Bake Off: The Professionals, Series 4, Episode 3: UnGodly Baby

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It’s Chocolate Week which is strange because literally every week of this show could feasibly be considered Chocolate Week.

Grapefruits of Wrath

As a change of pace the first challenge has been modified and the teams have no idea what they’ll be making and instead have to create a 12 person sharing dessert using only the ingredients and equipment that has been provided for them which includes a variety of chocolates in varying different strengths

And yes, the white chocolate is indeed a trap that just about every team falls for.
As well as chocolate having to be a prominent flavour and ingredient, the teams are also tasked with making Pink Grapefruit the star of the show and I think this was unfair both because grapefruit tastes like a sock and an orange had an unGodly baby and because… maybe a pick a lane? Having to juggle both grapefruit and chocolate with both judges vehemently hating white chocolate is a pretty impossible task as the episode thoroughly showed.

Joining me in the Anti-Grapefruit Movement is Andrew who along with teammate Michael seemed to be on a mission to make their Chocolate and Grapefruit dessert taste as little like chocolate and grapefruit as possible by layering a White Chocolate Bavarois, Pistachio Sponge, Pink Peppercorn Shortbread and a Basil and Grapefruit Jam. It is a lot to take in. There was a slight issue with the gelatine in their jam, which they seemed to forgo in the hopes it would set in the freezer and unfortunately is didn’t meaning it leaked out as soon as you cut into it and the result was a dessert that looked a bit like an incredibly hungover Miss Pacman at Coachella

and props to them because despite chucking in just about every questionable flavour they could into the dessert, Benoit and Cherish could still taste the grapefruit, it was a little unfortunate that they described it as “pungent” but we’ll take a win where we can

Or not.

Jamie and Andrea also got a little trapped in the white chocolate hole of near instant elimination but they at least managed to separate themselves from the competition by not making a layered mousse dessert. Instead they embarked upon the journey of making the Bake Off favourite: The Paris-Brest and you know this is professional Bake off because nobody was allowed to say “choux pastry” like a commoner, it was “pâte à choux” or you get the guillotine. Or that’s what I imagine Benoit’s rules were.
They were filling their Paris-Brest with a combination of Whipped Yoghurt and White Chocolate Mousse, a Grapefruit Gel and some Caramelised White Chocolate (that’s Gold Chocolate if you’re Michael and Andrew). They had a few issues with their decoration, mainly faffing about where the chocolate rings were too much or not

the only real added bonus to them would mean that they had made an attempt to use anything other than the white chocolate that they apparently weren’t meant to use and yet were still given for some reason. They did eventually come to the decision to hurriedly remove them in the dying minute of the challenge and I think it was the right call

it’s a very beautiful looking dessert and a good choice for a sharing dessert unfortunately the flavours in it are a little lacking for both Benoit and Cherish, the latter refusing a second taste for no reason other than to be deliciously petty but I will also not stand for this slight again Jamie, my wooby faced prince

If I have to go to war to defend Jamie and Andrea, so be it.

The most obviously chocolate-y dessert came from Julien and Elise who were going ham on the milk chocolate and slightly neglecting the grapefruit by mostly just gently flavouring the mousse with its zest, which Benoit and Cherish were more than a little sceptical about forcing the two of them to solve the issue largely by just piling segments of grapefruit onto a little shelf by their chocolate tree

This dessert was *very* hard to screengrab, the filming of it was truly terrible and yet it was the one that Benoit and Cherish raved about most with its very cool, swirly chocolate design.
There is a bit of an issue with the clagginess of the mousse and Benoit thinks that just putting the slices of grapefruit on was a bit of a cop out (he is correct) while Cherish was fine with it.

Kevin and Maria Vittoria were, again, largely using white chocolate but hoping the addition of a Dark Chocolate Ganache would offset the sweetness in their White Chocolate Sachertorte and White Chocolate and Rosemary Bavarois

the little Liqueur and Grape Fruit jelly cubes on top don’t mesh very well with the delicate chocolate flower they somehow also managed to make in the time – they were a good idea, I just think they needed to be arranged better, or even just made into a round, pastille shapes.
Benoit does his usual fake out of “it’s not perfect…. BUT I LIKE IT ANYWAY!” and then gleefully laughs boasting that he finally made them smile meanwhile Kevin is looking at him like a father who is on the fifteenth round of hide and seek with a toddler that keeps hiding behind the same very small tree

read the room, Benoit.

A Cursed Grapefruit and Chocolate Dessert Ranking

  1. Julien and Elise’s Grapefruit Sashimi Tree
  2. Kevin and Maria Vittoria’s Grapefruit Fake Out
  3. Jamie and Andrea’s Paris-Brest o’ Spite
  4. Michael and Andrew’s Ol’ Leaky Dessert

I R Robot?

For the Showpiece Challenge the teams were tasked with creating a robot inspired sculpture made entirely out of chocolate and featuring at least one moving part powered by some sort of engineered wiring, which is a tastier option than grapefruit ever was. As well as becoming amateur roboticists for the day, they’ll also have to work as chocolatiers to create 48 truffles, half of them being hand moulded with a dipped finish while the other half were to be moulded.

