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 10, GBBO 2014, Signature Bake

Viennoiserie

Made with enriched yeast dough, viennoiserie are often eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. I used puff pastry to create my Passion Fruit Curd and Cream Cheese Danish, and Spiced Plum and Frangipane Kites.

Episode 9, GBBO 2014, Showstopper

Entremets

Entremets are desserts with multiple layers of different flavors, textures and colors meant to show off the pastry chef’s prowess. My Chocolate Cherry Bombes and "Twofer Tea" Blackberry Pistachio Entremets feature complementary flavors and bright colors that are a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

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.

Episode 9, GBBO 2014, Signature Bake

Baklava

These two versions of baklava give a nod to the multicultural background of this ancient dessert. The pistachio-orange is a traditional combination, while the macadamia, coconut & lime baklava incorporates Hawaiian flavors. Just as every country that claims baklava as its own has added its own distinctions, I've incorporated both new and traditional flavors in mine.

Episode 8, GBBO 2014, Showstopper

Doughnuts

Doughnuts — or donuts, as they're more popularly known in the U.S. — have strong ties to Americana, from the Donut Dollies of World War II to the invention of the automatic donut-making machine. So my doughnuts are inspired by another slice of Americana — the state fair. These are my maple-bacon doughnuts and sweet-corn doughnuts with spiced apple filling!

Episode 8, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Povitica

Povitica is a traditional Eastern European holiday bread. The key to its distinctive spirals is to roll the dough so thin it's practically see-through, then spread it with a thin layer of chocolate and walnut filling before rolling it into a sausage-like log that is folded into the pan. This rolling and folding also gives it a cake-like texture and delicate crumb that practically melts in your mouth.

Episode 8, GBBO 2014, Signature Bake

A Sweet Fruit Loaf

A krantz, or kranz, is like a babka in that it is made of enriched dough swirled with chocolate, cinnamon or a fruity filling. Mine is filled with sweetened orange butter and fresh blueberries, with a hint of cardamom for a spicy warm glow.

Episode 7, GBBO 2014, Showstopper

Éclairs

The bakers in the Great White Tent were given the challenge of making 24 éclairs — 12 each of two different flavors. I chose to make Key lime éclairs topped with toasted Swiss meringue and chocolate éclairs filled with a stracciatella cannoli filling.

Episode 7, GBBO 2014, technical challenge

Kouign-Amann

Kouign-amann (pronounced queen ah-mon) is, IMHO, the “queen” of pastries. A cross between a croissant and a morning bun, this laminated little-piece-of-heaven-on-earth hails from Brittany, in northwest France. The main difference between kouign-amanns and croissants is a layer of sweet, crispy caramelized sugar on the outer edges of the pastry.