It was the “Best of Britain” on the Great Canadian Baking Show, an homage to the Great British Bake Off no doubt. There was lots of tea…and lots of booze in this week’s show — and that made for an excellent combination.
The first challenge was a “majestic trifle”, something I have never made but now really want to. A trifle is an English dessert with layers of alcohol-soaked sponge, fruit, jelly, and custard. It is often served in a glass bowl so that the layers are visible to guests. This also means it is very easy to see all of your baking flaws. As judge Bruno Feldeisen said, “Trifles are like window shopping.” You know exactly what you are going to get.
The bakers rose to the challenge though, each one creating a nearly perfect looking trifle. I have to say the women really showcased their talents. Sabrina’s swirling sponge on the bottom of her trifle wowed the judges, and Vandana’s mango and tapioca pearls was truly creative.
One of my favourite moments was when Linda made her custard in the microwave. The judges were skeptical, assuming that without the constant whisking on low heat the item would curdle. Linda confidently said this was how she baked bustard at home and went about her business. When it came time to test her trifle, the judges were surprised at how nice the custard tasted. This wasn’t just a win for Linda, but a win for many of us who use things like microwaves, toaster ovens, and substitutions in our baking.
The baker’s technical challenge was to make 20 brandy snaps in one and a half hours. At first I thought a brandy snap was a cookie, but it’s actually a tubular brittle wafer filled with brandy-flavoured whipped cream. The hard part? You can only make three brandy snaps at a time. The batter expands and creates very thin doily-like wafer that you have to roll into a tube as soon as it comes out of the oven. Even James, who is from the U.K., said he would never make these at home. Almost no one got these perfect.
The final show-stopping challenge was, of course, to bake treats for a British high tea. The bakers were asked to create three treats, with at least one savoury. The key was to create small, elegant items that were tied together with a theme. Vandana surprised the judges yet again with an Indian-inspired collection of treats, beautifully decorated with flowers and gold accents. Sabrina’s peach-themed tea was also incredibly elegant.
The women were incredibly impressive this week, which meant the two boys were in danger of going home. At the end of the day, James was saved thanks to his “ugly but delicious” baking. Julian D’Entremont from halifax was sent home after a few missteps with his desserts.
Vandana, obviously, was named star baker this week!
It’s getting harder and harder to predict who is going home each week. Every single baker is ridiculously talented. I fell in love with Julian’s rustic-inspired bakes and his East Coast flare, but with only five bakers left, the competition is bound to get a bit more intense!
What did you think of this week’s episode?