Angus Deayton hosts the search for Britain's best team of pastry chefs. In the first semi-final, the teams must create six identical and multi-layered crown entremet.
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O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kitchen for a stage, pastry chefs to act
And two judges to behold the swelling scene!
That was William Shakespeare's Bafta-winning introduction to the
1597 semifinal of Ye Bake Off: Creme De Ye Creme.
Why do I mention it?
Well, because theatre plays a large part in this,
our semifinal between Liam's Military Boys and Reece's Five-star Hoteliers.
So what tactics will they use? How will they play it?
Thus far, everyone has tried to win by making better pastries than their
opposition, but will that all change today?
'Previously on Creme De La Creme...'
-We need to go, we need to go.
-'In the last of the heats...'
-More time, we need more time.
'..we bid adieu to Stefan's team...'
Come here, give me a little hug, little Frenchman.
'..as captain Laurian, Thibault and Jeremy...'
'..and captain Reece, Lauren and Jonathan...'
I'm proud of what we've done.
-'..booked their places in the semifinals.'
'..in the first semifinal...'
Is that dramatic enough for you?
'..will it be Liam's squadron of RAF chefs...'
-Keep going, we've got a lot of people coming in, all right?
'..or Reece's crew of hotel hotshots...'
-That was my handiwork, that was.
-'..that emerge victorious?'
'Two monumental challenges...'
-I need your help.
-Two seconds, two seconds!
'..to make three jaw-dropping desserts.'
-Everything setting all right?
-Touch and go.
Just trying to figure out whether we're behind or not.
'..one highly coveted place...'
-'..in the Creme De La Creme...'
-Blow on that bit.
This is going to be fun.
'The first semifinal brings together two of the most competitive teams
-'left in the contest.'
-Game face, bro.
'Semifinalists last year, Corporals Liam and Bear with new recruit,
'Chris, work with military precision.'
That's the joconde in, chef.
-That's one in.
'And if their flavours don't always hit the target...'
It was so shocked that I don't know whether, am I going to spit it out or swallow?
'..their knack for the spectacular more than makes up for it.'
-Two more feathers to go.
-It's us trying to reinvent and show them something that they haven't seen before.
I can hear the woodpecker pecking on your tree trunk.
I'm serious when I say I wasn't expecting that.
-To get this far for us, not trained pastry chefs,
military chefs, it's a massive achievement.
We haven't started this process without wanting to go all the way, though.
So let's go one step further, push Reece's team out and get to the final
and really show what we can do.
'Putting last year's Round 1 exit behind them...'
-Little recap, where are we?
-'..Reece and Lauren from Watford's five-star Grove hotel
'with the addition of Jonathan, are Creme De La Creme's biggest risk takers.'
Just hold it until the last second.
'They've reached new heights with flavours and textures...'
The chocolate cremeux in there is divine.
-Give me a five.
'..and come back down to earth with a bang.'
I don't think you can get much worse than last week.
I think it all goes back to consistency for us.
If we can get that, I can't see us not being in the final.
We are revved up this week for a good fight.
Welcome back, chefs, and first of all,
huge congratulations to you for reaching the semifinal stages,
where, to misquote the Spice Girls, four become two.
Yes, only today and tomorrow's challenges stand between you
and the privilege of being one of the two finalists.
And as the stakes are so much higher,
the judges have kindly made each challenge a lot tougher.
-Chefs, we would like you to produce six crown entremets.
We expect you to wow us with the exceptional taste and, of course,
the presentation has to be uniform across the six crown entremets.
Benoit, any way of making it more demanding?
Well, we'll ask you to create one dessert with 12 components, but
crucially, you will have to bring those 12 components all together
in a dazzling performance of live plating.
It is the ultimate challenge of creativity and showmanship.
Right, that sounds suitably impossible, so you have three hours
to complete your six crowns and all the elements for your live plating.
Your time starts...right now.
Let's have a good start, guys, yeah?
Come on, boys, let's smash this.
40 points are available today and with two such evenly-matched teams,
every point could prove vital.
We've just got to focus right from the start today.
It's going to be top gear all the way through.
It's semifinals. You've got to push yourselves.
The judges this week are looking for perfection and it's the big week.
It's the one before the final and they're going to be expecting a lot.
The first dessert the teams must perfect are their crown entremets -
multi-layered mousse-based cakes
filled with contrasting textures and complementary flavours.
With the crown entremets, I want a beautiful design.
They need to be glazed,
so that glaze needs to make the entremet shine and
obviously, the joy is in the cake.
I would like to see every layer perfectly layered
on top of each other to be the right texture.
It's crucial for me. And, of course,
the taste combination has to be balanced very well.
I'm going to get a little bit of stock syrup on the go
-because we need it for a few different things.
Hi, Reece, how does it feel to be a semifinalist?
Very good, very good.
-A little bit daunting but...
-You know Liam's team from last time,
-We know Liam's team from last time
and previous competitions as well.
We know how good they are.
You've come second in every single show so far.
We have, so we're going to mix it up and we're going to come first today.
Yes, I was going to say, best not come in second again.
-We're going to try.
-You are our second specialists.
-Reece's push for his first first begins
with six mirror-glazed crown entremets.
Filled with chocolate and peanut mousse, layers of peanut shortbread,
chocolate jam and vanilla cream,
along with a zingy sponge, he is hoping
will bring the whole thing full circle.
Because we are adding lime to it, that will add a nice extra element
that is going to help bring it all together.
Peanut and lime is quite a nice combination.
Chocolate and lime go, so we're hoping we'll deliver on flavours.
At the end of the day, you just got to hope it goes all to plan,
and come out the other side smiling, I guess.
If Reece's taking calculated risks...
Keep going, yeah? Don't slow down, guys.
..for Liam, it's tried and tested flavours all the way.
We've gone with chocolate, orange and hazelnut,
the flavours we know go well together.
I'm making the cream layer.
Chris is going to get on with the glacage and the delices, which is what
Bear is weighing out.
