The final of the Bake Off was so good! The balance of baking power kept swinging between the contestants, so that it really was a complete unknown when the winner was announced. Well done John! Brilliant job. Meanwhile, I was left with a decision to make. I decided, as this is the last “Inspired by…” post, I’d go for it and try my hand at the technical challenge.
- Signature dish - Pithivier
- Technical challenge - Fondant fancies
- Showstopper - Chiffon sponge
Mary Berry’s fondant fancies - the recipe had a lot of steps, but I understood pretty much all of it and felt it was something I could get away with.
Step 1 - Ingredients!
Step 2 - The first item on the recipe says to “mix all the ingredients together” to make the sponge. At first I was worried I had a copy of their technical challenge recipes, where key steps are missing. As it turns out, that really is all you need to do. Mix it all up and bake.
Step 3 - While it was baking, I made the buttercream. This is one of those bakes where all the bowls are far more interesting to my consumers than the actual finished product.
Step 4 - Spread a bit of apricot jam across the top of the cake, and then some marzipan. I didn’t realise there was marzipan involved. In fact, I didn’t know marzipan was used in anything other than fruit cake!
Step 5 - Now, I’ve had my piping issues over the past few weeks, so I decided to splash out a little and get a proper cloth bag with proper nozzle endings. This made life a lot easier, but I still find getting the stuff into the bag really difficult/unsettling.
Step 6 - Spread buttercream around the outside of the squares and pipe a little blob on top.
Step 6 - Now… I knew this part was coming, and I knew it was going to be awful, but I hadn’t quite anticipated how bad! Getting the fondant icing onto the fancies was almost beyond me. I did manage to get it there, but it pretty much all dripped off again. I can’t see that I had the mixture too thin because any thicker and it wouldn’t have been able to spread onto the cake themselves. I already had one break apart as I tried to dip it. So, I wasn’t too happy with the icing part of the process, but consoled myself by remembering they looked pretty rubbish on TV as well.
As soon as the chocolate stripey bits went on, though, they started to look a whole lot better!
Step 7 - Eat!
Conclusion - I was worried about how this was going to taste, as I haven’t had the best of bakes for the last few weeks. It turns out, it was pretty much perfect. After a bit of a stay in the fridge (recipe says not to do that, otherwise you dull the shine, but Mr C isn’t bothered about shine), it was chilled and delicious. It pretty much tasted just like a Kipling-esque fancy, if lacking a total wash of icing around the sides. I do think the marzipan overwhelms it by just the tiniest margin, but that’s just me being nit-picky.
A fabulous bake to end on, and a great series all round!