In the all-lady quarter-final the remaining five have to impress with their dessert skills, making baked cheesecake, chocolate roulade and a croquembouche.
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We've got five surviving as we search to find Britain's finest amateur baker.
Last week was pie week, with the bakers busier than Sweeney Todd on a Bank Holiday
and a tent piled high with slices of piggy perfection!
And this week they've got everything to bake for, because at stake - a place in the Bake Off semi-final.
Welcome to the Great British Bake Off.
Last week was round five of the bake off.
-What a mess.
-I can't fault it.
-Janet surprised the judges...
-That is delicious.
This is like surgery now.
Yasmin narrowly missed being sent home...
I got in by the skin of my teeth, I think.
And the young men failed to maintain baking brilliance.
We're going to be saying goodbye to Jason...
and to Rob.
This week, even higher standards of baking skills are expected.
What level of stress are we on? Give me a number between one and ten.
-Nine and three-quarters.
-Oh, my Lord.
The five remaining bakers will need to fight for their place in the semi-finals.
This doesn't even count as a roulade.
It looks like a disaster area.
I'm just showing off for the judges.
Your creme patisserie is absolutely perfect.
They are to die for.
We're on the home straight to find Britain's best amateur baker.
They're overworked and so are their sponges and they've got two days to nail desserts.
I've never nailed a dessert, because the flavour can be a tad metallic.
Are you nervous, excited?
Nervous! There are five people in that tent baking desserts for us.
Why would I be nervous? I was born for this.
This week, the bakers face their biggest challenge yet.
Tomorrow, one will be crowned star baker
and for one, the journey will end.
So, welcome to this all-lady Bake Off quarter final.
Now, cracking on straightaway with your signature bake,
and today we're asking you to bake, please, a lovely cheesecake.
Judges, Paul and Mary, are looking for a nice, firm, rich, creamy centre,
-with your choice of flavouring.
-And you've got 2½ hours on the clock
to complete your signature bake.
-So, just remains for me to say on your marks, get set...
A baked cheesecake is considered trickier than a simple refrigerated version,
as it requires perfect execution in a number of complex steps.
There are many things that could go wrong with this bake.
The crust at the bottom could be all soft.
The cheesecake mixture itself could be too stiff, or not stiff enough.
If it's overbaked, it'll most likely crack.
If it's underbaked, when you cut out a portion, it'll all fall apart.
But most importantly of all, it should be wonderful to eat!
To begin, the bakers create a base.
This is traditionally made from crushed up shop-bought biscuits, like digestives or ginger nuts.
-Just think of someone you don't like.
Stupidly, I decided to make biscuits. It's just pushing myself that little bit more.
It might impress the judges that I've made the extra effort.
Yasmin is making amaretti biscuits,
which, after baking and cooling, she will crush to form the base of her amaretto cheesecake.
I think I do want to impress this week, because I feel as though until now
I've kind of gotten through because somebody else has done worse than me
rather than I have done really well. I want to get through on merit rather than by default, basically.
So, how are your, your husband and daughter feeling about your, your success?
Really pleased for me, but I think my daughter is missing...
-She's missing her mum.
-Yes. Yes, she...
-Does she understand where you've gone?
Yes, and I'm not sure she understands why I keep having to go back.
Mary-Anne is also trying something different.
Instead of using biscuits for her tutti-fruitti cheesecake base,
-she's making a shortcrust pastry.
-And your pastry base for this, what's in that one then?
Pastry has got some ground almonds in for a bit of crunch.
It's got some lemon zest in and it does come out quite biscuity.
-So you're going to bake that blind first?
-I wasn't going to,
but after the other flan that I did I think I will, just to make sure and then maybe put an egg wash.
That's a very good idea, because the, the topping will be fairly wet,
-and if you don't it will go in and be soggy.
-Yeah, so we don't want another soggy bottom.
We don't, we don't do those.
De-de-de-de-de! Get back.
I'm about to press my base into the tin,
but I'm aware now that I've used lots of time up because I've made the biscuits.
On top of her biscuit base, Janet is adding rhubarb...
It's nice to have something with a tang at the bottom.
..to make her ginger and rhubarb baked cheesecake.
-Is the rhubarb going into your mixture or is it in a layer?
-No. No, it's just a layer
on top of the ginger.
I was going to puree it and then I thought bad mistake, cos it could be too wet and flood out.
And I think the very clever thing is the way that she's doing a wheel effect,
-which when you cut it...
-..you will get the rhubarb in a long strip, which is fine
-because it's very difficult to cut across a stick of rhubarb.
The next step for the bakers is to make their flavoured cheese topping.
The texture of the mixture can vary.
Heavy ingredients can lead to a dense cheesecake topping.
Whilst a lighter mixture can be achieved by folding in whisked egg whites.
I'm making curd cheese to go into my cheesecake.
It's very simple.
You just heat milk to boiling and add lemon juice and almost instantly curds form.
You let it cool down a bit and drain the whey from the curds and cheese. There you go.
Let's face it, I'm just showing off for the judges, so... SHE LAUGHS
Because I can!
The cheesecake that I'm making is quite a quick cheesecake
and I wanted it to be able to chill it properly.
