It’s pudding week, and if you are the average American, you are picturing the gloppy stuff that comes in a cup, perhaps in your school lunch. You know, that chocolate pudding once peddled by Bill Cosby back in the day. Well, it’s not that kind of pudding. It’s the sticky toffee variety that is often cooked in muslin and/or what is called a Bain Marie, which steams the sponge and sauce.
The judges launched right in and explained that the signature challenge this week was for each baker to make two varieties of six individual puddings. Vulture explains that creating two separate recipes is stretching many of the bakers beyond their comfort zone. There’s a theme of sticky going on, with three of the seven bakers making the traditional sticky toffee pudding, while last week’s star baker, Ryan, was going out on a limb with a sticky ginger and date puddings using three leavening agents.
James was making a clootie, which is a traditional Scottish sweet dumpling cooked in muslin and steamed. The winning sticky toffee pudding belonged to John, who soaked the dates in his pudding in Lady Grey tea, giving them an extra flavor. Danny’s jubilee pudding crashed to the ground and she attempted a last-minute salvage. Ryan’s final product was not over-leavened, but it was bitter from too much baking powder.
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The technical challenge was the Queen of Puddings. While this sounds like someone who would be crowned at the county fair, it is not. Instead, it is a traditional dessert that is made of a sponge with a jam and a custard layer with a crispy meringue top. It looks like a relatively flat trifle with a crispy top. This was Mary Berry’s recipe, and she insisted that the bakers make their own jam.
Many of these looked messy, but still delicious at the same time. Brendan stole the challenge yet again, and attributed his success to being a “traditional boy.”
“There are some advantages to being older. You learn when the setting point of jam is just right.”
The showstopper was one large strudel, which could be sweet or savory. A strudel has a sticky, very elastic dough (building up the gluten) which can be a challenge. Brendan had enough of the sweet and went with savory, opting for a spinach, cheese, and walnut strudel.
Cathryn tried Paul’s dough throwing technique; she lost her grip, and her blob of dough went flying, landing on the fuzzy carpet. John tore open a cut on his hand and ended up a bloody mess (bloody as is blood, not as in a British curse word). John had to tap out with the first baking-related injury. Luckily, Danny is a doctor and calmed John down while cleaning the wound.
Cathryn’s strudel, filled with roasted vegetable couscous and sheep-cheese, was well received despite its hemorrhoid (her word choice). Soggy bottoms looked to be the problem of the day as there was a lot of leakages. Brendan was once again star baker, but it was decided that with John’s injury, nobody should go home this week.
“The journey has to end this week for somebody, and that person is … nobody!”
Sarah-Jane breathed a sigh of relief as she still had her jubilee on her shoes, and James pronounced her strudel the soggiest.
“I have another chance to bake again and to prove that I am here for a reason and not just lucky because John cut his finger off.”
Sue announced that next week, two will go home, so contestants should watch their soggy bottoms.