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My Great British Bake Off | Episode 3 Desserts

My oh my, let me start off my saying this week was an absolute failure!!!

Last night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off shows the contestants challenged with various desserts.

Here are the three tasks they had to perform;

  • First up was the contestants ‘signature bake’ which was a trifle (flavour, ingredients etc of their choice)
  • For the ‘technical challenge’ contestants had to recreate Mary Berry’s Floating Islands (to put it simply poached meringue in custard)
  • Then for the show stopper, they had to bake 24 petit fours; 12 biscuit based, 12 cake based.

So knowing I was challenging myself to recreate one of these dishes, I wasn’t all that pleased with what they made in the show. Trifle was knocked out as a contender immediately seeing as I don’t like trifle and not many people in the house would eat it (there was no point baking something that would go to waste!). Next was Mary Berry’s Floating Island, and if you watched the show you will have seen how difficult these are to make, and quite frankly they were a very posh dessert. Now I was actually going to attempt to make these but there was no cream in the house and I didn’t want to run down to the shop to get any, so that was out. So I was left with the petit fours. But then I thought it was a little silly spending so much time trying to get the desserts so small so I noticed a lot of the contestants made macaroons for their petit fours, and I have never tried making these before (I actually had never even seen/tried one before) so I thought, this would be my challenge.

I found this recipe on howtocookthat.net!

Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup or 70g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups or 230g pure icing sugar
  • 1 cup or 120g almond meal
  • 2g salt (tiny pinch)
  • gel food colouring (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
Place egg whites and cater sugar in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out, continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on you mixer.  Add gel or powdered food colouring and continue to mix for a further 20seconds.

Sift the almond meal and icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into the egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula.  The mixture should be smooth and a very vicious, not runny.

Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, rap trays on the bench firmly (this prevents cracking) and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray fairly cleanly, if not bake for a little longer (make sure you are using NON-stick baking paper or they will stick).

Once your macaroons are cooked, pipe buttercream into the centre (or you can use ganache etc)

 

So I made two different flavour macaroons, and here is what they turned out like

Macaroons

So as you can see there is some pink and some green macaroons.

The pink ones are bubblegum flavour. Just after whipping the egg whites and sugar I mixed in some red food colour powder. I want to emphasis the importance of using powder here. If you use liquid food colour the mixture would be too runny. I found my mixture was runny enough and I used food colour powder so that’s just my recommendation.

The bubblegum flavour is actually in the buttercream in the middle. I just added some bubblegum flavouring to it (and it does taste just like bubblegum!)

The green macaroons are peppermint. Again, I added green food colour powder to the egg white mixture, and the peppermint flavour is in the buttercream.

 

Now, I have never had macaroons before, nor have I even seen them before so I’m not entirely sure what they are supposed to taste like but I know what I made isn’t right.

To me they just taste like cubes of sugar, which I don’t like, which is why I said they were a complete failure, but if you have a real sweet tooth and enjoy eating sugar, maybe you will like this recipe, who knows, but I for one did not and I can safely say I will not be making these again.

 

So desserts week was a bit of a failure, but next week is Pies and Tarts week so I’m quite looking forward to that.

– Bee

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