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For ten weeks, the Great British Bake Off tent
proved the perfect arena for the country's biggest baking battle.
Each week, the nation's top amateur bakers used their loaf
to bake their way through challenge after challenge.
It looks so pretty.
I can't wait to get in there.
And the bakers pulled out all the stops
to impress judges Mary and Paul.
This year, they were particularly good from the word go.
Their skills are amazing.
The bakers have certainly shown great creativity and flair.
I was really impressed with the tenacity of the bakers,
they really got stuck into stuff which actually was very complicated.
Last time, Mary and Paul showed us some of their favourite Signature,
Technical and Showstopper bakes
from the first couple of weeks of the series.
You notice I'm much careful than when you do it.
You get it all over me.
This time, Mary and Paul will help you achieve perfection
with even the most difficult bakes.
I want to show people bakes that they never thought they could do.
Some of the recipes are quite complicated
but don't worry, I'll be showing you step by step
how to complete your bakes in a very professional manner.
Coming up, Paul makes one of his favourite breads -
a classic Italian ciabatta...
Lovely structure. See how irregular it is inside?
Wow! Is that good?
..followed by a filled centrepiece loaf
crammed with walnuts and Roquefort.
I think it's a great loaf. I think everybody should try it.
Mary makes an impressive tiramisu cake, perfect for special occasions.
It's a lovely thing, Mary.
And Paul's indulgent recipe for chocolate volcanoes
will leave you wanting more.
I think it's the best I've ever tasted.
And finally, Mary makes a mouth-watering Showstopper -
a Neapolitan baked Alaska.
What a great thing for a celebration.
Every week, Mary and Paul asked the bakers to complete three challenges.
And each time it was the Technical Challenge that the bakers
feared the most, because they had no idea what they'd be asked to bake.
And bread week was no exception.
Bakers, this is your bread Technical Challenge.
Paul, as the voice of bread, any advice for the gang?
Today we would like you to bake four perfect ciabatta.
Some of the bakers had a better idea about what to look for than others.
I have made it a while ago and I know the pitfalls.
Don't know if I know how to avoid those pitfalls.
The dough's really slack,
so the yeast can push air bubbles
a lot easier than a thick, heavy dough.
When I put a spatula in and pull it out, you get this massive,
like, sticky trail.
And I think that means there's enough gluten developed.
I know it's meant to be a wet dough but beyond that,
I am all at sea.
Paul's traditional ciabatta are long, flat, rustic loaves,
crusty on the outside with their characteristic holey texture inside.
For your very first Technical Challenge,
why did you choose ciabatta?
I chose it because it's really difficult.
And I wanted to see them sweat in the tent
to see how good they are as bakers. It's a very simple recipe
but there's a technique you need to know to actually make it properly,
which is why, when I left the tent, I looked at the bakers, didn't I?
And I said, "Be patient."
And there was a reason for that, and let me show you how and why.
Can you weigh me up 500g of strong white flour?
Strong white flour's got a higher protein - above 10.5% -
which means it's got more gluten in it than a conventional pastry flour.
That's it, Mary, thank you.
Can you put 10g of the fast action yeast?
I'm using fast action yeast because it's better
and most people that still use fresh yeast, it's a nightmare -
stinks your fridge out, only lasts two weeks
and it's difficult to get hold of. This stuff is everywhere.
One thing I've learnt from you is you put the yeast one side
-and the salt the other.
-The reason I do that is just to stop the yeast
from being retarded in any way by the salt.
It just slows it up a bit, that's all.
And 10g of salt, please.
-On this side?
Thank you very much, Mary.
I need some water. Over there should be 440ml of water.
I'm using a dough hook.
Dough hook because it's a nice slow mix.
If you use a paddle it'll smash the proteins to pieces
and actually won't build up the gluten in the bread.
You start by adding ¾ of it straight off, straight in there.
And mix this to a conventional dough.
The dough is mixing round.
It's beginning to develop into a ball already,
and you can still see the rest of the flour on the outside.
Little bit more water now.
The proteins are going like that, just trying to grip each other.
The more that you mix it, they then bind and then stretch,
which is what I'm trying to do in here.
So you don't flood it straightaway.
Often in bread making you used warm water. You don't use warm water.
I don't, because the longer it proves,
the more flavour you get in your bread.
If you try and force it with warm water
you have no flavour in your bread.
So water in. Speeds up the mixing.
You can hear it change tone.
It slaps around cos it's skidding.
Then the starch is released because the water's releasing
the starch from the dough cos it's making it wet.
And then from the wet stage, it then goes to the sticky stage
-and then back into one lump again.
-No fat in there?
Most people think ciabatta has olive oil in it. No, they don't.
Focaccia does but a ciabatta doesn't.
I use olive oil in the bowl to rise it
but that's the only olive oil that's really attached to a ciabatta.
And if you're doing it by machine like this, how long should it take
-from start to finish?
-It can take up to 15 minutes.
Look at the stretch now.
It's positively elastic.
That's precisely what it should be.
That's ready. I've got a tub over there. This is a three litre tub.
It's important that it's square cos the ciabatta's quite a square shape.
So it's easier to start off with a square one than a round one
cos you'll never get it right.
