Lego Fondant Fancies – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 9)

img_5356Week 8! Patisserie Week!

This week saw the bakers making 24 savoury palmiers, some fancy liqueur soaked cake called a ‘Savarin’, and a showstopper of 36 fondant fancies.

I swear as soon as my sister heard the words ‘fondant fancies’ she turned to me with the happiest smug face possible. Basically the raised eyebrow emoji. She loves them a bit too much.

img_5362The bakers had to make theirs to the following criteria:

  • must be 36
  • 2 flavours; 18 of each
  • Genoise sponge, buttercream and fondant must be made from scratch

I spent a few days thinking about flavour ideas, and looking at different fondant fancies/petit fours online. I knew I wanted to make them look really cool (as well as obviously taste good!), so I started focussing on the design.

I don’t know what made me think of it, but suddenly the idea of lego came to made and I knew I had it. LEGO CAKES! How fricking awesome is that?! *belts out ‘Everything Is AWESOME!’

img_5385I then decided making red and yellow ones would look best together, then planned my flavours around that.

The red ones obviously becoming ‘red velvet’. Maybe a bit safe and simple, but it’s generally a favourite. Bright red fondant fancies filled with bright red cake and cream cheese filling.

Then for the yellow ones I naturally thought, ‘lemon’. However, to make things interesting I opted for pink lemonade. Bright yellow fondant fancies concealing a surprisingly pink lemon cake, and filled with raspberry curd and fizzy popping candy.

Here’s how I got on…

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Dragon Marzipan Centrepiece – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 8)

img_5173Week 8! Tudor Week!

Yeah, I didn’t realise that was a typical baking style either. My mistake.

This week had the bakers making various indulgent treats fit for Henry VII! A savoury pies signature, a ‘jumbles’ technical (what the hell are those?), and a 3D marchpane cake showstopper.

According to the brief food history bit of the episode that no one really pays attention to, marchpane was used to construct these crazy elaborate centrepieces that you absolutely had to have on your 16th century banquet table if you wanted to prove your worth! ‘Marchpane’ is basically the old name for marzipan, but made with just ground almonds, icing sugar and rose water whilst the modern version usually includes almond flavouring and and egg to soften too.

This week’s challenge was to make a 3D marchpane centrepiece to the following criteria:

  • seemingly needed to include a cake
  • also seemed to require both marchpane and marzipan, made from scratch
  • entirely edible
  • 3 hours 30 mins

img_5184The design could be anything, although most bakers seemed to go with a Tudor-ish theme. I went for a dragon. As you do.

From the moment Mel mentioned ‘dragon’ as an example of a marchpane centrepiece during the food history bit, I was gone. Typical Ang making things difficult for herself!

Anyways, I then decided I was going to pair my Tudor dragon with a fiery stem ginger cake. Because dragons breathe fire. And they love ginger. Fact.

Here’s how I got on…

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Pumpkin Spice Latte & Forest Fruits Mousse Cakes – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 7)

img_5055Week 7! Dessert Week!

Well, this week I learned that if I was on GBBO I would totally be that baker that rocks up one week without having the the time to practice their bake and just completely wings it in the hope that it’ll all be alright but absolutely fluffs it up. Yup.

Having had a particularly busy week at work, and actually having plans on the Saturday, I found myself sitting in my living room drinking my morning coffee on Sunday with not a clue as to what I was going to make.

I mean, obviously I was making 24 mini mousse cakes (as in the latest episode) to the following criteria:

  • must be mini
  • two flavours; 12 of each
  • contain a mousse element
  • contain a cake element
  • mousse seemed to need to be made with both gelatine and egg whites
  • 4 hours

… and I did have somewhat of an idea of what flavours I wanted to include, and the ingredients to do so (Forest Fruits & Pumpkin Spice Latte to be seasonal and on trend)… however, I had no set cake or mousse recipes in place. Pun intended.

img_5087I then frantically put something together (whilst drinking my coffee) that I hoped would work…

It didn’t.

I spent my whole Sunday making what I thought would be 24 mini mousse cakes, but what I ended up with was 24 little puddles of mousse that never set. Can’t say I didn’t see that coming…

fullsizerenderI’d obviously just skimped on the gelatine. You’d think a scientist would be a natural at something that requires finding that precise balance of liquid and setting agent, right? Alas, no. I even roped my poor dad into helping me make little tube moulds out of acetate for my PSL mousse cakes whilst I carried on in the kitchen. Bless him!

Needless to say, I HAD to do it again. Not completely overplanning a bake/recipe is just not me, so I spent my free time at work on Monday researching and devising recipes for what was going to be successful Forest Fruits & PSL mousse cakes.

And it paid off! Thank God!

img_5078img_5042Here’s how I got on (the second time around!)…

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