first episode is November 1, 2017.  I am hoping that the Canadian version echoes the British original and goes with a focus on the baking fails or successes and camaraderie between contestants for the drama , and not bullshit rivalries and one-upmanship like too many other reality shows have.  I want that Canadian reputation for polite competitiveness to shine through.

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Hmmm, most of those cakes in the showstopper didn't look very impressive.  I'll keep watching for now, poor Pierre first out. Thought the lady who had black hair and a sour look should have gone first.

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I really want some of those tiramisu cupcakes.

I don't usually watch cooking shows (I followed Julia Chan here, because I liked her on Saving Hope), but it was nice to see moments where the bakers helped or complimented each other. None of the over the top drama and infighting I've read about in the recaps of the Top Chef style shows.

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On first impression, I quite like Vandana, Terri, Sabrina, and Jude.  (I feel like other people might find Jude to be Too Much, so I love her extra just in case.)  Sinclair is local to me (but not anyone I know), so I am rooting for him to do well.  I don't love James, and I really don't like Julian.  I totally teared up when Pierre was eliminated, poor guy.

Julia Chan is new to me, but I like her, and I have always loved Dan Levy.  No impression on the judges so far.

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It was definitely pleasant, in keeping with the style of the original show, so that makes it a super plus in my books. I agree that some of the decorations were a little lackluster (and made me feel a little better about my [insert bad word here] cake decorating abilities.  While I'm assuming that the contestants don't get to go home between challenges, do they get an opportunity to practice? I think that's definitely a plus of the original show.

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Thanks to a poster in the Masterchef USA forum who mentioned they watched the Great British Bakeoff (are you here?) I ended up watching and enjoying the last 4 or 5 episodes of season 7 on CBC. So I was excited when they started airing the ads for the Canadian version.

I liked episode one, though everyone from the contestants to the hosts/judges are new to me, so I don't really know who anyone is yet. I also found they didn't spend enough time on each cupcake, but then realized that's because there's so many contestants still.  I think once they get down to 5 or 6 I'll enjoy it more. 

Really fascinated by that mirror glaze and would like to try making, but I'm vegetarian, so don't do gelatin.

Edited by buffynut
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So Jude twice forgets a crucial ingredient, including maple syrup in a maple syrup cake, and yet she survives? Pierre's confections must have been truly awful; his ambition did seem to surpass his skills. With him gone, I wonder if the show will bother exploring the francophone tradition of baking or engage on an Ontario-centric streak focused on the British baking heritage. It would be nice to see some forays into aboriginal cooking or other cultures, as a challenge.

I hope this episode was the last instance of a Nanaimo bar in the season; I found it to be a real Canadian cliché because it was not used very inventively.

Edited by Florinaldo

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Julia Chan is certainly lovely to look at, but I'm not convinced she's a great show host. Her voice over segments were... okay at best. Something about her tone didn't engage me during the VOs. She was a little better in the candid segments. Her co-host, who I remember from Schitt's Creek, is actually the more effective of the two of them for the role of goofy baking overseer, which the British show established (and which the American show bungled). 

I didn't mind the judges. I'd expected to hate them. If they had any problem at all it's that I think they were too nice. GBBO's formula is that the contestants are nice, but the judges aren't necessarily. They're bluntly honest on occasion.  These judges made a few criticisms, but for all his faults with Paul Hollywood you can tell just from a lifted eyebrow when he really doesn't like something. These judges? I dunno. I didn't mind them as I said, but they're also a bit boring.

Don't really have a handle on the contestants yet. They do seem to fit the GBBO mode of understanding they're supposed to not be jerks, but they also haven't broken out of being a bit boring yet, at least in this first episode.

On 11/4/2017 at 7:38 PM, buffynut said:

Really fascinated by that mirror glaze and would like to try making, but I'm vegetarian, so don't do gelatin.

It's likely harder to do, but I'm pretty sure a mirror glaze can be made with Agar.

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8 hours ago, Kromm said:

It's likely harder to do, but I'm pretty sure a mirror glaze can be made with Agar.

Google proved you are right. I may have to give it a try sometime.

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16 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

So Jude twice forgets a crucial ingredient, including maple syrup in a maple syrup cake, and yet she survives?

I re-watched the episode yesterday and noticed that even though Jude was called out in the technical for forgetting to use jam to hold the checkerboard in place, she placed fairly high (I don't remember where, exactly), so I have no idea what criteria the judges were using to rank those cakes.

