The Danes do everything well. They make the best bacon, the finest beer and the most delicious pastries. These are the reasons why I was so excited when the Bake Off did Danish Week.
Week 8 – the Quarter Finals, and what a week it turned out to be! The challenges were really complex but what’s more, Paul and Prue had morphed into pantomime baddies, oh yes they had! There were more tears than a whole cinema full of people watching A Star is Born. It was savage.
The open sandwich signature bake was cool. Rye bread is pretty hard to get right, it’s my favourite and I have made it once. All the contestants, except for Ruby struggled with the consistency and flavour. Manon, as usual, made something completely different.
The frankly bonkers technical was little round pancakes filled with apple and cinnamon. The vague instructions, and the fact that most of the contestants had never seen or heard of them before made for certain disaster. By this time pretty much everyone was crying and Rahul was certain he would be going home.
By the showstopper round, the room was subdued. I’m not sure if anyone felt safe by now and confidence was at rock bottom. What they all needed was a spectacular finish to secure their places in the semi-finals. The contestants were asked to make a traditional Danish celebration piece, an effigy of a loved one made entirely of Danish pastries and lavishly decorated with sweet treats. This was tough. The tent was in disarray as the bakers rolled and folded, made marshmallow and chocolates, and agonised over how long to prove their pastries. I loved Kim Joy’s artistic impression of her friend and Ruby’s slightly demonic looking sister. At the end it was Manon who went home and personally I think this was the right decision. It was not popular with many viewers who felt that Rahul should have gone, and he did have a really bad week, but Manon failed twice to fulfil the brief given. She didn’t make rye bread and she chose not to put any fillings in her pastries, so what she essentially made was puff pastry shapes, and a couple of Pain Au Chocolat!! I was with Paul and Prue this week and I can’t wait for next weeks episode.
Naturally, for my own challenge I had to have a stab at my own Kagekone. I chose to make my wonderful sister Em, she is a veterinary nurse so she is dressed in her scrubs. I won’t give you the recipe for puff pastry because it is very long and technical. I have made it quite a few times and I made my own for the challenge but you could use the ready made stuff, it would be perfect. I chose cream cheese and blueberries to fill my pastries, basically a tub of cream cheese, a little sugar, vanilla extract and an egg, whipped up into a smooth cream. I cut out discs and then used a twisted strip of pastry to make a border around the edge. Filled the middle with the cheese mixture and pushed in a few blueberries. Then I brushed the finished pastries with beaten egg and baked them for 20 minutes. The filling bakes like cheesecake in the centre and the pastry puffs up around the edges. I made smaller discs of pastry for her hands and long straws for her hair. I then made her scrubs and face from fondant icing and stuck it all together with water icing. It’s not a true likeness and the body is slightly more lumpy than Ems, but she was pleased that I had given her a nice cleavage and apparently it tasted good so I think it was a winning result. What do you think?
Thanks for reading. xx