Wow! What an incredible episode this week. I think it was quite possibly my favourite ever! I was hooked within the first few seconds with talk of losing one or two bakers and baking burglaries. The theme was desserts and the challenges were tough which reflects the high standard of this batch of bakers. What an amazing job they all did.
The Signature Bake – Trifle
We started with the infamous, 400 year old British classic – a trifle. It’s a dessert that was reserved primarily for the aristocracy with it’s delicate layering of custard, sponge and fruits – until that is the rebel Hannah Glass popularised it by featuring a step by step recipe in her ground breaking cookbook which brought fine, upper class dining to the middle class masses.
Rather them than me. I’m not a huge fan of trifle. It’s just a sloppy mess of a dessert which I have never enjoyed but I must admit that there were some combinations from the bakers this week that had me salivating.
The one I most wanted to try was Christine’s Pina Colada Trifle. What a perfect combination of flavours – rum syrup, pineapple jam and coconut custard – yes please!
The bakers could choose any base for their trifle and like Christine, many opted for a sponge – I particularly loved Deborah’s use of a lemon Swiss roll as the base.
Mark, Beca and Kimberley opted for a ginger cake base which would make for a heavier base. I think this was the easiest component judging from the filming. The challenges came with juggling jellies and fruits and of course the crucial custard component.
There was much ado about custard this week and many reprimanding looks from Paul on the use of cornflour as a thickener. He commended Howard for being the only one to attempt this “correct” version. Debates about the thickness and the stirring technique and the consistency and the time to cook out the eggs ensued. It really all paled into significance to be honest because we also we also saw the start of “custardgate” as Deborah accidentally used Howard’s custard. Poor Deborah looked so aghast at having made the error but I think the judges did a great job in taking this into account in their assessments – Deborah sadly not faring too well as her own custard was too gloopy.
Christine, Kimberley, Ali and Glenn came out top on flavours with Rob, Mark and Beca not doing so well due to “slack” custards, overdecoration or overloaded layers.