Jo is racing ahead with a simple classic rum and raisin cheesecake,
which only takes 15 minutes to prepare.
You're not hanging round, are you?
-Is this your last job then?
-Is that it!
And then it's just finished off with some sour cream ten minutes before
the end, just to give it that little finish on top.
Jo, put your feet up! What will you do for two hours?
-I wanted one that would chill, so I could get it chilled properly.
-So that you can chill too.
You'll be finished in about 20 minutes?
-Put your feet up. Have a little rum.
The last contestant in the quarter final is Holly.
She's hoping her festive cheesecake will be a hit with the judges.
This cheesecake is for Father Christmas.
It's what we leave out instead of mince pies,
-cos Father Christmas, when he comes to our house, prefers cheesecake.
It has semolina and almonds, brandy, Christmas spices and tangerine and lemon as well.
This will be quite dense.
Yeah, at this stage it's very dense.
But it, it, it has a lightness, because I'm also going to fold in egg whites.
-Lucky Father Christmas! Yes.
-Look forward to trying it then.
-Thanks very much, Holly.
OK, Team Oestrogen, you've got one hour remaining! One hour remaining!
A perfect cheesecake is ready to come out of the oven when the centre slightly wobbles.
Baking time is paramount to its success.
Say your prayers. Pray it works.
Our bakers are fortunate enough to have an unlimited supply of eggs, butter, cream, cheese and fruit.
However, once upon a time, desserts needed an awful lot of imagination - several very strange ingredients.
As food supplies diminished during World War II
and creating traditional desserts became impossible, the bakers of Britain needed to become creative.
It was time to bake for victory.
During the war, making desserts was particularly difficult.
Housewives found that their pre-war recipe books were useless,
they might as well have chucked them in the bin,
because they would say things like, "Take six eggs, take half a pint of cream,"
you know, "take butter", all this sort of thing.
Couldn't take any of those things!
Favourite desserts were almost impossible
to make, like lemon meringue pies, spotted dick, roly poly pudding.
So, really housewives had to use an enormous amount of imagination and ingenuity to create a dessert at all!
Faced with a nation that had become dependent on a limited number of ingredients,
in 1940, the Ministry of Food began to communicate alternative recipes and new approaches to baking.
Britain had to become much more self-sufficient.
And so the Ministry of Food was very anxious to encourage people
to grow vegetables in their back gardens
and what you grew in your back garden started to find its way onto your dessert menu.
Sometimes this would mean soft fruit like raspberries
and gooseberries, but it also, of course, meant vegetables.
The Ministry of Food published recipes detailing how to make tasty desserts
using potatoes instead of flour and vegetables as sweeteners.
One government tip was to use liquid paraffin instead of lard.
This suggestion had rather unfortunate consequences, as paraffin acts as a laxative.
Vegetables appeared in numerous mock recipes as substitutes for scarce ingredients.
Parsnips replaced bananas, chocolate truffles were made from mashed potato, and one of the most famous
mock desserts in the kitchens of Britain was the mock apricot flan.
The apricot part of it is carrot,
flavoured with plum jam and almond flavour.
The pastry case, in this instance, will be made with mashed potato.
So, the idea would be that you would be encouraged to cook several things at once.
So, you would cook more potato than you'd need for your meal, and then make this with leftover potato.
Putting the cooked mashed potato in does make it quite a difficult pastry to work with.
It makes it quite soft and sticky.
Using boiled carrots and plum jam as a substitute for apricots
was a unique concept for the housewives of Britain.
Although this has the colour of apricots and the flavour, it doesn't entirely look like apricots.
Mock dishes didn't necessarily totally look like the things
that they were supposed to be, they just reminded you either the shape, the colour, the taste, the texture.
And if you hadn't eaten apricots for ten years, then you might be quite pleased to have something like this
put in front of you, because it would remind you of the apricots.
Just half an hour till I can eat five cheesecakes!
Sorry, that was my internal monologue there. Half an hour, please! Half an hour!
It's about the bake. It's about the time in the oven.
So they're all watching their oven every five minutes to make sure everything's OK.
-OK. Mary, would you agree with that?
-Yes. Overbaking is the main thought.
You've got to catch it at the right moment, and it goes on cooking a little once it's out of the oven.
-Overcooking means that it will open out in a crack.
-But it's tricky.
At the end of the day, this is the quarter finals now,
-and any screw-ups from anybody, they've gone.
I want to do my best and I don't want to make stupid mistakes.
I would hate to sort of
fail just because I haven't made the effort I could have made, you know?
Cos one thing I say to the kids at school, just always do your best, and everybody's best is different.
You know, you can't always be the best,
but you can always do your best and, and that's all I'm hoping to do, you know?
Sensitive to temperature, cracks can develop when
the outside of the cheesecake is exposed to more heat than the centre.
I cooked it in a water bath today so that it hopefully won't crack on the top.
As water can only reach 100 degrees Centigrade before turning to steam, the water bath regulates
the temperature evenly across the cheesecake and prevents the outside from overcooking.
-You've already done it?
-Yes, I've done it.
-How does she do it, Janet?
-I've no idea.
