The Great British Bake Off: 7.04 Batter Week

In a first for Great British Bake Off it was Batter Week. Of course this involved the classic staple of any roast dinner, a Yorkshire Pudding. Though twelve identical ones sounds sadistic if not nigh on impossible, especially when they need to hold their structure.

For most people Yorkshire Puddings seem relatively simple but this is Bake Off. This is where Rav incorporated coconut milk and it actually worked, Andrew included mustard powder and Tom used chickpea flour though his resembled blinis. Others went for themes; Kate opted for ‘Christmas Dinner Compromise’ though hers were irregular and small while Jane’s ‘Meat and 2 Veg’ wowed both judges. With the flavour, may I add.

Candice’s Beef Wellington filled efforts faltered on their rise but looked delectable and had a beautiful flavour. Thankfully Val will be allowed to return to Yorkshire as hers were deemed ‘proper Yorkshire Puddings’ by Paul, high praise indeed. Of the flavour combinations, Bejamina’s would grace any high class dinner party with Red Onion Chutney, Brie and Bacon while Paul called them cute and dainty. However, when you consider praise from Paul Hollywood, the handshake is rarely seen but Selasi got one for his Pork Tenderloin and Crackling, though you would hope it was for the fluffy and light texture of the Yorkshire.

At least this week they would have heard of the technical challenge; 12 heart-shaped Lacey Pancakes. Then again the recipe was deliberately vague to the extent that Rav threw in ALL his sugar. The main thing was to get the consistency right so they would hold their shape in the pan. Then they had to consider the heat, but it was ok, they had one practice pancake. Most worryingly was the fact that Candice did not own any lace pants and Andrew thought a lace pattern was checked. Though Mel then had to check with Kate if she was a ‘tosser or a flipper?’ Of course, Rav’s finished last as his were more like waffles, top of the pile was Benjamina for her great design and flavour.

Even the showstopper was relatively simple; 36 sweet Churros. Again, this is Bake Off where some people have to be fancy for the sake of it. Tom trod the line with his Fennel flavoured efforts, were they savoury? Were they sweet? They were definitely overdone. Rav’s were arguably even crazier with their Matcha flavour and White Chocolate with Wasabi dip but Paul thought them strange and didn’t find them particularly nice. Both were in trouble but Kate was the one to leave after a particularly difficult week and her Hot Cross Spicy Bunnies looked as crestfallen as she did.

Some played it safe, Candice added beer to her batter and her peanut butter topping was decent. Val went for a smart combination of Orange Zest with Chocolate filling and though they were disappointing she was out of danger. A few went for riskier flavours; Selasi with Lemon and Anise should have worked quite well until he froze the batter which resulted in a burnt outside and raw middle, which Paul was only too happy to point out. Jane’s was a bit more traditional and her Pistachio and White Chocolate efforts had a beautiful flavour according to Mary. Perhaps the most impressive of all were those in Andrew’s ‘Window Box’, even if he looked like doing himself an injury piping it. Top of the pile was not a surprise as Bejamina’s Tropical churros with Passion Fruit and Mango dip were pretty much perfect and with that she was Star Baker.