Bake Off: The Professionals, Series 5, Episode 3: The Modus Operandi of Fudge

Just in: This Week’s Political Review!

Have you ever wanted to see someone experience the thrillings rush of a sugar high and devastating blow of a sugar crash on national television? Buckle in.

It’s Chocolate Week and unfortunately Jeffery, Venus and sometimes Flora have had to pull out of the competition due to illness but seeing as the show does have a tradition of allowing teams to compete again in later series, hopefully they might be able to come back next year!
But it wasn’t all bad news because Stacey Solomon was delighted to be experiencing her very first Chocolate Week

and at some point she did discover the Fountain of Eternal Chocolate and like some sort of Narcissus Gloop looked like she was about to throw herself into its perfectly tempered depths

but instead she just drank mugfuls of the stuff

and by about the 100th “small sample” she did seem like she was thoroughly regretting every decision she made over the course of the day

however much they’re paying Stacey Solomon, it is not enough.

Tube Bee, Or Not Tube Bee?

For their first challenge the teams were having to make a pair of desserts – the first one had to be cylindrical while the second was a case of the show surrendering to the fact someone at some point in the series will inevitably make a bee themed dessert so they just bit the bullet and challenged them all to make a bee themed dessert, sadly they didn’t save it for the Showpiece Challenge because I cannot tell you the things I would give to see a 3 foot chocolate sculpture of socialist icon Barry B. Benson rendered on national television

women don’t want men, women want anti-capitalist bees.

The only team to try and make a dessert that looked like a bee were Robert and Mireia, or at least as bee-shaped as their moulds that looked a bit like a computer mouse would allow

unfortunately despite Mireia’s care to perfectly temper the chocolate shell, the desserts did become a little lodged inside their mould and in a visual metaphor for mankind’s impact on the bee population, Robert was forced to bodyslam them out

which, unsurprisingly, did result in several cases of blunt force trauma which the bee community will now be taking Robert to court over (which will only be the 5th weirdest court case we’ve seen in recent weeks)

the actual idea for the dessert was good though – and I really liked the sound of peach compote centre

they were the only team to really bring in a whole different element in order to try and bridge the gap between their honey and chocolate flavours – and the judges did enjoy their overall flavour profile but there was a grittiness to their mousse which was a shame.

Their chocolate cylinders didn’t fare a great deal better, but they at least hadn’t been body slammed into submission by Robert, but they were similarly unfinished, Robert and Mireia biting off more than they can chew for several weeks in a row might be Benoit’s villain origin story

and without the white chocolate mushroom to make them look like fallen logs, they did kind of just look a bit like big novelty Dairy Milk Fingers

but the judges did quite like their overall flavour profile (which was mostly just chocolate). It wasn’t a great judging for them and I think they both knew that they would have to pretty much kill every challenge if they wanted to stay in the competition, which is probably why Robert seemed to have aged 20 years by the end of the critiques

he’ll be back to his regular self by the next full moon.

Kevin and Nathan were also going for heavy bee imagery for their honeybee dessert – Benoit kept describing them as “the base of the bee” and I can’t work out if he just couldn’t remember the word “hive” or he thought they were quite literally putting the bum in bumblebee

even with Nathan having an issue with their glaze, the finish on them is remarkable and I think they were certainly the most polished of the desserts, and they should be because Nathan practiced them 10 times (his family can’t even bring themselves to look at a pot of honey anymore). However the design is perhaps a little predictable, it’s pretty much exactly what I thought of when they were given the brief. The judges didn’t mind the presentation but they did have an issue with the fact all of the textures were just a little bit too soft and could have done with something crispy – putting honeycomb in it does seem like it would have been a bit of a no-brainer and yet not a single team made honeycomb.

