Episode 6, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Prinsesstårta

A favorite of three Swedish princesses in the early 20th century, the prinsesstårta has become a modern classic. Delicate layers of sponge cake, raspberry jam and cream are covered by pastel green marzipan and crowned with a single fondant rose. This is the technical challenge that inspired me to Bake Through the Bake Off.

Episode 6, GBBO 2014, Signature Bake

A Yeast-Leavened Cake

The savarin is one of many yeast-leavened cakes that come mostly from continental Europe. My savarin features the bright spring flavors of rhubarb and elderflower. When combined, all the elements of this elegant dessert worked really well together. It was a delicious combination of flavors and textures that made it perfect for a springtime tea.

Episode 5, GBBO 2014, Showstopper

Three-Tiered Pie Tower

The inspiration for my three-tiered pie tower comes from the turducken, which is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Rather than debone and stuff three kinds of poultry, I made a separate pie for each bird, dubbing my creation “a poultry excuse for a pie tower,” otherwise known as a Fowlty Tower. While the turkey pie is the epitome of comfort-food-in-a-crust, the duck pie is a gourmet feast of flavors. The chicken curry pie offers a nice contrast to the other two — the warmth of the curry offset by the slightly sweet mango chutney.

Episode 5, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Mini Pear Pies

These mini pear pies remind me of apple dumplings, but with a twist! Instead of being wrapped in a sheet of pastry, poached pears are surrounded by a long thin spiral of rough puff, which makes the texture light and delicate. Serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will sing your praises!

Episode 5, GBBO 2014, Signature Bake

A Custard Tart

Blood oranges have a short growing season, so I wanted to take advantage of this purple-fleshed fruit while I could. Although the color of the custard doesn't reflect the deep jewel-tones of these citrus gems, if you close your eyes and take a bite, the sweet tangy flavor of oranges excites your tastebuds and fills all your senses with happy thoughts!

Episode 4, GBBO 2014, Showstopper

Baked Alaska

Originally called Omelette Norwegge by the French, Baked Alaska was renamed this side of the Atlantic to mark the purchase of the Alaskan territory by William Seward. My Baked Alaska was inspired by the frozen Italian treat spumoni and features a pistachio joconde sponge, chocolate ganache and cherry almond ice cream. It takes cake and ice cream to a whole new level!

Episode 4, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Tiramisu Cake

Although it may not qualify as an authentic tiramisu, Mary Berry's version of this iconic Italian dessert still features sumptuous layers of creamy mascarpone, a tender sponge soaked in coffee and brandy, and a generous sprinkling of grated dark chocolate. Now that's amore!

Episode 4, GBBO 2014, Signature Bake

Self-Saucing Puddings

My Raspberry-Lemonade Saucy Pudding forms a custard-like layer underneath a citrusy, light sponge — almost like a soufflé — while it bakes. I used Meyer lemons, which are sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons, and raspberry coulis for extra flavor and a colorful flair. For just a little effort, these puddings look impressive and pack a flavorful punch!

Episode 4, GBBO 2014, showstopper

A Filled Centerpiece Loaf

This showstopper challenge was to make a filled loaf. It could be stuffed, rolled, twisted, braided—you name it. But it had to look good as a centerpiece, too. I settled on a tear-and-share featuring the Mediterranean flavors of my favorite pizza — pesto, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers — with a side of roasted tomatoes, feta cheese and balsamic reduction.

Episode 3, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Ciabatta

Ciabatta is Italian for slipper, which these long, flat loaves resemble. The recipe for this technical challenge is, of course, Paul Hollywood’s. He specified that he was looking for a strong crust with a crisp, floury surface and an irregular crumb structure with big, visible air holes. Designed as a sandwich bread, ciabatta will hold up to the hardiest fillings as well as the heat of a panini press.