Episode 10, GBBO 2013, technical challenge

Sweet and Savory Pretzels

This technical challenge uses Paul Hollywood’s recipe for six sweet and six savory pretzels. The savory pretzels are made with traditional pretzel dough sprinkled with coarse salt and sesame seeds before baking. The sweet variety has poppy seeds and orange zest mixed into the dough. After baking, it’s brushed with orange syrup and garnished with candied orange peel.

Episode 10, GBBO 2013, Signature Bake

A Savory Picnic Pie

My Chicken Curry Gala Pie features layers of coconut rice, curried chicken, peas, roasted butternut squash and, of course, a continuous hard-boiled egg throughout. This Signature savory picnic pie is to be served outside the pan, so the pastry must be strong enough to hold up to all those fillings.

Episode 9, GBBO 2013, Showstopper

Opera Cake

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.

Episode 9, GBBO 2013, technical challenge

Charlotte Royale

Charlottes are related to trifles in that they are unbaked and made in a glass dish or mold. The two most well-known types are charlotte russe and charlotte royale. This technical challenge, set by Mary Berry, has a lot of steps but is not difficult. The end result is a showstopper dessert that is light, fruity and perfect for summer!

Episode 9, GBBO 2013, Signature Bake

Savory Canapés

Because of their small stature, canapés often feature stronger flavors and richer ingredients than you’d be able to eat in larger quantities. This Signature Challenge called for 12 each of three different kinds of savory canapés. I made smoked salmon-stuffed choux puffs with fresh dill, caprese tartlets with homemade pesto, and parmesan-and-black-sesame crackers with fig-and-goat-cheese spread.

Episode 8, GBBO 2013, Showstopper

A Dairy-Free Novelty Cake

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.

Episode 8, GBBO 2013, technical challenge

Hazelnut Dacquoise

The nuts in this particular dacquoise, obviously, are hazelnuts, but that’s just the start of the flavor profile here. The delicately chewy meringue layers are sandwiched with a coffee custard, topped with swirls of chocolate ganache and caramelized hazelnuts, and surrounded by even more chopped hazelnuts to give it a beautiful finish.

Episode 8, GBBO 2013, Signature Bake

A Wheat-Free Loaf

Rye has less gluten than wheat, which results in a heavier loaf with a tighter crumb. This recipe yields a smallish, dense but flavorful loaf, reminiscent of what you find in Europe, perfect with smoked fish and sharp cheese for a wonderful midsummer smorgasbord!

Episode 7, GBBO 2013, Showstopper

Puff Pastry

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.

Episode 7, GBBO 2013, Technical

Religieuses

Its name means “nun” in French, and this popular pastry is found in patisseries and boulangeries all over France. Made of pâte à choux and filled with pastry cream, two buns, like little cream puffs, are stacked on top of each other and decorated to look like nuns dressed in their habits.