Hardest bake of the series in GBBO episode six

After bidding farewell to Norman last week, Mel and Sue kicked off GBBO's episode six by welcoming the contestants to European Cake Week.

Mary Berry
and Paul Hollywood asked the contestants to create a cake inspired by the great cakes of Europe, for their signature bake.



Luis opted for a Austrian Kugelhopf

They were asked to use yeast for their leven cakes and were given free reign of the cake's filling but were told it must be made in three hours.

"A leven cake is similar to a loaf of bread, it can’t be hurried. If it’s too hot it’ll rise too quickly,” highlighted Mary, while Paul emphasized that ,"timing is key."

Flavours in a leven cake often can inhibit the yeast's rise. Knowing the difficulty of working with yeast, Nancy and Richard made a yeast-filled sponge before baking in order to estimate their baking times.

The adventurous bakes varied from Luis' Austrian Kugelhopf to Chetna's orange Savarin with cinnamon cream.


Chetna decided to create a Savarin cake

However, Nancy journeyed across the Atlantic, opting to make a hybrid cake- European in design but Carribean in flavour. Her choice of fruit worried Paul, especially her use of fresh banana that often loses flavor in a bake.

Timing the rise was crucial and forced many of the culinarians to opt to prove their cakes twice. Deciding when to stop proving and when to stop baking was the key to this baking challenge, it seemed.

When approached by the judges, Martha admitted that she was planning to add four tablespoons of butter to avoid a bready taste- a revelation which shocked Paul.

Meanwhile, Richard revealed that he was going to 'wing it' when it came to deciding the topping of his German-inspired cake.

In the end, the judges praised Martha’s cake, congratulating her on the texture, the balance of bitter chocolate with sweet icing and brittle and perfect blend of alchohol.

However, although great in flavours, both Kate and Nancy disappointed the judges for their dry sponges while Richard's bake lacked texture and shine with a yeast that hadn’t reached its full potential.

For the technical challenge, the bakers were asked to make one of the most difficult recipes of the Great British Bake Off so far, in two and a quarter hours.

The six remaining bakers were asked to make Mary's traditional Swedish Prinsesstårta Princess cake. The bake contains alternating layers of sponge, jam, pastry, cream and a thick layer of whipped cream.

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The princess cake is the hardest bake of the series so far

The monumetal bake is then topped by green marzipan, covering the dome shape, sprinkled with powdered sugar and decorated with a pink marzipan rose

"Read the recipe at least twice before you start," advised Mary before Mel outlined that there are 26 separate ingredients and 14 stages to the tricky bake.

"I think you’re cruel Mary," joked Paul as the baking duo sat to indulge on Mary's perfectly domed creation.

The minimalistic recipe challenged the bakers, with many never having seen a Princess cake.


The bake has 26 separate ingredients and 14 stages

"Make a crème patisserie and chill," laughed Martha as she struggled with the recipe’s vague outline.

The hopefuls also found difficulty gageing the correct shade of green for the marzipan, with many bakers resulting to using previous bakes of football pitches and rainbows as a guideline.

Timing appeared to be the most stressful aspect of the bake with many contestants doubting that they would finish in time for judging.

"This is such a complicated recipe," stressed Martha, as the tent was full of mayhem as the countdown began.


The shades of green between the bakes varied

Ultimately, Richard's lack of distinct layers and Kate's incorrect layering of Marzipan failed to impress the judges.

However, Chetna's perfect colour and layers saw her placed second to Nancy, who wowed with her elegant and beautiful Princess Cake.

"A lovely cake," praised Mary as her and Paul beamed with joy at tasting Nancy’s creation.

Following a good night’s rest, the bakers entered the tent, determined to create the perfect show stopper that would see them crowned Star Baker.

For their final bake. the six bakers were asked to make a contemporary version of the Hugarian Dobus torte. With several layers, the contestants were asked to impress with a two-tiered cake, with emphasis on sugar work and caramel, in under five hours.

"I expect some serious caramel work," demanded Paul, as Mary asked for perfection- “It's got to be stunning’ she said.

Luis decided to use inspiration from his wife’s favourite monument in Stockport, opting to make a 'Cage on the Rocky Hill', while Richard began creating a sugar Forrest Dobos torte with ten layers in each of the two tiers.

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Luis' show-stopper was a tricky construction

"I’m caustiously optimistic not confident," the builder stressed.

Across the tent, Martha began making her chess-themed cake with salted caramel, swiss meringue buttercream as Chetna started on her chocolate caramel buttercream cake with balls caramel covering the top layer.

The sponge to a Hugarian Dobus torte should contain even layers of sponge to filling in order to reveal clearly defined layers.

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Martha's Dobos torte was a blend of salted caramel and bitter chocolate

With such a long time to create the bake, the bakers methodically worked through their recipes, with a keen eye to detail, precision and timing.

In the end, Nancy was praised for her well-exectuted praline bake while Luis' beautiful designed was deemed 'spectacular' by Mary.

Kate's lack of caramel disappointed the judges while Martha's uneven design and use of shop-bought chess moulds failed to impress.

Former favourite, Richard, frustrated the judges as his sponge was too dry and his lack of presentation, in comparison to the other bakes, didn’t meet Paul and Mary’s high standards.

In the end, Chetna was crowned Star Baker of the week, while Kate and Richard were both up for the chopping board. Mary and Paul admitted that they couldn't decide between the two bakers and analyzed their baking pitfalls.

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Kate and Richard were in the bottom two this week

Luckily for the contestants, they were both saved from this week's elimination and will face another week of baking stress in the tent.

Tune in next week at 8pm on BBC One for complez pastries and choux pastry show stoppers.
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