It was dessert week on The Great British Bake Off this week. Can you believe it’s the quarter finals next week?! It’s coming around so fast as usual. I’m going to be missing out on next week’s bake along as I’m away on holiday, but I’ll be back in time for the week after. The signature challenge was so make a sweet sponge roulade which could be filled any way the bakers liked. Mary was looking out for a spiral when the roulades were rolled up, and Paul advised against filling the roulades too much.
The bakers were trying to avoid cracking when rolling their roulades. My view has always been that a roulade should crack. Perhaps it is because they were making sponge roulades rather than meringue ones. A sponge roulade is just a swiss roll really isn’t it?! Selasi made a lemon and strawberry roulade filled with cream and lemon curd that the judges loved. Tom made a millionaire’s roulade with a nutmeg sponge, and the judges didn’t like that he’d covered up the spiral at the ends. Benjamina made a pina colada roulade which sounded really fun and her sponge was lovely and soft according to Mary, but Paul thought the coconut extract she used tasted too artificial.
Jane rolled her chocolate & hazelnut roulade from the long end, which is clearly the wrong way… maybe at home if that’s how you like it, but not on Bake Off! The judges commented on this technique, but loved her flavours. Candice made a white chocolate and passion fruit roulade with a cheesecake filling which sounded heavenly. Andrew used a clever technique to create a stripy pattern on the outside of his roulade which impressed Paul and Mary.
This week’s technical certainly veered from the theme so far of going back to basics, as the baker’s were asked to make a Marjolaine which is a French rectangular gateau featuring four layers of praline meringue, praline and chocolate buttercream and a nut coating. Thankfully for the bakers, the recipe provided seemed to have a bit more information than usual. None of the bakers had made one before, and most of them hadn’t made all of the different elements of the Marjolaine either.
They all seemed to get on with it without any major problems. One of Andrew’s meringue layers cracked but it wasn’t noticable once the gateau was constructed. I chuckled when he described it as looking like a Vienetta! There were some issues with Selasi’s meringue which meant he came last, Tom was 5th because of his piping, Jane was 4th as her meringue was too chewy, and Benjamina came 3rd due to piping issues too. Candice was 2nd as her bake was very neat, which left Andrew as 1st with a picture perfect Marjolaine!
The showstopper this week was to make two flavours of mini mousse cakes. Mary was looking forward to soft sponge textures and set mousses. Paul wanted the mousses to be full of flavour and melt in the mouth. It was hot in the tent so the bakers were concerned about their mousses setting, freezers and gelatine were used to avoid any disasters. Jane made a very impressive patterened sponge collar for her vanilla and coffee mousse. She also made a berry mousse cake with 3 different mousse flavours, she did so well to get it all done in the time and the judges were impressed.
Benjamina made apple crumble mousse, and a chocolate and coffee mousse. The appearance of her mousses wasn’t great, but the judges loved the flavours. Usually she is very good at presenting her bakes. Selasi made a rapsberry mousse with a passion fruit jelly and chocolate mint mousses, he had problems with getting his mousse to set and Paul said his chocolate mint mousses were too big. Andrew made a mint chocolate mousse and a forest fruit mousse, he presented them on a ferris wheel and got a glowing result from Mary and Paul!
Candice went a bit overboard on her gelatine in her blackberry raspberry mousse and had to make it again. Her fruity mousses were presented on top of a processo and raspberry liquer jelly. She also joined in with a bit of a theme in the tent and made a mint chocolate mousse. Tom made a Hipsters picnic where his mousse was piped between two cakes to look like finger sandwiches.The judges did not approve of this technique and said he had not delivered what they asked for.
Tom left us this week, which is the first time ever in Bake Off history that the star baker of bread week hasn’t made it to the final. Andrew won star baker which was really well deserved as he did very well in every challenge. Next week is another new theme – Tudor week!
I made this Blackberry & Hazelnut Roulade before the episode aired as I’ll be on holiday when you read this. Roulade was the only thing I could guess they were making from the next week’s preview so it was an easy choice! The bakers roulades seemed more like swiss rolls to me, whereas I made a traditional meringue roulade.
I started by whisking up egg whites until stiff peaks formed. I then added caster sugar with the mixer still going. Finally I added cornflour and cider vinegar and mixed it in.
I poured the mixture out onto a lined baking tray and smoothed it out.
It baked on 160C/140C Fan/320F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes.
When the roulade came out of the oven, I let it cool for 5 minutes in the tin while I prepared a sheet of baking paper dusted with icing sugar.
I tipped the roulade out onto the icing sugar and left it there to cool fully.
When it was cool I whipped up double cream with vanilla extract and spread it all over the roulade. I reserved a small amount of cream for decorating the top.
I sprinkled over some chopped roasted hazelnuts, about 30g.
Then I covered it with blackberries, for any large ones I cut them in half.
I made a coulis for drizzling over the roulade by using a hand blender to mix icing sugar with blackberries.
I gently and slowly rolled up the roulade. Then I used the reserved whipped cream to decorate the top and added some blackberries and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.
For serving, I drizzled the coulis over the Blackberry & Hazelnut Roulade, and drizzled more of it over the sliced pieces. I’ve never had this type of roulade before and it is gooooood! The meringue is really light, soft in the middle with a crunchy outside. I definitely plan on making this again, and it’s so customisable as you can fill it with different fruits and flavours.
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Blackberry & Hazelnut Roulade
Meringue roulade with blackberry coulis and roasted hazelnuts
For the meringue
- 140 g (approx 4 large eggs) Egg whites
- 200 g Caster sugar
- 1 tsp Cornflour
- 1 tsp Cider vinegar
For the filling
- 300 ml Double cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 30 g Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts
- 125 g Blackberries
For the blackberry coulis
- 3 tbsp Icing sugar
- 75 g Blackberries
Pre-heat your oven to 160C/140C Fan/320F/Gas Mark 3. Line a large baking tray with baking paper
Whisk up the egg whites using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time with the mixer still going. Then add the cornflour and cider vinegar and mix in
Pour the mixture out onto the tray and smooth it out. Bake it for 25 minutes
Let it cool for 5 minutes in the tin and prepare a sheet of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Tip the roulade out onto the icing sugar and leave it to cool fully
When it is cool, whip up the double cream with the vanilla extract and spread it all over the roulade. Reserve a small amount of cream for decorating the top
Sprinkle over the chopped roasted hazelnuts then cover it with blackberries, cut any large ones in half
Make a coulis by using a hand blender to mix 3 heaped tbsp icing sugar with 75g blackberries
Gently and slowly roll up the roulade
Use the reserved whipped cream to decorate the top and added some blackberries and a sprinkle of hazelnuts. Drizzle over the coulis when serving
Serve immediately, or refrigerate and eat within 2 days