There's a lot of jobs going on, a lot of things that can go wrong.
We've just got to pull together as a team, which is something that we are really good at anyway.
Liam's team's crown entremet will be made up of layers of orange and
hazelnut shortbread, spiced cream and blood orange jelly,
all surrounded by chocolate and orange delice,
covered with a chocolate-orange glacage.
-Morning, Chef. We will taste that
you are using orange and chocolate again.
Are you playing safe, or...?
We've got orange chocolate, hazelnuts, cinnamon and ginger...
-..in our entremet. We're hoping that the spice comes through in the
cream enough to cut it all through.
Not overpower. Predominantly you are wanting to get orange, chocolate,
hazelnut with a hint of spice at the end.
We are expecting a lot of you guys.
-We are trying.
-You know that?
You are not stressed enough, Bear. You are too comfortable.
-You are not stressed enough.
-Under the surface, I am.
Relaxing isn't an option
as both teams rush to make their multiple layers...
Five minutes off the cream being ready.
Right, talk to me. Where are we at?
..and quickly get them to the blast freezer, knowing minutes lost now
will mean less time later to construct and decorate.
This will be the first layer, your jelly.
Once this is set, we'll come and add the spiced cream layer to that.
There is a fine line in the gelatine because you don't want it to be set
too much, but...
..our recipe always seems to be all right so far.
That's all the jelly in and setting, Chef.
-I'm just getting the chocolate jam on,
so I've just made a caramel
and then you pour that over the chocolate and hazelnut paste,
add a bit of glucose and it should set up like a jam.
Just trying to get everything in the freezer as soon as possible because
we need it to freeze before we can even build our entremet.
How is everything thus far?
Really busy. I'm doing a lot of the chocolate work.
Chris is just doing the base layer now.
The jelly and the spiced cream is setting in the freezer
and a delice is setting under the table.
Well I'm glad you are across it, because I am completely baffled.
-And have you seen the other team?
-Well, we know Reece from a couple of
years ago, so we know exactly what they are capable of doing.
And you got further than them last time.
-Don't think it works like that.
-Well, who knows?
Although Reece and Liam are taking very different approaches
to their crown entremets, they do have one layer in common.
Just doing a bit of shortbread now.
It's got a bit of spice in there, a few hazelnuts,
little bit of orange as well. I'll bake that off and that is going to be
-the base of our entremet.
Peanut shortbread. So that's the base for the entremet.
Do you think it is cooked enough?
It should be. We don't want it to be too dry.
Are you going to give us tummy ache later on?
I would never do that. First lot of shortbread going in the oven, Chef.
Still got a long way left to go.
Guys, you're exactly halfway through now, so an hour and a half left.
Start getting the entrees plated up, guys.
Just trying to figure out whether we're behind or not, if I'm honest.
Liam's team, they're using the flavours they know
we will enjoy. It is very safe but it tastes nice.
Today is about scoring valuable good points in order to be in
a strong position for tomorrow morning's challenge,
so I think they know it's not about being extravagant but being safe.
This is a milk chocolate and hazelnut just going on now.
It just adds a little bit more texture.
Are you on the mousse, Jonathan?
-So, I've made a custard,
poured it onto the chocolate with the peanut butter and then I'm going
to add gelatine to set it and that's going to be one of the layers inside the crown.
-So Reece's team...
I quite like the sound of peanut and the component he's putting in.
I did find one mistake.
-It's under-baked, isn't it?
In the semifinal, you need to control and master all your bakes.
I agree with you totally.
But that's not their only problem.
Despite being in the blast freezer for over an hour,
Lauren's chocolate jam still hasn't set.
-Leave it out, leave it out.
-Don't want it.
The chocolate jam, we're leaving it out.
It needed longer to set.
It will compromise the entremet a little bit because it won't have one of the elements
that brings some chocolate and caramel flavour to it but we're
still going to deliver something that's going to be very pleasant to eat.
Everything setting all right? Longer than you thought?
Touch and go.
As if preparing all their mousses,
sponges and shortbreads in three hours wasn't enough pressure...
..there's the frankly terrifying prospect of live plating.
The latest trend to hit the world of high-end patisserie.
Basically, this means over the course of three minutes,
the teams must present a piece of gastronomic performance art under
the unflinching gaze of Benoit and Cherish.
So, live plating is basically
the ability for the pastry chef to make a show.
You bring the theatre, you bring the magic.
It's almost like you bring your feeling, who you are,
and you throw it at the table.
I want to see drama, I want to see fireworks,
I want to see things that I've never seen before and I want to see,
Everybody has to play their part.
There will be nowhere to hide,
they don't have any second take, so there is room for great surprises
and big mistakes.
A performance of this scale requires an array of edible props.
-Have you made the parfaits?
Cracking job, guys, cracking job.
Each of which must be carefully prepared.
I've about three things on the go at the moment.
Trying not to get them all mixed up.
Sorbet's on, Chef. Vanilla yoghurt's done.
Live table plating, something completely new to us,
something we've never done before.
So, to work on that is bringing completely new skills to us.
Drawing on the theme of tropical fruits for their live plating
performance, Liam's team intend to evoke an exotic forest floor
by spreading the table with mango puree, lime curd and fruit salad,
before blowtorching coconut creme brulees.
For a dramatic final act,
a giant meringue-filled vanilla pod will be shattered on the centre of
the table, for once, deliberately.
This is for our live-plated dessert's centrepiece.
It's going to be the bit in the middle that we smash open.
This is the lime curd.
I've got it good. A couple of elements to go.
So you're confident with the show today?
-The live plating, the show?
Yeah, we are excited to do it.
We're making a spectacle of the live plating, we're all involved,
we've got a bit of theatre in there, a bit of playfulness.
I mean, in this round,
we do not want you to just show us the normal stuff.
We want you to inspire us,
we want to see something that we've never seen before.
We are pushing ourselves.
-It's going to be fun?
We hope to delight you and amuse you.
If Liam's promising a visual spectacular...
Do you want to get the mousses out? The chilli caviar?
