26.10.16

#GBBO | PATISSERIE WEEK | FONDANT FANCIES



If I ever see another fondant fancy again, it will be too soon. 

I literally think I could leave this blog post right there, and you'd get the gist of everything I'm about to say...


I made a big mistake this week, in that I was only really half watching this episode of GBBO whilst I was doing something else (washing up maybe?). This meant that I didn't quite appreciate how many different elements there are to the good old fondant fancy, nor how impossible it is to neatly ice four sides of a cube with buttercream, whilst retaining the structure of the cake itself. 

I was truly devastated when Selasi left, but if the time and effort I put into my fondant fancies is anything to go by, I can understand why he kept it fairly simple. 

WEEK 9: PATISSERIE WEEK
SHOWSTOPPER CHALLENGE: FONDANT  FANCIES

Where to start? The question I genuinely found myself asking when faced with the list of ingredients required to make these miniature cakes. I guess it should've been a bit of a give away that making fondant fancies was the show stopper challenge in the Great British Bake Off semi-final, but at no point (before baking) did I appreciate how complex the recipe was, or how long I'd need to make it. 


Admittedly the fondant fancies look much improved with the addition of dark chocolate, but they are by no means up to the standard of Mr Kipling's French Fancies, so someone would have to pay me an obscene amount of money for me to attempt these again. I used this recipe, which, whilst I would recommend it, yielded some overwhelmingly vanilla-flavoured cakes. Luckily I'm a bit fan of vanilla so this wasn't a problem for me, but even I found myself searching for more of the almond flavour provided by the layer of marzipan. 

Incidentally, that reminds me; if you ever need to roll out a block of marzipan, make sure you have icing sugar on hand too. This recipe calls for the dusting of a clean surface with icing sugar, in order to enable you to roll out your marzipan. Perhaps it was the fact that I'd used a wooden chopping board, or perhaps I'd not been generous enough with the icing sugar, but once I'd rolled the marzipan out to what I deemed was a 'thin' layer, it was impossible to lift off of the chopping board in one piece. Cue me, frantically scraping the marzipan off of the chopping board and starting again, this time armed with more loose icing sugar than I ever hope to see again for a long time. 


While I'm at it, I wouldn't recommend trying to make fondant icing as per this recipe unless you do have an electric whisk/mixer. I tried to manage without, and as you can see the results were far from desirable. My buttercream iced edges were lumpy enough as it was without adding to the problem! 

Overall, I'm not too disappointed with these. My camera has once again been kind, and so my fondant fancies look significantly better in the photos than they do in real life, but I'm not going to lie, there were several points when I wanted to throw them all in the bin and try one of the other challenges instead. 

Never again.


I cannot believe tonight is the final, and the last proper episode of the Bake Off on BBC! I've kept pretty silent on the matter, but I think the decision to move to Channel 4 is a big mistake; it definitely won't be the same ever again.With any luck, although I personally don't see how, it'll actually be better with different presenters. However, if the most recent series of Top Gear is anything to go by, I won't be holding my breath... 

For the penultimate time, thank you for reading this series of blog posts, and for the last time, enjoy tonight's episode!!  


LAURA

(P.S. Sorry that there was no bake last week, I had a rotten cold and once that took hold, Tudor week just wasn't happening.) 
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