Great British Bake Off Final 2016

Its hard to think that next week bake off will be off our televisions for another year, after all it’s only just came back!

To make up for it though, the Great British Bake Off final is upon us in an incredible climax to the series! Will Candice the showstopper queen take the crown, or will it be Miss Consistent Jane or will Andrew continue his amazing run of form?

The final signature bake is a meringue crown, the judges are looking for a crown with at least three tiers and as always, a great bake and taste.

Andrew managed create a great meringue I his crown based bake but his praline was over powering. Candice, as always, went above and beyond the brief and really pulled it off earning herself a Paul Hollywood handshake. Jane kept her bake simple but made it so well that she managed to get a Paul Hollywood double handshake! Two in one challenge must be a record!

The technical is a Victoria Sandwich, the bake needs to be light and airy, but most importantly delicious! After being the only baker not took get a handshake last round, Andrew had a great technical bake and took first. Candice managed to secure second with some issues with the consistency of her jam and Jane came a very close third place with a bake which also lacked a great jam.

The final challenge of the series is a big one! The bakers have to create 49 picnic treats, these are a chocolate cake, 12 sausage rolls, 12 scones, 12 quiches and 12 tarts.

Jane’s sausage roll was underbaked but her tart was great! Her scone didn’t taste of the butternut squash she used in it. She also took the risk of trying to add a chocolate collar which she was unable to do in a previous bake which unfortunately didn’t pay off.

Much like Jane, Andrew’s sausage roll was underbaked and his scone wasn’t vary flavoursome, his quiche looked great and tasted it too but his tarts had a soggy bottom. His cake on the other hand was another great bake!

Candice made pig shaped sausage rolls with a great pastry an interesting flavour, her quiche had a great balance in its flavours but her scones weren’t as good and the olives over powered the cheese in it. Candice’s tarts were slightly overbaked but still boasted great flavour and her chocolate cake looks and tasted really good too!

After an incredible 10 weeks of baking and a very tense final, the baker who emerges victorious is Candice!

Her showstoppers throughout the show have been fantastic and she kept going above and beyond to create great bakes. The runners up this year were both so close to the win after such a close final and incredible series.

The other highlight for Gourmet Cookware was spotting lots of products from Just Slate & Alan Silverwood.

If you email us and let us know which of the products from Alan Silverwood & Just Slate we stock you spotted in this series of the Great British Bake Off, one lucky blog reader that spotted all the same items as us, and lets us know before 15 November 16 will receive one of the items we stock!

(*terms and conditions apply)

Patisserie week Savarin techicnical Great British Bake Off 2016!

The semi-finals are upon us and with only 4 bakers left who will step it up to win the title for this season of bake-off? This week sees the remaining Great British Bale Off stars test their French skills in Patisserie week!

The first challenge this week is a puff pastry challenge to send the most experienced baker’s legs to jelly, palmiers are small puff pastry treats which can be sweet or savoury and delicately baked.

The bakers need to focus on getting a tasty filling in their palmier but also avoiding making their bake too wet from the filling itself. The remaining contestants have to bake 12 of 2 different flavours and shaped of palmier tasting great and looking uniform, who managed to step up to the challenge?

Unfortunately Jane’s palmiers were underbaked and her fillings were a bit too oily meaning her bakes were a little bit too soft! Candice’s bakes had exceptional flavour and were well baked but her caramelised onion flavoured palmier had too much filling and lost the traditional look which it should have had. Selasi left it too late getting his bakes into the oven and unfortunately this meant his pastries were underbaked and soft. Andrew, even though his first pastry didn’t work and needed to be redone, finished the bake on time and produced a great set of palmier with great flavour, salvaging a great bake from a very shaky start.

The technical challenge for the semifinal is a Savarin, a type of yeasted cake with orange liquor used to keep the texture moist. This challenge is about getting great flavour, texture and an exquisite presentation to really earn their place in the final 3. Candice’s cake was overbaked but her presentation was good, placing her 3rd. Andrew’s cake was underprooved but still looked great placing him second. Selasi had a poor presentation on his cake and overbaked it leaving him 4th and Jane’s looked great and was well baked meaning she took first this week.

The final bake to secure a position in the final of GBBO series 7 are fondant fancies. The bakers need to make 18 of two different flavours. The semi-finalists need to concentrate on a glossy bakes with very perfectly straight sides on them and a delicate Genoese sponge, no easy feat. Candice’s filled fancies look okay but, tasted great and her surprise filling really worked. Selasi worked incredibly hard to finish his showstopper on time after deciding to redo his sponge, his fancies were a bit too small though and the flavour was a bit too sweet for the judges liking. Jane didn’t do a crumb coat on her Genoese and this meant her presentation didn’t look as good as it should do but the flavour was good. Andrew’s fondant fancies looked fantastic and had great flavours to carry on his good form from the last couple of weeks!