10 hours ago, Kromm said:

It's likely harder to do, but I'm pretty sure a mirror glaze can be made with Agar.

Ah! Thanks for giving us vegetarians hopes for pretty cakes. :)

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Yay! I love Bake Off shows so I was excited to have this one fill the hole in my GBBO schedule.

One thing I LOVED immediately is that the aprons have the bakers' name on the front. Usually I spend the first four or five weeks trying to remember all of their names (and cursing at the producers for not putting the bakers' names on the screen every time they speak), so thank you, GCBS, for that!

Another thing I like about the Canadian version of the show is that everyone gets to wear different outfits on the second day. On other versions of the show, everyone is asked to wear the same outfit all weekend so that viewers remember who is who. Solved that problem with names on the aprons!

I also loved the little changes they made to the opening credits like the Nanaimo bars and the apples.

I only know Dan Levy from Schitt's Creek so I wasn't sure if I would like Dan as a host. Apparently Julia Chan has guest starred on a few shows I watch but I don't remember her at all. She's okay when she interacts with the bakers but during some of the voiceovers, she sounds a little too sedated. She's very pretty though, so there's that.

I noticed that the inside of the freezers had names on them. Hopefully that will prevent an icecreamgate situation from happening!

I want to hear more about Jude's career as an animator! Loved her little makeshift photo studio (white butcher paper taped to the wall). Ha, I had to agree with her - I never measure vanilla extract. I just Her breakfast banana maple cupcakes and her Saskatoon berry cupcakes sounded interesting. I felt like her decoration/theme idea was interesting but that the execution was a little sloppy. The bikes and sailboats she made were a good idea in theory but could have been done better. She knew that she had to trim the cupcakes because they overflowed in the tins so why didn't she use the frosting to hide that? Come on, Jude! AND she forgot the maple syrup?

I love cotton candy so I was excited to see how Albertan Terri's cotton candy cupcakes turned out. I was surprised when she later said he had never made cotton candy before. GIRL! But I give her full marks for using freshly made cotton candy. Premade bagged cotton candy suuuuuucks. Loved her red wagon presentation! Rochelle was almost speechless so they must have been really good. I have found that often things that are supposed to be cotton candy flavored actually just taste like vanilla, so congrats to her for getting the cotton candy flavor so accurately. Her carrot cake, pineapple, and cinnamon cupcakes sounded interesting.

I'm with Corey the human rights lawyer - as much as I like frosting, it annoys me when bakers don't put enough effort into the cake part of the cupcake. His maple whiskey cupcakes and his chocolate beer cupcakes with blueberries looked messy and very homemade. The maple whiskey ones had a pile of frosting slopped on top. The chocolate beer cupcakes had individual chocolate dots of frosting (which were good for keeping the blueberries from rolling off) but they kind of looked like a bunch of poop emojis.

James the physics professor was a little simple with his presentation, but the judges liked his ginger stout cupcakes. I was more interested in the apple oatmeal cupcakes but we didn't see them.

I LOVE Nanaimo bars so I was looking forward to Linda's cupcakes (although I would have left the toasted coconut off). Her lemon cupcakes with swiss buttercream icing sounded interesting but we didn't even get to see them, let alone hear what the judges thought of them.

Julian the contractor from Halifax was going all the way with those chocolate cream liqueur cupcakes with Irish cream frosting. Mary Berry would have been all over those! His birch syrup cupcakes with candied bacon looked good. Bonus points for not skimping on the bacon topping!

Pierre the dentist from Quebec was smart to make his ganache first so it had time to cool while he made the cupcakes. I'm sorry his cream split and it turned into butter but I would have wanted to taste that butter! Unfortunately, his white chocolate pistachio cupcakes looked pretty bad because of the split ganache. Not only did it look dry and lumpy, but he did not have the same amount on each cupcake. His chocolate raspberry cupcakes sounded delicious - one of my favorite flavor combinations! I was disappointed that we didn't get to see them at all.

Sinclair the optometrist from Ontario would have won Mary Berry over with TWO different boozey cupcakes! The whiskey cream cupcakes and the lime mojito cupcakes with rum syrup were all very pretty. I liked the tinge of pink he added to the whiskey cream cupcakes. Serving them in glasses definitely made the presentation look fancier.

