Editor’s note: This contains a recap of the third episode, including spoilers. If you haven’t watched yet and don’t want to be spoiled, click away now! You have been warned!
It’s Dessert Week! When you think of baking competitions here in America, they usually feature desserts, so this will be the most familiar episode so far. Except this is The Great British Baking Show, so of course Mary Berry has something tricky and unique up her sleeve for the bakers.
Signature Challenge Trifles
You may not be familiar with a trifle – its an English dessert that generally contains layers of custard, fruit and cake. Sue and Mel explain that while the bakers have a lot of freedom to make their own personal favorite trifle, the judges want “defined layers.”
Before we get into who has the most interesting trifle concepts, let’s just acknowledge that Glenn has trained his dog to give him high fives. That. Is. Awesome.
Deborah is straying far from the traditional ladyfingers for her trifle – she’s making a version of her lemon swiss roll. Her trifle features orange, lemon and mango with an infusion of liqueur. Her secret weapon? She plans to use a spray bottle to infuse the cake with her liqueur, a technique that will hopefully keep her layers more prominent. Paul seems to enjoy this technique.
Mary is a fan as well.
One of the biggest challenges for the bakers – and one they haven’t faced yet this season – is the need to multitask to get their desserts completed within the 3 hour time limit. For some, like Ruby, this presents a challenge.
In fact, the stress on the bakers is so great that we’ve just seen the first televised case of custard espionage! It seems that Deborah accidentally used Howard’s custard. (They were sharing a fridge.) Deborah looks mortified.
Howard shakes it off and its clear that he knows it was an honest mistake by Deborah. He hardly looks fazed at all.
Poor Deborah feels so bad. She’s basically become his sous chef, doing whatever he needs to ensure he finishes on time.
Alas, Howard does just barely finish his trifle, as do all of the other bakers. Here’s how the judges graded everyone out:
Good: Ruby, Glenn, Kimberley, Ali, Christine
Not So Good: Rob, Mark, Frances, Beca, Deborah, Howard
It seems like a number of bakers were nicked for making their trifles a bit too full, but in that regard, we agree with Glenn.
Technical Challenge: Floating Islands
This week’s technical challenge is to make floating islands, which is a dessert that features a meringue egg “floating” on crème anglaise. (Get the recipe.) Our reaction to this is similar to Ruby’s. It. Sounds. So. Good.
Or maybe that is terror at having to make this incredible Mary Berry recipe. Mary and Paul agree this will be a difficult challenge for the bakers — the meringue, in particular, will be difficult to execute. Especially since Mary’s recipe is given to the bakers incomplete.
Shaping the meringue into an egg shape is another challenge – one that nobody seems eager to try. The bakers seems to be looking around at each other like “you go first, no you go first.”
Last week’s English muffins are paling in comparison to this challenge (Want to try this challenge at home? Get the recipe.)
Howard is really struggling. His meringue eggs look like this, and now his custard is boiling. That isn’t good.
He’s starting over. There’s no time Howard!
Mercifully, the challenge comes to an end for the bakers. Its gonna be really interesting to see what Paul and Mary think.
After a tedius judging, here are the results:
Showstopper Challenge: Petit Fours
As the judges discuss who is excelling and who is in trouble, Mary drops a potential bomb. Could this be the week two bakers go home? Beca, Howard, Mark and Deborah better put together a strong showstopper bake. They all seem on the edge of going home.
And then there’s this brilliant joke by Sue: “You know, there’s a penalty for taking someone’s crème anglaise. You get taken into custardy.”
The showstopper challenge requires the bakers to make petit fours. (Uh oh, Glenn.) They need to make 12 biscuit-based and 12 sponge-based, but beyond that, they have free reign.
Petit fours involve such small bites, they require precision and a perfectly baked cake. Paul recommends using a simply-executed cake and adding flair around it. We’ll see if the bakers follow his advice.
The bakers all have fun and unique designs. Howard is doing savory – a coffee themed cake with a cheesy biscuit. Frances is doing a nutcracker theme. Ruby is winging it. Basically, Beca sums up the attitude of most of the tent:
Deborah isn’t having a good bake. Her cakes aren’t coming out of the baking mold. She’s going to have to improvise last-minute. Good luck Deborah!
The precision work required for these petit fours is amazing to see. As time runs down, the tent is heating up, literally. The bakers are struggling to finish their creations and trying to rush very delicate work. This is a big challenge.
Time is up! Let’s see what the judges think. Here is who did well:
And who didn’t do well:
So it seems like Beca may have saved herself, and Deborah and Mark are in big trouble. But, will the judges send one or two home?
The star baker is awarded to Christine – a very deserving winner. She was definitely the most consistently excellent baker throughout this week’s challenges.
The foreshadowing is correct. Paul and Mary are sending TWO bakers home. Who will it be?
Mark and Deborah are both sent home. We enjoyed them both, but they both had terrible weeks. Good luck next week.
What did everyone think? What would happen if an American baking competition show featured a custard theft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.