At the end of patisserie week, we have to say goodbye to a very unfortunate baker who doesn’t make it into the final of next week and give one baker the morale boost going into the final as they will be the star baker!

The star baker this week, after a fantastic few weeks is Andrew with some great bakes. Unfortunately though, the cool, calm and collected Selasi was the baker who missed out making it into the series final.

Next week will be the toughest challenge yet or the final three of Jane, Andrew and Candice, who will take this year’s crown?

Alan Silverwood Pie Molds

Bring out your Pie molds it’s Tudor week on Bake Off 2016!

Bake Off’s back again and after an enthralling dessert week which saw Tom leave the tent, we take a trip back in time to Tudor week!

Much like Botanical week a couple of weeks ago this is a brand new theme for the tent! In case this wasn’t enough pressure from the bakers The weekend as always, kicks off with the signature challenge which requires the bakers to create shaped pies, creating a large arrangement from individual shaped pies.

These savoury pies need to be able to hold their shape and show off their flavouring and design skills. Several Alan Silverwood’s Individual Pie Sets were visible in the tent as the challenge progressed !

Jane managed this with a superbly flavoured set of pies, which held their shape fantastically when cut through! Benjamina struggled on time causing her pastry to be underbaked, despite great flavour much like Candice who bit off more than she can chew by making two types of pies! Selasi’s flavours were good but a thick crust let him down! Andrews pies were an engineering masterpiece and had great flavour as well, maybe he’s found a run of form at the right time!

 

The technical this week is jumbles! The two biscuits require a difficult shape to be formed, a knot ball and a Celtic knot.

Selasi had trouble initially with his pattern meaning he had a problem finishing his bake on time. Benjamina also had a problem with her patterns and Andrew didn’t quite have the colour he needed but still had a good bake. Candice had a fantastic bake however and came first in the technical, Jane on the other hand struggled with the bake and her pale biscuits put her at the bottom of the pile.

The showstopper for this week is an entirely edible marzipan showstopper, a bake in which the judges are looking for incredible detail and for traditional style, a bake fit for a King!

Jane managed to produce a fantastic bake, with incredible detail in the bake and a fantastic sponge. Andrew’s presentation was a bit messy but the overall texture of the bake was good. Benjamina’s cake was very doughy and her bake expanded a bit too much in the oven meaning her maze wasn’t quite a maze! Candice, as she likes does so often went above and beyond the call of duty in her showstopper producing a peacock piñata cake of incredible detail and finally Selasi produced a bake which had a little bit of a plain bake leaving him at risk of getting sent home!

After an incredible week of traditional baking, with pies biscuits and an incredible amount of marzipan, we saw Candice take the accolades of star baker this week! Benjamina was the baker to go home this week, it turns out that Tudor week just wasn’t her week!

Have you been inspired to try some traditional baking? Wanted to make some Gourmet Pies? We have just the Pie molds in our extensive range of Alan Silverwood molds.

Semi-final week approaches and with just 4 left who will get the crown?

Mini Cakes

Dessert week Bake Off 2016

Wednesday’s here again and that means that bake off is too!

This week is dessert week and the signature bake is roulade, the bakers will be hoping not to see any cracks in their bakes.

Unfortunately for Jane her sponge wasn’t big enough so she ended up with more of a cylinder than a roll! However the alcohol in the bake was able win at least Mary over! Selasi had a great bake, good texture and flavour impressed both Paul an Mary!

The technical is nuts! Well, nuts and meringue. The bakers this week are required to layer meringue and nuts and decorate it perfectly to make a dacqouise.

Selasi, again, ended up at the bottom of the pile this week leaving him at risk of being left behind. Andrew had a great bake however, nailing the texture, flavour and decoration, making him a prime candidate for star baker at the end of day 1.

The showstopper today is to make 2 flavours of mini mousse cakes and make 12 of them both. The bakers need to make sure they have identical bakes decorated beautifully.

Jane, who’s had a poor week so far managed to produce two beautiful bakes with great texture and fantastic flavour combinations saving her from elimination this week. Selasi had a poor bake, as his cakes were not so mini and the texture combination didn’t work. Tom’s bake didn’t really fit the brief as his bake was more like a cake than a mousse cake since what little mousse he had didn’t hold the air! Benjamina had great flavour but didn’t look as good as it should have!

