It’s dessert week, and the bakers are feeling the pressure. And apparently Sue and Mel have made “curse of the star baker” happen because Tom is talking about it like it is definitely a real thing (it’s not, Tom, you’re just the worst. And I say that with love). No time for silly mistakes this week!
Their signature challenge is a family sized roulade, which is British for jelly roll, I guess. It needs to have a sweet filling along with its sponge and meringue. They have ninety minutes.
A roulade needs to have a nice spiral, like a Catherine wheel, whatever that is. You need to have the right amount of filling so it is not too big. Andrew says you don’t want to overfill it because you don’t want it “bulging”, but I’m like, speak for yourself, Andrew. Some of us like things that bulge.
Most of the bakers are doing a fatless sponge. Selasi is the only one adding butter to his sponge. Mary says that butter should make his sponge pliable, so there should be “no crack whatsoever,” which inexplicably makes Selasi blush and Sue look bemused. By the by, crack, nuts, roll, and swirl are this week’s drinking words.
Tom’s putting shortbread in his roulade, which seems like a bad idea. Paul even hints as much but does Tom listen? DOES HE EVER?
While the sponges are baking, the bakers work on their fillings. Benjamina’s is full of rum and coconut which you know Mary is going to like. Andrew’s doing a tropical roulade based on his dad’s recipe.
Candice is going to have raspberry cheesecake and white chocolate, and rolls it up while Paul and Mary watch it, which honestly I would have shat my pants.
Tom makes a second sponge while everyone else continues making their filings and assemble their roulades. “That is a lovely sight. A man spreading cream onto a sponge.” Mel is giddy and honestly if I were standing next to Selasi I’d be giddy, too.
Once the challenge is over, all of the roulades look pretty good, except for Tom’s, which looks like a poop log.
Jane rolled her roulade the weird way, to “get more slices” which is something I can respect. Paul thinks the alcohol almost ruins it while Mary is all for the tipple. Benjamina’s boozy pina colada roulade is festive as fuck with a tiny paper umbrella. Her roll is “just perfect” and Mary likes the flavor but Paul quibbles with the flavor of the coconut essence. Paul and Mary give Tom a hard time for covering his informal log with ganache, and Mary finds the flavor cloying. Candice’s swirl is messy and there’s a crack (drink) down the side. With all that, the filling is “scrumptious.” Andrew’s looks pretty good, and tastes delicious, but his swirl was a little flat. Selasi’s lemon and strawberry roulade is delicious and the swirl inside is actually quite good.
For the technical the bakers will make a marjolaine. Everyone goes WTF? It’s a french rectangular gatto. Which doesn’t clear things up at all. They have three hours to make four layers of meringue covered with nuts (drink).
Marjolaine? The fuq?
Dacquoise is a meringue with nuts, which of course. They grind and roast the nuts then make a meringue, then put that meringue into swiss roll tins. Most bakers spread it into the pans, but Andrew pipes his in. Praline is nuts in caramel, and then once it is cooled, it gets blitzed into powder, which seems like a waste of lot of effort. It gets folded into the buttercream. All the bakers are doing a great job with this technical, actually; they all seem to be breezing along. Then they try cutting their baked meringues in half, which seems like an awful thing to have to do. Then it’s just a matter of layering all of the elements evenly and precisely. When asked what it will look like, Andrew guesses a “Vienetta but posher.” To which Sue replies there is nothing posher than a Vienetta. I remember seeing ads for Vienettas when I was a kid, but we were more of a ice cream sandwich family.
The bakers smother their creations in nuts (DRINK) and it’s time for judging. Selasi’s meringue is a bit chewy. Andrew’s is neat looking with crisp meringue. Jane’s meringue is also a bit chewy. Benjamina’s got some piping problems, but good layers. Tom’s piping isn’t great and his layers aren’t distinct. Candice’s is neat with crunchy meringue. We end up with Selasi, Tom, Jane, Benjamina, Candice, and Andrew. Andrew’s feeling good and hankering for star baker, and he just might get it this week.
The bakers must make twenty four mini mousse cakes, two flavors, in four hours.
It’s a hot day in the tent, which doesn’t bode well for the setting of many mousse. Jane is making five different mousses, which seems like an incredible amount of work. Good luck with that, Jane! Gelatin helps mousse to set. The British get to use gelatin in little sheets, which I don’t believe is available in America.
FIVE MOUSSE ON A HOT DAY IS PERFECTLY REASONABLE.
Tom is making hipster picnic mousse sandwiches and piping his mousse instead of using molds. Which. Tom. Why. Why are you doing this. Paul makes his “WTF” face and I don’t think Tom’s going to do well today.
Candice is also doing an immense amount of layers for her cakes, but not as much mousse as Jane. Andrew is measuring strawberries, as you do. He’s also displaying them on a cake ferris wheel.
The bakers fight against the elements and their own memories (Jane can’t remember if she’s added gelatin to all her mousse(s?) or not) and try to get the bloody things to set. Candice makes a perfect mousse then whacks it in the freezer, turning it into a rubbery monstrosity. Tom sadly pipes his mousse onto his sandwiches. Selasi’s “mini” mint cakes are roughly the size of a large cat, and eye searingly green.
But everyone manages to get out their twenty four cakes, with their mousse set to varying degrees. Judging starts with Jane. It seems like it’s a good gamble to go big or go home, because often the judges want to reward you for being brave. Jane’s mousse is light and aerated and both flavors are well done. Selasi’s raspberry and passionfruit cakes look lovely, while his mint are too big. He does better with his passionfruit, and his mousse there is light and airy. Candice has some melting mousse that is more creamy than mousse. Her prosecco cakes look nice, but need a stronger fruit flavor and the texture of her mousse is stiff. Benjamina’s are messy from not setting, but her coffee cakes are so good that Mary goes in for two bites. Her apple cakes are also nice and sharp. Tom’s idea is original but there’s no finesse. His “apple pie with melted ice-cream” tastes good, but his mousse is not a mousse. His carrot cake is more of a spice cake. THE FILLING IS STODGY AND NOT MOUSSE.
Andrew’s look stunning. His fruits of the forest cuts well and tastes delicious. His mint chocolate has a softer mousse, but it also tastes delicious.
Jane, with her five mousse, has pulled herself out of trouble. Selasi and Tom are in trouble, and if Selasi goes home I will cut a tiny cake and eat it while I cry. Andrew’s display was impressive, and has done very well.
Sue announces star baker with a bunch of amusement park related puns, naming Andrew for the first time. Mel has the task of naming TOM as the person who is leaving. Goodbye, Tom, I can’t believe you made it as far as you did, having won bread week or no. You’re a sweet lad but I hate your bakes.
Until next time, bakers, may your roulades be bulging and may your dacquoise have just enough and not too many nuts. Gird your loins for Tudor week, it’s going to be a wild ride.