Episode 8, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Mokatines

Mary Berry’s mokatines feature a genoise sponge sandwiching a layer of coffee buttercream, surrounded by almonds and decorated with coffee-flavored crème au beurre, then topped with fondant icing. These tiny cakes pack quite a punch with coffee flavor. But for a coffee lover like me, that's not a problem!

Episode 7, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Tennis Cake

Tennis cakes were a big hit in the late 1800s, when lawn tennis became a popular sport that men and women could play together. The cakes were elaborately decorated with candied fruit or royal icing in the shape of tennis balls and racquets. This was the technical challenge for Victorian week in The Great British Bake Off 2015.

Episode 6, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Flaounes

Flaounes hail from the island of Cyprus, where they were traditionally made at Eastertime. The sesame-covered pastry is filled with a golden mound of sharp, salty cheese and studded with plump raisins that give your tastebuds a burst of sweetness when you bite into one.

Episode 5, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Gluten-Free Pitta (or Pita) Bread

No matter how you spell it ("pita" or "pitta"), these ancient flatbreads are pretty versatile: fill them, wrap them, or dip them. Of the two varieties--Greek pitas or pocket pitas--mine turned out more like the pocketless kind, but they're still delicious!

Episode 4, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Spanische Windtorte

Spanische Windtorte, the precursor to Pavlova, Schaum Torte and Eton mess, consists of an intricately decorated meringue shell filled with whipped cream and berries. Even Sigmund Freud's fiancée called it "the fanciest cake ever created in Vienna."

Episode 3, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Baguettes

These iconic loaves are synonymous with France. Tearing into the crisp, golden crust to reveal the chewy open-textured interior is an almost sensual experience.

Episode 2, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Arlettes

These delicate, crispy, wafer-thin cookies, sometimes called elephant ears, beavertails or shoe soles, are made with laminated dough using a technique called "inverse puff pastry." It creates even lighter, flakier results than regular laminated dough.

Episode 1, GBBO 2015, technical challenge

Frosted Walnut Layer Cake

Mary Berry's walnut layer cake features three layers of light, moist sponge with bits of walnut throughout, filled with vanilla buttercream and covered with what she calls "boiled icing" but what I recall from my childhood as "seven-minute frosting."

Episode 10, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

The Trifecta of Classic British Bakes

Scones, Victoria sandwiches and lemon tarts are all historically British bakes. While this "back to basics" challenge may seem simple enough, it takes a lot of time management skills to juggle all three at once. Mine didn't turn out perfect (bubbles in the custard, scones too pale?), but I was proud of the results. Judge for yourself how well I did!

Episode 9, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Schichttorte

This German cake is "built" by baking 20 very thin layers, one on top of another, under a broiler. Finally, it's coated in chocolate and decorated with vanilla icing.