 

This week’s star baker will have been one of the more easy choices, he didn’t make any mistakes and had the best technical challenge, it’s Andrew. This week was the last for Tom unfortunately who struggled throughout the weekend unfortunately. So as we say goodbye to dessert week, we say Hail and Well Met to Tudor week next week!

However in the meantime if you want to try baking  some mini cakes we have just  the perfect products  Alan Silverwood   Mini Cake tins !

Botanical week! A Great British Bake Off first!

With numbers in the tent dwindling, what was once a tent packed full of bakers in now feeling a little bit more…empty. Whilst that does mean a lot of people have left, it also means that only the best bakers should be left in the tent, so surely the remaining bakers should be able to handle a brand new (but slightly weird?) theme!

Botanical week kicks off with citrus meringue pie, a true balancing act with the texture of the meringue and crust as well as the flavours of sweet an sour. Whilst there weren’t any catastrophic failures, Rav’s wet meringue struggled to hold its structure and Tom’s flavour wasn’t quite up to scratch. Andrew and Jane on the other hand both managed to produce some great flavour in their signature bake.

This week’s technical, set by Paul, was the French classic, herb fougasse (which we think may well have been a very cheeky way of having another bread bake!). This technical challenges the bakers to create a delicious herbed bread shaped into a large leaf. An important part of this bake for the remaining bakers is deciding how to prove their bakes. Breaking Rav’s losing streak, Selasi’s underbaked effort was adjudged the worst bake by the judges, Tom on the other hand had a perfect bake and Benjamina’s was almost as good!

 

The weekends showstopper is a floral cake with three tiers! It’s not often we see flowers in our cakes in the tent and these showstoppers require a balanced flavour and a light texture. Andrew’s bake wasn’t up to scratch, with slack mixture and a poor bake. Rav’s bake was too basic and left a lot to be desired. Jane also had an uncharacteristically poor showstopper with poor bake and decoration. Selasi’s bake was nigh on perfect, with all three layers baked well and decorated even better! Similarly, Tom had a well decorated and flavoured bake.

 

Unfortunately, despite no glaring errors during his weekend Rav ended up leaving this week in what was probably the closest week in bake-off, certainly as early as week six! On the other side of the table, Tom managed to pull out all the stops for his showstopper and technical after a poor signature bake to fight his way to the star baker title! The remaining bakers now have dessert week to look forward to!

Great British Bake Off 2016 Pastry week !

With batter week behind us, bake off travels onwards to pastry week!

Pastry is used in baking in so many ways across the world and our signature challenge this week focuses on Danish pastries!

The task being to produce two types of Danish pastries and make twelve of both of them, a nice puff with a couple of great flavour combinations are what the judges are looking for. Puff pastry is a big challenge and really tough to get right! It’s all folds and turns and folds and turns over and over (I’d forgive them for bringing in shop brought pastry this week).

Tom, coming off the back of a bad week, seems to have continued his poor run of form and produced a dry breakfast themed bake and a raw one too!

Rav made a mistake in only making 11 of one of his bakes but made up for it in his flavours! Last weeks star baker got off to a poor start this week as Benjamina’s underprooved bake was raw and lost the butter from the inside.

This weeks technical is an absolute classic, Bakewell tart. The judges want no soggy bottoms, a nice thin pastry a good layer of frangipane and a beautiful decorative icing.

Andrew had an absolute nightmare this challenge as he spent quarter of an hour with his oven off! This meant he wasn’t able to finish his Bakewell and consequently came 6th of the 8 bakers.

Rav, for a third week running, managed to finish bottom of the pile in the technical and it clearly needs to be something he works on for next week of he gets through!

Jane has managed another great technical and earned herself a first place!

Pastry week’s showstopper this week is 48 filo pastry amuse-bouche, half sweet and half savoury! What are amuse-bouche? They are small bite-size delicacies which literally, and quite aptly, translate to mouth amusers.

Tom managed to split the judges this week, with Mary enjoy the flavours and Paul not so much, they did both agree it was too big to be an amuse-bouche leaving him at risk of not coming back; this happened to be a bit of a theme with both Jane and Val making their bakes too big, and Val only making 6 because the rest were not done!

Candice and Rav had an absolutely great showstopper both wowing the judges with their bakes.

With a consistent showing throughout the week and a fantastic showstopper Candice ended up taking the accolades for pastry week.

Unfortunately Val’s fate wasn’t quite as good as Candice’s and struggling with her pastries, she ended up having to leave this week. Next week we can’t wait to see what bake off will bring us in a new week for the show, botanical week!

