Week 4 Star Baker Kate

Episode 4 of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 contained a naughty centre last night.

The brand new Caramel Week.

Frilly Keane tucked in:

Caramel week is a Bake Off first, but throwing in a different theme among the standard fixtures; Cake, Patisserie, Bread etc is not. So I was looking forward to it myself, in particular the voyeur’ing over the making of 40 shades of Caramel from scratch; sur’ the rest of us just take it out’ve a can.

But here, I was all but gagging on the buttery molten sugar before they even got to the Show-Stopper. I could feel the fumes from that dark muscovado smouldering up my own nostrils.

For a Bread, Pie and Pud man The Hollywood has some sweet tooth and obviously a gut that can cope with a plantation of sugar.

What I did appreciate in particular last night was that the makings of the Signature, Millionaires Shortbread, is pretty much in every home baker’s kit and skill level. There are loadsa of ways to get started with Millionaires Shortbread. So give them a go. All the kit you need is a bowl, a whisk, a tray, a pot and a can opener.

Interestingly, the Technical brought its own first as well, they all made a Mickie of it. Actually, this is a good spot to get the stickie bits out’ve the way.

It must be an’ Irish thing but Prue’s “Go Low & Slow” over that very segment got a knowing sur is there any other way Girl, yet it didn’t feature in the on-line post-mortems hash tagging around. Lots of “Dip me Nuts” and Stacey’s “not as much as an erection as I would like” tho.

Again, with Stacey, and her Show-stopper; forget the erection section, sur it’ll only wilt anyway, her Chocolate & Coffee Carmel Cake is definitely one for me so I’ll be looking for that recipe. All the hoo-haa was for Kate’s Sticky Toffee Apple Cake and deservedly so.

But tis all that buttercream lads, not a fan meself and its messy enough over the day or two after (if you manage to get that out’ve it) and there’s loads of ingredients involved, and some you may not be able to pick up on the way home.

Whereas a good coffee sponge does do well in a tin – add in Chocolate & Caramel and you’ll be winning everything from Tinahely to Tullamore.

Shurt watching now appears to be a thing on Bake Off. And it all started here on the Late Late Broadsheet on the Telly show.

Finally, despite the Twitter meltdown about Star Baker, Kate who can now longer be snuck in as my ‘Dahk Hoarse’ was worthy and has served her time being there and thereabouts consistently.

While Liam did get the only Hollywood handshake last night, readers and watchers need to be reminded he barely survived Bread Week. I also sensed some sense of entitlement off him in the final stages of last night’s show; and its put me right off.

Next week is Pud week. They’re a bit like biscuits for me, too much hassle for a short-lived experience; despite the steamy atmosphere. And I’m a bit funny about suet; I even make my own Mince-Meat at Christmas without it. But looking forward to it anyway.

Pic: Channel 4

46 thoughts on “Getting Sticky

  1. Tony

    Gh’whup de Flillzer bit’ta hup out’ve Great Brih’hish Bake off ouhha Caramel Week an’ting t’will!!

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      You going to being the tone of this thread down a couple of notches again Tony?

      I seriously hope so.

  2. Gorev Mahagut

    I’ve no television, so I have no idea what this article is about. But I love reading it. The words speak to me, but not the sentences. Statements floating freely, the gravity of context turned off; all gesture rendered futile without the necessary friction of meaning. Reminds me of the days when I used to be drunk. God, I need to lie down on the floor now.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      the fatal mistake of the one foot on the floor out of the bed
      the lurching stop to the spin
      with regretful consequences
      I say to you sir/madame keep spinning

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    Caramel Week, Bread Week and Pud Week? This sounds hilarious. Is there a savoury version of the show? Can’t stand cake and desserts.

  4. martco

    to make a smooth non grainy caramel from scratch you’d nearly need a laboratory. not surprised they all failed.

    condensed milk easier but even still has to be watched like a hawk for the right colour or you’ll have fudge….but I’d prefer the taste to what they were at last night.

    if you’re on holliers in France and happen to be in the Brittany area get yourself to the Carrefour and look for the local jars of salted caramel, you’d spread it on toast or just even eat it outa the jar in one sitting, it’s irresistible!

    btw the cans of condensed in Lidl 95%similar to the Carnation but 1/2 the price.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Did any one flip batter upwards in school cookery class to adhere to the ceiling…..and then await the gradual hardening and dropping off later in the year, ideally near the teacher’s head? Or was that just my school?