The judges may not have had issues with the predictability of Nathan and Kevin’s honeybee dessert, but they did think that Cydrick and David’s offering looked a little bit dated

and sure, it does have a certain 80s garishness to it but I kind of liked them and I thought they all looked pretty neat. As for the taste, Cherish liked the overall flavour profile but did think they needed something to offset the honey flavour of the mousse, which is what I think their dark chocolate mousse was meant to be doing? Either way, Liam certainly seemed to enjoy their mousse

bow chicka wow wow.

For their chocolate cylinders, David and Cydrick had certainly taken the judges’ requests for them to be slightly more refined to heart as they came in with big dreams of creating delicate latticed chocolate logs, each of which would be topped with a chocolate caterpillar

unfortunately for them the hopes for refinement and elegance would remain a (chocolate)pipe dream as they served up a tray of deforestation

and I’m just not entirely sure that caterpillars particularly lend themselves to being rendered in chocolate

That’s a solid Type 2 on the Bristol Stool Chart.

They had at least tried to be a little more adventurous with their flavours – opting to pair their chocolate with a Basil and Ginger Creme Brulee, a concept that did seem to greatly upset Stacey Solomon

and the judges weren’t very big fans either with Benoit pulling absolutely no punches and just calling the whole thing “shambolic”

I guess everyone’s becoming a villain in Chocolate Week.

Nathan and Kevin were at least on hand to deliver a complete chocolate cylinder

I am a little confused as to why it’s topped with a chocolate spoon because nothing about it suggests a spoon is necessary – there’s no liquid, there’s no tea flavours, it’s just that they happened to have a spoon-shaped mould.
The only real critique they had of them was the fact the brownie bases were a little uneven and Cherish, being the Miss Marple of the pastry world, found a single fingerprint

It was Cydrick in the walk-in freezer with the flour trowel!
But the judges loved their flavours

high praise in Chocolate Week.

A Chocolate Cylinders and Honeybee Desserts Ranking

  1. Nathan and Kevin’s Chocolate Flavoured Chocolate Cylinders
  2. Nathan and Kevin’s Based Honeybee Desserts
  3. David and Cydrick’s 80s Throwbacks
  4. Robert and Mireia’s Plight of the Honeybee
  5. Robert and Mireia’s Chocolate Sausage Fingers
  6. David and Cydrick’s Tray of Deforestation

Myths and Legends

For their Chocolate Week Showpiece Challenge the teams were challenged to create two batches of chocolate bars: 1 moulded and the other free-formed and dipped. They were also challenged with displaying said chocolate bars on a showpiece made entirely out of as much chocolate as Stacey Solomon hadn’t eaten by this point, which ALSO had to incorporate a moving part AND be themed around ancient mythology – there were a lot of components.

As broad as the prompt of “Ancient Mythology” was everybody immediately went for Greek Mythology, which I was quite happy with because I was, entirely unsurprisingly, the Greek Mythology kid at school. And yes, The Kraken isn’t actually from Greek myth but you know, The Meme says otherwise

Clash of the Titans (2010) is my favourite terrible movie – Sam Worthington in a comically tiny gladiator skirt for 80% of the runtime? It’s giving me camp.

It was David and Cydrick who were responsible for releasing the Kraken, their decision apparently inspired by a sinking ship they saw while working on a cruise, and when pressed about it they didn’t really give any answers

did…. did David and Cydrick sink a ship? Someone call The Coastguard.

The moulded chocolates gave them the most trouble because their seashell pieces were quite delicate and kept breaking as Cydrick tried to demould them

but the situation couldn’t have been that dire considering they still had enough to force-feed Stacey Solomon like there was some sort of bet between the teams as to who could break her first

flavouring them with lychee and grapefruit seemed a little out of the blue but I loved that when they opened up the shells, there was a tiny little pearl of something inside, although the effect might have been better if it has been a gel sphere?

