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Party week

Showstopper - "Anything but Beige" buffet foods

Showstopper

The mission for the Season 14 Showstopper was to create a colorful and highly decorative display of a mixture of sweet and savory party bakes. The bakers were given four and a half hours.

What the bakers prepared

Pre-historic Theme - Dan

  • Chicken curry dinosaur feet

  • Ankylosaurus tea cakes

  • Lemon Shortbread

  • White Chocolate Eggs in Nests

Judging: Pastry was good but dry. Lemon shortbread was great but close to the forbidden beige. The chocolate eggs were rated very highly.

Marvelous Sweet Factory - Cristy

  • Pink Chocolate Swiss Roll Lollipops

  • Lemon Meringue Cupcakes & Toadstools

  • Candy cane Cheese Twists

  • Spiced beef and onion patties disguised as sweets

Judging: "Rough and ready". Candy canes were underbaked. The savory candies were highly praised. All flavors were great.

"It's Christmas" - Josh

  • White Chocolate & Coconut Snowman Macaroons

  • Choux Xmas Puddings with Craquelin

  • French Couronne Wreath with cheese, spinach and pesto

Judging: Very neat and uniform. The level of decoration was great. The couronne was exceptional in both looks and flavor. 

"Birthdays on the Farm" - Tasha

  • Sweet choux-bun lambs, filled with blackberry creme diplomat

  • Raspberry and Pistachio Pin-wheels

  • Za'atar and Sumac Milk Bread Pigs

Sports Buffet - Matty

  • Curry-filled cricket ball pies

  • Basketball creme brûlée doughnuts

  • Tennis ball macarons

  • Golf course of chocolate orange cupcakes

Judging: Good colors. Uniform pies. Doughnuts were spoiled because they were fried in oil that was too hot. Everything tasted marvelous, although the textures were slightly off-perfect.

Lessons learned

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Couronne Bread

Couronne bread originated in France, where the word 'couronne' means crown. Couronne bread is an artisanal sourdough bread woven into a ring. The recipe is usually based on the San Francisco sourdough process.  For this quarter-final of The Great British Baking Show, Josh flavored his Couronne with pesto and cheese.

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Craquelin

Craquelin is the art of adding a crunchy topping to choux pastry puffs (profiteroles). 

Craquelin is a dough of butter, flour and sugar, but with a much higher ratio of butter than, say, cookie dough. The high butter content makes it easy to roll out really thinly and then, while the profiteroles are cooking, the butter melts and the craquelin breaks up as intended.

Try to roll it really thinly - you need a large surface area and you need to reduce the drag of gravity that might pull the craqulein off your choux buns. 

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Za-atar and Sumac Milk Bread Pigs

Milk bread originated in Japan. It is made from a starter where flour is cooked in milk on the stove top to release the starch. This starter is then combined with the usual bread ingredients (flour, fat, sugar, yeast), kneaded and left to prove. It is often, but not always, made with enough sugar to sweeten the bread.

 

Tasha formed her bread into pigs but perhaps more importantly, she flavored the bread with za'atar which is a Syrian blend of spices as follows: dried oregano, thyme, and sumac (tangy and acidic) and toasted sesame seeds (nutty and rich).

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