Rub it and coat all the inside with olive oil.
Grab your dough, and it's easier to grab your dough
when you've got olive oil on your hands...
cos it just slips away from your hand.
Clip the lid down.
It needs to reach to the top and then it's ready to come out.
Proving is vital to baking a perfectly crisp and tasty ciabatta,
so the bakers had to keep in mind Paul's initial words of wisdom.
Did his advice make any sense to you
when he said the rather enigmatic "be patient"? Does that make sense?
-So, what was he referring to?
-Who's going to be the first to start doing something?
That's the chat round the tent - who's going to crack first?
Someone's going to break the seal, someone's going to do it.
-Keep an eye out.
-Are you just going to wait, just hang on?
To the last second.
-Jordan's taken it out.
And for Kate, her patience paid off.
-You're the last to tip out.
That is bubble-icious, girl.
Having tipped out the dough,
the bakers had to figure out what to do with it.
Something like that?
Just that... I'm not thinking that...
that oil's the right thing.
Don't even know how to pick it up.
-Look at this.
-You said right to the top and surely it is.
That is right at the top. Now, that's full of air.
You've got to be careful with it
so I'm going to use a bit of flour on the bench and some polenta.
And the reason for the polenta, because it's wet, sticky dough,
or soft dough, it just rises it slightly off the bench.
I'm just going to get this dough, tip it out,
gently feed it, and then when you see it beginning to drop,
just let it drop into the middle of the flour.
Don't shake it out, just leave it to fall.
You want to keep the air in it.
Little bit of semolina. That soaks up that olive oil on the outside.
It helps me cut it more evenly.
I've got some semolina on the tray
just to prevent the ciabatta from sticking. Little bit of flour again.
Now, once you've got your square -
that's given to you by the shape of the box -
I need to make four from this.
To cut it, you cut down firmly
and then lift it up from the side.
So the cut remains on the top.
That you just lift up, stretch, put it on a tray, leave it alone.
This is very different cos normally you would get to that stage
and knock it back and let it rise again.
This has had a first prove
and then this one just rests once it's on the tray,
for about 20 minutes, just to let it settle.
The you pop it in the oven. So another one.
Cut all the way through. Lift it up.
There are your two lines which denotes the ciabatta.
Very traditional to have those two lines on the top.
You just leave them to rest now. And because you've mixed it for so long,
you've built up that gluten, that protein is really gripping together.
Which is why you have the chewiness from a ciabatta.
You leave it in the oven for 25 minutes at a high temperature.
That gives you the crisp.
So those two things together, that's what a ciabatta is.
Having proved for 30-45 minutes,
Paul's ciabattas are ready for baking.
They're ready to go in the oven at 220 for about 20-25 minutes.
They're beautiful, crispy and golden brown.
-No glaze needed?
-Doesn't need to.
There's too much flour on it anyway.
Right, let's have a look, Mary.
Look at those. These need to cool down before we eat them,
and you're going to try something that really is magic.
There they are, Mary, my ciabatta.
One of my favourite recipes.
I'll take a slice here.
-And you know that I always like the end.
-I know, I'm giving you that.
Lovely structure. See how irregular it is inside?
There you go, Mary. There's some butter there as well.
I love the way when you tear it, it comes apart beautifully.
Wow! Is that good?
The chewiness inside comes from the mixing of the dough,
and that lovely light crust on the outside.
-But do you know what's best of all?
If you're having a dinner party,
with just home-baked bread,
with cheese, with wine,
with friends, you'll have the best food you've ever had.
Well, I think it's absolutely delicious.
And now Mary's handy tip for making easy biscuits with a twist.
I've got two biscuit mixtures here, a vanilla one and a chocolate one.
First of all I'm going to brush with beaten egg.
That just helps it to stick.
Take the second mixture and put it on top. Like that.
Then it helps to just roll it together, just to bind it.
There we are. Cut it in half.
Then trim the sides.
Don't worry, I'm not going to throw away these pieces,
I'm going to use them up at the end.
That's it. First of all, I need to make pinwheel biscuits.
Get the end and pinch it together, really, really tight.
I'm being quite brutal with this.
And then, once I get going, I can be a little bit quicker.
I'm now going to do the twisty ones
and I need to trim the sides
so that they're level.
Then cut strips from here.
Now I'm going to cut the rings.
Leave a bit of room because they will spread during cooking.
To make these sort of twisty jobs,
just take them and give them a gentle twist, and then you need to
press down the ends onto the actual trays.
They look a bit like cheese straws but we know they're not.
Few more to do there.
I'm just going to show you that I'm not going to waste those bits
that are left.
Just work together and you can make marble biscuits.
Roll that out and then take a cutter.
They can be any shape that you like.
There's the marble biscuit.
So quick to make and children just love them.
So there you have some fun ideas, different techniques,
to make really interesting biscuits.
After surviving a tough Technical Challenge,
it was the bread Showstopper next,
and the bakers rolled up their sleeves
for some more exceptional baking.
Good morning, bakers, and welcome to your bread Showstopper.
We'd like you to make a filled loaf. It can be stuffed, rolled,
you can do a tear-and-share or a keep-and-weep.
You've got four hours on the clock.
-On your marks.
