Last week's 6th episode of GBBO was all about puddings. 6th episode - that means we are halfway through the series now bakers! The first request from the judges was for a dozen sponge puddings, two different flavours, six of each flavour. Several bakers went for sticky toffee puddings and chocolate fondants. Danny's pudding is pictured above (with the collapsed fondants just out of shot). Poor Danny dropped a fondant when it came out of the oven, you could tell she was really devastated about it. The competition is getting serious now and little mistakes like this are starting to affect the contestants. The reality is mistakes like this happen all the time when you're baking, and as well as talent, you need luck in GBBO!
The technical challenge this week was a Mary Berry recipe called 'Queen of Puddings' (pictured above). I haven't heard of this pudding before, it is custard, with jam layered on top, then finally a layer of meringue. Of course this sounds fairly simple, but there are several technical details that need to be just right, also none of the contestants had made jam before! This is where Brendan really stood out because he had technical knowledge on the setting point of jam. Sometimes age has it's advantages!
The final challenge was to make a strudel, savoury or sweet. Even Mary Berry admitted that when making a strudel she would buy the pastry, so it was obvious this was going to be a tough one! Strudel pastry has to be stretched by hand until it is incredibly thin, without tearing it of course. Once again Brendan stood out here. He rolled his sleeves up, oiled his arms and got stuck into the pastry stretching without a single bead of sweat or a hint of panic.
Meanwhile Cathryn accidentally launched her pastry across the room, and poor John got taken away by paramedics after cutting his hand. Oh the drama!! I was quite on edge! Brendan's strudel turned out fabulous (pictured above) and he added a lattice work on top for bonus points. John sadly did not get to make his strudel because of his injury, which meant no one was eliminated this week! Two to go next week though...
I decided to make a chocolate fondant and started by melting 150g butter and 150g dark chocolate in a glass bowl above simmering water.
Meanwhile I lined the sides of 4 ramekins with butter and the bottom with baking paper. There were many instructions on how to line the tins. One recipe I read said to use melted butter, then let it chill, then flour it. The way I chose worked fine.
I let the chocolate and butter mixture cool slightly and whisked together 3 eggs with 75g caster sugar.
I poured the butter/chocolate into the egg/sugar and whisked as I poured. Finally I sieved in 1 heaped tbsp of plain flour.
I poured the mixture into the ramekins, make sure not to fill to the top, and baked on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for exactly 12 minutes.
Let them cool for a couple of minutes. In my eagerness I immediately tipped one out onto a plate and it collapsed immediately. The second one came out intact. I used a palette knife to loosen around the edges and it slid out of the ramekin very easily and I peeled the baking paper off the top.
I cut into the chocolate fondant and was pleased to see a gorgeous warm chocolate goo spill out.
A dusting of icing sugar and it was ready to eat! You could also serve with cream or ice cream. So rich and decadent - absolute chocolate heaven!
I am adding this to Classic French August 2013, ran by Blue Kitchen Bakes and this month hosted by Under the Blue Gum Tree.