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Great British Bake Off 2019: Dessert Week

Great British Bake Off 2019: Dessert Week

by Chetna Makan 02 October 2019

After a run of unusually themed weeks we're back to something more familiar – desserts. Chetna Makan reports on how the remaining bakers got on in the Bake Off tent.

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Dessert Week kicks off the sixth episode of Bake Off this year. By this stage in the competition the tent starts to feel a bit empty; the benches are further away from each other and it is much quieter. This signifies we’re over halfway through the series, and on the home stretch towards the final.

The week begins with a signature challenge of layered meringue cakes (or cakes made of meringue with layers, as ‘expertly’ explained by Noel). Everyone gets busy with their bakes and they all sound pretty good except for David’s spiced meringue cake, which sounds like a bit too much spice for something as delicate as a meringue. Because meringues are so light in texture and flavour, they only need a little bit of added ingredients to make them sing.

Alice is making a Black Forest meringue cake which sounds like a great combination for the layers. Prue isn’t impressed with Priya’s mauve-coloured cream and Rosie has too much chocolate in her cake according to Paul. Henry has a messy cake but it tastes lovely.

Out of all the cakes presented, I love the sound and look of Steph’s cake best. The pairing of white chocolate, raspberry and pistachio is something I use a lot in my own cakes and it’s an absolute cracker of a combination.

Then comes the dreaded technical challenge and we are informed that it is one of the most complex the tent has ever seen. I’m not sure I agree as I remember many crazy technicals over the past ten years of Bake Off! The bakers are asked to make a verrine: a dessert in a glass with layers of mango compote, creamy coconut panna cotta, fresh raspberry jelly, coconut and lime streusel and short sable biscuit. It definitely looks like a tricky dessert with different elements and setting times, but sounds quite delicious.

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As we go into the showstopper round, Steph and Alice are at the top and Priya and Michael are at the bottom and in danger. The bakers are challenged to make a celebratory ‘bombe’ dessert, with one baked element and two dessert elements to make it spectacular.

Michael is making a Black Forest bombe (and is also celebrating his twenty-sixth birthday in the tent!). His bake ends up looking a bit gaudy but he does a great job with the flavours. Alice is making a tiramisu bombe with espresso chocolate, pistachio parfait and mascarpone rum mousse, which ends up looking spectacular and, according to the judges, tastes great.

Priya’s summer fruits bombe looked quite elegant but had a few issues with her overly sweet chocolate mousse. Steph made a mirror glaze bombe with dark chocolate mousse, coffee bavarois and jaconde sponge which looked stunning and was one of the best things Paul had eaten in a long time.

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When it was time for the results, it was no surprise that Steph was crowned Star Baker for the third week running. Steph herself seemed very surprised, believing it was going to Alice this week.

We also have to say goodbye to Priya, although I thought it would be Henry. He did too, saying he was already preparing to say his goodbyes as he was sure he was going home.

So there we have it – another week of Bake Off done. Bring on Festival Week – yet another first for the tent!

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