She was sitting looking demure and elegant before I'd even crushed my silly biscuits, so.
-I've never looked elegant or demure in my life.
-Well, I beg to differ.
Yeah, I was going to take it out, but I'm thinking it's got a little bit too much jiggle now.
It's supposed to have a little bit of movement in the middle, but...
I'm going to put it back in.
Another five minutes and hope the pastry doesn't catch.
Famous last words!
Bakers, you've got 15 minutes left.
-15, Janet. 15.
So, pray it doesn't all collapse in the middle.
Smells reasonably Christmassy!
The question is to glaze or not to glaze. I've got some lemon jelly marmalade that I've warmed up.
I don't, I don't know.
It looks like nothing's happening, but I'm fizzing in here, you know,
with 101 things - should I do this? Then, don't mess with it. Well, maybe I should...
It looks good!
I'm happy. Whether anybody else will be happy is a whole other thing.
One minute to go!
One minute to go, everybody!
Ooh, a bit crumbly.
-Careful! Careful! Careful!
-I know. I don't know how to do it!
-Mel, come away.
It's gone and cracked in the middle.
Rrr! How annoying.
Bakers, your time is up.
The bakers have done all they can.
It's now down to the judges to decide which cheesecakes will reach their high expectations.
-We're hungry, you know?
I must say, I really, I really like the filling.
You've got something quite unusual.
I love the flavours that you've got on there.
Lovely brown pastry, pale golden underneath.
The overall appearance is a bit rough and ready, you know,
where it's joined at the bottom and the sides.
This is the same for a lot of your stuff. You're nearly there and then you lose it on these things.
-I thought I was doing well with this.
-Now, Mary-Anne, when you're baking blind...
-..you put it in half-baked, then you take the beans out.
That is the time to get a knife and level it off all the way round
-and you wouldn't have this higgledy-piggledy side to it.
It's got a very nice flavour and you've achieved
a good crust on the base.
-For me, it's overbaked, which has made it quite dry.
It's just a little bit thick.
-I think you put semolina. Was it semolina?
You get the crunch from that, which has taken away the texture of a cheesecake
which should be quite smooth and glossy.
I think Father Christmas should like it with a good dollop of cream.
Your base wasn't quite packed enough.
-Maybe a little bit more butter...
just to bind it, cos it's broken down to nothing.
It's absolutely delicious.
You've got a lovely bake. The flavour's good.
And it's so delicate. Actually, the rum and raisin is perfect,
cos you haven't overwhelmed the alcohol, cos it's so easily done.
-And I love the cream topping.
Yes, you've got quite a thick crust on the bottom,
and there's a little bit of a problem with the baking, of getting it out, haven't you?
It's overbaked on the outside. It could do a tiny bit longer in the middle.
It tastes like a baked egg custard to me.
It's almost split. It's got that texture of scrambled egg.
Janet, I love you.
You've nailed that.
-The flavour of that is absolutely beautiful.
It's as light as a feather.
-Could I be critical about the top?
-Yeah, you can.
I could, but I think it's down to the fact that there's just so much on there.
It's nothing to do with the bake. Ah!
It's like fairies skipping on the tongue. That is great.
-That is stunning. It's like a souffle.
-How many would that serve?
Quite a lot, don't you think? 12?
I don't know. 12! Not in our house.
Two in mine. That's an intimate dinner, Mary, for me.
It looks stunning.
I just don't get it at all, you know?
Just can't tell you how amazed I am, cos I don't do things imagining
they're ever going to be any good.
So, it's a sort of complete fluke and like utter amazement.
I can't tell how I've done, because they liked some bits and didn't like other bits.
And it was the same for everybody, I think.
It's quite even, apart from Janet, who completely shone.
Janet's obviously safe, but the rest of us aren't particularly.
The signature bake is designed to show the bakers' individuality.
The next challenge is, by contrast, strictly controlled.
Time for the next bake, which is, of course, our favourite.
It's that old Technical Challenge.
Now, Mary and Paul, of course, will judge this blind.
-So, Mary, Paul, please leave the tent. Thanks very much.
So, today's Technical Challenge is...
to make a chocolate roulade, OK?
So, we're asking for a nice, thin sponge, neatly filled, and neatly rolled.
This is a difficult challenge this one.
You've got one and a quarter hours before serving it up
to King Hollywood and Queen Berry of judging. Good luck.
-On your marks, get set...
For this challenge, the bakers have been given a simplified recipe.
They will rely on their own skill and baking knowledge to produce a winning roulade.
What makes a great chocolate roulade?
You've got to get a well-risen mixture.
It should have these sort of informal cracks on it and a tight roll.
I think the bakers may be in real trouble when it comes to the rolling.
Some of them haven't made it before and I think they'll be trying to sort of rush it.
That will be a problem for them and they'll end up with one that doesn't look quite as beautiful as that.
Have you ever made one of these before?
I was starting to think that it sounds like I don't bake at all,
cos every Technical Challenge, "I've never made one of these before."
-Have you made a roulade before?
-I have, back in the day at school.
It was my nemesis!
Unlike a normal chocolate sponge, this recipe contains no flour, fat or raising agents.