The bakers chose brave and inventive fillings
in an attempt to impress the judges.
I'm just doing loads of coriander.
I want the fragrance of the coriander to kind of punch through a bit.
I'm just wrapping the cheese up in the dough.
It's really important that it's a good seal
because if the cheese leaks out the bread will be rubbish.
I like to take the best bits of different foods
and push them together.
So I really like cheesecake, brioche
and strawberries and raspberries.
So if you mash them all together in one big loaf...
it's tasty. At least, I think it's tasty.
But Paul's showstopping bread is a white and rye loaf,
filled with flecks of tangy Roquefort cheese
and crunchy walnuts. Perfect for any picnic.
Our bakers made some ingenious loaves. The were really spectacular.
What have you got in store for us?
I'm going to do a loaf which is like a tear-and-share idea
but I'm going to do it in a tin.
I'm going to be adding walnuts, Roquefort cheese as well,
which is quite a pungent cheese, carries a lot of flavour.
I'm going to coil it all up, bung it in a tin
and show you how it comes out.
It looks amazing when it comes out the oven.
Weigh out 450g of strong white flour,
50g of rye flour,
10g of salt and 8g of yeast.
Lovely. That can go straight in.
I've got some water over there, Mary.
Add 350ml of water.
You'll notice I'm not putting any olive oil or fat in there.
You don't have to put it in bread, it's not important.
But I am putting Roquefort cheese into the middle,
so there's your fat and moisture.
To start with,
put ¾ of water in, get it going on a nice slow speed to start with,
begin to develop the dough,
and then add a little bit more water and we're just going to mix it
in there for about five minutes and the job will be done.
It'll be a beautiful dough.
The dough is pretty much formed now.
It's soft, you can see the grains in there as well,
so it's not a pure white.
What I'm going to do is pop the walnuts straight in.
Mary, could you weigh me up 200g of chopped walnuts, please?
We're going to push them straight into the bowl. Stop it briefly.
Have a look at it. Most of the dough's actually wrapped round
the hook, so I'm just going to push some of those walnuts in the dough.
And, of course, in bread you have no problem with things
sinking to the bottom. Once they're in the mixture they stay there.
Will adding walnuts slow the dough rising?
It will a little bit but not too much.
Not too much. But that again is not a problem.
The longer you prove your bread the more flavour you get in it.
Pick that up.
Bung it in a bowl.
Tip in the extra walnuts. What I've got down here...
You can either use a supermarket bag or just a plain plastic bag.
You cover up the bowl to prevent a draught getting to it.
If air gets in there, it creates a skin on top of the dough.
And once you have a skin,
it just slows the proving process down a little bit.
Leave it for an hour and a half, we'll come and have a look at it.
Leaving it an hour and a half till it comes to the top of the bowl?
Leave it for an hour and a half. It normally comes right up to the top.
When it came to shaping their dough,
we saw all sorts of intricate twists and turns from the bakers.
One, two. When you look at it, it looks so pink and messy.
I'm going for the posh, rustic look.
It's home-made. It should look home-made.
I'm feeling a bit more tense now cos this is the crucial part,
just getting the plait right.
Some were so complex, they even confused themselves.
-No, I think I might have put...
Have I distracted you?
Some of them are fig and some are apricot and it's meant to alternate.
I think I've forgotten where I've put them. Oh, no! I have no idea.
There you go, right up to the top.
We've got to take it out. It's full of air.
Bring it out, pop it on the bench.
Just going to divide this into four cos I'm going to do four knots,
if you like, which are going to go in a tin.
Now, I've got some Roquefort there, Mary. There should be 200g there.
If you could pass me that Roquefort.
It's quite a robust dough, it's full of air.
And you'll notice not sticky.
The residue from the walnuts is creating a little resin,
so you don't actually need to use any flour on it at all,
which is a bonus.
I'm doing to divide this Roquefort into four pieces.
-Could you use other cheeses in this?
-Stilton works well.
Any of the strong cheeses. Break them up with your hands
and place them down the middle of each of these pieces of dough.
Each one you flatten down and then fold it over.
I'll just simply roll it up, fold it over.
And then roll it up.
What I want to do is roll these out to about here and then roll them up.
And there's four. You get your tin,
-which has been greased with a little bit of olive oil.
And you grab each piece.
Pop it in there. And then go around the outside.
And then they'll spread and join up to each other.
They will. So you push them in.
And there you have it.
Now, you'll notice that the cheese in there
was flattened down into the dough and then rolled up,
and that prevents the big air gaps between the filling and the bread.
And you'll prevent it from growing this way, it only can go one way.
So it should restrict that air pocket
to a very, very, very small amount - if at all.
All you do, to stop the wind from getting to it again,
wrap it up, leave a little bit of a gap
so, as it grows, it's got somewhere to grow to.
Leave it like that, we'll have a look at that again in about an hour,
-it should be ready to go in the oven.
-Let's wait then.
There it is, Mary.
Right to the top of the tin.
As I said it would.
Now, it bounces back, tells you when it's ready to go in the oven.
Now, to finish this off, can you just pass me that eggwash, please?
This is basically just a beaten egg.
I've set the temperature of the oven to 200 degrees C, fan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Looks great so far.
