The Great British Bake Off: Dessert Week
October 12, 2021 11:02 PM - Season 12, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The cake layers stack up in an elegant and challenging bake for dessert week. There's also a spherical celebration cake and a technical where success lies in precise decoration.
posted by ellieBOA (30 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I fully recommend reading the jokes on twitter after watching!


I knew Maggie wasn't one of the best after the last weeks but it was painful watching her make mistakes on every challenge, it really does get harder every week. Chigs was well deserved star baker!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:36 AM on October 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

(I know FanFare is spoiler friendly but the episode airs later in the US than the UK).
posted by ellieBOA at 12:53 AM on October 13, 2021

Spoiler <details> <summary> Spoiler <summary> is the series of HTML tags you want </details>

...but I don't think anyone clicking into comments can blame you if you don't use it.

Freya got lucky Maggie was there. This seemed like her biggest hurdle in the whole normal slate of challenges.

The challenges that they have to roll sponge are the only ones that seem actively unpleasant to me.

I wonder whether they have access to instant-read thermometers for e.g. the toffee puddings. If they know generally what temps to hit, that stuff is foolproof! You just need to remember the flour.
posted by supercres at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2021 [5 favorites]

"This cake was inspired by my sister's new bathroom tiles" iconic. (It looked amazing.) Also amused by "This cake was inspired by a crime scene I went to". Was pleasantly surprised that Paul didn't go on about how unusual or exotic charoset (pronounced in a way that hurt my soul) is. Ah, the bar, so low.

Can't say I regret Maggie leaving, and all the "well, it's a cake, not as important as delivering babies is it???" certainly pushed that. (Though that wasn't her fault, the hosts said it a lot.)
posted by jeather at 4:16 PM on October 13, 2021 [2 favorites]

Oh and I noticed the instructions for the technical have in red and underlined PLEASE DO NOT CONFER WITH ANY OTHER CONTESTANTS. Is that new?
posted by jeather at 5:48 PM on October 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Jeather, I remember those instructions from years past.

I also agree it was time for Maggie to go, though she seems like a delightful person for sure. I'm loving how Chigs is creeping up behind our German and Italian superheroes. And yay for Jurgen's Judaism rep! #WeNeedDiverseDesserts ;)
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:54 AM on October 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

Chigs did so well this week! And I loved his call home to his mom, who responded to his announcement that he won star baker with "am I on TV?" Very relatable mom. If I were his sister, I would definitely tell all visitors to my home that my bathroom tile was muse to a winning showstopper. The weird bragging rights I'd never even known possible!

Poor Maggie! I knew her time was imminent, but that technical, leaving out the flour. Oof. I wish she'd had at least a little success this week on her way out.

I cannot believe Crystelle's godmother (I think that was the relationship) would not share her pavlova recipe. Selfish. Of course, Crystelle did fine on her own. Nevertheless, this woman I do not know in the slightest is dead to me, because I am very well adjusted and even-keeled.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:41 PM on October 15, 2021 [5 favorites]

Jurgen!! And they didn't go into it, but pavlova is a common ish Passover dessert, too (particularly if you're lenient on the mixing meat and dairy in the same meal, too)- no flour.

(I did crack up at the Netflix subtitles transcribing his "Jews" as "juice".)
posted by damayanti at 5:31 PM on October 15, 2021 [5 favorites]

Not sure I can fault Maggie for ranking the birth of her children ahead of, well, cake.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:04 PM on October 15, 2021

Maggie is a professional child birther (retired midwife) ;-)

Tip for anyone doing a future baking technical: lay out all your ingredients, and check them off in your recipe before commencing.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:52 PM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hunh. Okay. Ha! I was wrong.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2021

This really makes me want to make sticky toffee pudding, though without the silly looking tuile.
posted by Carillon at 8:15 PM on October 15, 2021

I need to see that jaconde imprime of Enterprises kissing Jurgen once made.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:08 PM on October 15, 2021 [14 favorites]

Poor Maggie.

I’d heard about pavlovas for much of my life but never had one till I stumbled on an Aussie restaurant food stand at a festival, and it was love at first bite. My friend decided she could make one because she’s actually competent in a kitchen, and I absolutely gorged myself on it. I still dream about her making another one but I’m not sure she ever will. They’re my platonic ideal of dessert, but I like the traditional kind like Maggie’s best.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:49 AM on October 16, 2021

That's the first thing I though too "THe Great Big Mulp".
posted by kathrynm at 8:16 AM on October 16, 2021

I've never had a pavlova or a sticky toffee pudding, but I'd like to try them after seeing this episode. If Lizzie can remedy her presentation, I think she's going to go far. Everything she's made the judges always praise her flavors. Freya's pavlova was gorgeous.

I love getting a new star baker, and Chigs' reaction was awesome. I'd like to see Crystelle make it up there too. I don't see George or Amanda making it much further, though it would be a shame if Freya sinks herself with vegan ingredients.
posted by gladly at 11:22 AM on October 16, 2021

If I was a midwife I would absolutely rank delivering children above GBBO, and it's not because I don't adore GBBO, it's because it's delivering children. If I saved a life I would rank that above GBBO too. GBBO is lovely but depending on the baker's experiences it won't be the pinnacle of their lives. I don't think finding some things more important than a baking competition means the baker shouldn't be on the show.