Instead, the rise is created by folding in whipped egg whites, which create a light and fluffy texture.
You can knock the air out of them.
They need to be really light and airy.
Just cutting it with a, a metal spoon rather than
a plastic one, because that takes a lot of air out the plastic one.
Well, that's what I've always been taught anyway.
Egg whites consist of strands of protein.
When whipped, they form a network that traps and holds air.
-So, you need to beat it on so it's not streaky?
-Make sure that the egg is incorporated
-and you don't get...
-Strips of white.
-..big lumps of white, yes.
To produce an even sponge suitable for rolling, the bakers
need to make sure the chocolate mixture is level in the tin.
I don't want to take any of the air away by patting it too much.
Oh, go on, get in the corner. Stop being silly.
-I think I'm going to try gentle encouragement.
-A gentle waft.
Encouragement into the corners.
Unlike the depth of a standard cake, the thin base of a roulade requires less time to cook.
Overbaking and underbaking could prove fatal, making the roulade difficult to roll.
30 minutes to go, bakers!
Half an hour left of roulade-making fun.
I'm trying to get rid of the sort of wet look on the top, you know,
in case it's a bit that hasn't baked, you know?
And that looks OK, I think.
It's a little bit uneven, but that's the problem with fatless sponges.
I think they're quite hard to smooth over cos they don't have that fat to kind of even out as it, as it melts.
The recipe states the sponge should remain in the tin until it's cool.
The tin will help the sponge keep its shape and stop it drying out.
-Well, it's looking a bit moist.
-However, with time against them,
the bakers know that the hot metal will slow the cooling process down.
You can't roll cold cream into a warm sponge cos it will just get awfully messy.
If it were me I'd take it out now, but that's not what the recipe says, so...
I've got a, a sneaky feeling that if we leave it in the tin to get cold it might not be roll-up-able.
I'm thinking it needs to go in the freezer, to be honest.
-Let me ask you a question...
-Lady Mary Berry. Yes.
-the answer of which may, may resolve the dilemma.
This is Mary Berry's recipe, more than likely.
Do you think you should change it?
I'm going to try and roll it up and let it cool and then unroll it to put the cream in.
Probably doing exactly the wrong thing, but we'll see.
Janet is confusing the roulade technique with that of a Swiss roll.
Ah! Oh, my giddy aunt.
Swiss roll sponge contains flour, making it more pliable when warm.
It's so hot! What sort of hands are you supposed to have?
A roulade sponge is delicate and needs to cool before rolling.
But I'm not sure. This is pure invention.
OK, just five minutes to roll out the roulade! Five minutes!
Once the sponges have cooled, it's time for the bakers to tackle the trickiest part of the process.
The secret of getting that lovely spiral is just about half an inch from the end,
you cut through the chocolate roulade,
you put a thick layer of cream on the top,
then you bend that over and break it.
So, you start the spiral and then lift the paper
and let it roll to the end and then you tip it on like that.
Can't go wrong.
There was a, a thing I remember reading centuries ago where you snip a little bit.
Just cutting a notch to help start the rolling.
This is the scary bit.
Ooh and it's cracking!
I need some Mary Berry advice, that's what I need!
That's absolutely dreadful.
OK, bakers, you've got one minute left.
There is a trick to this, but I don't think I've got the secret.
It doesn't look great, does it?
Do you think I could cover that with icing sugar? They won't notice, will they?
No. Oy vey!
What a fool, what a fool, what a fool.
Needs a corset,
that's what it needs.
I think it looks all right.
It's about the untidiest, hideous-est roulade she'll ever have seen.
This doesn't even count as a roulade.
It looks like a disaster area.
OK, that's time up or, as we say in the roulade business, log out.
What? I'm only a messenger.
As with all the technical challenges, Mary and Paul are never present during the bake.
They are unaware of which baker is responsible for which of the five roulades that sit before them.
Well, all of them have this problem with rolling up.
No-one has got a tight roll.
I quite like the look of this one.
-It's quite tasty that one.
-Mmm, it's very good.
-It has broken up a lot.
-It's not bad. No.
-But they've tried to do a swirl.
The overall appearance of it looks quite nice, though.
This one looks a bit of a mess. It's cracked so much that the cream's oozing out on top.
I enjoy chocolate roulade.
Now this one looks nice. Slightly cracked.
-It's got a nice taste.
-There's, there's a little bit of a bend there.
-Yes. This one's made quite a bit of effort
-to get a good roll.
-Mmm, that's good, isn't it?
-That's nice, yeah.
-The decoration on it looks quite nice. It's got a bit of a curl here.
-And just a few cracks.
But a good rise here.
This one's has a sort of fairly major crack across the top.
Just lines of sponge and cream.
They all taste very good. We can't be too critical of the flavour. They're very, very similar.
That's what you've got to understand, the judging will be made
on how it's been rolled up, cos the taste is all pretty much identical so it'll be purely based on that.
Mary and Paul will now rank the roulades, starting with the worst.
The person in fifth place is this one.
-Highs and lows, Janet.
It was sort of weird actually, because I rolled it up once as a practice run and it was fine.
That was a major mistake to roll it up first and re-roll it.
