The brief for this showstopper challenge was a 3D biscuit scene, so I decided to make something reminiscent of my own childhood, The Sledding Hill. Using gingerbread for the base, I covered it with fondant and meringue "snow," then added gingerbread people and nut-shortbread trees.
Thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, lemon and elderflower cake has become a modern classic. These mini cakes have lemon zest and elderflower cordial baked into the batter, but the flavor is enhanced by drizzling more cordial over the warm cakes and sandwiching the layers with fresh, bright lemon curd. Moist without being heavy, these cakes taste like spring and are definitely moreish!
With changing leaves and sweater weather come fall treats like caramel apples, chai tea and spicy hot chocolate! My 3-tiered cake is an homage to my favorite flavors, ranging from praline and coffee buttercream to spice cake with a salted caramel drip!
The inspiration for my opera cake came from the popular ‘70s dessert, the Watergate cake. My interpretation of the Watergate cake in operatic form was to make a pistachio joconde sponge brushed with a pistachio syrup and layer it with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream and pineapple filling studded with pecans. I finished it off with a thin chocolate glaze.
The brief for this challenge had three components. It had to be completely dairy-free, it had to be a vegetable-based cake (think carrot or zucchini) and it had to be in a 3D novelty shape. Mine is a red velvet beet cake in the shape of a coconut cocktail on a sandy beach.
Because the week I made these fell toward the end of Wisconsin strawberry season, I wanted to celebrate this short but oh-so-flavorful season with strawberry-themed pastries: strawberry mille-feuilles with basil-infused mascarpone cream, strawberry Nutella turnovers and chocolate pecan palmier "butterflies" with strawberry hearts.
This showstopper challenge was for a filo pie, either freeform or baked in a tin, and could be either sweet or savory. My pie is based on the flavors in an Indian samosa.
This challenge for the bakers in the Great White Tent was to make 24 petits fours: 12 sponge-based and 12 biscuit-based. I decided to make mini Bakewell tarts and tiny tiramisu cakes.
The challenge for this episode of The Great British Bake Off was to make a decorative loaf of any shape or flavor. For my decorative loaf, I decided to make star bread. To twist things up a bit (pun intended), I chose to use two different fillings, raspberry jam and a chocolate almond cream cheese.
When I saw that this week’s challenge was a chocolate cake, all I could think of was Bûche de Noël. I used a classic chocolate genoise sponge recipe as the basis for my showstopper, but I put my own take on the rest, with a coffee mousse filling and forest-floor-inspired decorations.