Signature Bakes

A Pithivier

For this signature challenge, Paul and Mary specified a pithivier with a savory filling. It being the end of summer, I had plenty of tomatoes, a few sweet peppers and a freshly made batch of pesto on hand. I love how roasting vegetables brings out the sweetness by caramelizing their naturally occurring sugars. It does the same to garlic, mellowing its flavor. (Read on…)

Petits Fours

The challenge—to create three different kinds of petits fours (like the canapés of desserts) using different baking techniques—seemed like a test of all that the bakers on The Great British Baking Show had learned so far. For my petits fours, I made chocolate macarons with mocha ganache filling; lime, mint & white chocolate mousse tartlets; and raspberry–chocolate mousse in chocolate cups. (Read on…)

Crackers or Crisp Breads

For my crackers, I dug back into the recipe file where I keep most of my mom’s old recipes. I remembered a cracker she used to make—a wafer-thin pastry seasoned with cheese and dotted through with sesame seeds. (Read on…)

Sweet Buns

Because I love cinnamon rolls, and I grew up with my mom’s cinnamon rolls, I wanted to use her recipe. But I wanted to put my own spin on it. A couple spins really. I know it’s not a revolutionary combination, by any means, but a maple-bacon cinnamon-cardamom roll sounded like a little bit of heaven to me, so I set out to create it! (Read on…)

Sponge Puddings

For this Signature Challenge, the bakers had to make two kinds of sponge puddings. I decided to make a traditional sticky toffee pudding, mostly because I’d never tried one before and I wanted to know how it tasted. For my other pudding, I chose a simple rhubarb steamed pudding in order to use some of the rhubarb that’s been growing like wildfire in my side yard. (Read on…)

A Wellington

For this challenge, Paul and Mary only specified that the Wellington be at least 8 inches long and be completely covered in pastry. They didn’t specify what the filling should be. I decided to use a turkey breast stuffed with cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and then pastry. (Read on…)

Torte Cake

One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and orange. So when the Great British Baking Show tasked its contestants with baking a torte cake with multiple layers of filling, it was more than intuition that prompted me to choose these two flavors. Wanting to infuse my orange filling with the essence of fresh oranges, I chose a recipe for orange curd. My complementary filling would be a simple chocolate mousse, and I planned to enrobe the entire torte in a chocolate ganache. To top it all off, and add even more intense orange flavor, I decided to make candied orange zest to use as a garnish. (Read on…)

Tarte Tatin

Basically, the tarte tatin is an upside-down pie, usually apple, with the fruit caramelized in butter and sugar on the stove before being topped with pastry and baked. After baking, the tart is turned upside down onto a plate so the fruit is on top, covered with a golden caramel sauce. (Read on…)

Flatbreads

I have so much more respect for the bakers in the tent after attempting this challenge! Not only did they have to make two different kinds of flatbreads (one with yeast and one without), they also had to make them both within 2½ hours! I chose to make naan–because that’s always been my favorite whenever we eat at Indian restaurants–and paratha. I went with a basic naan recipe and topped it with roasted garlic and cilantro. My parathas I decided to stuff with the flavors from my favorite vegetarian chili—sweet potatoes, black beans and spices. (Read on…)

Upside-Down Cake

… After lifting the bottom of the pan off of the parchment paper I had lined it with, I was able to peel back the paper to reveal the dark brown, gooey caramel coating and the apple ring topping of my now right-side-up upside-down cake! (Read on…)