Inevitably with a robotics challenge someone was going to go down the steampunk route and taking up this particular task were Kevin and Maria Vittoria. To me steampunk lives and dies by its elegance so I found it a little weird that their idea was to basically make a battle ready robot that was rising up from the junk heap to destroy mankind with his tiny little buzzsaw forearms

it’s not so much Steampunk as it is Robot Wars on a Sunday night with your dad.
What it did have was tons of theatricality and personality as they lit up the sparklers on its dismembered forearm; Cherish and Benoit found the potential suffering of this robot to be *very* funny which is why they’ll rise up and kill us all.
As for their chocolates, I thought the way they incorporated their Amarula bonbons as the spikes on the robot’s helmet was really clever

and the flavour went down incredibly well with the judges. The same can’t be said for their hand-moulded Oak Smoked truffles which were made by infusing their chocolate with oak smoked water and then covering them in cocoa nibs and dipping them – the judges thought they were just a little too bitter and needed something to mellow it out a bit more.

While Kevin and Maria Vittoria went down the route of the robotic apocalypse, Julien and Elise were creating a lovely little soft boy robot who was powered entirely by eating fruit. The concept is adorable, the execution much less so with his weird realistic face and cold, dead boogly eyes

which was only made more terrifying by his tiny little squat body and I would hazard physically improbably limb dimensions

We need to stop with these unhealthy robotic beauty standards.
They did get called out for the fact they had kind of just haphazardly stuck all of their truffles onto the robot and the tree which lacked some direction and forethought but at least they tasted nice – their Citrus and Chocolate ones went down particularly well as they claim the crown of being the first team of the series to not destroy Benoit and Cherish through an over eager amount of yuzu. Unfortunately their Pecan Praline truffles lacked polish and because of their unevenness did mean they were treated to some severe truffle shaming at the hand of Cherish’s trusted pink ruler

to be honest, the dipped truffles were a bit of a disaster all round but at least they had the correct equipment whereas Jamie had forgotten to pack their dipping fork and was forced to re-engineer a regular fork into one

I want to know how many people had to sign off on the ruination of the fork before they were allowed to bend it beyond repair.
For their robotic sculpture, Jamie and Andrea were going down a much more modern route as they created a sort deconstructed military robot, which is exactly what you want to use to serve your guests an array of luxury bespoke truffles

and yes, it does look rather like a more child friendly version of the pyramid Head from Silent Hill

and the fact it only moved from left to right didn’t really wow Cherish, although they hardly appeared to treat Julien and Elise’s vegan robot for the fact all it did was rotate its head with quite the same level of disdain.
As for their truffles, they were certainly going bold with a strong whiskey in their moulded one, and at least their chocolate coating was thin because Benoit manages to force his fingers through one while picking it up

and his truffle woes didn’t stop there as once again Jamie and Andrea seem to try to turn him inside out with but one bite of their food

I had always assumed Benoit was much of a sherry kind of guy.
Their second lot were flavoured with rosemary and an olive oil pate de fruits and according to Cherish were much too large for a single mouthful

I say she just isn’t trying hard enough, but I am someone who can eat a Mars Bar like a duck.
The size isn’t the only issue as both Cherish and Benoit find the olive oil to be rather unpleasant and in desperate need of some acidity to cut through it, but they did like the rosemary!

Michael and Andrew were also going for unusual flavours, or what they were trying to pass as unusual because I’m at least 90% sure we’ve seen fennel and orange chocolate truffles being made on either this show or on MasterChef. And it makes perfect sense that fennel would pair well with orange and chocolate, it has that sort of anise flavour that is like the preferable cousin of liquorice. Sorry to use my blog to absolutely trash liquorice again. Andrew had a few issues making them meaning their dipped finish wasn’t quite as polished as the judges would have liked

At least it was small enough for Cherish’s mouth though.
Their second truffle was a cereal milk and white chocolate truffle that I demand to try IMMEDIATELY

I really love the mould they chose, I’m as confused as you as to why the orange coloured chocolate isn’t the fennel and orange flavoured truffle but I trust Andrew’s artistic vision. They do get a little dinged for the fact it’s white chocolate – so that’s a note to all of next year’s entrants, NO WHITE CHOCOLATE. EVER – but for the most part Cherish and Benoit enjoy them.
To serve all of these up, Michael had created a robot whose only dream in life was to become a pastry chef and my God is it not the most endearing creation we’ve ever seen on this show

Pixar, greenlight Robotouille, please!

An Unofficial Chocolate Truffle Ranking

  1. Kevin and Maria Vittoria’s Unbranded Marula Liqueur Truffles™
  2. Michael and Andrew’s Breakfast Truffle
  3. Julien and Elise’s Taming of The Yuzu
  4. Michael and Andrew’s Fennel Chocolate Orange
  5. Kevin and Maria Vittoria’s Smoking Water
  6. Julien and Elise vs Cherish’s Ruler
  7. Jamie and Andrea’s Oily Truffles
  8. Jamie and Andrea’s Whiskey Assault

For their blazing success in the first round and the star quality of their Amarula truffles, Kevin and Maria Vittoria manage to prevent Julien and Elise’s hattrick and take the win for themselves

while unfortunately the eliminated team is Jamie and Andrea

So, I guess I’m going to war to defend their honour.

And next week we get a whole new batch of teams!

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