Tuesday night was the quarter finals of this year’s Great British Bake Off, and what a challenge it was! By far the hardest week yet, which saw the ladies tackle a baked cheesecake (signature bake), a chocolate roulade (technical bake) and a croquembouche (show stopper). Team Oestrogen, as fondly dubbed by Sue, poured their hearts and souls into producing some masterpieces, but for one baker it was not enough (no spoilers in this post, don’t worry!)
The signature bake saw an array of wonderful flavours again, which undoubtedly had the audience licking their lips and wondering how long it would take to get to the nearest American diner. Jo excelled with her quick Rum and Raisin cheesecake, whilst Holly got us into full Christmas mode by making a Father Christmas cheesecake which her family leave out for Santa each year (it must be his favourite house!).
During the technical bake, all the ladies succeeded in taste for the chocolate roulade, but the difficulty was getting the tight roll and making sure that there were not too many deep cracks in it. The roulade is different to the swiss role as it contains no flour, fat or raising agents, instead using whipped eggs whites to keep it light. Janet sadly rolled hers too early, meaning that much of it broke apart and she came out at the bottom of the task. Yasmin and Jo (second and first respectively) topped the challenge as theirs had the best presentation.
The croquembouche was the ‘piece de resistance’ of the show, with each of the ladies inputting their own unique style into their creations. Yasmin went for a Rose croquembouche, but ended up burning herself and the sugar in the process; whilst Janet produced a Vanilla and Orange tower on a Nougatine base which Mary and Paul loved. Mary-Ann’s flavours were also a hit (an Orange and Praline croquembouche), however she attempted to make cute and dainty profiteroles and was told that they should be bigger (sod’s law)! Even though her tower started to collapse at the last-minute as she had used cream in the filling, Jo was crowned this week’s Star Baker, and I have bestowed on her this post’s title of ‘Queen of the Choux Tower’. With 4 lovely ladies left in the competition (and pastries to master next week), who will come out tops?
So, to continue the theme of adding a recipe to my GBBO posts, I decided to take a complete opposite stand and provide a very simple and yummy dessert recipe. It works all year round as is best with seasonal fruit, and is a great dessert to whip together at the end of a long and complicated dinner party menu. I like to call it Bee’s Easy Pud.
Ingredients (very simple):
1 packet of thin caramelised biscuits (Sainsburys or Tesco are best for these)
An assortment of soft fruits (whatever is in season)
1 large tub of thick creamy yogurt (for example, greek yogurt or fromage frais)
2 glass tumblers
Crunch up the biscuits in a bowl (using the end of a rolling-pin helps to get it crumbly without making too much of a mess). Chop up the fruit into small pieces. During the summer I like to use berries, but peaches also work well (and tinned ones are fine). Mix the yogurt up so that it is smooth, and sweeten with caster sugar if needed. Note: you can use flavoured yogurt too (the photos include a raspberry fromage frais), however make sure that it compliments the fruit. Put a layer of biscuit in the bottom of the glass tumblers.
Add a layer of yogurt.
Add a layer of fruit.
Keep layering until you reach the top of the glass.
Not only does the dessert look yummy, but it requires very little effort or prior cooking. It is always a nice light addition after a very heavy meal when you still want something a bit sweet! Enjoy 🙂