The Visual Aids For The Great British Bake Off's Patisserie Week Will Have You Straddling Your Fondant
'Patisserie Week' is just fancy talk for 'French Stuff,' but we're not complaining because it all looks delicious.
It's the semi-finals, which means (or should mean) that everyone really brings it. It's also Patisserie Week, which means that we want to eat all of these pictures. Alas, the closest we'll get is talking about it on the latest Two Spotted Dicks podcast, and ogling these Visual Aids.
It's no sexy French depression, but Mel and Sue set the tone nicely to kick things off.
This will send some people on our forums into a rage, but we thought it was cute: Mel makes gentle fun of Candice by suggesting that her notebook is just a list of what lipstick colors she planned to wear each week, and then helps her reapply because she "doesn't look right without" it.
Neither of these is the tragedy it appears to be, but both sure look dramatic in the moment. We're also not at all sure how Selasi manages to pull out a whole oven rack?
Also, Andrew's response to Jane's spillage is "Five-second rule!" and it isn't even the cutest thing he does this week.
On to the palmiers! Jane's are a bit undercooked, and because of her oily choice of fillings, her dough is soggy. Adam is a huge fan of pesto and sundried tomato (and sundried tomato pesto) and loves how much filling these have, even if they're "wrong," so he will happily take any Paul doesn't want.
Jane's presentation is simple, but points for the matching basket with the pot of basil in it.
We've warmed to Candice's over-the-top presentation, but what's even going on here?
It doesn't make any sense, and it looks like a challenge to get at those upper pastries. Don't punish your guests, Candice. (Absolutely here for the palmiers, though.)
Selasi's are, to quote Paul, "a bit untidy," and apparently more than a bit raw on the inside.
Paul eats them anyway (ahem, Joe Reid) and declares they have great flavor. Mary was skeptical about his salmon choice (us too!) but she loves it.
We did enough juvenile damage to Andrew in the clip montage that opened this week's podcast episode, so we'll refrain from making any jokes about getting into his drawers or how he kept things moist. The judges love his palmiers, and this...
...seems like a good compromise on presentation when time is an issue. (Candice did something similar a few weeks back).
The model savarin for the technical:
Why is it wearing a nametag? Is it attending a cake conference? What are you supposed to do with the caramel sploosh when you serve it?
Selasi is not having it with the vague recipe. "Make the syrup."
It's very hot in the tent, so even Paul is forgiving of this melting cream.
Adam wants to know what the makeup department is using on the hosts and bakers to keep them from dripping everywhere, and where he can get some.
Segmenting oranges well (especially removing the membranes) is harder than you might think, but as at least one of us says almost every week on the podcast, we're not on Bake-Off, Selasi.
Get you a woman who reacts to Paul Hollywood like Mel reacts to Paul Hollywood.
"This looks so much better." If you say so?
Andrew's "fondant straddle."
We're intrigued by the variation of fondant application techniques.
The judges call Candice's fondant fancies "a bit messy," which seems awfully relative here.
Mary calls the flavors "stunning."
Selasi's are too sweet (duh, he used white chocolate for his fondant -- bleah), and Paul calls them "dainty." This sort of seems like a weird, bro-ish dig at Selasi, but to be fair, he's turned in some real messes the last couple of weeks, so these tiny bits of pink and lavender are legitimately unexpected.
Jane didn't do a proper crumb coat, and also dipped her cakes into the fondant (which means any crumbs that fell off had a chance to get back on); the judges also give her a very hard time for her lumpy sides.
Which is fair, especially given how specific they were about it in the challenge brief. But we would very much like to eat these regardless (and we're told they taste great).
Andrew had said he was doing a music theme, but Adam literally gasped when he saw Andrew's orchestra risers. The cakes are wearing little bow ties!
Even the little papers under the cakes are sheet music. (Also: YUM.)
Andrew clearly 100% thinks that Candice is going to win Star Baker, and his reaction when his name is called is amazing.