Graphic designer Sabrina from Montreal had some nice classic flavors. Both her tiramisu cupcakes and her cookies & cream cupcakes sounded delicious. Loved her simple but effective presentation alternating the cupcakes. I feel like S8 of GBBO really fell flat on presentation so it was nice to see some effort.

I want to hear more about Vandana from Regina and her science center director job. Love that it's week one and I can already see that she's the obligatory "I love pink!" baker. Between her shirt and her pink cupcakes, it was easy to see. Not that I'm judging. I think some female bakers really avoid pink because they don't want to be seen as the stereotypical girlie bakers, so I'm all for anyone who embraces it. I was a little wary of her chocolate rose cupcakes for the same reason as Bruno. It's easy to go overboard with that rose flavor and then it gets overwhelming. I had an issue with her piping skills though. It was easy to see even from a distance that the pink swirls of icing on her chocolate rose cupcakes was sloppy and inconsistent (some swirled from the inside, some started the swirl from the outside). That's a pretty basic decorating skill so I'm afraid she is going to be gone sooner rather than later. I don't think we saw her coconut key lime cupcakes.

The cherry and pistachio Battenberg cake was a good first technical challenge. Vandana's fondant was so bright. I was surprised the judges didn't say anything about that. Terri gets an A for effort. I thought she had way too much toppings. Sinclair's decorations looked like he used a ruler to get the toppings so perfectly square.

Chocolate layer cake showstoppers are right up my alley!

James' record player with mascarpone cream was a fun idea. I was fine with James mixing the ingredients in the pan (instead of a bowl) but watching him mix the batter with his bare hands? His work station was such an unbelievable mess. The fondant on the bottom part was so bad. Watching him patchwork it together was killing me. There was naked cake showing in some spots. The parts that were covered in fondant were lumpy.

Poor Pierre - his Elysée cake with jaconde sponge and earl grey mousse was a lovely idea but his mousse not setting killed it for him. I was cringing as the mousse leaked out of the side.

Terri's chocolate, raspberry, and pistachio garden cake with butterflies was a sweet idea. I thought it looked just okay though.

Vandana's triple chocolate tiered cake with hazelnut sounded good but the frosting was so lumpy.

Jude's chocolate ginger cake with pumpkin pastry cream did not sound appealing to me flavorwise. I didn't love her gnomes, but her piping looked nice.

Corey's milk and cookies cake was such a simple but fun idea. Loved the milk carton pouring chocolate milk onto his cake. My only criticism was the same as Rochelle's - the frosting on the outside was messy.

Julian's builder's cake was a good facsimile of cement, but without his explanation, I wouldn't have known what I was looking at. I didn't understand the thing sticking out of the top either.

Sabrina's melted ice cream cone cake was a fun idea. She should have told them that the leaning tower of Pisa look was deliberate!

Linda's chocolate raspberry cake turned out better than I thought it would when I saw her mirror glaze refusing to stick. Thank goodness she made that white chocolate collar to go around it. To be honest, I thought the collar looked sloppy, but at least it covered up the sides of the cake wherethe mirror glaze just ran right off.

Sinclair's galaxy cake was a fun idea. The colors of the mirror glaze were very pretty, but I wish he had smoothed out his crumb coat a bit more first because that mirror glaze shows every bump.

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On 10/28/2017 at 6:43 PM, sum said:

I'd already gleaned that the CBC website is not the most professional looking thing, but this tidbit had me rolling my eyes.:
 

Quote

Linda is a devoted grandmother to eight grandkids; she has lovingly baked every cake for each of their birthdays for the last 20 years — that's 160 cakes if you're counting!

Actually, I AM counting and unless all eight of her grandkids are 20 years old (which they clearly aren't as we saw from the footage in the first episode), then she hasn't baked 160 birthday cakes for her grandchildren (yet).

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The Kraken sculpture was innovative, but I guess the baker didn't do as well in the other challenges as Sabrina which why her empty looking bread basket.

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Mmmm, bread. I looooove focaccia so I was excited about the signature bake! I wish that Julia and Dan would stop calling attention to every pun they make. Yeah, we heard you.

James' blue cheese, walnut, rosemary, and pear focaccia looked good. And his work station wasn't a complete disaster!

Terri's mushroom, goat cheese, fig, and tomato focaccia (weirdly, the voiceover and illustration said she had a different ingredient on each quadrant but only three of them were labeled). While I understand Terri not wanting to deviate from what she normally does at home, leaving her dough out on the counter instead of the proofing drawer.