-Wait till this thing's baked off - honestly, just wait.
-I can't wait.
Knowing when the bread was baked for long enough
often proved tricky for the bakers.
There's really not a way to tell if it's cooked inside
because you can't tap and check.
It's filled inside.
You can't do the temperature check because... Oh...
With bread that's good, though.
It hasn't broken through the sides, so...
Actually, I quite like it broken through the sides,
but it's not good when you're... under scrute, is it, really?
There it is, Mary. Can you smell it?
Not only does it smell beautifully cheesy, it's glossy and shiny.
It looks as though it's been polished.
That is my Showstopper.
Now, if you look down the sides,
you see all the nuts all the way through it. It's lovely.
The colour's lovely on top.
The cheese is oozing out everywhere,
that beautiful Roquefort with that kick,
with that punch that it's got naturally.
But inside this bread, with the rye, with the white
and the walnuts, that for me is a very special loaf.
It just looks so tempting,
it looks like a tear-and-share bread, which I love.
-Come on, then, let's have a taste.
-Cut this quadrant here.
How would you do that?
Are you going to cut it like a cake, in wedges, or in...?
Yeah, I'm going to cut it like a cake, in a wedge.
Look at that.
Look at that! See the structure.
The air holes are very, very small,
and you've got it covered in Roquefort all the way through,
and you've got walnuts in every single bite.
The Roquefort is wonderfully strong,
it gives it a flavour
and, of course, the walnuts give it that crunch.
It is sheer heaven.
I think it's a great loaf. I think everybody should try it.
It's the sort of loaf that you would have perhaps with a salad,
because you wouldn't really want it with cheese
because the Roquefort's already in it.
Oh, I don't know!
Week four was all about desserts,
and it was Mary's turn to set the Technical Challenge.
The bakers had no idea what to expect.
I'm delighted to tell you that for today's Technical Challenge
we would like you to make
Mary's tiramisu cake -
an adaptation of the classic.
Two-and-a-half hours you've got,
to make this marvellous, marvellous dessert.
-On your marks.
Oh, I've never made this before, no. I couldn't even spell it!
The last time I did a test like this was going back to school,
but that was a long time ago since I did school exams.
I'm the only person who's made it before in the whole room,
and I'm the youngest by far.
Mary's tiramisu cake blends toffee-soaked sponge
with cream and chocolate
in clearly defined layers,
to create an impressive version of this classic dessert.
So tiramisu cake, Mary, it was the Technical Challenge that we set,
and, actually, I think they did quite well.
The actual components were quite simple,
but to get them all together in the right order,
with precision, was tricky.
Right, I'm starting off by making a simple fatless sponge.
-So if you could give me four eggs.
Add 110g of caster sugar...
In there, please.
..followed by 100g of self-raising flour - and whisk.
Fast speed, and keep an eye on it.
And you want to have it in a clean bowl, clean whisk,
no sign of any fat there,
otherwise you won't get it to full volume.
I've taken a Swiss roll tin, 35 x 25.
I've greased it and then lined it with non-stick paper.
And at this stage you take it off.
When I put the whisk through
and do a sort of zigzag on it, it will quickly sink back in.
You can get it really stiff,
and then it's difficult to get the flour in.
And it's one of the few occasions that I sieve flour.
when I'm making the ordinary Victoria sandwich, I never sift flour now,
but for a whisked sponge, for a genoise, I do.
So you can sift that in gently.
That's it. Bit more over your side, not down my front.
So what I'm doing is going right round the bowl
and then cutting through,
and you can just see some of the flour is not quite incorporated.
So I want that all to be in.
So all the mixture in - again, not from a great height,
because you'll lose the air bubbles that we've incorporated.
And scrape the bowl.
I might help it into the corners, we'll see how it goes.
Then want to put this in the oven at 160, fan,
and it will take about 20 minutes.
With the sponge in the oven,
there's time to get creative with the chocolate decorations,
just as the bakers did.
I like giving a bit more height to the cake.
Being a graphic designer doesn't hold me in good stead for baking,
but it holds me in fairly good stead for,
you know, the actual finishing of things.
Once the sponges were cooked and cooled,
they needed to be cut in half -
a task that proved difficult for some of the bakers.
How the hell are you supposed to cut that horizontally?
It hasn't risen enough.
I suspect I didn't whip up enough and get enough air into it.
Yeah, bit disappointed with that. Oh, dear. Starting again!
I think the sponge is a bit flat.
Going to have to do the sponge again.
Got to slice that horizontally, but it should be all right.
Really hard. This knife's really aggressive,
so it's really difficult.
Don't make a mess.
Don't make a mess.
So for decoration,
I thought I'd do a little bit of chocolate.
Now, this isn't 70%, it's much lower.
It's easier to use the less-expensive chocolate.
It's not quite as runny when you've melted it.
And I'm going to take the end off this disposable bag
and I've taken some parchment paper and I've just done the design.
You can do it freehand. I bet you would do it freehand.
Now, that's going to slip about,
so I'll just put a knife across there...
Just make sure it's coming out at the right speed,
and then I'm just going to do these.
You can do whatever shapes you like.
They're not quite perfect.
They look home-made.
