The Great British Bake Off: 7.07 Dessert Week

With the quarter-final within touching distance Dessert Week upped the ante yet again. Precision, delicacy and a touch of finesse were needed to prevail, or at least to avoid Paul Hollywood’s look of distinct disappointment.
The technical was typically fiddly, Roulade, better known as a sophisticated Swiss Roll. Only Selasi went for butter in the sponge for extra pliability for his 'Summer Picnic Roulade' and it largely worked, even if there were moans of a lack of curd. When Benjamina wasn’t sampling Selasi’s wares her 'Pina Colada Roulade' with coconut and pineapple combinations impressed and her textures were spot on. The extra rum probably helped, as it did for Jane’s boozy chocolate which Mary lapped up in her 'Chocolate and Hazelnut Roulade'.

Candice again proved a ‘Crowd Pleaser’, this time making a white chocolate sponge for her father (not Paul). The swirl looked messy and there were a few cracks but the filling was scrumptious, as it usually is with her. Similarly, Andrew’s design was cute for his ‘Tropical Holiday Roulade’, even if the sponge did collapse under the weight of passion fruit curd. As usual, Tom tried to impress with his flavours by lobbing in some nutmeg into the sponge. He should have been paying more attention to presentation as the cloy combination of shortbread and caramel in his ‘Millionaires Roulade’ was then smothered in chocolate ganache, giving the childish appearance of a chocolate bar. Not a great start.

Anyone heard of a Marjolaine Cake? Apparently it is a French rectangular gateau with layers of nutty meringue and praline buttercream known as dacquoise with chocolate ganache. Nope. Me neither. Whatever it was it made Candice look like a pouty builder as she divvied up her layers. We already know that Tom does not do neat and it really showed but somehow Selasi still managed to come in last, again, while Andrew triumphed.

If anyone wanted a repeat of Bingate then this week’s showstopper of 24 mini mousse cakes would seem familiar. Again it was unbearably hot in the tent which did not bode well for wobbly, melting creations. While they had to look classy they also had to taste fabulous, which would prove increasingly tricky. So quite why Jane decided to do FIVE separate mousses is a mystery, she pulled it off even if she did lose track of her gelatine. Her 'Chocolate Coffee and Vanilla Jacorde Cakes' looked sublime while the 'Blackcurrant and Vanila Ombre Mousses' were beautifully set, a supreme effort.

Unsurprisingly Candice also gave herself a bit too much to do with Champagne Cocktails (with Prosecco of course) for her 'Blackberry and Raspberry Bubbles'. Her 'After Dinner Mousses' were also a little stiff, not what she wanted to hear from Paul. Another to opt for mint was Selasi whose 'Chocolate and Mint' efforts looked almost radioactive. They failed to set and were much too big anyway though his 'Lemon, Raspberry and Passion fruit' ones did manage to look bright and delicate.

Paul almost looked embarrassed when he declared that Benjamina’s 'Apple Crumble' then 'Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cakes' both tasted amazing, it must be tough playing the bad cop constantly. Though they did not look good, they did not look half as terrible as Tom’s. “If this was a challenge for a mini cake with a picnic theme you’d be top of the class” said Paul and for once you sensed he could have been harsher. For a ‘Hipster Picnic’ they looked more like prawn sandwiches than mini mousse cakes, hardly surprising when he had piped the mousse for his 'Carrot Cake' then 'Apple Pie with White Chocolate'. With that, Tom was gone. Having triumphed in the technical, Andrew just needed to avoid serving a disaster, that he served his ‘Childhood Ice Cream’ mousse cakes of Mint Chocolate and Forest Fruits on a Ferris Wheel settled the deal. That they tasted divine according to Paul confirmed it for this weeks Star Baker.