The Great British Baking Show: Check Out the Sweetest Treats of the Season
The Great British Baking Show's Sweetest Treats of Season 4
The Great British Baking Show serves up all sorts of mouth-watering, eye-catching treats every week, so to make you super hungry/envious, we've put together a gallery of all the baking highlights in season 4. We'll be adding to it after each week's episode with our favorite creations. Prepare to salivate.
Things are getting serious in the Great British Baking Show tent. It’s semi-final week and that means Pâtisserie. The first pastry-related task was for the four remaining contestants to bake 24 palmiers (that’s French for palm tree and also a delightful snack made from puff pastry). The tricky part is that puff pastry is made with alternating layers of dough and butter, rolled and folded over to create MILLIONS of flaky layers — well, maybe not millions but a whole lot. Here’s Jane looking mildly afraid of her pesto and sundried tomato palmiers and goat cheese, olive, and parma ham palmiers.
The final challenge was to make 36 fondant fancies, two different types, 13 of each. Simple? Certainly not. These are small Genoise sponge cakes, topped with buttercream and coated with fondant icing — all of which had to be made from scratch. Andrew opted for a Victoria sponge inspired batch with vanilla sponge, raspberry jam, and vanilla buttercream, and a chocolate and coffee flavored batch with marshmallow icing. In an attempt to create a philharmonic fondant orchestra of cakes, he decorated each with sheet music and bowties. Despite describing the baking experience as “manic,” the orchestra hit the right note with the judges and Andrew was named Star Baker. Mary told him “the presentation is stunning,” while Paul added “good jam, good sponge, good flavor,” momentarily forgetting all other adjectives. Poor Selasi’s didn’t quite rise to the occasion and he found himself packing up his baking tools and heading home after a fondant faux-pas or two. We’ll find out what the final has in store next week!
Selasi's Flower-Shaped Pies
Week 8 marked the first-ever Tudor-themed week in the baking tent, and it's understandable if tackling food commonly found in the 16th century made the five remaining bakers a little nervous. The signature challenge saw each contender make a pie with Tudor flavors, in any shape they wanted. The always-ambitious Selasi opted for little pies shaped like flowers.
As always, the showstopper was a treacherous task — but this week, it featured a Tudor twist that Henry VIII would have been proud of. The bakers were challenged with baking a Tudor-themed marchpane (marzipan) cake in a three-dimensional shape. Andrew gallantly opted to create jousting knights, but it was Candice who stole the top spot with her peacock-shaped marzipan creations.
Week 7 in the Baking Show tent was dessert week. Yes, pretty much EVERY week is dessert week on GBBS but these are fancy desserts. Think something you’d be served in a swanky French restaurant at the end of a 6-course meal. For the signature challenge, the six remaining contestants were tasked with making a family-sized roulade. It’s pretty much a sponge cake rolled up and filled with whipped cream, jam, or icing. Delicious but finicky, especially since the judges were very particular about the even layers of filling. But, as always, the showstopper was the true challenge: The bakers were asked to make 24 mini mousse cakes in two flavors (12 of each). Here’s Benjamin’s drool-worthy Apple Crumble Mousse Cake & Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cake.
It was Andrew who took the top accolade this week. He was crowned star baker for his Childhood Ice Cream Mousse Cakes. Here he is rolling chocolate curls to adorn his little delights, which were bright in color and presented on a cake stand that resembled an amusement park’s big wheel. Twelve had fruits of the forest-flavored mousse and vanilla sponge and tasted “divine” according to Paul. The other 12 had chocolate sponge (his gran’s recipe) and mint mouse with honeycomb on top. Despite Mary’s fears that it was “all quite ambitious,” he still wowed the judges. Andrew was “really, really chuffed” with the feedback. On to the quarter final!
Selasi's Bakewell Tart
Pastry week in the baking tent always turns up the heat on the contestants and many crumble under the pressure. It’s the week when terms like “blind bake,” “soggy bottom” and “lamentation” are thrown around and it’s all very stressful. For the Technical Challenge the bakers were tasked with putting together a Bakewell Tart — that’s an English special consisting of a shortcrust pastry shell, layers of jam, frangipane, and a flaked-almond topping. Selasi came in third in the challenge with a “good color in the pastry” and a "nice strong underneath."
In this week’s third challenge, the bakers had to make 48 filo pastry amuse-bouche: 24 savory, 24 sweet. Andrew went for Spicy Chorizo Squash Parcels and Baklava Bites. His slack mix of filo dough turned out a little on small side but he packed in enough flavor to keep the judges on hi side.