..Reece has different priorities.
I think it's important with the live plating that we impress the judges
with flavours, first and foremost, and then the theatrics come after.
The brief of tropical flavours, you can't go wrong.
They're all so fresh, they're all so vibrant.
We're trying to go for a journey through Asia.
We've had comments from Cherish before about taking her home
or taking her back to a place where she knows,
so it's really nice to try and do that today.
For their trip to the tropics,
Reece and his team will adorn their table with spicy marinated pineapples,
coconut meringues, mango yolks, white chocolate palm leaves,
passion fruit jellies and chilli caviar,
before splitting asunder
a parfait-filled dark chocolate coconut.
I'm putting the insert in for the middle of the coconut, so this is
just a coconut parfait.
This is going to be the centrepiece for our table-plated dessert.
The idea is that we smash it open.
The coconut element is the one time in the competition where we actually want it to smash.
So, yeah, we're going to add the drama but in the right way, as opposed to...
as last week, as we've seen.
Chefs, just 60 minutes left.
-The pressure's on.
-Blowtorch, blowtorch, blowtorch.
Entremet elements ready,
the teams face a race against time to construct their crowns.
Cherish will be checking to make sure that all the entremets have the same layering inside.
We need to get them in the freezer and get them set.
Desserts setting in the blast freezer, it's on to the glaze.
I'm making a chocolate glaze which is going on the crown.
You want it to be really, really shiny.
Have a nice taste as well.
It's the first thing they're going to see, is the glaze,
so if the glaze isn't shiny, they're going to make a comment about it.
I've got two glacage mixes on.
The main glacage is going to be like an orange and then there's going to be a chocolate glacage box.
The glucose basically gives it a nice shine and then we'll add a bit
of gelatine to it as well so that when we pour over it, it'll set.
Shhh! You can't say that, Chef, secret, secret.
-Nothing is a secret!
This is a microwave sponge for the live table-plated dessert.
I'm going good, not too far off now.
How's your fruit jellies? Look good?
These are our mango yolks,
so mango puree frozen and then dipped in jelly
that we've coloured with gold.
So, essentially, as the yolk defrosts inside,
it will still remain liquid and be held by the jelly.
-We're going good so far.
-The main thing now is waiting for the entremet to set
before we glaze and garnish it.
This is one of the challenges where it's really going to
come down to the wire. We know that.
Half an hour to go, guys. 30 minutes left.
How are you getting on, big man?
Up against it, mate, up against it.
Starting to glaze now.
-You're all right. Might as well go for a break, mate.
-I wouldn't say that!
Perfect. That is exactly what we want to see.
We'll do the first three.
Or else we're in trouble.
Like a brick. Which is good, which is exactly what you want when you come to glazing.
The first one's come out all right.
Obviously, we won't know until we pour it on how it sets on.
We're straining it cos it gives it a cleaner effect on the finished product.
The glaze is good to go.
It's just really cold.
When we pour that on, it's going to stick to it but the excess should
just run off and it should just be a really thin layer.
You don't want a lot of this. Someone watch me.
Glazing can't be rushed, as any slip-ups will be instantly obvious.
A little bit around here, Chef. A few bubbles.
I need a pot.
Is this ready to glaze yet?
Come on, let's build the next one.
You're missing a bit here. Are you going over twice?
-Chris, can you see anything round there?
Am I covered all that side, mate?
Yeah, nice, very nice.
This is looking very shiny.
-That's what we wanted.
-What's that you're putting on there?
This is our regal part to it,
so gold and we've got little jewels going on top.
There's a crown theme to it?
Yeah, we're trying to hit the brief as much as we can.
I have to take this one as it is.
-That collar needs to go on.
-I need your help.
-Two seconds, two seconds, two seconds.
-Can you lift this one?
Where do you want this? Because it's snapped.
One of the most hardest it has ever been to do chocolate in here.
Five minutes to go, guys. This is your five-minute call.
Running out of time. Right, big finish, guys.
-Right, a big push, big push.
I'm going to put the sponge on.
Just in between the caramel.
-Is that all right?
-Yes, perfect, perfect, perfect.
We thought a bit more about the presentation, rather than just sticking entremets out.
We've done some soil and stuff like that.
In the semifinals, we wanted to go that little bit extra.
You boys just motor now and get this finished.
Chefs, you have one minute left.
That's it, just the gold leaf. It's all good. This is what we live for, right?
-So, if you can do those, Jonathan, yeah?
Are they done yet?
-What do you think?
-Yeah, look nice.
OK, guys, that's it.
Step away from your crowns.
Oh, my God!
Not bad for a first go.
Hey, that was a big push.
In just three hours,
the teams have made 12 crown entremets, along with more than 20 different elements
for their live-plated desserts.
It's nice. Chocolate, orange and hazelnut.
-I don't know what they've got inside, though.
-Well done, chefs.
In a moment, we'll be witnessing the gourmet theatre of your live plating,
but first, we'd like to judge your entremets, beginning with Reece's team.
'For the first time in the competition, the captains face the judges alone.'
Reece's crown entremets feature a peanut shortbread base,
a lime sponge, vanilla cream and peanut mousse,
topped with a chocolate mirror glaze and chocolate decorations.
It is certainly a crown, and you meet the brief, and it's really, really attractive.
I really like the microwave sponge and gold, because it's crown.
You want it to be very elegant and sparkling.
A little bit of bling.
It's a bit of bling. Why not?
Your glaze on it is very shiny, reflect a lot of light...
It looks really, really nice.
There is some little issues in terms of the glazing,
where you've got different thickness.
So thick that it refuses to coat the whole of your cake.
You can see all this unfinishing business over here.
At this level of the competition, I'm looking for finesse,
I'm looking for clean, sharp finishing.
You could pick perhaps a couple which are glazed nicely,
-and the rest could be a little bit neater.
-So we can see here, some of the elements are not quite level.
The shortbread is uncooked.
Didn't enjoy eating that.
The sponge itself, I could not taste lime.