I'm just going to put them to one side now, but I'll chill them later.
So that has now cooled, I'm going to turn that out.
So there we are. Take the paper off, peel it back gently...
And I'm going to cut that in half.
And then my aim is to cut it exactly that size.
I think I'm happier having it that way up.
Then cut the square...
So I'm going to divide that in half.
Now, this takes skill,
and the aim is to have the knife up and level -
not like that and not like that.
I go all the way round the edge first,
and then through to the middle.
Could you have baked the layers separately, Mary?
You could do them separately,
but this was really setting them a bit of a task.
It's really better to do it with a day-old sponge
because, you can see, I've got a lot of crumbs,
and that's because it's so fresh.
And I'm just going to lift that... like that.
And there's our fourth one.
Well done, Mary.
I've now got to make the mascarpone filling.
You've got three cartons of mascarpone there.
And each one is 250g.
Very important to have full-fat mascarpone.
Of course. With you all the way there, Mary.
Well, otherwise, it really doesn't set.
Add three tablespoons of icing sugar to the mascarpone,
and then 300ml of cream.
And you, with the strong arm...
I'll do the pouring. ..you do the beating.
-Is that fair?
-Yeah, that's fair.
So the secret is to get this to a really spreading consistency.
-I'm going to make the boozy coffee mixture.
-That's my job.
Can you grate some plain chocolate, about 75g?
To make the boozy coffee, mix 150ml of boiling water
with a tablespoon of instant coffee and add 100ml of brandy.
I have lined the tin, first of all buttering it,
and I've lined it with non-stick paper.
Place the first sponge square in the tin.
And it is essential to get that right down inside.
I don't want the mascarpone to sort of seep out.
Then brush it over with this mixture, lots of booze,
evenly, all over the top. And you look at that, it's even all over.
So if you put blobs in first and then level them,
you'll notice how I am not pushing it up the sides.
I'm pushing it into the corners.
It certainly needs precision to make this beautiful.
Then we put a layer of chocolate on top.
And that gives it a lovely texture in the middle.
Continue to add layers of sponge.
Brush with boozy coffee and smooth over the mascarpone mix.
Using Mary's step-by-step instructions,
the layering is easily achieved.
But, feeling the pressure,
some of the bakers had to think on their feet.
I am cobbling together my sponges, which isn't ideal.
The important thing is four layers of sponge.
But if I try and hack that any more, I'm going to make a mess of it, so
I'm going to keep that as a layer, and then, this layer is remnants.
My layers of mascarpone are uneven.
They're going to notice that.
The last layer of sponge.
So there's the last lot of coffee going on there.
And then we'll just finish it with a thin layer of the mascarpone
and sugar and cream.
We're just going to level that off with my palette knife, here.
Again, this is very important in this top layer,
not to get any crumb from below.
So just spread that over to the corners, absolutely perfect.
It's a good idea just to pop that in the fridge to firm up,
-and we'll serve it.
Now, to get it out, if you take a jam jar, or something,
and then just push down.
-Obviously, straight pressure all the way down.
Then pull the paper off.
One under each side.
Do you think we might do it as a joint effort?
-I've got there.
-OK, one, two, three...
Good team effort, really.
And then a dusting of cocoa powder.
And then we have the decoration.
I hope they stand up.
I hope they don't break.
Tiramisu cake. Looks pretty perfect, even though I say so myself.
Don't get cocky, Mary!
It stands out as a great looking cake, but does it taste as good?
Let's have a try.
Well, I'm going to take a nice wedge out of there.
I'll use that chocolate as a little bit of a guide.
Look at that, Mary!
-Is that for me?
And even though we soaked the sponge, it's soaked just
-enough to hold together well, making it a really moist cake.
It's got such a smooth flavour.
That comes from the texture of the mascarpone and the cream
and the sponge being soaked.
The fork just falls through it and it just sits on the palate
and almost coats the inside of your mouth with a little bit of chocolate
and a little bit of the mascarpone.
It's a lovely thing, Mary.
Well, I'm enjoying it, too.
Week four's Signature Challenge had them serve up some saucy desserts.
Good morning, bakers, and welcome to your JUST desserts.
Paul and Mary would very much like you to make a self-saucing pudding.
And you can decorate them in any way you choose.
You can use any flavours that you choose. But they must be...
So, bakers, you've got two hours on the clock today. On your marks.
We saw a variety of techniques used by the bakers
to create their self-saucing puddings.
I'll be pouring the sauce on top of this next.
And, during the baking, the sponge inflates
and goes above the sauce and the sauce drops to the bottom
and starts to soak into the sponge, which gives you a moist -
hopefully moist - sponge.
I'm making molten, salted caramel middles.
That's so good, it's wrong!
I'm going to try and get like a peanut butter centre.
I've got my green mixture, then I've put chocolate sauce,
and then I'm topping them up so that each pudding is identical.
But Paul's self-saucing, hot chocolate volcanoes
are melt-in-the-middle indulgence, with a rich, molten, oozing centre -
easy to make at home.
An excellent Signature Challenge.
What have you got in store for us?
Basically, what it is is a chocolate volcano.
I call them chocolate volcanoes cos, when you cut into them,
that chocolate lava - that soft treacle of chocolate -
just pours out and, for me, it's been around...