Julian was smart to bake his dulse and spruce tips focaccia in a cast iron skillet to get it evenly baked. I was not crazy about the spruce tips. I kept thinking that his focaccia would taste like a Christmas tree.

Corey's Moroccan focaccia with turmeric, saffron, almond, pickled pear, and harissa dip went over well. I couldn't tell if Dan's facial expression meant that the harissa was too spicy.

Sinclair's parmesan, parsley, and rosemary focaccia looked really flat. He did all that work dimpling his dough beforehand but you couldn't see any of it because of all the toppings.

Jude's Italy shaped herbs, olives, and garlic focaccia was a fun idea, but I was shaking my head when she said she decided not to measure anything today. Girl, don't do that!

Sabrina's pesto, roasted garlic, and tomato focaccia looked so good. When Rochelle peeked at the bottom, the air pockets looked great. Loved that Bruno said the tomatoes were bursting. For me, that's how to perfectly bake cherry tomatoes on bread.

Vandana's goat cheese, spinach pesto, and sun dried tomato focaccia sounded classic and delicious. I don't know why Bruno acted like it was weird for her to add spinach to the pesto. Normally, I am all for more toppings, but I had to agree with Rochelle. There was so much stuff on top of Vandana's focaccia that it looked like a pizza.

Linda's focaccia with garlic and rosemary infused olive oil with sea salt looked just like focaccia should. I totally get when the bakers try to get creative, but I also liked that Linda kept her focaccia traditional.

Coincidentally, just last night a friend was talking about Montreal bagels. I was waiting for someone to explain how a bagel board is different from any other wooden board.

I was afraid Corey jinxed himself when he said he is a bagel expert and that the recipe was almost identical to the one he already uses. Then he said he wasn't following the GCBS recipe exactly so I was sure he was jinxing himself! Meanwhile, James had his bagel boards on the floor. Heh, at least he apologized to the people of Montreal for his failure.

Corey's tree of life challah with orange, dates, almonds, and figs was HUGE. I was more interested in the chocolate top. I wish the shape had been more distinct. If he hadn't said it was a tree, I would have thought it was a weirdly shaped lump of bread.

Julian's cinnamon bun and brown bread kraken with touton tentacles was such a fun idea. I liked that he used different types of bread for each part of the kraken. I just wish the centerpiece had been a little bigger.

Terri's caramel apple centerpiece with cinnamon rolls and chocolate roses wasn't as pretty or fancy looking, but it sounded delicious.

Sinclair's walnut and thyme bread wreath with puff pastry pear was a good idea but both parts were underbaked.

James' star bread with cardamon, dates, pistachio, and cinnamon really redeemed him after that disastrous technical. It looked gorgeous and I loved seeing how he cut into the bread and twisted it to make that star shape.

Vandana's pistachio and candied winter melon bread with cashew and cardamom buns was pretty with that green filling. Nice to see Bruno say that he enjoys discovering new flavors. That's a positive change from Paul Hollywood and his "I've never heard of that - ewww" attitude.

Sabrina's bread basket with cinnamon twists and apple buns was great. I just wish that the basket had been fuller with bread. She made a nice big basket and then barely had any bread inside.

Jude's blueberry, raspberry, and lemon curd braided wreath with chocolate bread paintbrushes was a simple but fun idea. And mmmmm, all that fruit filling!

Linda's fig and honey basket was braided simply but so beautifully. And mmmmm, chocolate filling!

The judges and hosts keep mentioning Julian's Atlantic/East Coast roots. Is there some kind of Canadian stereotype about that? I'm not Canadian so I have no idea what they are referring to aside from the geography.

Sabrina did really well this week, so it was no surprise that she won star baker. I think if James hadn't done so well in the showstopper, he would have been the one sent home this week. Sinclair seemed like a nice guy, but it was nice to see his calm and classy exit.

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I was waiting for someone to explain how a bagel board is different from any other wooden board.

I wanted that explanation, too!  It was the thing that kept me from feeling like I could successfully make my own bagels (never mind that I DEFINITELY could not successfully make my own bagels for skill-related reasons).

 

4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Corey's tree of life challah with orange, dates, almonds, and figs was HUGE. I was more interested in the chocolate top. I wish the shape had been more distinct. If he hadn't said it was a tree, I would have thought it was a weirdly shaped lump of bread.

I had forgotten that he said it was a tree of life, and did think it was a weirdly shaped lump of bread.  I really thought most of the showstoppers were very attractive this time around.

