A Picnic Feast – Final GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 10)

img_5583WEEK 10! THE FINAL!

Sort of. (Just pretend this is 3 weeks ago! Kthnx.)

Ok, so I know that with all the recent US election stuff it feels like GBBO ended about 25 years ago but… I FINALLY got around to doing my FINAL Showstopper Challenge post! *pats self on back*

Tbh, I knew from the get go that I wasn’t going to bake the showstopper that very weekend… what with the final episode falling in half term… and it being the Halloween weekend… and whilst I had my cousin Vanessa visiting. Priorities. However, after watching the episode and realising the extent of what I was actually going to have to make, I wasn’t really looking forward to the task and may have put it off a little longer than intended. I’m sure you can understand why though…

A WHOLE FLIPPIN’ PICNIC?!

49 INDIVIDUAL THINGS?!

IN 5 HOURS?!

SERIOUSLY?!

Yup, for the final the bakers were asked to make a picnic feast containing the following:

  • 12 sausage rolls, with homemade puff pastry
  • 12 mini quiches, with homemade shortcrust pastry
  • 12 fruit and custard tarts, with homemade sweetcrust pastry
  • 12 savoury scones
  • 1 chocolate celebration cake

In 5 hours. Sigh.

So yeah, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Especially when faced with the fact that I was going to be spending lots of time/energy/money making a tonne of food for no real reason other than a personal challenge! It just felt a bit ridiculous. I mean, my family probably could have polished it all off no problem… but it still felt like a waste.

That was until I had the bright idea of doing something productive with the food I was going to make (instead of just fattening up my family!) …

Why not sell it for charity? 

Then suddenly I’d found the inspiration and motivation to finally get the showstopper done! *flexed bicep emoji* And with Children In Need falling in November (specifically yesterday, Friday 18th Nov 2016), I thought that would be the perfect charity! Therefore, last Sunday I spent most of my day in the kitchen baking a feast, to bring everything in to sell to my colleagues on the Monday.

I must have spent about 7 hours in my kitchen (I gave up keeping count after I’d gone over the 5) but it was so worth it because everything sold out and we managed to raise a whopping £100!!! Result!

Here’s what I ended up making….

Now, instead of going into intense details of each recipe in one post I figured I’d separate it to make things easier to digest. Pun intended.

For my sausage rolls I made Pork, Sage & Quince Sausage Rolls. Everyone knows pork and apple goes extremely well together, but with quince being in season right now I thought I’d use that as a sweet flavour instead! They seemed to go down particularly well with my colleagues!

For my savoury scones I made Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeño Scones. I had initially decided on just the cheese and jalapeños… but then last minute I added bacon. Because bacon. And I have a problem.

For my quiche I made a Ratatouille Quiche. This was packed with roasted vegetables and herbs for all the vegetarians at work. I also didn’t have 12 tart tins so ended up making an extra large 12” one instead.

For my fruit and custard tarts I made Red Wine Poached Pear and Custard TartsWith pears also being in season I thought I better take advantage. I only ended up making 6 of these though because I only had 6 mini tart tins.

Finally, for my chocolate celebration cake I made a rich Hazelnut Mocha Chocolate Cake. Coffee, Kinder Buenos and dark chocolate? Yes please.

*****

Overall…

How long did it take? About 7 hours, but I stopped really keeping count after 6 (5 plus my 1 hour of taking photos/washing up time). Tbh, I don’t think that was too bad given that I was trialing a lot of different elements and making stuff up as I went. For example, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to decorate the cake until I’d started (let alone what I was going to fill it with!), I wanted to fry and taste some of the sausage filling before continuing, and I wasn’t completely sure of how much of everything I should make!

What worked? I was happy with the flavours, especially the sausage rolls! Nom. I was also pleased that you could see the layers in my puff pastry!

What didn’t work? There wasn’t really anything that ‘didn’t work’, I just severely ran out of time.

Things to improve if I were to take this recipe to the tent? I would definitely cut down my work load. I rightly started with the puff pastry and the chocolate cake (to make sure I had plenty of time to do all the folds and chilling for the puff pastry, and so the cake had enough time to chill before decorating) but then I started faffing with peeling and poaching all the pears! I could have used that time elsewhere and just placed fresh fruit on the tarts, which would still have been effective! Also, as I was serving my food to lots of people I wanted to make sure I wasn’t contaminating the veggie options with meat, so I did try to make the savoury meaty things towards the end, rather than making the most of my time. I also ended up making a helluva lot more scones and sausage rolls than just 12 each… so surely that counts?

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