-Number four is here.
Had a big crack round the middle.
But, of course, the flavour was lovely, it's just the rolling up.
And in third spot we've chosen this one.
A major cut across the top. Not as much rolling.
There's a little bit of a bend, but it has given way.
And number two is here.
-The little sieved cocoa on the top made a nice finish.
And quite neatly rolled up, but not quite tight enough.
-the winner, Jo. Well, done.
-Well, done, Jo!
You've managed, you've managed to get a nice roll
and there's even an attempt to make a roll inside as well, so well done.
When they was getting to number three I was thinking, "I'll take third. that's OK."
Then it was not three. I was thinking, "Two. Two's better than three."
Then there was one and I was like, "Oh, my God, I'm first!" Fantastic!
I'm not best baker. I'm not worst, but in the middle is still dangerous,
because in the middle with five people is quite close to the bottom.
Just put so much pressure on tomorrow.
Wouldn't mind so much if it was something that I was really good at tomorrow, but it's not.
It's the last day of the quarter final.
Just one challenge remains before Paul and Mary decide which baker will be going home.
So, two challenges down, who do we think's looking in trouble?
I actually think Holly's in trouble, which is...
which is a bit of a shock.
But on the other hand, she's been right down and she can pull right up.
-Again, another one in the danger zone, wouldn't you say?
She's in the danger again. She's quite good at pulling up.
Yasmin. She had a sort of middling, middling couple of challenges.
-Yasmin, again, is in the danger...
-Not so good.
-There's a few of them down there!
But then you've gone from Janet...
Janet's gone from the top to the bottom. She has a poor one today,
she's straight in there as well.
It's Jo that really did the best over the first two challenges.
-She had a great day.
-For me, Jo's the only safe one.
Good morning, Famous Five.
Hope you're all doing well, feeling fresh.
This is, of course, Showstopper Challenge day, and really it's your
last chance to prove that you should have a place in the semi-final of the Great British Bake Off.
This challenge is to make a croquembouche-inspired bake
that's really going to impress Paul and Mary.
You've got five hours to complete this Showstopper Challenge, so all that remains to say...
-OK, fabulous fembots, on your marks...
Traditionally served at French weddings, a croquembouche, literally translated as
"crunch in the mouth", is a spectacular tower of choux pastry buns
held together with hardened caramel.
This particular challenge is fantastic.
You're dealing in lots and lots of profiteroles that all have to be
exact colour, exact shape, and, finally, exact flavour inside.
The assembly is going to be extremely difficult and then the final decoration.
It's a really difficult challenge and I wish them well and I can't wait for the results.
-A few months ago if somebody said to me, "Can you just, just whip up...
-"..108 choux buns."
I'd have gone, "You're off your rocker."
-Tell me about your culinary disasters this week.
-Oh, collapsing piles of profiteroles and...
-A flat choux.
More like a pump.
For the profiteroles, the bakers need to make choux pastry.
First, butter is melted into a large amount of water...
I wish this would hurry up and boil.
Then flour is stirred in until a firm paste is formed.
This will be my fourth time I've made this now, so I feel like I've practiced quite a lot.
Apparently, the one that I made on Sunday is still standing in the fridge, half of it anyway,
so that's a good sign. Uh!
Jo is making a limoncello and white chocolate croquembouche,
covered in caramel and topped with spun sugar.
So, what have you got over at the end here?
My choux pastry is cooling down on a stone and then I'll add my eggs into it after that.
-We see all sorts of different processes. That's brand new to me.
Yes. I would just leave it in the pan and then put it to one side on a cold surface. It's going to work.
It's your way of doing it.
When the paste has cooled, beaten egg yolks are mixed in a little at a time.
The bakers must gauge when the mixture has reached the perfect glossy texture
which means its ready for piping.
The thing is to get the right consistency, not too sloppy and not too stiff.
Janet is making a vanilla and orange zest croquembouche, presented on a nougatine base.
There are certain things where you can be a bit more cavalier and do what you want, you know?
But I think with something like this, you do have to be a bit more precise, you know, really.
I am making a black forest gateaux croquembouche
with a gingerbread house and snowy scene inside.
So, I'm calling it Hansel and Gretel's Croquembouche.
Holly is putting a new twist on this French classic.
Instead of using caramel, her croquembouche will be held together with dark chocolate.
At Christmas, I'd never make something just for the adults,
I'd make something the children could have too.
-You're the perfect mum.
-Gosh, I'm really not.
You're the only one doing a double-narrative croquembouche.
-I mean, that is quite something. I'm looking forward to it.
OK, I think the flavours in there will be spectacular.
The idea of the cherry, the black forest theme, will be beautiful.
My only concern is how is it will bond without the use of caramel.
Come on, don't mess around.
Fiddly is not the word.
We're going to try for dainty.
The jury's out on whether it'll actually come off, but we're going to try.
Mary-Anne is making an orange and praline croquembouche,
held together with cardamom-flavoured caramel.
Just where I've finished piping, it's stuck up in a little cone.
I'm just using a damp finger to dab it down
so that it doesn't stick up and burn.
An hour into the showstopper bake and the first of many batches of choux buns go into the oven.
