Having survived Botanical and Batter Week, the remaining Great British Bake Off contestants will be glad to get back to normal with the challenges of Dessert Week. One of the loosest categories, it covers a wide range of baking favourites and provides the contestants with an opportunity to show off lots of different skills. This year, however, the intrepid bakers will be tackling perfectly rolled roulades, batches of identical mini mousse cakes and a technical challenge that can even trouble the most accomplished Parisian patissier.
A roulade involves rolling a thin layer of sponge cake around a cream filling, so it’s vital to ensure it isn’t too dry to avoid splits and cracks. Chef Steven Doherty’s Chocolate roulade couldn’t be more classic, with the sponge wrapped around a raspberry cream with sliced strawberries and drizzled with a sharp raspberry sauce. Russell Brown’s White chocolate and lemon roulade, however, is a thing of true beauty, combining homemade lemon curd with a white chocolate mousse enveloped in a rich duck egg sponge.
This week’s technical challenge comes from the holy city of pâtisserie, Paris, and requires the bakers to create a dacquoise, a cake made with layers of hazelnut- and almond-flavoured meringue and praline covered in buttercream. Cutting meringue into even, crack-free layers is a near impossible task, but Paul and Mary are bound to be unforgiving this far into the competition.