 

4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The judges and hosts keep mentioning Julian's Atlantic/East Coast roots. Is there some kind of Canadian stereotype about that? I'm not Canadian so I have no idea what they are referring to aside from the geography.

I can't remember what specifically they said about Julian, but off the top of my head, I would say that Atlantic Canada is known for seafood, friendly people, and seafood.  And music?  (I'm from Ontario, where we are known for being self-absorbed and the 401.)

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Re: bagel boards, what I found from a brief google search:
- These boards are to be fully soaked in the water before putting in the oven for about 3-4 minutes. So it's probably needed to be made of certain type of wood. 
- It's covered with burlap to keep the bagels from sticking to the board. Since they sell burlap rolls for bagel board I think it's supposed to be re-covered once in a while.
- As we've seen initially the bagels are placed topping side down on the board. After the 3-4 minute baking, you flip them over onto the stone. For that, it's normally made in a long rectangular shape.

As I thought James would be a typical clumsy baker, his neat but beautifully shaped / layered star bread was a big surprise. That said, James needs to stop using his bare hand to stir things. Last week with the chocolate cake mix and next week caramel syrup. I'm usually not that fussed about such stuffs but it looks really unhygienic.

Oh, and how many times we're going to hear about Jude being whimsical? 

ETA: It was a pleasure to watch that for once most of the breads were properly proved / baked and looked great!

Edited by sum
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On 11/10/2017 at 3:05 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Nice to see Bruno say that he enjoys discovering new flavors. That's a positive change from Paul Hollywood and his "I've never heard of that - ewww" attitude.

That stood out to me, too. Very refreshing.

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Finally got a chance to watch this. So many great looking breads. 

I did get a bit tired of hearing the word ‘whimsy’.

My favourite was the Kraken. It looked both delicious and adorable.

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Was not surprised to see Corey go.

Sabrina had better watch it with her rose water; I could just see she used too much.

I really don't understand when bakers willfully ignore instructions and advice. They're just shooting themselves in the foot.

But I am really enjoying our homegrown version of the show. 

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I think Vendana should have been star baker, her fondant fancies were perfect while Linda's were not...yet Linda wins?  I am enjoying the show though

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I really like the look of Vandana’s pavlova too. And the flavours sounded interesting. I’ve never thought of putting yoghurt in a pavlova before.

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It's only week 3, so once again I want to thank the producers for putting all of the bakers' names on their aprons. I'm at the point where I recognize their faces but without those names on their aprons, I would still be describing them as lady, other lady, blue shirt, glasses, beardface, etc.

Julian's lemon meringue looked nice but man, that was a thick crust.

Sabrina's strawberry grapefruit tart with a coconut crust was a lovely pink color.

Linda's raspberry white chocolate cheesecake pie was so pretty. Loved the colors and the flavors.

James' coffee custard and salted caramel pi (!) tart was messy looking, but I had to laugh at his explanation that it was a chaos theory tart.

Jude's pumpkin cashew tart with papaya was of no interest to me because I loathe pumpkin desserts. I did like the pretty way she arranged the papaya slices into a 3D flower on the top though.

I was okay with Corey's pear and salted caramel pie but I wasn't interested in the lavender hazelnut crust. It was way too rustic looking. It just looked like a pile of chopped pear pieces in a pie crust. From a baking standpoint, having different sized pieces of pear means that they weren't all baked evenly.

Vandana's mango ginger cream pie with a cookie crust was pretty and colorful. Mmmm, cookie crust.

I lovd Terri's blueberry and chocolate lemon northern lights tart. It just goes to show that you can tell a clear story with your creation without having to explain it. And it wasn't overly complicated either. She used some simple elements that got the Canadian northern lights theme across.

I was with Terri on the technical challenge - fondant fancies are just petit fours!

Terri's peaches and cream pavlova with caramel drizzle and candied walnuts sounded delicious.

James' chocolate hazelnut meringue with grilled plums and mascarpone looked great.

Julian's blueberry pavlova looked gorgeous and elegant. Loved the piping on the sides and the blueberry sauce dripping down.

Linda's Christmas wreath pavlova with cranberry and pomegranate looked so fancy. The sugared fruit on top was really pretty.

Corey's pumpkin pavlova with cranberry curd and praline dust looked so terrible. I appreciate that he made an effort with the faux pumpkin patch but the overall look was very amateurish and you can't do that for the showstopper.

