Bake Off: The Professionals, Series 4, Episode 8: Cakey Kaiju

if anyone wanted to know what it would look like if you spliced the DNA of Moby and Elton John, consider that question answered.

There’s disco, roulades, black forest gateaux and potentially ill-advised leather jackets and yet somehow not once was this referred to as 70s Week.

I apologise for the delay in this recap, I was having a stinker of a mental health day on Wednesday. Anyhow, ONWARDS TO CAKE! (and much mousse.)

The Forest For The Trees

Kicking off Unofficial 70s Week is a petite gateaux challenge! And yes, I will probably spell “gateaux” every which way but the right one throughout this recap so pray for my spellchecker. Once again they have to create 2 desserts, the first is a reinvention of the Black Forest Gateau, a dessert so perfect that everyone was basically set up for failure here and I will not stand for anyone sullying the name of it. The second dessert had to be a Mini Roulade and yes, there will be Slice vs Roulade discourse, so strap in for that rollicking debate.

The flavour profile of the Black Forest Gateau is known the world over – it’s chocolate, cream and cherries. Well, George and Geanina had other plans and wanted to throw in raspberry as an option by adding layers of raspberry jelly to their capsized gateaux

this did not go down particularly well, as you can probably imagine when you’re dealing with two judges who could pick out a drop of white chocolate in an ocean of dark chocolate. But it was at least a nice cake, it was just a conceptual insult to the entire state of Baden-Württemberg.
As for their roulade, with all the flavours at their disposal they somehow landed on white chocolate and passionfruit

it is also just a slice – an elegant well cut slice, but a slice nonetheless.
It did pain Benoit to tell them that it was actually a nice piece of dessert, thus ruining his Anti-White Chocolate façade – and I thought he would have gotten meaner in his snug little leather jacket

it’s a look, a vibe, a lifestyle.

Also managing to somehow royally screw up a roulade are Julien and Elise who just got a little carried away in their conceptualisation and served up these slightly garish flowers that remind me a lot of the art style in Puella Magi Madoka Magica

and I don’t know why, but I just find the side view of them very funny, something about the roulade being perched on a little meringue semi-sphere tickles me

the flavours sound really nice though – anything with pistachio is a winner by me. The judges weren’t overly keen and thought the whole thing was a lot of style of substance, which is probably fair and was a bit of a theme for them as their Black Forest Gateaux looked a bit like they had been subjected to years of radiation poisoning

it’s not so much a Petite Gateau as it is a Cakey Kaiju.
The main issue is the sheer amount of mousse on display, which is all perfectly made, but eventually you do need some sort of a textural respite before you get bored of a mouthful of demi-liquid.

Where Julien and Elise perhaps failed with their flower-shaped roulade, Michael and Andrew succeeded with their tree stump Black Forest Gateaux

it’s maybe not the most wildly original idea for a Black Forest Gateau – in fact, we’ve even seen it on MasterChef once or twice now which tells you everything you need to know. But they certainly executed it to an incredibly high standard, even if they had to add a few illegal post-time call dots

The one thing they’re called up on is the fact they didn’t have enough of a creaminess to mellow out the cherry and chocolate – and Benoit just wanted more Kirsch because everyone had spent the entire afternoon making fun of his little jacket.
Their roulades were also very good, and somehow looked more like Black Forest Gateaux than most of the actual Black Forest Gateaux

the bleeding of the blueberry jam does somewhat ruin the roll, and something about sliced blueberries really icks me out – I just never expect them to be so green, it feels wrong and they should keep that to themselves. Hi, I’m Ariadne and I shame berries.
The only real issue for the judges is that the blueberry glaze on the outside is a little too sweet and they could have done with more of the yoghurt mousse to mellow it out, but if that mousse was any thicker they might as well have just served up an entire swiss roll.

Michael and Andrew might have gone all out on the whimsy for their Black Forest Gateaux but Lerrick and Lineker had completely the other idea and were just going to serve up a whole bunch’o’cubes

they apparently didn’t get the memo about the unspoken rule that they had to add some sort of a visible cherry element to signpost and make sure that Cherish 100% knew she was about to eat a cherry flavoured dessert. They do still look very smart though, if a little stark and dour. Unfortunately, their elements were all a bit dubious including a gently leaking jelly and a slightly split chocolate mousse.
They’re mango and cardamom roulades went down a lot better though

I personally think that these were at least the best looking roulades of the bunch – I really love the simple, understated elegance of them, and you can’t really go wrong with mango and cardamom now can you?

Lastly we have Kevin and Maria Vittoria who had nothing but a relentless nightmare with their Black Forest Gateaux that came out looking like a flotilla of whipped cream covered warships

nothing really went right for Kevin while he made these and I don’t think they’ve ever had to bleep someone as much as him while he desperately tried to pipe out a semi-whipped cream in the last 20 seconds of the challenge. And yet despite the sheer quantity of whipped cream on top of them, eating them was a very dry experience.
For their roulades they embraced lemon and blackberries and also chose to serve up just a slice of swiss roll

they’re a little homely looking but the flavours are good, if slightly expected.