So whose pastry treat happened to amuse (so sorry) the most? Candice stole the show (stopper challenge) with her Sausage, Black Pudding, and Apple Rounds and Banoffee Whiskey Cups, which proved that adding booze to any dessert is a winning recipe. Or maybe she just won because of this: “It’s good to get your hands in and give your sausage a good squeeze.” If you’re playing the innuendo drinking game, finish your damn drink.
Andrew's Cake Showstopper
On week one of season 4, Andrew's Ultimate Indulgence Orange Mirror Glaze Cake stole the show, with Paul dubbing it "absolutely stunning" and Mary adding that "all those flavors are a perfect marriage." Star Baker went to Jane, but Andrew proved he was one to watch.
Biscuit week was next up! (And by biscuits, the Brits mean cookies.) But if you're thinking easy-to-throw-in-the-oven balls of chocolate chip dough is all it takes, you're frightfully wrong. Check out this gingerbread construction from Val, built to resemble architecture from Holland, New York, and good ol' Yorkshire. Yes, that's the Empire State Building!
Andrew's Gingerbread Showstopper
Swans! Tourists with cameras! A boat! We can't believe Andrew didn't crumble under the pressure of creating his ambitious "Punting in Cambridge" gingerbread construction.
Kate's Gingerbread Showstopper
For Kate, four hours in the tent produced a biscuit tribute to her daughters at summer camp; she even included three flavors of gingerbread and a swooping brown owl.
Jane's Bread Showstopper
Week three in the tent saw the bakers take on bread. Jane filled her ring of dough with chorizo, chili flower, bacon, parmesan, and pesto. Sure makes you look at toast in a whole new and diminished light.
Andrew's Bread Showstopper
Andrew built a Braided Harvest Basket Bread, proving he's a regular Vincent Van Dough. (Pun courtesy of Sue.)
Candice's Bread Showstopper
Candice's Italian Light and Dark Rye Twist bread needed a little extra kneading but it was enough to keep her in the running for another week.
Andrew's Yorkshire Tapas Puddings
You batter believe it's batter week! The signature challenge saw the bakers take on filled Yorkshire puddings -- for those of you who didn't grow up in the U.K., these aren't even close to a dessert food. They're actually a savory item served with a traditional Sunday roast. Here's Andrew adding a Spanish twist to his by throwing in some Iberican flavors.
Benjamina's Yorkshire Puddings
Ready to feel your mouth water? Benjamina made Red Onion Chutney, Brie, and Bacon Yorkshire Puddings. She even got a "great texture" and "excellent flavors" from Paul.
Kate's Batter Showstopper
For the Batter Week Showstopper Challenge, the contestants said "Hola" to the deep fryer and whipped up some churros. Kate made Hot Cross Bunny Churros complete with chocolate custard dipping sauce. Unfortunately, Paul thought they resembled roadkill more than happy bouncing bunnies. Eek.
Benjamina's Batter Showstopper
Benjamina stole the show with Tropical Churros decorated with desiccated coconut and served with a passion fruit and mango dip. They were exotic enough to earn her the Star Baker crown and an "absolutely beautiful" from Paul. ¡Olé!
Week 6 in the GBBS tent was all about the botanics. “What? Plants and flowers?” I hear you cry. “This isn’t the Great British Gardening Show!” Alas, no, that show doesn’t even exist (but totally should). Nonetheless, this week’s episode was all about the floral infusions — Mary even showed up in a flower-patterned jacket. The signature challenge saw the remaining bakers create a meringue containing citrus fruit, while the technical was all about the leaf-shaped herb fougasses (those are just Roman flatbread). The showstopper was where things really blossomed; just look how pretty Andrews’s three-tiered flower-themed cake was — shame his bake let him down.
It was Tom who snatched up the star baker accolade with his Floral Tea Cake. (He was also first in the technical challenge.) The bakers were told their cakes could have flowers in or on them, and they could use flowers to decorate or fill their cakes. All of this had to happen in four hours. Mary issued this warning: “To get that light floral flavor coming through is very tricky, and in some cases, can be very overpowering — they have to be very careful.” A fan of jasmine and chamomile teas, Tom decided to infuse his sponges with their flavors, then piped elderflower buttercream rosettes to entirely cover his sponges. Despite the judges' worry that the weak tea flavor wouldn’t come through, they were suitably wowed by the end result (there was even a “beautiful” from Paul) and awarded him the top honor this week.