The mousse, I think, there is too much gelatine in there.
The texture is not fantastic.
-You taste the peanut.
Unfortunately, all your other elements are hidden by it.
The rest is not actually giving us a lift.
-Or a complexity.
So, overall, it looks good,
the tasting aspect is a little bit...
-..technically let down.
Well done, mate.
That... That's tougher.
That's brutal taking it by yourself though.
So, it's Liam and the military boys next.
If you could bring your entremet to the judging table.
Liam's crown entremet consist of layers
of hazelnut and orange shortbread, a chocolate orange delice,
spiced cream and blood orange jelly.
All covered in an orange-flavoured glaze
and topped with chocolate and hazelnut decorations.
Really like the orange colour, and of course the hazelnut on the top.
You bring what is inside outside the cake.
You've added some extra bits.
You've used some tempered chocolate,
which has certainly been a little bit too cold,
and therefore when you peel it off, it flakes off.
-The joining over here is actually untidy as well.
I expect it to be very, very neatly done.
I was really worried when you were glazing your cake.
The positive, it's very shiny.
The negative is, there's a lot of bubbles.
And that's because you were pushing it through a sieve.
If the texture of your glaze is actually right, you blitz it,
the bubbles goes out, you don't need
to sieve it and it glazes beautifully.
This is the semifinal.
We expect more than before.
We've got this, we can see all the different elements.
Everything is nice and clean. It's very nice and neat. Whoa.
The shortbread is far too thick.
And also, it looks pretty on the bake there.
Having said that, I got the blood orange flavour.
It's very fresh and it works very well with your chocolate.
I'm yet to find the hazelnut.
Yeah, we reduced it, because on our practice...
-It was too strong?
-There was a little bit too much hazelnut...
I was so excited when I see you making every individual component.
But too much gelatine in everything, and your mousse, it is bouncing.
Your cream over here, that is the only thing
that I really enjoyed eating.
When I taste it on its own, it tastes beautiful.
But if I taste it as a whole, it is being camouflaged by the chocolate,
Everything should marriage very, very well on my palate.
Well done, and we'll see how your live plating is.
-Thank you very much, chefs.
HE EXHALES HEAVILY
With the judges somewhat underwhelmed
by both teams' crown entremet...
-Here we go.
-..much rests on the success of their live plating.
Right, its curtain up time for the gourmet theatre.
You have three minutes.
And those three minutes start...now.
What our aim is today is to take you on a journey to the tropics.
Oh, good lord. What's that?
This is our coconut, so this is our main centrepiece dessert.
So these are our mango yolks.
I wasn't aware that mangoes had eggs in them.
Lastly, but not least...
we have our coconut.
Well, I was hoping for more drama.
It was just all too safe for me.
I like some spring, some extra art,
something that an artist do, you know?
Well, as usual, it's a dessert on a large scale on the table.
This is the brief. In terms of the visual, I will agree with Cherish.
It's a little bit on the safe side.
'Reece has presented a parfait-filled chocolate coconut,
'chilli caviar, passion fruit jelly and mango yolks.'
Ah, look at that.
I think there's a lot of fun element, they just whoosh out,
just like a yolk. The mango flavour is very refreshing.
I really enjoy eating this.
And I think it balance really, really well on my palate.
That little passion fruit jelly...
the parfait inside is...?
Coconut with just a small hint of lime.
-It's a bit disappointing.
I was so excited when I saw you knocking it.
That bring me back to Thailand.
But when I taste your parfait, it's crystallised.
Though you've got nice little elements,
THIS is your focal point on your table.
-It's not powerful enough.
-Thank you, guys.
-Thank you, chefs.
Well done. Well done, mate.
So, live dessert-plating.
It's happening right here, right now.
And your three minutes starts now.
Please enjoy your experience of our trip to the tropical fruits.
MUSIC: In The Hall Of The Mountain King by Grieg
Just got a little bit of pineapple, coconut and champagne essence
And then, just to finish off...
Chef, you just sent some tingling sensation into my spine
and you just stirred my heart. Well done!
Love the way you throw the chocolate on the table,
-it just exploded... Really, really love it.
You were really knowing what the other one was doing
and it came up together in harmony.
For a moment, we didn't know what else was coming,
so that's really positive.
'Liam has presented an exotic fruit salad, lime curd,
'coconut and vanilla yoghurt, and creme brulee.'
Chef, creme brulee, I need it to be very creamy,
it needs to be very smooth. Oh, it's gelatine again!
That is not acceptable.
Coconut and vanilla yoghurt. I like that.
That's very fresh. Exotic fruit salad.
There is almost like a savoury taste to it,
because there's no sugar whatsoever in here.
I can see the lime curd in that working a little bit better.
With everything which might be a little bit sweet,
I can see this working. Really, really good job on this.
So, thank you very much, enjoyed the show a lot.
Judges, you need to go and deliberate.
-Decide who to give what.
Right, now, what can I have?
-I get so nervous.
Cherish and Benoit will now award
both teams a score out of 20 for their crown entremet
and their live-plated desserts.
We've got two teams which have got some good skills,
but there are still some technical issues.
40 points are on offer,
and with a place in the final at stake tomorrow,
a superior score at this halfway stage
will obviously be a huge advantage.
What's your bets? What's your bets? Place your bets now.
So, the waiting, deliberating and live plating is over.
The moment of truth is here.
Judges, what scores have you given our teams?
Starting, please, with Liam's.
I thought there was a few technical issues with your entremet,
but you guys have brought the show to the table with your live plating.
For this reason, I'm awarding you 13 out of 20.
Love the way you present your live plating, however,
there was just too much gelatine.
I have awarded you 12 points out of 20.
Giving you a total of 25 out of 40.
And now, Reece's team?
I thought your entremet potentially has a lovely overview.
There was no fireworks with the live-plating dessert,
and for this reasons, I'm awarding you 11 out of 20.
I really like your glaze on your entremet.
However, I was a little bit disappointed with your live plating.
