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Great British Bake Off – inspiration for Patisserie Week

Great British Bake Off 2016: Pâtisserie Week inspiration and tips

by Great British Chefs 19 October 2016

This year’s semi-final is all about the pâtisserie, a style of baking that takes years to master. See what the remaining four contestants will be tasked with and bake along with the show.


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Pâtisserie Week conjures up images of nervous amateur bakers sweating over intricate pastry confections as they attempt to become master pâtissiers for a weekend. Unlike other weeks, with patisserie there is nowhere to hide – consistency and finish are everything. Making the classics, such as financiers, délices, fraisiers, mille feuille and éclairs, takes patience, creativity and a steady, confident hand. As a result, most of us are happier to visit a pâtisserie than to make our own, but that’s why we’re sitting at home watching others battle it out in the Bake Off tent!

The signature challenge calls for a batch of palmiers, also known as pig’s ears thanks to their iconic shape. They’re made with a laminated dough that’s similar to but slightly different from puff pastry, which is then rolled up to create their iconic shape. We imagine the Bake Off bakers will be pulling out all the stops, which means there’s bound to be some interesting flavours and ingredients added, as the classic recipe simply calls for a dusting of sugar. But making the pastry perfectly will be the real challenge, as will baking them just enough for the palmiers to caramelise. Take a look at our guide on how to make arlettes for something similar that’s flavoured with cinnamon – perfect for the cooler weather outside.

For the technical challenge, Paul has tasked the bakers with making a yeast-based cake with a fruity topping and delicate chocolate work. Whether it’s a Gugelhupf or some sort of regional Bundt cake we’re not too sure, but it’s certainly circular in shape with a chimney in the middle. If you’re the proud owner of a Bundt tin, try making Izy Hossack’s Chocolate chip, pumpkin and rye bundt cake, or Nisha Thomas’ delicious looking Chocoflan cake.

Finally, the showstopper is a multiple mini cake bake, comprised of lots of different little cakes all baked to perfection and flavoured in a variety of ways. Paul and Mary will be looking for creativity above all else with such a vague brief, and we hope to see the bakers’ imaginations running wild. Karen Burns-Booth’s Chocolate box cakes or Claire Clark’s Pink Lamingtons tick all the boxes in terms of flavour, while Urvashi Roe’s delicate Earl Grey and lemon mini loaf cakes certainly look the part.

 
 

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Great British Bake Off 2016: Pâtisserie Week inspiration and tips

 
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