I thought this was a great episode. It was focused on demonstrating one's skills without tricks or twists and I think that's when GBBO is at its best.
posted by Anonymous at 2:14 PM on October 16, 2021

I am not saying baking a cake or being on a baking show is the most important thing in every contestant's life, or that I want it to be, just that I found the weirdly intense focus on "not as important as being a midwife" very irritating. This does not mean I think Maggie didn't deserve to be on the show, it's a choice about the editing of the show that I didn't like.
posted by jeather at 7:50 PM on October 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

This really makes me want to make sticky toffee pudding, though without the silly looking tuile.

I have eaten many sticky toffee puddings and never once thought to myself you know what would make this even better? A tuile.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:55 AM on October 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Also it seems to me that the flavor of that tuile wouldn't go well with a sticky toffee pudding.

And now I want to make some since I've never eaten one.
posted by kathrynm at 2:42 PM on October 17, 2021

1) After Maggie saying she, "Never eats desserts," I finally realized after watching every season of GBBO that the UK meaning of a dessert is different than in the US. In the US, a dessert can generally be any sweet food, cake, pie, ice cream, even cookies. But in the UK, it seems like a more formal type of sweet baked item. Is that right?

2) Smitten Kitchen's Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe isn't a traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe as it's made in a 9"x13" pan, but I've made it a few times and it's delicious.

3) Jürgen's charoset pavlova: as I say every Passover, why don't we eat charoset year round? (perhaps could be the 5th question?). It's delicious. And there are many varities, with Jürgen's being more Sephardic with the oranges and dates, as opposed to traditional Ashkenazi versions that typically use apples. And I cringed at Noel's pronunciation of it as "shoroset".
posted by ShooBoo at 3:35 PM on October 17, 2021

Definitely would like to try making a pavlova after this episode, it looks frankly not too hard to make a traditional one like Maggie’s. Although not sure what I’d do with all the egg yolks other than make lemon curd, and at that point am I just making a crust less lemon merengue pie? My son saw the sticky toffee pudding challenge, and asked if I could make that, but I told him that was out of my league, I’d need to learn how to make crème pat first, and I don’t think I could do that without putting on a lot of weight.

Was excited to see Chigs do so well, this is really a great cast they’ve got this year.

As an aside, fanfare threads have always been for discussions about a show, clicking on this thread means you know who won this episode or don’t care if you find out, no spoiler warnings necessary, even if it hasn’t come out in the U.S. yet.
posted by skewed at 7:24 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

After Maggie saying she, "Never eats desserts," I finally realized after watching every season of GBBO that the UK meaning of a dessert is different than in the US.

I missed this when watching it, but I would normally take it to mean that she never eats a sweet course after/at the end of a meal. Which would suggest that she rarely eats something like sticky toffee pudding or crumble or any of the other things that aren't really eaten at other times (unlike cake). Maggie might have meant something different though.
posted by plonkee at 1:05 PM on October 18, 2021

Although not sure what I’d do with all the egg yolks other than make lemon curd

Creme brûlée!
posted by mmascolino at 5:30 PM on October 18, 2021

It was nice to see them get back to more relatable food-two of my favorites here that I make at least once a year, neither very hard to make delicious. Tuiles were just silly with sticky toffee pudding-offered nothing hit some dimension-and I prefer it with whipped cream rather than custard.
posted by purenitrous at 6:26 PM on October 18, 2021

Adding-a simple but super delicious sticky toffee pudding recipe. Add a little salt to cake and caramel.
posted by purenitrous at 6:35 PM on October 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Did they even _taste_ the tuile? "Yep, looks like tuile all right, good job" for the most part.

I must've lost my comment in an editing round, but we're at that nice warm fuzzy middle section where pretty much everybody that's left is generally capable, we have enough time in the show to actually see everybody and not just the wrecks, and we're not quite in the final rounds where every loss is a wound, but we're only an episode or two away. I figure Amanda or George will have a catastrophic week and then it's all business from there on out. Or Freyja will come up hard against vegan limits again. Lizzie seems like a wildcard - on the one hand her presentation is a little _too_ gaudy, but her flavors are good, which always seems like a risky line to walk.

I'm always hesitant about pavlova after having something with a merengue that made my salivary glands ache, which is when I discovered that the various merengues aren't just different stiffnesses but are also different sweetnesses. I mean, it looks nice, and it's basically some of my favorite things and seems vaguely adjacent to a schaum torte...

As always, the pudding made me regret that we really don't seem to go for that sort of thing over here, because it always looks delicious. At least sweet puddings, I'm not so sure how I feel about savory ones.

And finally a relatively normal showstopper. I can totally see one of my more baking enthusiastic friends bringing something like that to a potluck. I mean, not that specifically, we don't do mousses and jellies and such like that over here, which is disappointing, but that general quality of work seems like a perfectly reasonable target for home chefs who want to make something that looks impressive.
posted by Kyol at 9:15 AM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this is usually the best part of the season, you barely get a look at people's bakes early on.

I'm rooting for George as the underdog right now, though he's probably just not in the same league as Giuseppe and Jurgen.
posted by skewed at 12:00 PM on October 19, 2021

But he seems like the sort of weird underdog that could get all the way to the semi finals though, yeah. Like, just picking three, Guiseppe, Jurgen and Crystelle in the final, that leaves Amanda, Chigs, Freya, George and Lizzie. I think Amanda and Lizzie could get a string of bad luck, Freya might get screwed during EGG AND GELATINE WEEK or whatever, leaving George and Chigs? I could see it.
posted by Kyol at 12:11 PM on October 19, 2021

This recipe for sticky toffee pudding showed up in my feed today.
posted by kathrynm at 4:23 PM on October 19, 2021

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