It seems to have been around since I was a little kid, actually.
It's quite popular still.
But to get the bake right -
so you cut it and it pours out - I think it takes a little bit of work.
Now, what I've got here are my little moulds.
Now the big problem when you're making this sort of thing is trying
to release it from the mould itself.
So what I'm going to do... I've got some butter there.
Brushing upwards, all the way from the bottom up,
to make sure you're coating it properly.
Also gives it a little direction
for the pudding to actually rise as well.
So it's really well greased. And butter is better than oil?
Butter's got more of a viscosity to it,
so it'll stick to the side better.
Now what I'm going to do with these, once I've buttered these,
is actually pop them into the fridge to solidify,
so the butter solidifies.
Now what I've got here is some cocoa powder.
I'm just going to coat the inside of these moulds
with a bit of cocoa powder as well.
-Why do you put cocoa around them?
-It's to stop it from sticking.
You know normally, when you do a souffle, you'll use sugar?
-Yes, that's what I was thinking of.
-And again, it's a similar thing.
You're just trying to avoid anything from sticking
to the side of this mould.
I'm getting coated in this stuff.
Weigh out 165g of unsalted butter
and 165g of chocolate...
So I'm going to pop this into a bowl over simmering water.
..and, over a low heat, melt them together.
Could you be me a favour, please, Mary?
I need three egg yolks and three whole eggs.
-Do you want the whole eggs in one bowl?
-And the egg...
-Egg yolks added to the eggs.
-Oh, that's all right then.
You notice I do it two-handed.
But I don't get any dribbles down the outside of the bowl.
I don't mind, Mary. That's absolutely fine.
Add 85g of caster sugar to the eggs.
Now I'm going to whisk this up.
I'm going to do that a little bit more because we're adding a liquid,
we are going to add liquid chocolate.
I'm only going to add two tablespoons of flour.
And that's quite a thick mixture now. It's holding quite well.
Thick and foamy.
Once whisked to thick-ribbon stage,
add the chocolate mixture bit by bit,
taking care not to knock out the air.
I'm just incorporating this chocolate,
I'm just folding round the outside, through the middle.
As you quite rightly say, Mary -
-"Round the outside and cut through the middle." OK?
It looks very like a souffle mixture to me.
It does, doesn't it? It's very souffle-like, actually.
Could you pour some more of that CHOCOLAT in, please?
Would you like it down the side, like you would for a genoise,
-or in the middle?
-You can put it to the side, thank you.
Slowly fold in the rest of the mixture.
And I only need two tablespoons of flour, please, Mary.
And this will just thicken up the mixture a little bit.
Thank you very much indeed.
It's fully incorporated now.
That's ready to go inside the moulds itself. Right...
Are you clearing up again? Are you playing mum?
I'm clearing up because you've made mess all over the place.
-I haven't made that much of a mess!
-No, all right.
I'm going to use a rather large spoon.
Lift up the bowl, take it to the edge of the mould
and just pour it in.
Now you split this mixture between these six moulds.
Once these have been in here,
they're going to go back in the fridge to solidify.
When you put these things in the oven, the outside will bake
but the inside will go from being quite a solid mix into being a goo.
If you put them straight in the oven, they'll basically
end up being the same texture all the way around
and will be more sponge-like than it will be volcano inside.
So we're going to pop these in the fridge and just chill them down.
You need to put them in there for at least an hour, two hours.
But a max of 24.
You see they're set?
Now, the oven's been set for 180, fan.
They're going to go in for eight minutes.
We'll have a look at them after that.
Eight minutes, they should be domed, risen slightly,
and they'll be ready to come out.
If they start cracking, it's an indication
that they're cooking inside and they've been in there too long.
But we have timed it. Now it depends on your oven.
What you're looking for is to be smooth when you bring it out,
not cracked. If it's cracked, it's gone too far.
-Smooth on the top?
The bakers wouldn't know if they had achieved their saucy middles
until the final tasting.
But some accidentally got a sneak preview.
So they're still a bit wobbly but they've got a thin crust,
which means that when I turn them out, fingers crossed,
they won't just, like, collapse.
That's not good. That is really annoying.
That's a bad one.
There they are.
Now, you can see they've pulled away slightly from the edge of the rim.
Now, some of these,
I'm just going to tip them straight out onto the plate.
So fingers crossed.
-And they're right to the top of the tin.
-They are indeed.
-Gosh, that came out quickly!
They will do, the amount of butter on there.
What I'm really looking forward to is, when you cut into them,
all that sauce coming out.
-There we have it.
-They look so tempting. Can I have a try?
I'd rather have it, I think, with a little cup of tea.
There it is, Mary, straight from the oven.
I'm going to try and lift it up. It's oozing!
How exciting is this? I want to see this.
Look at that!
That's just as it should be!
Pouring out that wonderful chocolate sauce.
That's what you call a self-saucing pud.
That's it. This one's away! Whoops!
And it doesn't need any cream, it doesn't need any extra sauce,
it's just perfect.
-It's very wicked, isn't it? But I'm loving it.
-Isn't it wicked?
-I think it's the best I've ever tasted.
Oh, I'm glad you like them, Mary.