Choux pastry puffs up in the oven when the moisture evaporates.
Holly has a method that intensifies this process.
Basically, in the oven, the water turns into steam
and makes the pastry rise better, I think.
That's the theory anyway.
Out of the oven, the bakers prick their profiteroles to release the steam.
This prevents the buns from going soggy.
So now these, I'm looking around the room, mine are a lot darker than everybody else's.
Not bothered. I'm not fazed.
I like the colour.
Next, the bakers need to make their creme patisserie filling.
This is a French custard that has the addition of flour to stabilise it.
My creme patisserie for my croquembouche is flavoured with rose syrup,
because it's a favoured flavour in my house
and it looks really pretty.
The custard comes out a pink colour because of the syrup.
Yasmin's rose croquembouche will be covered in caramel
and decorated with sugared almonds.
Has she added pink colouring to this? Look.
-Look at this violent pink.
-Yes, I know. I watched.
This is creme patissiere with cream,
whipped double cream, and then it's got limoncello, lemon zest
and 300 grams of white chocolate running through it as well.
Jo's adding cream to her filling in the hope it will make the texture lighter.
Bakers, this is your halftime shout-out. You've got two and a half hours to go.
With so many choux buns to fill, the bakers need to maintain focus and momentum.
It's all quite lots of repetitive stuff.
No time for slacking, that's for sure.
Inside this tent you've got five bakers baking desserts entirely from scratch.
However, post-war, Britain took on a very new approach to baking,
as technological advances in food production meant a rise in convenience baking.
Modern-day convenience foods are embraced by the nation.
It's estimated that the readymade dessert industry is worth £1.8 billion.
And some of the country's biggest manufacturers produce over seven million desserts a year.
But back in the 1950s, before these convenience foods were available,
British housewives had the desire to create delicious puddings, but lacked the necessary skills.
During the war, so many women were working in factories or on the fields that their offspring
were relatively de-skilled, and especially when it came to
very specific kinds of cooking, like baking,
they really couldn't keep up with previous generations.
These new housewives, even though they're struggling, are still expected to put a delicious pudding
on the table at the end of dinner, so that's where they really needed a helping hand.
The solution came in the form of pre-packaged meals that had been
developed by food manufacturers for the troops during the war.
By the 1960s, as they began to appear in the kitchens of Britain,
a new generation of domestic goddesses appeared and the age of convenience baking was born.
This is the era of the prepacked, the plastic-wrapped, and it's there to help
the woman who wants to slough off the perceived drudgery of cooking.
So, now you can get hold of all sorts of packet mixes
for instant whips and desserts and delights,
and, of course, the kind of ubiquitous late 1960s pudding,
the lemon meringue pie, where you did in fact have to still bake the case.
You also had to make the meringue, but the lemon curdy bit,
which was quite complicated, in the middle, came out of a packet.
And that was the great magic of the packet mix, that you could pretend that you weren't really cheating,
because you had to add an egg or a bit of lemon juice or a bit of milk and whisk it yourself.
The home freezer, first patented in 1923, only started to become affordable
to the masses in the 1970s, having a direct impact on the type of convenience desserts available.
Once more people had freezers at home, they no longer had to rely
on packet mixes, they could buy the readymade article direct from the supermarket.
Whether that's a Black Forest gateau, or a baked Alaska,
it just comes straight out, defrost and straight onto the table no effort whatsoever.
Part of the appeal of frozen desserts is that those kind of foods
are exactly the ones that it takes longest to make. They're finickety,
they require a certain amount of knowledge to bake.
And, therefore, frozen puddings were ideal for busy housewives who didn't want to spend all day cooking.
With over 98% of the British population eating a readymade dessert last year,
it would seem our love for convenience is as evident as our love for the desserts themselves.
A croquembouche can take up to a day to bake and assemble.
Our bakers have only an hour to go.
The caramel that binds the profiteroles together is the next big challenge.
I've done three lots of this at home. One lot really worked well...
and the other two didn't.
It's made by melting sugar to around 175 degrees.
In the pan, it must be shaken but not stirred.
Sugar always wants to return to its natural form and if you
start with granulated sugar, that's what it's gonna try and get back to.
So, if you stir it, it does something to the sugar crystals and
they just all go voom and within seconds you've got a solid lump.
And any tips on not burning my fingers, cos I've done a lot of that as well.
How much caramel or sugar are you gonna use here?
I'm going to make a big amount.
-When you bring it out, do you put it in cold water to stop it?
-No, I haven't been.
OK. It's a good tip though, to stop it burning more, cos it'll carry on...especially a large amount.
Once it's melted, caramel can turn from golden brown and delicious
to burnt and bitter in the blink of an eye.
It could go at any time!
We smell burning sugar.
Is that me? No, it isn't me.
Yes, I've burnt my sugar, my first lot. It's just gone over.
It was fine when I took it off, but as...
because there's so much of it, and I didn't get it in the water
quick enough, it hasn't cooled quick enough. So I'm making a second lot.
It's just like an amber pot of burning liquid.
With the caramel nearly twice as hot as boiling water, the bakers need to work with a great deal of care.
It's so hard not to burn your fingers though.