Sabrina's raspberry pavlova with rosewater whipped cream and pistachios was gorgeous, inside and out. I'm with the judges on rosewater. I like to use it on my face but I don't like to taste it in my dessert. Sabrina took a risk because she already knew that the judges don't like a strong rosewater flavor.

Vandana's saffron and cardamom pavlova with yogurt cream was so pretty. I loved all the different colors and I loved the different sized layers that gave it a cake like appearance.

Jude's chocolate music box pavlova with banana cream was such a fun idea so it was disappointing that it was overbaked.

Awwwww, I loved seeing all the bakers sitting on their stools holding hands. Linda had a great week so no surprise that she was star baker.

Corey, on the other hand, had a pretty terrible week so again no surprise that he was eliminated.

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Vandana is my favourite.

This is the week I came around on James, and now I love him.  I did side-eye him a bit when he was applying the caramel to his Pi tart with his hands, though.  (I know he said the piping bag exploded, but I never actually saw the piping bag, and he has previously mixed things together with his hands.)

I'm fine with Corey going.

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5 minutes ago, strippedhalo said:

I did side-eye him a bit when he was applying the caramel to his Pi tart with his hands, though.  (I know he said the piping bag exploded, but I never actually saw the piping bag, and he has previously mixed things together with his hands.)

Same here, especially knowing that he was the one who mixed cake batter with his bare hands in the first episode. I was like mmmm, I don't know, man. All I saw was James dripping caramel from his bare hands.

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16 hours ago, Bunnyette said:

I think Vendana should have been star baker, her fondant fancies were perfect while Linda's were not...yet Linda wins?  I am enjoying the show though

I believe they award the title based on overall performance over the whole episode, so Linda probably was judged to be stronger because of her earlier desserts. They did look very appetising and I would love to get the recipe for her pie.

Also, there is one dimension we do not have access to: how the dishes tasted, which may give someone a slight edge in a close contest.

Spoiler

So next week they will be making "tourtière". I wonder if it will be the traditional version fom the Lac-Saint-Jean region, with several types of meat including game, or the more standard pork meat pie version eaten elsewhere in Québec and Acadie.

Edited by Florinaldo
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Vandana: There's only seven of us left so I think you really just have to do your best and really try to stand out.

Julian: So far in the competition, I think I've done okay. I've tried to stay in the middle and that's where I want to be.

I want the bakers to WANT to win. I don't want bakers who are content to coast. Quit aiming for the middle, Julian! AIM HIGHER.

Ooh, tourtières! Hilariously, when I saw the preview for Canada week, I misheard and thought thought the voiceover said tortillas and I was trying to figure out how tortillas were Canadian. I'm down with meat pies though!

Julian's Halifax ground beef and pork tourtière looked a little dry. Cute idea to bake it in the skillet since he was going for that smoky camping theme. The sweet Donair sauce sounded yummy though!

Linda's traditional tourtière with Alberta ground beef and sweet chili sauce looked very professional. Loved the maple leaves on the top.

Sabrina's ground lamb, beef, and pork tourtière with ketchup and gravy looked soooo crumbly. I thought the judges would ding her for having an open top on her pie.

Jude's Vancouver Island tourtière with pork loin, bison, turkey, and yam looked really nice. Good thing she got the salt right this time but she would have listed to Bruno about not adding too much clove.

I loved the snowflakes on Terri's Christmas Eve turkey and bacon tourtière with cranberry apple chutney. The crust looked flaky and the meat looked delicious.

I was curious to see how James' vegetarian tourtière with ground almonds, carrots, onions, and beets with tomato relish would turn out. Using the beets to give a pink meat color to the filling was smart. I thought the judges would say that the bottom crust was too thick though.

Vandana's chickpea, cashew, and portabello mushroom tourtière with lime cilantro chutney looked really thin compared to those hearty meat pies. It looked more like a tart. The decoration on top was pretty, and I loved hearing how buttery the crust was.

Ha, loved Dan eating as many rejected cookies as possible while the bakers were working on the technical challenge. I've never had maple sandwich cookies but they sound pretty damn good. What's not to like?

Man, Linda is kicking ass! I had to laugh when Terri said the reason she put that much sugar on her cookies is because that's how her kids would like them.

Loved that Julia and the judges were all wearing shades of pink for the showstopper. They looked like an acapella group. Mmmmm, donuts! Loved that they had Julia explain the difference between how cake donuts sink and yeast donuts rise and have a white line in the middle. Although I have eaten many donuts in my life, I never knew that!

