Stained Glass Pears

The Great American Baking Show Episode 4 – Dessert Week

It is almost time for Episode 5 to air and I have not posted a recap of Episode 4 – Dessert Week! So this will be quick and I will update later with more photos and details if possible!

THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW – “Spice and Dessert Week” – Eight bakers return to the tent this week. First up, “Spice Week” with the bakers challenged to create sweet and savory creations using spices. From cinnamon to saffron, the bakers put their best spice flavor combinations together. “Dessert Week” has the bakers creating delicious delicacies like cakes and cookies, including one of Paul Hollywood’s toughest challenges yet on “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition,” THURSDAY, DEC. 19 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Mark Bourdillon) TANYA

Signature – Madeleines

I’ve never eaten a madeleine before. I had never made a madeleine until this challenge. But I can guarantee that I will be making a lot more of them in the future!

I made Strawberry & Black Pepper Madeleines with a strawberry glaze and also Chai Madeleines with White Chocolate. Several things were edited out, again because of time, I’m sure. One thing that I had wanted to mention was my use of freeze-dried Strawberries. I used them in both the first batch of madeleines and the glaze. This is a great alternative when you want to add flavor but not change the texture of your bake.

Freeze-dried berries are also amazing little snacks!

I love the versatility of this little cookie. But the judges weren’t stunned with mine and the texture was not exactly what they were looking for. It’s tough to hit all the right notes when you don’t know what they are looking for.

The recipe development continues and let me tell you, it’s tasty even if they aren’t technically perfect so I don’t mind!

Technical – Queen of Puddings

Have you ever heard of this? Well, none of us had! And it wasn’t just the bakers that were completely in the dark on this one but no one on set seemed to know what this was!

Most of the producers and all of the cameramen, sound people and culinary team are British. And none of them knew what this was. I think Dana mentioned that she had seen it before but she was the only one!

At the beginning of this Technical, I will tell you that my mind was blank. I looked at the instructions and had no idea where to start. I think it was a little bit of panic but I just calmed myself down and tried to focus.

There is a custard, there is a jam and there is a meringue. I know how to make all of those things so I just decided to go one by one and knock them out.

Instead of focusing on the whole, which was a complete mystery, I handled each small task and then put them together.

None of the Queen of Puddings were great. Actually, we all failed. But we failed together. Every single one of us gave the judges soupy custard. Some were a tiny bit more set than others but none were actually custard.

Apparently, the trick that Paul explained AFTER the Technical is that you have to soak the breadcrumbs in the custard for a bit before baking.

DUH!

That’s what I do with a French Toast Bake so why didn’t it dawn on me during the Technical?!?

We all talked about it later and it seemed so obvious. I got 3rd and I’ll take it and run for the hills!

Showstopper – Tower of Cheesecakes

THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW – “Spice and Dessert Week” – Eight bakers return to the tent this week. First up, “Spice Week” with the bakers challenged to create sweet and savory creations using spices. From cinnamon to saffron, the bakers put their best spice flavor combinations together. “Dessert Week” has the bakers creating delicious delicacies like cakes and cookies, including one of Paul Hollywood’s toughest challenges yet on “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition,” THURSDAY, DEC. 19 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Mark Bourdillon) THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW

I loved this challenge. The reason that I loved this challenge is that I had been saving these pears decorations (and the flavor profile or pears and ginger) for just the right challenge.

You see, when we are planning our recipes, we don’t know all of them upfront. We only know a few. And when those are done, we move on to prepare a few more. If I had used the pears earlier, I may not have come up with something that I loved as much as this tower of cheesecakes.

The judges loved my tower which had me beaming with pride. This was a good day in the Tent.

Sherry actually said that I ELEVATED CHEESECAKE. That comment was edited out (you have no idea how long judging actually takes! Awesome when the judges love your bake but not so great if they don’t!)

The pear and ginger were a perfect combination and were topped with a luscious lemon ganache. I got the perfect bake on all three layers without using a water bath (others weren’t so lucky because their pans and foil wraps leaked and their crusts were sogging – although that was mostly edited out as well.) And the caramelized bananas were the perfect solution to the dreaded brown oxidized bananas.

I will be uploading a video soon on the technique to make these pears so subscribe to my youtube channel so that you will know when it is uploaded!

Another sad goodbye!

This week we lost sweet Bianca! I can’t even tell you how amazing this woman is. She is sweet and sincere and oh so inquisitive! Bianca loves to learn and experiment and just can’t get enough information. I love that her brain works like that! She just constantly grows and absorbs everything around her! She is fearless and full of energy and we all missed her presence in the Tent immediately.

Luckily we still get to chat almost daily!

THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW – “Spice and Dessert Week” – Eight bakers return to the tent this week. First up, “Spice Week” with the bakers challenged to create sweet and savory creations using spices. From cinnamon to saffron, the bakers put their best spice flavor combinations together. “Dessert Week” has the bakers creating delicious delicacies like cakes and cookies, including one of Paul Hollywood’s toughest challenges yet on “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition,” THURSDAY, DEC. 19 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Mark Bourdillon) BIANCA

6 Comments

  1. P.S. Couldn’t find the youtube. Any chance you’d add the link in your post here? πŸ’šπŸπŸ’š

  2. Those pears are so beautiful! I just saw this episode on Hulu. I’ll be searching your YouTube channel for the recipe!

  3. I love those pears!!!

  4. Tanya I remember you mentioned you did not use a water bath, so I will get in touch with you “through our bat-channel” and see if you can give me some tips

    I cannot stop staring at your cheesecake tower, it is another masterpiece!

    .

    • Thanks, Sally! I don’t know if I have any tricks other than sit on the floor and watch it bake so I can pull it at just the right time! I have had water seep into the foil wrap before and didn’t want to risk it in the tent.
      But, yes, let’s chat! My place or yours??

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