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.