The Great British Bake Off 2014 - Episode 9

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd October 2014
2014 contestants  - credit to BBCThe stakes were as high as could be as a place in the final of The Great British Bake Off was on offer this week, and Luis, Chetna, Richard and Nancy were left to fight it out over patisseries. Who would progress? Well, all would be revealed during the next hour. Round one was all about baklava and making two different types and 24 pieces in three and a half hours. This Middle Eastern sweet pastry demands excellent filo pastry with filling between the fine layers. Pronouncing baklava was in itself a rigorous exercise and the results were as varied as the contestants’ recipes. Chetna chose to make Masala Chai infused with Indian tea, and Nancy, for whom these patisseries were something new, tried putting muesli inside her pastries. Luis sparked a debate as to whether his star-shaped creations could be classed as baklava or not as he cut out stars to make a flower petal effect. The delicately thin dough was gently rolled, stretched and cut out by the 4 bakers, under the scrutinising eyes of Paul who prowled around the tent as the minutes counted down.Baklava Nancy did well without wowing the judges and Richard continued his good form from last week. The Mancunian of Spanish origins was let down by the taste and texture, however Chetna's taste was top notch as always, but the layering was lacking. There was no let-up in the technical challenge as each baker knew they couldn't afford a slip-up. The judges ordered a Schichttorte in two hours – another unheard of cake to be made from the most basic of instructions and the usual confusion pervaded the tent. A traditional, grilled German cake, it features twenty layers of alternating light and dark patry, the ultimate in patisserie complexity. Paul's light and aerated demonstration cake for the viewers' eyes only was impressive to behold. It was just as much a test of concentration as it was of baking, calculating cooking time and remembering the order of light and dark layers up to twenty. The silence in the tent said everything about the state of tension. Luis hit the magical twenty and got full marks for presentation. Richard also managed twenty layers and came in second place with Nancy in third and Chetna fourth – with only seventeen layers and a disappointing appearance. Schichttorte credit to BBCSo, it was all down to the showstopper and over to the female bakers to raise their game after two unremarkable rounds. In 5 hours the bakers were required to make two types of entremets – usually found in the windows of French bakeries – and twelve of each type. The judges were looking for mini works of art from everyone and reaching the highest standard was of critical importance at such as late stage of the competition. The seemingly generous time limit in reality was not so as all entremets required numerous processes and plenty of setting time for each layer to be able to be assembled. Richard's entremets looked stunning and the taste and consistency matched. Nancy's bakes scored highly on taste but did not do so well in terms of appearance. Luis' presentation was first rate as always, and the taste and texture was excellent as well. One of Chetna's creations did well, the other disappointed the judges. Richard's showstoppers - Credit to BBC All that was left was to decide on the star baker and, more importantly, on the unfortunate person who would miss out on a place in the final. Richard was named star baker for the fifth time, and although Richard was as consistent as always I would have liked to see Luis win this week considering he topped the technical challenge and his showstopper was sublime. Richard surely has to be hot favourite to win now. Chetna was voted off after an indifferent performance from her. So it just leaves the small matter of the grand final now, with Nancy, Richard and the very emotional Luis all hoping to shine. This is not to be missed. Words by Mark Savile

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd October 2014

The Great British Bake Off 2014 - Episode 9