And now a quick tip from Paul to jazz up your pie pastry.
Here is my puff pastry.
Start off with a little bit of flour on top of the pastry.
Get your rolling pin, start in the middle -
turn it over.
Now, what you've got to do is divide your dough into two pieces,
straight down the middle.
Brush off any excess flour that's on there.
Get a pastry brush.
This is just a beaten egg.
Lightly egg-wash one.
And do the same with the other.
And I've got two flavours here -
I've got lemon, I've got thyme
and I've got chestnut and I've got fresh sage.
Now, put the lemon all over the top of the pastry, sprinkle it on.
Then some fresh thyme on the top of that.
Fold it over, exposing the third.
Fold that over, flatten it down.
The other side, I've got chestnuts, fresh sage all the way down.
Again, fold it over, expose the third and fold it up.
You could use any flavours you want.
Roll out your pastry,
fold it over, fold THAT over.
Neaten it off, flatten it down
and there's one.
The second one, exactly the same.
Roll it up, roll it down,
fold it over, expose the third
and then over the top, flatten it down.
And that is a beautiful way of introducing flavour
into your puff pastry.
There we have lemon and thyme,
chestnut and sage.
But you could use anything - seeds, cheese, mushroom, onion.
The choice is yours, go mad.
During the Showstopper Challenge,
the bakers had the chance to show off their skills and creativity
and week four's dessert finale did not disappoint.
Now Paul and Mary would like you to make something fabulously retro.
It's a baked Alaska.
We're talking sponge, frozen centre, meringue coat.
Now, you've got 4.5 hours to create this baked Alaska,
so on your marks.
-Not literally freeze!
How retro is this?
I guess in my teenage years, this would have been quite popular.
which was an awful long time ago!
In a bid to do well, the bakers went all out with their flavours.
I've got toasted black sesame seeds,
three tablespoons of those and three tablespoons of honey.
So this is to flavour the ice cream.
It might not look very appetising!
I am making an almond bottom sponge.
Bakewell tarts are my favourite.
I love the flavours of anything to do with Bakewell
so I thought it would be a good translation into this Alaska.
Martha, tell us all about your Alaska.
I am making a key lime pie inspired baked Alaska.
Ooh! Well done and you've won! Goodbye!
Ha-ha! That would be nice, wouldn't it?
Mary's show stopping Neapolitan baked Alaska has a light
chocolate sponge and layers of vanilla, strawberry
and chocolate ice cream surrounded by a cloudy dome of meringue.
Baked Alaska is such a spectacular Showstopper.
I am going to make a very special one.
So first of all, I've got a litre of each of the ice cream.
This is vanilla ice cream and I've lined the bowl with clingfilm.
If you wet the bowl slightly, just dampen it, the clingfilm will stick.
I've done a double layer. Why do I do that?
Because it just helps it when you come to take it out.
And so I've got this ice cream.
It is firm and rock-solid and if you put it in a mixer
and give it a good beat you get a bit more volume to it.
I whizz this round. It won't take a minute.
Tip that into the bottom like that...
And level it off.
Try not to get it down the sides.
Of course you want to use a firm ice cream, don't use soft scoop
because it won't freeze hard.
This must be level otherwise you won't get the stripy
-effect like a football jersey.
-No need to cover it or do anything.
You just put that back in the freezer to freeze hard.
Now to the sponge. It is a genoise sponge.
Crack two large eggs in a bowl, add 50g of caster sugar
and whisk these together until ribbon stage.
That is just holding.
If I do an "O" it goes back in there.
Then sieve in 30g of self-raising flour
and 20g of cocoa powder.
Mix in carefully to avoid knocking out the air.
In the jug, I've got 20g of butter and that is melted
but it's stone-cold.
-And you pour that in around the edge of the bowl.
If you put it all in the middle it can separate.
And you take it around
and cut through the middle. And minimum mixing.
I've got a 20cm tin here.
Butter the tin really well and then put a disc of non-stick paper on top
and then you tip that mixture and pour that in.
It will take its own level.
I am going to bake that, 170 fan for about 10 or 12 minutes -
until it is well risen and is shrinking away from the sides.
While this is baking, you can prepare the next layer of ice cream.
The bakers made their own ice cream which was no easy feat.
4½ hours making ice cream. My God!
It's a sponge base and ice cream, so what can possibly go wrong?! Ha-ha!
It was the warmest day of the year
and things were heating up for the bakers.
The trickiest bit is how hot it is in here.
I think we need to get the ice cream to freeze as quickly as possible.
When I get my ice cream in the ice-cream maker...
I will feel a lot happier.
I am sure there's enough time - it's just we've got a really hot day
and the freezers are going to have to work really hard.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the ice cream will set.
I just want to get it into the freezer so it freezes solid.
For some, it reached melting point.
I will have to work fast now.
It's pretty warm in here and the ice cream is melting quickly.
-The middle one has not set at all.
-I need to go in the freezer.
Freezer, freezer, freezer! Please, freezer!
Using shop-bought ice cream means that Mary's recipe is a lot
easier to make at home.
So that's set lovely and firm now. And keep your spoon out of that!
It's all right. I was going to try
the strawberry one to make sure it's OK!
