The Great British Bake off has reached the quarter finals with patisserie week.
The Signature Bake was 24 cream horns, the Technical Bake, Mary Berry's Mokatines and the Showstopper a tower of eclairs known as religieus a l'ancienne.
It was time to say goodbye to Paul after his tower of eclairs collapsed, but also he didn't quite get the sponge right in the mokatines.
So, after missing out on the baking last week I was keen to have a go this time and join in with all the other bakers and Silver Mushroom. I make eclairs quite a lot, but I didn't fancy creating an entire tower, not without a party coming up anyway. Cream horns are nice but I really fancied a try at the mokatines.
They look pretty simple, although I know the contestants had some bother with them. Surely that was because they only have basic instructions though? Ah, or maybe it's because it's a ridiculously fiddly recipe with lots of little components.
I used this recipe, so I'm not going to repeat it here, but I will tell you some things I learnt while baking these seemingly easy mokatines.
First, it's a genoise sponge, but not like any I've baked before, and I've baked a few. I've always used the whisking the eggs over hot water method and plain flour. I've never used cornflour. The sponge came out lovely and light and wasn't difficult to bake at all.
The coffee buttercream was easy enough for the filling.
While I was toasting the almonds I looked for a no7 star nozzle in my icing accessory box, but I only had a number 8. Be careful when toasting almonds, they burn really quick!
I don't know whether it was because I scorched a few almonds, it really wasn't many, but there didn't seem enough to cover all the cakes. I would say to use 200g rather than 100g.
Then came the creme beurre au moka. I really wasn't going to make this and just do another batch of coffee buttercream, but I did, I tried. Now, I followed the instructions carefully but I think I may have over cooked the sugar just a little as when I came to piping I kept finding crystals blocking the nozzle. I thought it would taste a bit special but to be honest it tasted like creamy coffee flavoured butter..now there's a surprise! There was certainly not enough to ice top and bottom of all nine cakes and I found myself whisking up some coffee buttercream to finish them off...which was much nicer and easier to pipe.
Finally the fondant icing. I really cannot understand why you use fondant icing and then water it down...why not just make a coffee coloured icing at the right consistancy? I gave it a go though and it was easy enough to do. Although I didn't have dark brown food colouring.
One last word. With preparation and cooking and decoration, the whole process took me THREE HOURS. I don't think I'll be making them again.