For that, I've awarded you 10 out of 20.
Giving you a total of 21 points out of a possible 40,
which means that it's Liam's team which is in the lead today,
but tomorrow it's the Showpiece Challenge,
and that's worth 60 points,
so try and relax tonight, have a good night's sleep.
I suggest a hot bath, maybe a cup of cocoa, or a sleeping tablet,
or read any Jeffrey Archer novel. It'll do the trick in the same way.
And we'll see you tomorrow morning. Well done.
We've never been in this position, never come first in our miniatures.
Obviously, the final's the next step.
We've got one foot in the door. But there's still a long way to go,
we've still got a whole other challenge to do.
Anything could happen.
Four points is the gap now between first and second,
between us and Liam.
So, you know, we've got it all to play for for tomorrow.
In the morning, the teams face
the most demanding Showpiece Challenge yet,
creating a grand structure entirely from sugar.
So the golden hour is a vital chance to get a head start
on elements that need to harden overnight.
So, tomorrow's challenge, Liam's team?
Great team spirit and ability to work together.
It may not be the best sugarwork we can see,
but it will certainly be really strong and safe.
Now, with safety, there is no hiding place.
You need to deliver perfect tastings and techniques.
I think Liam's team, they are more comfortable with their chocolate.
-Whereas Reece's team,
they are more comfortable with their sugar showcase.
OK, so you're thinking that they possibly have the edge tomorrow?
-It is their challenge.
they've been putting sugarwork on every table,
every time they had the opportunity.
Being a little bit behind today,
-I don't think they're going to be worried about it too much.
Having said that, Reece can still make mistakes,
and his structure still collapse, and there we go.
You never know until the very last minute,
you see what is on the table.
So hopefully, keep my fingers crossed,
-the showpiece will stand tomorrow.
-Well, we wish them well.
And may the best team win.
That thick enough?
I just want to get that... See where it's thin on that bit?
-Keep it upside down, rocking it that way and left and right.
That went far too swimmingly compared to usual.
What have we forgotten, then?
MUSIC: A Night On The Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky
I think it was George Bernard Shaw, or possibly Muse,
who said, "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life,
"and I'm feeling good".
But after yesterday's brutal challenges,
I doubt either of our teams
are going to be waking up and thinking that.
And it's only going to get worse.
Because today, a sugary showpiece of epic proportions stands between
our teams and a place in the Bake Off Creme De La Creme final.
A warning that the following pictures contain flash patisserie.
Good luck, guys.
Welcome back, chefs.
Hope you've recovered from yesterday, because this is,
in a very real sense, it.
Today's showpiece challenge presents
your very last opportunity to impress the judges
and book your one-way ticket to
Creme De La Creme's cataclysmic finale.
Judges, what Everest have you chosen for them to climb today?
We would like you to demonstrate
an exceptional technical skill by making
an elaborate sugar showpiece with
a theme of an English country garden.
The structure has to have an innovative design
to present your 120 confection.
Those confections need to be made of 40 caramels,
40 pulled sugar sweets and 40 "fruit deguise", or disguised fruit.
This is crunch time, guys.
Do not disappoint us.
So, 60 points are available.
You had one hour's preparation last night.
You have three further hours now.
And that time starts...
-Let's go, let's go, let's go.
Come on, boys.
You don't need too much of this...
Do one batch worth.
Right behind you.
Sugar craft is one of the most highly regarded specialist skills
in the pastry chef's arsenal.
It's no coincidence Benoit and Cherish
have saved this test till now.
This is the perfect time, in the semifinal,
to find out if they've got what it takes.
Sugar craft makes or it breaks.
-Sugar's on, Chef.
Sugar is a technique that is really difficult to master.
You need to understand how to boil sugar...
-..to cool it and to pull it, or to blow it.
And of course, if there is no shine to it,
I will be very, very disappointed.
We're going to be looking for elegance
and a beautiful visual impact.
But we also need to consider their confectionery's taste and textures.
The apricots are a little bit big, aren't they?
I wouldn't worry too much about the apricots.
Sugar craft means a lot to me.
It's the skill I really love, it takes a lot of effort,
a lot of preparation, a lot of practice.
Need to work hard and fast at the start
and make sure that everything's to the standard
that we know it needs to be.
-How are we doing, Angus?
-You all right?
-What is the concept behind your showpiece?
We've sort of gone for English garden in the peak of summer,
nice bright colours, lots of flowers,
three different types of flowers.
We've got blown sugar, we're trying to show as many skills as possible.
Excellent. Have you got anything to depict the rain?
'Beneath Liam's English summer centrepiece
'will sit his confectionery,
'inspired by classic English flavours -
'comprising apple and walnut soft caramels,
'apricot and orange brandy deguises,
'and rhubarb and custard pulled-sugar bonbons.
'And after crashing out at the semifinal stage last year,
'he's not taking any chances.'
What are these little booths that you...?
They're just a heat lamp to keep the sugar at a nice temperature.
And the reason for the encasing is in case there's a draught.
-Stops the draught hitting the sugar and forming a skin,
-which will make it crack.
-So, the temperature is all-important?
-So you're sharing the workload?
Yes. Everyone was part of the sugar showpiece.
Sugar is definitely not our strongest point.
It's a skill that we've only learned this week.
We've had a long few days practising.
Cos you're kind of chocolate merchants, aren't you?
Yeah, chocolate is our preferred area.
So sugar is a bit of a departure?
It was a steep learning curve this week.
If Liam's team are wisely handling this challenge with kid gloves...
-Mind your back.
-..Reece's team can afford to be
a little more confident,
their sugar work having previously won compliments from
Benoit and Cherish - a rarity in itself.
-How are we?
-Oh, sugar workday!
You must be over the moon, this is your thing.
I can tell you in a couple of hours.
-Oh, come on.
-And what kind of life are you going to bring in?
English country garden to me screams light, screams colour, elegance.
We've got roses going on and we're
going to do some pastillage butterflies as well.
You're going to show off a little bit.
