A little subdued in the tent this week I thought. I think all these ladies are quietly competitive. Or rather all except Beca and Kimberley. I think we are seeing their competitive streaks portrayed with the lingering looks over shoulders.
The Signature Bake – An Unusual Flour Bake
The bakers had to make a loaf using an unusual flour – rye, rice, spelt and the like. Paul advised us that all these unusual flours have different properties and gluten levels which effect the rise and the bakes.
I think it was a bit of a dull challenge for this stage in the competition and all the contestants did well to be creative.
Ruby opted for Spelt Loaf with Mango and Nigella seed. Her loaf looked very similar to Lucy’s Cob at the start of the series so I was a little fearful it would be too simple for the judges. I loved Beca’s Spelt, Potato and Rosemary Focaccia.
Christine prepped a Multi Seed, Multi Flour Loaf using tapioca and rice flour. The stunners for me were Kimberley and Frances. Kimberley’s Couronne with Wild Garlic Pesto and Parma Ham. I’m a veggie but I loved the styling and layers she managed to achieve.
Frances went all floral inspired with her Apricot flavoured, Chelsea Flour Daisy shaped, tear and share loaf and I think she should have orders flooding in for it. Looked delicious!
Kimberley was the only one to receive negative feedback. Her layering was impeccable but Paul had issues with her texture which was “all wrong” and “dry”. High praise was showered on everyone else despite hiccups they feared. Christine’s loaf stuck but was praised for it’s overall look and flavour. Ruby’s Loaf was underproved and underbaked but Mary commended the flavour.
Frances beamed as her style and substance won the round of baking.
A Not Very Tricky Technical Challenge
For the judge free challenge, the bakers were asked to prepare one of Mary’s recipes for Dacquoise which is a dessert from South West France. I think the contestants all looked like they were being challenged but were secretly rejoicing as they seemed to find it all a bit easy. They seemed to sail through the areas highlighted as problematic.
Mousses and custards looked luscious but firm for spreading. Nuts seemed to be chopped to the right size so they wouldn’t make the meringue oily and deflate. Some even roasted them off to get rid of the oil. There were no baking times given but these seasoned pros seemed to know what they were doing pulling out rings of meringue that looked rather perfect on screen.
Perfect except Christine. Christine’s bases did not crisp up but instead were chewy which Mary pointed out was due to being baked too quickly vs letting the meringue dry out. Uh oh. One bad bake is all it takes to be on that danger list