But before next week  can we tempt you with our Gourmet Cookware selection of Mixing Bowls, Rolling Pins & cooling racks ?

 

Yorkshire Pudding Tray

Let the batter battle commence! Batter week on Bake Off!

 

Let the batter battle commence! It’s week 4 on The Great British Bake Off Series 7.

This week’s theme centers around cooking using batter, often a delicate and difficult to mixture to use for baking and today’s technical signature challenge is exactly that. Trying to produce 24 identical Yorkie’s is nigh-on impossible, how will the remaining bakers cope?

For Tom and Jane, both star previous star bakers the answer is not well unfortunately as both of their Yorkshires came out looking more like biscuits (probably because they both filled their tins with the oven door left open letting out all the heat).

Thankfully Jane’s bake tasted amazing which meant it wasn’t all bad news for her. At the other end of the spectrum Selasi had an great bake which Paul couldn’t stop eating although he did have a few irregularities, but with an almost flawless bake Andrew is definitely in the hunt for the star baker prize even at this early stage of the batter week!

The technical challenge this week is a toughie, pancakes are simple right? Well not these ones, lace pancakes are delicate, fiddly and a little bit special. To get 12 pancakes all looking the same with only one practice really lives up to the name of technical challenge.

Unfortunately Rav struggled with his pancakes, with major inconsistencies and over baking but Benjamina absolutely knocked this challenge out of the park with an incredibly elaborate design which was recreated almost perfectly across all twelve of the pancakes.

The showstopper for batter week is a Spanish street food delicacy and a delicious doughnutty one too! Churros are made using a batter choux style batter causing it to have a crispy outside but soft and fluffy centre.

Tom’s poor week has continued, an overbaked dry set of churros leaves him at risk of not being in the tent again next week and Selasi is also at risk after his churros were raw in the middle and burnt on the outside. Kate, another previous star baker who has had a difficult week and hasn’t improved with her showstopper, producing what were probably the worst bake of the entire weekend as her churros ended up taking in all of the oil and being all crispy with no doughy inside. Benjamina had another great bake, nailing her tropically flavoured churros!

This weeks star baker was a certain almost at the end of the technical challenge and her incredible showstopper only helped her cause as this week’s runaway star baker is Benjamina!

The bake off is definitely cruel to some of its bakers, and Kate is no exception; after looking so strong for the competition so far her churros and Yorkshire puds let her down and unfortunately she won’t be returning to the bake-off for next week.

If you have been inspired by this weeks bake off take a look at Gourmet Cookwares  range of Yorkshire Pudding Tins & Bun Tins from Alan Silverwood & Judge Bakeware

 

 

The Great British Bake off Bread Week 2016

Which name do you think of first when someone says bread?

It may well be Paul Hollywood. This week’s signature bake is chocolate bread and the combination of chocolate and bread is often enough to scare a skilled baker, but doing it under the watchful gaze of Mr Hollywood adds an extra level of pressure to this week.

As the breads emerged from the oven there were mixed emotions, amongst the relief and joy etched on some faces, there was some despair, especially for Candice whose hopes fell apart along with her bread as she got it out of the mould, her ambitious bake was too big and ended up under baked. Val followed suit and also left her bread slightly under baked as Andrew’s flavours wowed the judges. Rav, much like Andrew managed to impress the judges with his flavours and with an interesting bake!

A bake-off first in the tent, dampfnudel is a sweet German roll which are steamed and not cooked in the way most bread is. This is a particularly nasty technical challenge as the process would have been completely different to what the bakers have done before and the challenge to cook the dough, give it the right texture and also give the rolls a nice brown bottom proved far too much for the majority of the bakers!

Last this challenge was Rav after his good bake in the signature bake he will be disappointed but with everyone struggling as much as they did it may not be as big a problem as most technicals. At the top end, Andrew produced another good bake to scrape a second but Val, who has been at risk of leaving the tent these first two weeks, managed to clinch first! Paul did say they were still a million miles away from his dampfnudel, but a first is still a first!

This weeks showstopper was to make bread plaits with three different types of bread, the difficulty being that doughs using different flours will rise at different rates. After a great technical challenge, Val went a bit overboard with her bake for the showstopper and ended up with partially raw dough with such a large bake. Tom’s experimental Thor themed bake had great flavour according to the judges who loved his seaweed and lava flavoured plaits.Michael’s plait wasn’t up to the standards of Tom’s however with his accompanying alcohol also failing to impress the judges, he was left at risk of not making it into the next week. Kate, after having a couple of mediocre bakes in the first two rounds absolutely nailed her showstopper and the bread king himself called the bake gorgeous. Last week’s star baker has had a shaky week and this continued in the showstopper round.