the judges like the concept too but did seem to believe that the addition of the grapefruit was unnecessary and that the shells were a little bit too big – clearly a problem only for Cherish because Stacey Solomon was managing fine

the shells also could have done with a little bit of tidying up, which looks like it’s going to be the running theme of everything that Cydrick and David make with their actual showpiece getting a similar critique

it is very fun to look at but it does lack a certain finesse but I thought their moving part was the best of the bunch and certainly the most creative

as for their second bar, it was less well connected to the general theme of the showpiece with them just being bars, I think with a little ingenuity they could have made some chocolate fingers that looked a bit like the oars of the ship, or at least sprayed them gold to look like treasure

the judges weren’t overly keen on them, mostly because the fudge was too sweet – that is however the modus operandi of fudge. They had tried to balance that a bit by using sesame but perhaps a touch of sea salt would’ve helped, and connected them more to the showpiece’s ocean theme.

Nathan and Kevin were also going for an oceanic themed showpiece with theirs being based on Poseidon

it’s a little uninspired and there’s so many tangent lines, nothing really overlaps so it looks quite one dimensional which is a shame because there’s a lot of great sculptural work in it and the wave does have a certain Great Wave of Kanagawa feel to it, I think they could have used a touch more white in the foam at the top to add some extra dimension to it.
They could have also afforded to be a little more creative with the appearance of their bars which were quite literally just two batches of rectangular bars – there’s so much you can do with the ocean that it was a little disappointing, but they had interesting flavours with their Pineapple and Amarula moulded bars and their free-form one being flavoured with Cashew, Chilli and Mango which the judges liked and earned them a very polite golf clap from Cydrick

which is the greatest prize of all.

Robert and Mireia were stepping away from the ocean with their Showpiece being an homage to Thea who in Greek mythology is the mother of the Sun, Dawn and The Moon and who Robert’s daughter is named after – which isn’t doing a great deal to dissuade me from the conspiracy theory that he’s a werewolf, I’ll be honest.
They were also very much pulling every ripcord they could to try and avoid elimination by going all out with not 1 but 2 moving parts, the first being a turntable that the bust of Thea would gently rotate on and the second being a mobile depicting several planets which Mireia was constructing out of fishing line and prayers

and clearly Thea was taking pity on them because NOTHING fell over or broke, which is certainly a redemption from last week

and I think it’s rather marvelous! It’s a shame the mobile didn’t rotate on its own but once Cherish gave it a wiggle it spun and still remained intact which had Stacey ready to hire out her baby like it was a Nativity Play rental

as for their bars, they had clearly read the wikipedia entry for Thea and noted that she’s often depicted with jewels and precious metal – which did mean my favourite D&D dice moulds were having their annual outing

the moulded chocolates didn’t greatly excite Benoit and Cherish – the combination of Matcha and Yuzu isn’t wildly original but they had balanced the flavours quite well.

Their second bar, a chocolate, coffee and hazelnut nougatine finger, was better received in terms of its flavours, their appearance however was a little more divisive with Benoit saying “politely, it looks like a finger, but it could look like something else…”

the jury is out on whether that “something else” is The Tinman’s Willy or an argent turd – answers on a postcard.

An Ancient Mythology Showpiece Ranking

  1. Item No.3 in the Evidence Caseload That Robert is a Werewolf
  2. Nathan and Kevin’s Semi-great Wave
  3. David and Cydrick’s Life of Piracy

I do fully believe that Robert and Mireia had the best showpiece – the concept was good, everything tied in together but I think they knew that they really needed to have had absolutely no bad critiques if they wanted to survive, even with David and Cydrick’s position in the competition being a little tentative, so by only a slightly phallic silver chocolate finger, it was Robert and Mireia who were eliminated

they may have struggled through several episodes but I really enjoyed them on the show and I think they certainly brought a lot of personality (and jeopardy) to the proceedings.

And so, we’re finished with Heat 1 and onto Heat 2 next week!

If you’ve enjoyed this recap of Bake Off: The Professionals Chocolate Week and would like to support the blog you can donate to my Ko-fi account HERE!

Leave a Reply