I'm with Bruno - donuts filled with cream or jam are THE BEST!

I want to go to Terri's house for playdates if she's making these donuts! The maple glazed donuts with maple fudge leaf had LOTS of filling, which I love. Her marshmallow puffs looked amazing.

Sabrina's s'mores donuts and poutine fries were SO fun and creative. The caramel gravy was a great touch.

Vandana's presentation was simple and fun. Just adding those little cocktail umbrellas gave a summery touch. But you shut your mouth, Rochelle! Having the glaze go all the way down the donut isn't too much! The Saskatoon berry white chocolate donuts looked good. Her sour cherry lemonade donuts were a nice contrast in color.

Jude's seaside donuts were a cute idea. I get buckets and shovels went with her beach theme, but it looked kind of messy. The starfish with blackcurrant glaze sounded yummy. Her jellyfish with blackberry jelly filling was a great idea - a jellyfish filled with jelly! Loved how she cut the dough to create the jellyfish legs. I know she didn't have time to make new dough, but damn, it tripled in size? I'm glad that Rochelle explained how that affected the frying process and made them oily.

Linda's maple bacon donuts and her coffee donuts all looked great (despite the fact that the chocolate hockey sticks melted in the heat - but hey, chocolate tastes the same no matter what shape it is!).

Julian's glazed canoe donut with triple sec pastry cream wouldn't have looked like canoes without the tiny paddles sticking out, but it was still a fun idea. His Nova Scotia rum runner donuts were so flat and dense. They looked more like bagels or hockey pucks.

James' Okanagan peach beignets sounded delicious. Like Bruno, I thought there should have been more peach filling inside and a little sliver of peach on top would have made them look a little fancier.  His French crullers with raspberry glaze sounded really good too. Loved his huge moose to present the donuts too.

James managed to keep his work station relatively clean, didn't spread or mix anything with his bare hands (he made sure to wear gloves this week), and got star baker. Maybe he should consider keeping up these habits.

I was a little surprised that Jude was eliminated instead of Julian. Those donuts were SO flat and dense.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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On 11/10/2017 at 9:58 AM, strippedhalo said:

I can't remember what specifically they said about Julian, but off the top of my head, I would say that Atlantic Canada is known for seafood, friendly people, and seafood.  And music?  (I'm from Ontario, where we are known for being self-absorbed and the 401.)

And beer. And now hard cider. (I live in Halifax)

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Linda seems to be the most consistent, so won't be surprised if she wins. 

I've started really liking James, so hope he lasts a while longer.  And as a vegetarian, was pleased to see you can make a non-meat tourtière pie.  Both James's and Vandana's looked interesting, though not sure I'd want to try them or not.

It was time for Jude to go. She seems to be failing at something every week.

Edited by buffynut

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Oh, this will be good - I particularly enjoy when they butcher the classics. The Battenburg cake challenge had me in tears of laughter just with the visual/presentation issues! I wonder what the trio will be - mine would have to include bread pudding and trifle.

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The judges' description of tourtière was rather limiting in that it mentioned only the most mundane of meats, and only in minced form. In the Lac-Saint-Jean region, which considers itself as the birthplace of "real" tourtière, the combination of meats often includes game and rabbit/hare, but the major difference is that the meats are cut into cubes, not ground. People from that region frequently refer dismissively to the version described on the show and made in most of the rest of Québec as "just meat pie".

At least some of the cooks used meats that went off the beaten path. Julian's donair offering may have been dry but I think the sauce was there to offset that. Sabrina's sorry result is something I have often been served: a crumbly mess that falls apart even before it leaves the pan. Linda's pie held together perfectly, but she could have been more adventurous in her choice of filling.

I do not believe that I am a purist, but I do not think that a meatless confection can really be called a tourtière; it's a vegetable pie (or tart in the case of the slimline version by Vandana).

Avoiding overusing one ingredient or component is usually a good strategy to please the judges (see the reaction to Jude's overspiced pie). So it was amusing to see that with the cookies, the most frequent fault was that cooks did not put in enough maple cream; this was the exception where restraint was not the correct choice. Although the sugar topping was true to the rule since a few cooks were chastised for sprinkling on too much of it.

Good variety of donuts; yeast dough is always a major hurdle, both in the proofing and frying. I was impressed by some of the results, although there was the expected number of failures.

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