This was a tough week for all the bakers and very few ended up safe from leaving the tent, one of those however were Tom who managed to clinch star baker after shocking the judges with Thor’s hammer at the end of his best week yet! Unfortunately Michael had a week that was particularly poor when his Cypriot plait fell flat.

Has this weeks Great British Bake Off  inspired you to bake bread? Then take a look at our Alan Silverwood Hard Anodised Loaf Tin designed to last you a life time!

Up next is batter week and we sure cant wait to see some of the Yorkshire puds that the bakers manage to whip up !

 

 

Alan Silverwood Hard Anodised Loaf Tins

Extended range of Alan Silverwood Bakeware

Just in time for the Great British Bake Off,  we have extended our range of Alan Silverwood Bakeware here at Gourmet Cookware, and would like to tell you a bit about this wonderful product range, made 100% here in the UK.

Alan Silverwood Bakeware is a family firm, established in 1966, and are specialists in manufacturing a distinctive range of bakeware, all made in their Birmingham factory. These products are long lasting and high quality, British made, good enough to bear the Silverwood family name, and in fact many of their innovative bakeware designs are unique to them.

 

As well as stocking the extremely popular Aluminium Silver Anodised (Alsil) Bakeware, at Gourmet Cookware we have secured a limited quantity of their very best Hard Anodised Bakeware, bringing them all to you at excellent prices; including loaf tins and baking sheets.

 

The Hard Anodising process is related to silver anodising, but is a more advanced finish. A film is built up, after prolonged processing, which can be 10 times thicker than the film on silver anodised bakeware, and if it is then properly cared for, it will last a lifetime. This process leave the surface in a permanently changed state, leaving a finish that is harder than steel. This then means that metal whisks and other utensils can be used in the pans and bakeware, without causing damage. This surface will never end up peeling or blistering, and a benefit of Anodised aluminium is that it will never rust. These non-stick and durable items by Alan Silverwood Bakeware are all available to purchase on the Gourmet Cookware website.

Gourmet Cookware is listed as an Official Stockist on the Alan Silverwood website, and we are more than happy to order any of the Alan Silverwood Silver Anodised Bakeware items that we don’t currently stock as a special order for customers.

 

The Great British Bake Off, Series 7 Biscuit Week

Almost as soon as The Great British Bake-off comes back, week two is upon us and this week we are in for a treat, it’s biscuit week! The tent was full to the brim with biscuits to begin the weekend’s baking with 289 (including Rav’s extra biscuit, Candice’s extra 24 biscuits and even the sheep biscuits that decided to graze on the lush tent carpet) iced biscuits for the judges to get their hands into. The omens this week were not good for Louise after dropping some of her biscuits on the floor and last weeks star baker, Jane wasn’t able to keep up with the pace of the tent this week and ultimately wasn’t able to fill in her flowerpot biscuits in time! Candice produced double the required amount of biscuits which, whilst not perfectly uniform, tasted great but the definite winner from this round was Tom, who managed to produce 12 tasty coffee flavored biscuits.

Ever been offered a Viennese disk? No? Well if you were standing by the bake-off tent this week you may just have been! This technical managed to prove tricky most of the Bakers with only Kate, Jane and Benjamina really looking like whirls. Michael looked devastated with his flat whirls and Selasi looked cool, calm and collected as his whirls came out the oven. Something he managed to do even when finding out he came last in this technical challenge, can anything waver him?

 

Paul will huff, and he’ll puff, and he’ll blow your (gingerbread) house down. Unfortunately for Louise her church was indeed blown down, however I’m not entirely sure it was Paul’s fault and in fact an issue with the structural integrity of the bake. Louise however, was not the only one with a bit of a collapse as Val’s Empire State themed bake ended up, in part, on the floor and combined with her poor results from the rest of the weeks bakes put her in jeopardy of leaving the tent. At the other end of the scale, Michael’s Santa’s Grotto did look like it was a child’s work but tasted so good it more than made up for it. Candice though, managed to pull off a phenomenal bake with incredible attention to detail with even a pool table and sticky floor to recreate the family pub.

 

With the fantastic final bake, drinks may be on her tonight as Candice manage to clinch the title of star baker with a very solid week. Louise on the other hand will be a little disappointed that her stay in the tent ended as quickly as it did as with only a few mistakes proving very costly at the end of this week.

Roll on week three, bread week where Paul will be even more stern than usual given it’s his best area.