An Unofficial Petite Gateaux Ranking

  1. Michael and Andrew’s Black De-forested Gateaux
  2. Lerrick and Lineker’s Elegant Mango Roulade
  3. Michael and Andrew’s Blueberry Bonanza
  4. George and Geanina’s Expected3 Slice of Swiss Roll
  5. George and Geanina’s Raspberry Fuelled Hate Crime
  6. Kevin and Maria Vittoria’s Homley Slices of Swiss Roll
  7. Julien and Elise’s Galumphing Mousse Bomb
  8. Lerrick and Lineker’s Bunch’o’Cubes
  9. Julien and Elise’s Upsetting Flowers
  10. Kevin and Maria Vittoria’s Whipped Cream Warships

Crying At The Discotheque

Seeing out Unofficial 70s Week is a challenge for the teams to put together a disco themed showpiece that incorporates both sugarwork and chocolate – which they very much treat as being just about incompatible with one another because sugar likes things hot and chocolate likes things cold. As it turns out, nobody had an issue with this and the real challenge was trying to wrangle your taste levels when dealing with a metric tonne of glitter.
As for the dessert components, they had to create 2 desserts which are specified to be “afternoon tea sized”, which I guess means 2 mouthfuls if you’re Cherish and one almighty one if you’re Benoit and his leather jacket.

Sadly the only team to fully embrace the disco theme and bring costumes were Geanina and George

The way Geanina looks slightly like she’s doing a tribute to beloved X Factor disaster, Honey G <3
Their display didn’t quite live up to the snazziness of their hats, although I do appreciate the family that discos together, stays together message

Their desserts were all about the rum – the first pink one being coconut and white rum mousse with a mango insert that went down very well until Benoit suddenly decided that unbaked dessicated coconut was one of his rage triggers – can the man please give us a definitive list of the things he hates? It would help *immensely*.
Their second dessert was based on a childhood favourite of theirs called an Amaldina

and I thought this was going to be some sort of traditional dessert that has a long and complicated religious history involving a far off monastery and a poor martyred saint. As it turns out, Amaldina is just a box of chocolates. Benoit and Cherish rave about it nonetheless and don’t even utter the dreaded “Your flavours are a little basic and predictable.” despite the fact the flavours were a little basic and predictable.

Julien and Elise were also going a little traditional with their desserts of a sea salt caramel choux and a red berry pavlova. They also had ambitious plans for their showpiece that looked a bit like if Saturday Night Fever had a scene involving a nuclear disaster

the final result had much more emphasis on the chocolate coated cankles than I expected

These poor swollen chocolate legs are my kindred spirit and they tried their best to keep the whole tower stable, unfortunately disaster did strike

Somewhere off screen, Lerrick and Lineker breathed an ill-advised sigh of relief.
Their desserts go down slightly more easily than the collapse of their disco inferno – the choux buns do however manage to lack both a caramel taste and a passionfruit flavours despite those being the only ones on offer but the controlled sweetness in the pavlova earns them a fair bit of praise.

Lerrick and Lineker were clearly a little at odds with the challenge – they didn’t seem to fully connect with the theme and I think Lerrick observing that their glitterballs looked more like golf balls and Lineker just telling him to put glitter on them and it’ll be fine kind of perfectly summarises how this all went a little wrong. Well, that and their slightly flaccid electric guitar

It’s not the most disco-y of instruments.
Their concept was solid though, sure their desserts could have looked a little more like disco balls and boom boxes instead of slightly dusty golf balls and building blocks, but the idea was there! And I really liked the sound of those cardamom marmalade chocolate cubes and there didn’t seem to be much of an issue with them despite the fact Lerrick kept swearing at them because the insert hadn’t set enough.

Kevin and Maria Vittoria were going for a boozy affair, although one of them was a virgin mojito – COWARDS – but the other one was a rum baba, with plenty of rum syrup

I’m curious to know what the Covid regulations were in this instance, I imagine something like that scene in Monsters Inc where the monster has the child’s sock on his back. That spoon has been vaporised.
Their final tower was a little messy looking

It’s like the RKO Pictures towers *after* King Kong climbs and destroys it.
Their desserts weren’t a great deal prettier, although that depends on how you feel about slightly adipose looking blobs

allegedly they taste really nice, except for the sponge insert which was left dry, and yet their rum baba is perfectly soaked – apparently you just can’t have it all.

Andrew and Michael were hoping to invoke the spirit of disco by using some classic, retro flavours – the first being a rhubarb and custard mousse dessert that was so good Benoit just about had a religious experience

we thank them in their service to Reaction JPEGs.
Their second dessert was a Sticky Toffee Opera, which is incidentally my favourite genre of music. It doesn’t go down with quite the same glee as the mousse dessert but their tower certainly stood out as the best of the bunch

it’s the disc at the top that reads “Tom Allen, YMCA” that does it for me.
And the two of them manage to scrape in their first win of the series

Michael of course has to be reminded to smile for the camera – God bless ‘im.

The bottom two are Lerrick & Lineker and Kevin & Maria Vittoria with the eliminated team unfortunately being my sweet pair of princes

they’ve done remarkably well to get this far considering they have a fairly high Disaster Statistic. Their flavours were always interesting and they knocked out some lovely little miniature desserts so they can certainly go home proud!

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