Below Reece's ambitious rose garden will rest his trio
of confectionery, consisting of pulled hazelnut and almond bonbons,
apricot, ginger and almond deguises
and chocolate-dipped passion fruit caramels.
Last time, your showpiece collapsed a couple of time.
Chef, don't remind me, please.
So what have you done differently this time?
We've really looked at the centre of gravity and...
-The architecture of it.
-We want it to be nice and light and elegant.
So you're going to promise us that your showpiece
is going to stand very proudly today?
I think I'm going to retire and quit the profession if it doesn't.
There's going to be no dramatics today.
No copper-pipe business, nothing?
-No, I don't know what you're talking about(!)
Mastering their main structure is just the beginning.
The teams also face the fiddliest job in the competition so far -
creating multiple sugar flowers,
a task that will push them to the limits of their dexterity.
Well, it IS an English country garden.
Flower, it is a must in their showcase.
The flower has to be so thinly pulled, it has to be shiny,
it has to be very delicate and, of course,
if they can put a few stamens on, it will be brilliant.
We want to see different kinds of flowers,
large leaves and different stems.
There is so much intricate, truly a skill
to be brought to the showpiece and make it nice and elegant.
When am I ever not?
I've just pulled out the white sugar
and that's going to be for our roses.
I'm just cooling the sugar down,
so you have to keep moving it, so that the middle isn't going to be
a different temperature from the outside.
You want it to be as cold as possible, but usable,
so that you get the really nice shine on it.
And of course, it's got to be really thin, really delicate,
really fragile. I think that's what they're looking for as well.
So we've got apple blossoms, we've got English roses,
we've got lilies.
I suppose when people think military, they probably think heavy-handed,
they think quite boisterous, but when it comes to it,
we try and put that delicate touch,
what the judges are going to be looking for.
I'm just making the stamen now for the middle of the flowers.
That is going to make the actual leaves,
and these will go into the centre.
I've got the tough job. This is Benoit's speciality,
so I will be under scrutiny.
Perfecting delicate flowers is difficult enough,
but when it comes to pulling sugar, ribbons are even more of a stretch.
You just pull a little bit of that so it's nearly the same width.
Here, the consistency of the sugar is key.
The trick with this is, you need to make sure all your sugars
are the same temperature before you start pulling.
I'm going to need your help there, Lauren, in two secs.
Too soft, and the ribbon will lose its shine.
Right, we're on, are you ready?
Right, just hold it nice and tight, yeah?
Too hard, and it'll snap.
If they're not the same temperature,
then one pulls at a different speed, they break.
-Looking good. Happy?
Pull it all the way down, all the way down. All the way down.
Cool. Happy days.
-Right, let's go.
-Sharp, big man.
So's yours. Never done sugar(!)
I haven't, mate! Genuinely.
I tell you, you've got a natural talent.
That's the first ribbon I've ever pulled in my life.
That's a good effort, bro, I'm telling you.
Guys, you're halfway through now, so 90 minutes gone, 90 minutes left.
We're on track, we're on track, we're on track.
That's five, but it looks a bit wonky, so maybe just one more.
-How are you getting on? All right?
One more petal and I'm done.
Well, Liam's team, I'm really chuffed
to see him working his magic
with his large fingers doing so little flowers.
My only concern, the flower might be a little small
for the volume of the structure.
And that might just look a little bit empty.
But I was really intrigued by
the little apple blossom they were pulling.
-And then even the stamen is done by Chris,
so you can see the three of them actually did different things
to put everything together.
Yeah. Looking good so far.
Currently trying to blow a sugar apple.
The danger is, if you put too much air into it, it can pop.
It's getting the right shape, the sugar at the right temperature,
the right thickness. Still trying to get a shine on it.
We've got one. If you get another, just make it a little bit...
Blow it. Let it go a little bit colder before you blow it.
Reece's team, I saw the way they pulled their sugar ribbon.
It was fantastic. It's fascinating to watch,
the teamwork is fantastic in this room at the moment.
Their sugar structure looks like they know what they are doing.
The big question with Reece's team, as always,
is it going to stand up at the end of it all?
-Angus, sir, how are you?
-And co. How's it going?
-Not too bad, thank you.
You're kind of at home with the sugar work, aren't you?
We're...probably more comfortable than chocolate.
-As you found out last week.
-Yes, we did.
It's just something we all sort of fell in love with.
And talk us through the structure.
Is this the bottom of the Eiffel Tower?
So, that's the base of the... Yeah!
That's the base and then we've got the other half over there.
We've got some cast sugar, poured sugar, moulded sugar, pulled sugar,
ribbons. We've got flowers, we've got pastillage,
we've got blown sugar...
It is sounding bewildering already.
-It is a sugar fest.
And the sugar levels are about to increase,
as the teams make a start on their confectionery.
Do you want the sugar weighed out for the deguises or anything?
Posh pick-and-mix to you and me,
but Cherish and Benoit are demanding fruits deguises,
with exquisitely matched flavours.
Basically, it's apricots that we've cut in half and then we've got
an orange cognac, marzipan that we've coloured,
so fill in these now,
then I'm going to leave them just for the marzipan to dry out.
We are doing an apricot brandy ginger deguise.
This is the sugar, which is cooked to 160 degrees.
We call it hard crack,
so it sort of sets around the apricot and the marzipan.
So when you bite into it,
it's got like a thin layer of hard sugar around it.
When it comes to the dipping, executing it is quite difficult
to make sure it's just a thin layer of sugar on there.
That'll be the crucial part of the judging, I would've thought.
So quite a bit of sugar there.
-God, I'm nervous.
-Have you got the gel done for the caramels as well?
Yeah, it's in the fridge, mate.
The judges also expect the caramels to be perfectly set,
not too hard, and uniform in size.
Gone with an apple and walnut caramel
and we've got an apple gel and a pickled apple on the top.
It's a passion fruit caramel and we're dipping it in milk chocolate,
just to add another little element to it.
Watch out, she's got the ruler out!