Not only has Yasmin burnt her fingers, she's also ruined her
second attempt at making her caramel by splashing tap water into the pan.
I just wanna cry.
-Well, you can't help it! It's an unstable thing, isn't it?
It's all right! You know, it's difficult.
OK, that's 30 minutes, 30 minutes, until your croques are in my bouche!
Janet and Mary-Anne are going the extra mile
by making a nougatine base for their desserts
with flaked almonds and caramel.
I'm going to leave you in peace.
-And when it gets a bit cooler you can use your fingers.
Before the nougatine cools and becomes too brittle,
they mould it into the shapes they need for their bases.
It's terribly hot, cos it's caramel, isn't it?
I won't let it win.
The bakers must now start to build their towers.
I did practise with a cone and it was, oh, very... it wasn't a pretty sight. It collapsed.
So I'm going to build it freehand.
I figured that if things were going to go wrong I could see them and make adjustments.
Jo and Yasmin have both chosen to use a metal cone.
-You're filling the inside of the cone?
-And then you'll take the cone off?
I thought what you had to do was stick them on to the cone.
Holly is making her own disposable paper cone.
With chocolate, it's so hard to get out, so you actually need to unpeel it, I think, to make it work.
Quarter of an hour left, bakers!
That's 15 minutes left!
Mmm, that's OK.
It's traditional for a croquembouche to be decorated with spun sugar.
Oh, that's good! Look, that's good!
'This is made by flicking liquid caramel until it forms hair-like strands.'
At home I'm a bit worried flicking it. Here, I might just flick it, because I haven't got to clear it.
You can only do what you can do.
There's no point in me pretending I'm amazing.
Just do the best I can.
For the bakers using cones, it's the moment of truth.
Have you got any longer ones of these?
OK, bakers, you've got one minute left!
The 60-second countdown has begun.
Don't fall off, please.
-Ah, my fingers!
-Now, this is the big moment. Is it gonna fit?
It's like the hair of Rapunzel.
OK, everyone, that's time up, please! Time up, everyone!
If you'd like to bring your croquembouche to the end of your benches!
I did everything that I could do and, apart from burning myself,
I'd probably do the same again.
I think my choux buns were quite crisp.
That was my major worry. I'm hoping they've stood up to being filled.
I think I did my best, given the time constraints.
It's a miniature version of what I wanted to do, really.
I hope they think it's a good effort.
I'm all ears as to whether they like the flavour combinations,
but they can't really rain on my parade.
Jo's tower is caving in and beginning to lose its shape.
I just thought I was gonna have one week where I wasn't gonna be bottom of something again.
So, bakers, it's time for your succulent towers of delight to be judged.
So, what do we have here?
A bit of a deconstructed tower, by the looks of it.
Should have just used the creme patissiere, but I wanted it to be a lighter cream. But...
-I realise now that was obviously the wrong thing.
You've answered your own question.
-You were asked to do a tower and it really is for an event, for an occasion,
-and it's got to stand up when the guests are here.
So, just remember, no cream with a creme patissiere.
-They are to die for.
-Thank you, Mary.
-The caramel, it's crunchy. They're absolutely wonderful!
No complaints there.
-The caramel is delicious.
-Spun sugar too!
I think you've done a good job, but, unfortunately,
if you'd baked it and then used only the creme patisserie with the limoncello
you would have had a nicer, more stable croquembouche.
I like the look of it.
-They're great colours in there. I like the nougatine base too.
-Some of the caramel has crystallised.
That is because you've stirred it.
I took some from the top and, you know, I might lose my teeth on it.
-I think your flavours are great!
-The filling is lovely. You've certainly got that orange coming through.
My only issue is the overall appearance of it. A little bit bigger maybe.
Yeah, you're right. No, I intended to make it bigger.
-Oh, did you?
-But I ran out of time.
I think my issues are that you've burnt the sugar
and the profiteroles look quite dark as well.
It's a shame when you overcooked the caramel.
-But it's well constructed and it's held up.
-It is constructed extremely well. It's a shame.
-The flavour of the rose is coming through, but it's been ruined by the caramel.
-It's the bitterness is... is hanging on the tongue and that's down to the sugar.
Close up it looks lovely.
It doesn't look so good from a distance.
Up close I can see some profiteroles, which I was very concerned about,
cos I think you may have overdone it slightly with the chocolate on the outside.
-I added more chocolate to try and make it crack.
-It is very...
-It's very bitter with that chocolate.
It's not sweet at all.
The actual profiteroles underneath are crisp, dried out and the cream in the middle,
-with that bit of cherry brandy is delicious, but over chocolaty.
Now, Holly, underneath there is a gingerbread house.
Yes. The idea was I did one layer so you could take it off easily.
-Oh, isn't that...
-I want to live in it.
-That's what an estate agent would call bijoux.
-It is absolutely sweet.
Mary-Anne, that really has held up well.
I think you've got a nice crisp on the profiteroles as well.
And you've done spun sugar and very well done spun sugar.
-They taste very good.
Your creme patisserie is absolutely perfect.
The cardamom is just coming through.
-Mmm, it's an after...
-It sits on the tongue.