Can I borrow that spoon? Just to put it in.
You are worse than a naughty schoolboy, really!
I am going to take this out and give it a good beat.
-Don't take it all out, Mary!
-Go on, then.
So the reason for giving this a whip just like I did with the vanilla
is to incorporate a bit of air to lighten it.
That's it. Lovely soft pink, this.
Again, avoid dripping it down the sides.
Start by putting it in the middle and then push it over.
I am going to do this carefully.
So there I've got two litres in the bowl, one litre to go.
What are you up to?! Do you realise
my whole story was you start off with the vanilla then the strawberry
then the chocolate. I have to wash that out now.
-Why? There's nobody else here.
-Health and hygiene!
I will give that a quick swirl...
There we are.
That's clean again. You're worse than the children!
The two layers can now be popped into the freezer
and the sponge should be ready to come out of the oven.
So there it is.
It's worth doing a genoise because it gives a firmer sponge,
firmer texture and it's beautifully moist.
Doesn't matter one bit that you get the marks of the rack on top
because it's all hidden.
So put that over the top, turn that over
and then off with the tin.
-Ooh, yeah, nice.
-So that's got to get stone-cold
because we've got to turn the ice cream on top of that.
I will put that to one side then take that off.
Into the bowl...
Oh, yeah, that's nice, that.
I am going to leave you a little bit in the bottom.
There's not much in there, is there?!
Once again the ice cream is whipped to add air.
That can go in in one fell swoop.
And then we just have to leave that until it's firm.
Remember, you can do this ahead.
Even a week ahead if it suits you.
Once solid, the ice cream needs to be removed from the bowl.
Now it may come out with a bit of a heave.
It looks... Perhaps you can dip it into hot water.
Well done. Now this goes in the centre of the plate.
The plate must be ovenproof.
-Because you are going to be baking the meringue on it.
And I'm going to reverse that onto there
and leave the clingfilm on top for the moment.
Put that absolutely dead centre on there
-but for the meantime I'm popping it back in the freezer.
Weigh 250g of caster sugar for the Italian meringue
and 90ml of water and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, separate three eggs and whisk the whites to stiff peaks.
So that is 115. Just what we want.
Turn this to full speed and gently pour that in.
You can hear the machine getting quieter
because it's much stiffer. And it's going in...
It's incorporated with the meringue. The meringue is getting thicker.
It's cooking the egg whites as well, isn't it?
It's cooking the egg whites.
And you now leave that on full speed for 10 to 15 minutes
-until it's cold.
Now take your frozen cake from the freezer
ready for the meringue coating.
There it is. Off with the clingfilm.
I'm going to put a light coating all the way over
and then pipe some.
It is essential to have no air in-between, no spaces.
Why is it completely necessary to get rid of the air pockets?
If you have any air pockets,
-you will find the ice cream will melt out through them.
A good even covering of meringue insulates the ice cream
and protects it from the heat in the oven.
Right, I will move that there and I am going to make it fancy.
I'm going to have streaks within the rosettes.
And I've got some yellow colouring,
it's a sort of paste, and you just take that paste on a brush
and you make a stripe inside the piping bag.
And you don't need to be too fussy about it.
Right, this is really where I need your help.
He can do it one-handed!
If you shake it when you have fresh cream in it, it goes all over
the floor but this isn't as bad as that. Are we ready?
Keeping the pipe upright, allow it to come out like that.
-There is a bit of colour.
-No-one is more excited than I am!
Right, I think it's best to start from the top
so you put a little rosette on the top like that and then go around.
I think it's really rather effective.
What you do is you press down to get it off.
People get it out that far and think, "How do I get it away?" You go down.
-It is a hell of a colour, isn't it?
-I love it. It's fun.
-This really does look like carnival, festive, doesn't it?
There we are. It looks like a hat to go to Ascot in!
I'm going to put this straight in the oven, 220 fan,
ovenproof plate remember.
Don't set a timer, stay there and watch it.
Although the bakers felt the heat in the kitchen, they soldiered on
to get a professional-looking finish to their bakes.
I am having to work so quickly on this.
I have almost melted underneath this.
I feel it melting with every inch more of blowtorching.
It looks lovely, that, Mary.
I think it needs nothing more than a little fruit around the outside.
-And there it is. My baked Alaska Showstopper.
Doesn't that look magical?
I thought I'd been a bit generous with the colour but it seems to work.
-I think it's a beautiful thing, Mary.
-It's straight out of the oven.
-Come on, you must cut it.
-I am taking this whole slice.
-The plate is hot.
It is hot.
There's a wedge.
Do you know, I think that tastes wonderful
-and also what a great thing for a celebration.
-Look at it, Mary.
Ice cream, Italian meringue,
a bit of sponge...
We've had some great recipes this week
but next time they are even better.
Even trickier, too!
Next time, Mary and Paul share their favourite bakes from the final
few weeks of the series.
The bakers have done some of these recipes
and I am going to show you how you can do them all perfectly.
-It really is delicious. Nice one, Mary.
I'm going to have another bite!
We've got some fantastic recipes and we are here to teach you all
the techniques and tricks so you can bake them at home beautifully.
Join us next time for The Great British Bake Off Masterclass.