Great British Bake Off – episode 4 review


Surely the question of the week is not “what self saucing pudding are you baking?” but “why are the bakers not licking their spoons and bowls clean while making delicious chocolatey desserts?”! How can anyone watch that show without desperately wanting to eat Kate’s salted caramel chocolate puds, or even Norman’s ‘messy’ sticky toffee puds?

Overall the bakers were successful in their self-saucing signature challenge, although for a couple of bakers the gooey sauce centres were a bit more solid than planned. Poor Martha’s peanut butter and chocolate fondants glued Paul’s mouth shut, but he recovered quickly enough to moan about it.

Next up was the technical challenge, where the bakers had to make Mary’s tiramisu cake. Firstly they had to bake a light sponge (no sponge fingers for these guys), cool it and soak them in coffee and brandy and then layer the sponge with marscapone cream and chocolate which they had tempered themselves (on one of the hottest days so far in the tent!). Some good rises, some leaking sponges, some even layers. Norman wanted to save some of his brandy for a wee nip and his sponge ended up being a bit sparsely soaked, giving him 8th place (pipped to last place by Diana). Martha won with her precision, even layers and wonderful taste.

This week’s showstopper was one of the most demanding for a hot summer weekend: baked alaska. Each contestant had to bake their own sponge, make their own ice cream, and create their own meringue! The bakers were all immediately concerned about whether the freezers would end up in overdrive.

Of course, none of the bakers were using a basic sponge and vanilla ice cream combo. We had swans, disco balls, incredible ice cream flavours (none of which were freezing in time). Luis had two KitchenAids on the go at the same time while he made two bowls of meringue. The temperature in the tent hit 25 degrees as the alaskas started to melt, and Iain chucked his alaska into the bin after he discovered that Diana left his ice cream out of the freezer. #Bingate.

The final alaskas (apart from Iain’s) were impressive considering the pressure they were under (Chetna was having to scrape the meringue back up the alaska with her hands), and the judges were impressed with Martha’s take on a classic key lime pie.

Star baker this week was Richard (for the second time), and sadly Iain ended up leaving the tent after his frustrations got the better of him when he messed up his alaska and plonked it in the bin. Theediting of the show suggested that it was Diana’s fault though, and so there is a Twitter furore as to why Mel and Sue didn’t mention that fact to the judges.

Next week is pies and tarts, and it already looks like there are going to be several kitchen disasters for week 5 of the bake off.

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