Well done. Two-and-a-half by two-and-a-half.
I'm just hiding from Cherish. She had her ruler out,
so I was just taking cover!
Trickiest of all are the pulled-sugar bonbons.
These must pack an explosion of flavour into a brittle,
thinly pulled sugar shell.
For the pulled-sugar sweet,
we're going to go with rhubarb and custard.
How are you going to inject your rhubarb and custard into your confection?
I've poured half of my sugar mixture over a vanilla pod and put some
rhubarb flavouring into the other half of that, and then I make
two of each, put them together,
roll them into a tube, pull them and twist them.
We've not got a centre, it's completely pulled-sugar sweet.
Is that going to be hollowed inside?
-Not going to be hollow.
-So it's going to be...?
-Well, let's hope we don't break our teeth
-on your sugar...
-I'm worried now.
For Reece, like his showpiece structure,
his team's bonbons are an ambitious project.
Our pulled-sugar bonbons is going to be flavoured with hazelnuts.
So you roll the sugars out, you put your praline paste in,
you roll it up and then you laminate it,
so you still get, like, a crunchy sugar.
And then you should have hazelnuts as layers going through it.
And then you make a pulled ribbon,
and then you roll the two together,
and then you start pulling, as if you was making, like, rock candy?
Er... So, if it all goes badly,
I could always apply for a job at Brighton Pier,
or something like that.
30 minutes to go now. Half an hour to go, chefs.
Half an hour. This is all right.
We're good, we're good, we're good. As soon as I've done this layer,
-we'll go straight onto construction, yeah?
-Need to start building them, though. Get them up.
You don't like this bit, do you?
We're good to go, we're good to go.
-How are you getting on, boy?
-This is crackers.
Right, everyone be careful.
-Can you get a pan on?
We're going to stick this back.
Seriously, my heart can't take this.
It's fine, we're good.
What's a showpiece without some drama, right?
Can't believe it broke.
It was all going so well.
Looking good, mate. Looking good.
-What's occurred here?
-We just had a little breakage.
So the idea in this mould is that it's hollow.
The problem with it being hollow is that it's always a bit delicate,
so you have a tendency that it can break,
-but there is a plan to fix it.
-How do you do that?
So we just re-melt both sides
-so they're flat and then re-stick it together.
-And you think you can do that in 20 minutes?
-Er, I hope so.
Fighting for a place in the finals, right?
Take your time, yeah?
Let's have a look, let's have a look. Sugar DIY 101.
Don't move it, don't move it. Let's really patch this up.
-So, no mishaps?
-No, we've not had any mishaps.
You've got 15 minutes left, though, of course.
-Anything could happen.
-Have you had a look over your shoulder?
-They've had a slight breakage.
-That I do not wish upon anyone.
15 minutes to go. Let's go.
Jonathan, can you come and hold this, as well?
-It's leaning that way.
Don't let it lean, don't let it move.
-Don't press down, don't press down.
Just let it sit naturally.
My God, just building the ribbons and stick the apples.
Just keep holding it. I'm going to keep assembling it
while it's here, OK?
-How many have we got?
-Careful, this is moving.
Put that there, don't let it move.
My hand's stuck to it.
Just crack on, mate.
OK, you should be able to let go of this now.
If you can blow on that bit.
There, let's move it across, mate, stick it over there, please.
-We have blackberries.
-Which way are we going?
-I'm going to go over with it, yeah?
You have one minute left. Just 60 seconds.
We need a big push here, guys, now, yeah?
Feel free to give us more time.
Just get them on nice and quick, Jonathan.
-That's 30. 10 more.
-Careful, careful, careful.
-That's not melting.
Oh, my goodness. My hands are shaking.
Coming in behind you, mate.
-Not even touching it now, mate.
-It's going to fall off if I don't.
OK, guys, that's it. Time is up now.
Finish. Finish, finish, finish. Lauren, Lauren, stop.
Please, step away from your sugary showpieces.
We make it hard work for ourselves.
-I'll say that.
It ain't over till the fat lady sings.
WOMAN SINGS AN ARIA
240 exquisite confections,
and two lavish English country garden-themed sugar showpieces,
made in just four hours.
We've done what we can. We did what we set out to do.
It would've been good having, like, two more minutes,
-just to get the last little things on.
It's too late now.
What will be will be.
Well, I think you guys did very well,
seeing that you have not done sugar before.
-Very impressed with the flower.
I think you have got a delicate hand.
It is very shiny, it is well pulled...
You've actually got the pulling technique
really well done, you know? The shininess of the flower,
and, definitely, the ribbon is reflecting beautiful light.
The structure, though a bit safe, is elegant.
But you've kept your structure a bit flat.
You stuck everything in one dimension,
where you could have actually changed the angle
of some of your flames here in order to give 3-D effect.
We can look at it only from one angle,
but we also have to comment on your confectioneries.
So, shall we start with the deguises?
Could you remind us what...?
It's apricot and marzipan with an orange liqueur in.
So why is it green? In orange liqueur?
We were going to do it orange, but when we practised,
made the marzipan orange, it just sort of all blended into one...
I prefer orange, because orange liqueur,
or you keep it a marzipan colour.
You put green, my mind will tell me that it's pistachio.
I don't buy into it.
One of the key elements is making sure the sugar is not too thick.
And on this occasion, it is actually done properly.
It's nice and even.
The orange liqueur is very, very subtle.
So, for me, it could have been a little bit more focused.
So, the caramel.
So, we've got apple and walnut.
It looks very uniform.
I really, really like the pickled apple,
blends in very, very nicely with your caramel.
It's actually the texture of the soft caramel,
and the flavours in there are absolutely beautiful.
-I really like that.
-Let's move on to the final one.
-Rhubarb and custard.
Well, I'm not going to use my ruler,
because with bare eyes you can see that they are actually
quite inconsistent in sizes.
Saying that, nice shine on it.
This is the one I was looking for.
Lovely flavours. But the texture is not what I was looking for.