      1. martco

        Ah jasus Mildred…I don’t know what to say! Very flattered but I wouldn’t remotely describe myself as anything other than useful in a kitchen.

        one other thing about last night – as regards PH’s view on what makes a good caramel square/Wellington/millionaires or whatever they’re calling themselves I completely disagree on his take. Tis subjective but in my view this anaemic soft biscuit base he’s in love with is pure yeuch…imho the base is heading for crispier biscuit territory, a caramel layer which stands up individually and doesn’t end up clumping up around your teeth and sticking to the roof of your mouth! mine gets baked in the tray 1st

        then caramel for this purpose imo is tin of condensed + proper butter + lyles golden syrup brought to the simmer and you stir it and sit on it and fettle it patiently until it turns a certain golden brown colour which for me is just before the turn into fudge, you’re after something a bit like the caramel stuff in a twix bar, not too wet but not chewy and firmish….slow to cool a fair bit and pour onto the biscuit base

        last the choc has to be a good grade like Callebaut and I like a mix of milk and dark 60/40…if you make 5 things over the year with chocolate go buy a 2.5kg bag of it and keep it in the cupboard tis worth it. has to be tempered, that’s not crazy hard to do, the bag of choc will even have instructions on it how to. the trick is when it’s tempered you can use a thin skim of it, it hardens well and gives tensile strength to the show going on underneath it.

        the amount of times I’ve left most of a caramel square on the plate because the base & the caramel is wrong or the choc is cheap and an inch thick….

        imo your teeth should meet in the middle of the square when you bite into and thru it, that means cross sectional balance flavours and textures.

        I think stuff you eat are about many things but one that gets missed out on a lot is proportions of layers & textures….I think it’s really important how the item (whatever it is) plays in the mouth when your eating it – like you eat with your eyes & mouth & nose & tastebuds so why leave out the mouth ffs? to explain a bit better…it’s important to me when putting together a sambo that it’s done in a specific way, the right type of bread plus layers of fillings in a specific order makes a big difference. I guarantee you I could make you 2x BLT’s same materials but in the handling and building of them you’d end up feeling you’ve had 2 very different sambos. when you’re closing your jaws around it you get to feel different things, important :)

        can I recommend a book? see can you find a copy of “Once Upon A Tart…”
        isbn: 0-375-70973-8

        it’s old but a beautiful well written book by a pair of American lads who know their craft

          1. martco

            not made it myself directly…will have to look up only experienced it out of a jar…dunno if that would work if memory serves it might be a bit too loose…not mad on the flavour but that’s personal…like I don’t mind the effort of that caramel mix I mentioned above its easy enough just patience and love

          1. martco

            +150g butter
            +Tin of condensed milk (397g one)
            +80g Lyles golden syrup

            use a decent pot with heavy base (as opposed to thin alu/non-stick type

            Slow heat – melt gently together stir and build to a simmer, stand with the pot now (patience) stir every 20 secs or so stir it until you get a Demerara shade of brown (hard for me to describe but you’ll know it) off heat keep the regular stir going for another couple mins then let it relax for 5 mins & pour onto your already made biscuit base in the tray/tin

            be a wee bit careful with that caramel mix on the heat, when it’s full on hot it will do bad burn damage to the skin, no panic just treat with respect

            when cold and set on the biscuit do the choc cover

            btw I have that recipe in a raggedy oul notebook but I’m inclined to think it’s Delia Smith

  5. A snowflake's chance in hell

    we’ve waited a while for this, but finally there is a columnist more dreary, depressing and dismal than Mercille

  6. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    I haven’t watched it yet (this episode I mean, so I haven’t read your thoughts Frillz (THOUGH THANKS FOR THE SPOILER PHOTO)) but so far do you know who for me is the let-down? Sandi Toksvig. She adds nothing to it.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          I saw him in whelan’s yonks ago. Can’t remember who he was playing with – do remember it was unexpected. He’s a bass player, I think. And then I was standing beside him at the bar later and remember thinking he was a very handsome man.

    1. Frilly Keane

      Ah now
      Calm down there
      While it’s obvious Noel is getting the benefit of the Editors choice in the final cut
      She has been steadily making herself relevent
      Lasts weeks “anything in particular Paul” when he had to hide his face when presented with the Snail
      For instance

      And remember, Prue is still getting all the best bits

        1. Frilly Keane

          Wait’ll it’s down to the semi
          And the Hollywood is merciless
          I’d say she’ll come in to her own
          And Noel is less likely to be acting the eejit

          The Bakers get more attention and more ambitious
          And competitive
          The presenters give them more time to flaunt themselves
          And the Judging is intense and unforgiving
          And that the finalists are amateur home bakers isn’t a notion tolerated by the Hollywood, and we’ll have to see with Prue

          Just wait

    1. martco

      dunno but I have seen it on the shelves in Sainsbury’s in Lisburn
      would work well warmed up and poured on a decent vanilla ice cream

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