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 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 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 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.

Episode 4, GBBO 2013, Technical

Egg Custard Tarts

From the time custard was invented, this magical, golden concoction of eggs, milk and sugar has been intimately tied to pastry, as the name is derived from the French crouste (for "crust") and the Anglo-Norman crustarde, meaning "tart or pie with a crust." These custard tarts feature a simple, sweet short-crust pastry, with the addition of a small amount of ground almonds for a nutty flavor and added crunch. Done right, the custard should come out smooth and creamy, and the crust should be nicely browned (no soggy bottoms!).

Episode 3, GBBO 2013, technical challenge

Floating Islands

Îles flottante, eggs in snow, floating islands … a rose by any other name … would still be a dessert consisting of poached meringues floating on a sea of crème anglaise, a vanilla-scented custard thin enough to pour (also called pouring custard).