UKE Baking Expert, Sophie Johnson gives us the latest from the week’s GBBO!

Swirling, sprinkling, spreading. Softly baked sponge oozing creamy fillings and melt in the mouth mousse.

Viewers were almost dehydrating from all the drooling, pass me a spoon… for delicious desserts week.

 

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Roll up, roll up! This weeks Signature challenge was a family sized, softly baked and gloriously filled, roulade. An even layer of filling and sponge carefully spiralled together.

Would the bakers find smooth perfection in their puddings, or would they crack under the pressure?

The temperature in The Great British Bake Off tent was tropical, with lots of fruity fillings and the odd boozy kick. Candice crated a ‘scrumptious filling’ with passion fruit curd and raspberry cheesecake, but her sponge was as dense as the darkness of her lipstick. Andrew kept it in the family with his Dad’s own passion fruit curd recipe to swirl with beautiful banana inside a zesty orange sponge, his stripy pattern impressed as did the melt in the mouth sponge. If you like Pina Colada (singalong!)…. Then Benjamina’s coconut, rum and pineapple roll was the one for you. She kept things fruity as she licked Selasi’s spoon, a Summer of lovin’ perhaps? Jane and Tom braved a staycation with their sponges, sticking to classic chocolate flavours. Jane’s boozy ganache impressed Mary’s tantalised tastebuds, but Paul wasn’t so sure. Tom’s millionaires roulade was more benefits street than beautiful, hidden with chocolate it resembled something one might find in ones toilet, and it’s cloying texture and dry filling it was more queen of the ‘throne’ than queen of puddings.

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From the tropics to the Technical, it was time to visit France. Mary wanted our bakers to bake a beautiful Marjolaine. Four layers of perfectly baked meringue, sumptuous praline buttercream, richly moreish dark chocolate ganache and crisply toasted nuts. C’est parfait! It was all so quiet as shiny meringues baked in the oven, carefully cut into layers and spread with a dacquoise so creamy it had us all daydreaming of fluffy clouds and a topless Selasi…… or was that just me?! It was our favourite hunky baker who came in last place with his chewy meringues and floppy sponge, his dacquoise was more ‘drunk’ than delicious. Benjamina’s wonky ganache placed her in the middle, perhaps she should’ve followed Andrew’s lead and measured her piping with a ruler. This perfect piping saw Andrew crowned the winner of the technical challenge with crisply chewy meringue and a naughtily nutty filling.

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There was a mousse loose about the….. tent in this weeks Showstopper. Twenty four marvellously mini mousse cakes in two flavours. Soft sponge, topped with moreish mousse and delicate decoration. Jane pulled all the stops out with her pretty puddings, baking perfect fleur de lis into her chocolate sponges and making not just two moist mousses, but five! Her chocolate, coffee and vanilla creations were a ‘beautiful’ crowning glory. Candice’s blackberry mousse with raspberry jelly and lemon were as bubbly as the prosecco she suspended them in, but unfortunately her after dinner mint chocolate ‘hidden heart’ puddings skipped a beat. More creamy than mousses they were in need of some life support.

Selasi’s sloppy squares of mint chocolate failed to impress, but his passion fruit, raspberry and lemon beauties were as attractive as I think he is, lovely and light and set just right. Following trend, Andrew had all the fun of the fair with his version of a mint chocolate and honeycomb ice cream. His mint mousse was ‘fantastic’ and his deliciously ‘divine’ forest fruit cakes sat atop a mini Ferris wheel were first prize for the judges. With both Benjamina and Tom going for classic flavours, it was the battle of the apple crumbles. Tom chose a ‘hipster picnic’ theme for his filled finger sandwiches of apple crumble and vanilla ice cream, and a carrot cake. Unfortunately his heavy use of nutmeg was just as heavy as his sponges and his sandwiches were a flop. Whilst Benjamina’s mini mousses were messy and melting, her ‘amazing’ chocolate and coffee mousse cappuccinos had the judges double dipping (naughty!) and her vanilla Genoese with apple crumble mousse had Paul at ‘oh hello’. Sharp, smooth and beautiful.

From the dizzying heights of the fairground to the flavours of France, it was Andrew who became this weeks star baker. Placing him firmly at the top of the roller coaster.

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Unfortunately one bakers ride had to come to an end and it was Tom who left the tent behind him.

Next week it’s the quarter finals, and what better way to challenge our bakers than with a bake off first…. Tudor week. It’s pies for Paul, a knotty technical and a marzipan masterpiece.

Now it’s time to close the fete, onwards to week eight.

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Sophie Johnson, 28, Proud mummy of Bea, 4, Expert Baker, loves all things cake, UKE’s resident baker.

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