To see our reviews of the actual Episode click on ‘Soggy Bottoms and Cherry on Top’ above. Below is our week-by-week account of how we faired with the same challenges as the Bake Off Guests. Enjoy! (Or don’t). Your choice.
Week Eight: Unconventional Flours and Unusual Deserts
Babs makes a yellow cake
This week there was only one bake and it did not contain dairy, or veg… oops!
Week Seven: Pastry
(left) Henry makes Profiteroles (well, the five that survive)
After multiple cocky entries (see the homepage) Henry finally meets his baking match with choux pastry. Actually, the pastry wasn’t the hard bit. It all went wrong with the Greaseproof paper drenched in too much water.
(right) Bairbre makes Puffed Pastry
At long last we had a savoury course and it was delicious. We’ve been feeling a little sick every week from over indulging, but Bairbre saved us this week.
(non-existent) Suet Pudding
Aodh was back in Ireland, so we decided to let this one off – and we’re kind of happy we did – you have seen a picture of suet, right?
Week Six: Sweet Dough
(left) Henry makes Tea Loaf
It was moist and crumbly, and Aodh said it was even better than his Mother’s (hi Aodh’s Mom) so you can’t get any better objective criticism than that?
(top) Aodh makes Apriot Loaf
Aodh put a twist on this round loaf recipe by excluding apricots (he’s really talented that way). Instead he used Apricot jam, and a base layer of marzipan and came up with a truly delicious afternoon or evening treat.
(right) Babs makes Raspberry Buns
Now, that’s enough talk about Babs’s Raspberry buns. These were light in texture, but big in volume. It was only when we read her entry that she said she burnt them. You couldn’t tell. Well, maybe Mary and Paul could – but we’re a bit more simple than them.
Week Five: Biscuit and Tray Bake
(middle) Aodh makes delicious pear and sage biscuits
The biscuits were crumbly, and crunchy and the sage and pear was a winning combination, but then Aodh tries to convince Babs and Hen that pepper isn’t a seasoning… yeah… exactly…
(left) Babs makes gerjumptuous chocolate mousse (with raspberries on top) all within a large tuile basket
We know gerjumptuous isn’t a word – but the mousse deserves an adjective of it’s own.
(right) Henry makes blondies (one way or another) and lemon, blueberry, and coconut cake slices.
After eating one of each, he passes out.
Week Four: Pie
(left) Babs makes Savoury Butternut Squash Filo Pastry Pie
Very few things can ‘break a (wo)man’ – but filo pastry is one of those things. Quite honestly we’re amazed Bab’s went to such lengths (literally…har har har) but she’s a perfectionist and produced a lovely rustic treat, which was an antidote to the sugary pies next to it.
(top) Henry makes Apple Pie
Henry opted for a Mary Berry recipe for this double crust fruit pie. The apples were a little tart (just like Henry) and he could have used more, but he made up for it with a little sunflower on the crust for decoration. Henry was particularly proud of his pastry, and enjoyed rolling it out immensely (he’s easily pleased). There wasn’t a soggy bottom in sight… (what happens out of an eye-line is another question)…
(right) Aodh makes custard tart
Aodh wows the crowd with a yummy-scrummy perfectly hard-bottomed custard tart. There was the lovely base, the creamy filling, and a nice caramel-coloured (but not tasting) thin-film on top. It was served with homemade custard too (what a show off!). It was so good we’re not even attempting any custard puns… but we will try an anagram: dust car? rust cad?
Week Three: Desserts
(left) Henry makes trifles (in individual jam jars)…
Containing a good dose of Irish Catholic guilt (for buying most of ingredients pre-made) Henry’s trifle was as you’d expect… pretty, sweet, but ultimately a bit ‘meh’
(centre) Babs makes floating islands…
In truth these were large continents adrift after the violent colliding of two plates – but they were as light and sweet as sugar infused clouds
(right) Aodh makes Petits Fours…
Stunning tiny chocolate bites that melt in the mouth with salty caramel topping and chilli flakes, Aodh’s ‘rustic’ Petits Fours lived up to their name. Aodh’s other Petit Fours, sesame snaps with passion fruit and white chocolate sauce were experimental like a Greenwich Village dancer mixing hip-hop with hop-scotch.
**We also apologise for a lot of TV Remotes – we did not attempt to eat any of these… really…
Week Two: Bread
(top) Aodh makes (well, he tries) Muffins…
By far the hardest recipe of the week, Aodh possibly finds the most convoluted recipe for Muffins ever and meets the Muffin Man (a kind of evil granny face in his punched-in dough ball/ see the homepage). Sadly a few came out raw, but some of them didn’t and were simply delicious with butter.
(right) Henry makes a decorative loaf (as decorative as he can)…
…and rediscovers his love of Maple Syrup (it’s just so syrupy). He learns how to prove, how to plait, and how to date (no, he doesn’t, he just wanted this bit to rhyme).
(left) Babs makes Grissini (not to be confused with Grizabella; the Glamour cat)…
Babs goes to Ireland (and her Daddy’s recipe book) to come up trumps with this Italian snack. She’s such a perfectionist she made two different batches. While not entirely uniform (how boring) they had a fantastic snap (like hearing an old woman’s hip pop out).
Week One: Cakes
(Left) Aodh makes Sandwich Cake…
Still warm from the oven, with home made raspberry Jam. It was damn yummy. Henry ate two slices.
(Right) Henry makes Angel Cake…
With blueberries soaked in Cherry liqueur (thank you Lidl) and Crème fraîche on the side. Henry had greased his cake tin, so he didn’t manage to turn it upside down to stretch the bake. He recommends you don’t grease. He figures his cake was like a semi-Angel cake – almost ascended, but still loitering on the marble steps.
(Middle) Babs makes Chocolate Cake…
With insanely yummy home made truffles as garnish. Babs was slightly despondent that she had to serve such a beautiful dessert on a plain tray. But Henry thinks it was industrial chique.