-I'd like to have seen the profiteroles a bit bigger. Just a little.
-I was being dainty!
You're being dainty.
-Thanks very much, Mary-Anne.
-Well, done, Mary-Anne.
Listen, that was a really tough and exacting challenge.
Please go and have a cup of tea.
Obviously, Paul and Mary are going to retire to consider their verdict
and to decide who is going to progress.
They loved the flavours, but obviously, you know, it collapsed!
So, I am really, really, really disappointed in myself.
You know, I would have liked them to like it, and I just don't feel that they did really.
Today has not gone very well for various reasons, so, yeah, I think I'm going home!
On balance, over the three challenges, Paul, who would you put in the frame to be Star Baker?
Up until today I would have said Jo instantly if this had sort of stood up proudly.
But the interesting one and the best for me was Mary-Anne,
because she had a little bit of cardamom in it
and she had a very interesting creme patissiere
that she'd bothered to add that extra orange and so forth.
We shall leave that dilemma with you two.
Who do you think we might be saying goodbye to?
At this stage it's extremely tricky over the three challenges,
where you get one's good in another and weak in another. It was a really bad week for Holly.
She was at the bottom on two. But Yasmin had an equally pretty bad couple of challenges.
When you look at Yasmin's profiterole, it's overcooked
and the bitterness coming from that sugar is breathtakingly bad.
Holly has really disappointed me. I mean, she has great technique.
She could tackle anything, she's an experienced cook, she's shown us
all the way through, and then she goes boom down this week.
I think we have to look back retrospectively regarding Holly and Yasmin,
because at this stage it is really difficult to pick between them.
I think what we'll both look at now is the technical challenges since the very beginning.
That gives us the level playing field we need to be able to
make that decision who is going to leave us today.
The remaining five bakers have competed for six gruelling weeks.
For one of them, their dream of winning the Great British Bake Off will soon be over.
Let's start on a positive note, and the question, of course, of this week's Star Baker.
Now, I think it's fair to say that, before today, there was no question in Paul and Mary's minds
that the Star Baker accolade should be given to Jo.
But with the sad demise, shall we say, the little collapse that went on with the croquembouche,
they had to go back to the drawing board and rethink.
However, because of the sublimeness of your flavours
and the outstanding deliciousness of the whole croquembouche experience,
and I can say because I had a lot of it myself...
-And I had the other half.
-..it's coming right back at you, Jo. You're Star Baker.
-Well done, you!
And now for the harder and sharper end of the spectrum.
This week was a very tough call. It was the closest call we have ever had.
In fact, two people were so sharply in contention that Paul and Mary have had to go back
and look at the results of all of the technical bakes this series. That is how tight it was.
And so, after reviewing all that, the person that very sadly will be leaving us...
The rest of you, congratulations, you are semi-finalists. Well done.
-I'm so sorry.
-No, don't be sorry. I'm relieved.
'I'm going because my baking's not up to scratch, obviously. I've had a fair innings'
and I'm pleased with how far I got.
You did brilliantly!
You made the quarter final!
That's a massive achievement. Well done.
-Poor little sweetheart.
I feel terrible.
You live and learn. I'm really lucky to be there next week, really lucky.
I feel like I owe it to Yasmin to do well.
I feel like, you know, that's my, my job now is to kind of do us both proud, so...
It became very obvious that Holly was stronger in the Technical Challenges than Yasmin,
therefore Yasmin had to leave.
It was a shame, but it was the only fair way we could look at it.
Chuffed still to be here. I mean, I've loved doing all the challenges, so go me!
I'm just amazed that I'll be in the semi-final, you know?
I don't think I've been in the semi-final of anything in my life before!
To get Star Baker and to be in the final four is like, yes!
Yeah, yeah, it's really good.
Next time, it's the semi-final.
Definitely feel the pressure more, now there's only four of us left.
Having gone through this, it'd be a shame to go out now.
And the bakers must showcase their patisserie skills to perfect some famed pastries and cakes.
Could all go wrong at any point really.
Making their signature mousse cakes.
I don't know what has gone on there!
Paul sets his final technique challenge - iced fingers.
What's in a few grams? But they will make a difference.
I just know he's going to have his eagle eye.
And it's the most demanding showstopper yet -
12 intricate croissant and Danish pastries.
I could look at the fillings and go, "No. I don't like that. Don't like that. Don't like that."
-But who will fail at the last hurdle?
-I can't believe I did that.
And who will make it to the grand final of the Great British Bake Off?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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The all-lady quarter-final of The Great British Bake Off, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. The remaining five have to impress with their dessert skills. As usual starting with the signature bake, the exacting judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are expecting to see and taste baked cheesecakes that reach their high expectations. Next is the technical challenge and the bete noir of most bakers, a chocolate roulade.
Finally, the spectacular showstopper that requires the bakers to impress with hundreds of choux pastry profiteroles that must be perfectly baked, filled and then assembled into a croquembouche. This king of desserts is traditionally served at French weddings and Mary and Paul expect to see an impressive tower of choux pastry buns with superb flavoured fillings and held together with hardened caramel.
Who will have what it takes to book a place in the semi-finals?