This is called a pull-sugar sweet,
because the pulling will help to make that piece of sugar brittle.
It is not a boiled-sugar sweet. It's not going to break your teeth,
but it's not as light as we want them to be, OK?
-Thank you very much.
If you would like to return to your stations of work.
It's a boiled sweet.
I don't know what they're going to say.
Well, I was hoping that your showpiece would stand.
But somehow, when I was peeping here and there,
and I saw a crack, I was like, "Oh, no, not again."
But they managed to rectify it,
you've managed to stick it back
and hide it with flowers and a bit of curl.
Looking at the structure, I think it's quite generic.
-Is it a garden? I'm not too sure.
-I could see a bit more.
-Of the garden.
Considering that sugar skill is your craft,
I would expect a bit more. Was there meant to be more?
There would have been, yeah. But we just ran out of time.
There was a couple more stems to go on and a couple more butterflies.
OK. We've got some good techniques.
The little roses are open and elegant.
The ribbon is good.
Butterflies - good addition?
Not sure. Could've been, if there were more detail in.
But this is basically flat pastillage with little holes inside.
It's a little bit rough.
Really like the blackberries.
But why is the blackberry standing right in the middle of your piece
with nothing attached or connected to it?
-I'm not sure.
-Is that just to throw it in?
It was just a hint of English fruit, that's all.
-There's nothing wrong with that idea.
-Yeah, there's nothing wrong.
-You need to do something with it,
you just can't place a blackberry in the middle of nothing.
-I understand, yes.
-Well, now, tasting.
-In at the deep end.
So, to start with the deguises,
we've gone with apricot, ginger and almond.
The coating of this one is not too bad.
But, clearly, there are more serious problems to come
-if I get to this one.
-When I saw you dipping, I was like, "No!"
Because look at this. How am I going to eat this?
You're going to break my teeth. The sugar just put me off eating.
But let's hope.
It's a shame for the coating,
because it's absolutely beautiful to eat.
I love that marzipan kind of texture,
and when you coat it with your sugar, it adds something else, yeah?
It's a bit disappointing on the presentation,
because you could've had something actually beautiful to eat.
OK, so now the one I'm really looking forward to, the praline one.
I really enjoy seeing you making this pulled-sugar sweet.
You were piping it in, you were folding it, you were pulling it,
really enjoyed watching that.
Well, definitely interesting.
-You are layering through the process of pulling and folding...
-..your praline paste and thin layer of sugar...
..which will give that pleasure of crunch and crispiness.
Which you got, definitely.
For me, the praline paste came out. I really like it, well done.
Shall we try the caramel?
Passion fruit dipped in milk chocolate.
-What is this that is on the top?
-It's a passion fruit gel.
It's quite pretty.
Well, the first taste was passion, followed up by caramel,
and then the milk chocolate actually takes over,
which I don't really enjoy.
I prefer it without the milk chocolate on it.
Beautiful passion fruit flavour.
I like the milk chocolate.
For me, it works. I actually love it.
You know, it's almost addictive.
You could watch good movie, and then get a whole box of this.
-Well done, thank you very much.
-Thank you very much, guys.
60 points are available for the showpiece.
Added to yesterday's score,
the team with the highest overall tally
will secure their place in the grand final.
-Do you think we've done enough?
-Good luck, boys.
Welcome back, teams.
The scores are in
and, unfortunately, only one team can go through to the final.
So good luck to you both.
In no particular order...
..Liam's team, the judges awarded you 38.5 out of a possible 60,
giving you a combined total of 63.5 out of 100.
And Reece's team, the judges awarded you...
..40 points out of 60, giving you a combined total of 61 out of 100,
so that means Liam's team is the winning team
and goes through to the final.
Congratulations to Liam's team, commiserations to Reece's team.
We had that hunger to win.
So, you know, as much as we had fun
and we've enjoyed the whole experience, you know,
we are gutted, at the same time, to be leaving.
-Give me a hug, big guy. Come on.
Really enjoyed it. Honestly. Shame we didn't get to the final,
but these two have done themselves very proud.
We got a lot further, I think, than we were expecting at the beginning,
so I think... I think we're all pretty happy with how we've done.
Well done. Well done.
Right now, over the moon. This is where we wanted to be,
it's what we wanted to achieve, and we've achieved it.
I couldn't ask for anything else.
-See you in the final.
-Thanks very much.
We've given it everything.
And fingers crossed, we can go all the way.
Oh, he's heavy!
There's nothing stopping us going into the final
and coming away victorious.
So, for Reece's team, it's the end of the road,
whilst Liam's military boys march on.
To think, for them, before this show,
"dessert" simply meant a court martial.
Join us next week when, in our second semifinal,
Paula's Secret Chefs will play Laurian's French Dragons.
Spoiler alert, one of them loses.
We'll see you then. Bye now.
-It is show time!
..do battle with Paula's team...
It's not coming out.
..for the last place in the grand final.
You don't just throw the dessert on the table.
Jungle paradise is the perfect theme.
Guys, I need your help. Quickly.
-Don't move, don't move.
-It's not over until it's over.
Hosted by Angus Deayton, Britain's toughest baking competition reaches its first semi-final as, across two of the most demanding challenges yet, two teams of professional pastry chefs duel it out for a place in the grand final.
For their first challenge, in just three hours the teams must each create six exactly identical and multi-layered crown entremet - large circular sharing desserts comprising of many complimentary flavours and textures. At the same time, they have to prepare all the elements needed to perform a spectacular piece of gourmet theatre known as live table plating, creating a dessert drawing on the theme of tropical fruits. At the end of the challenge, the teams are given three minutes to transform their table into a gastronomic work of art, under the unwavering gaze of judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin.
For their next challenge the teams are required to display their mastery of one of the most highly regarded skills in patisserie, sugar craft. Over four hours, they must produce a jaw-dropping sugar showpiece, along with three types of delicious confectionery - 240 sweets in total - all reflecting the theme of an English country garden. At the end, the scores are tallied and just one team wins that coveted place in the grand final.