Welcome back, friends, to The Great British Baking Show: Walton Edition! This week we celebrate the sweet and tangy world of vitamin C. Come on in and join us for Citrus Week!
I loves me some citrus. Normally I’d take this opportunity to wax poetic about the glories of all things tropical, but I just wrote 35,000 words about English potato chips, so I’m kind of in the mood to bust this article out quick and dirty style. You with me? Let’s roll.
This is my Mandarin Orange Upside-Down Cake. I’ve made it before and it is usually delicious. I don’t know what I did wrong, but this thing came out tasting almost savory. Honest to god, it tasted like there was no sugar in it, even though I upped the sugar content by making it with orange juice. It was gross.
I don’t have a clue how I messed up so badly. This may as well have not been a cake. It was infuriating. My upside-down cakes have never turned out badly. I can’t explain how this happened, but it was NOT good.
Here we have Dan’s Basic Bitch Lime Bars. Before you touch that keyboard, allow me to explain. Basic Bitch Lime Bars was Dan’s name for these. I confirmed at the table that he was cool with me writing them up as such. So stifle your bitching and slow your roll.
Dan may have thought these were basic, but I absolutely loved them. How in the hell can you beat lime bars? I was a bit confused by Dan’s decision to use green food coloring. It was thoroughly unnecessary and very much unlike him. These bars were so good there was no need for embellishment.
Mandy’s entry for Citrus Week was her delicious Lemon Cookies. I am partial to lemon, perhaps more so in cookie form than any other citrus fruit. I particularly enjoy lemon glaze. I am terrible at making glaze myself, despite my many attempts, but Mandy and Mark have perfected their techniques, and Mandy’s expertise was on full display with these aromatic treats.
If you look closely you can see the flecks of lemon zest she baked into her cookies. I cannot stress enough how this enhances the flavor of baked goods. Zest is often used unnecessarily in my opinion. A quarter teaspoon of zest does little in a large recipe where other flavors take center stage. But if you are baking a pastry where the fruit is the star of the show, then zest is a must. It elevates citrus flavored baked goods, as Mandy expertly demonstrated with these little disks of lemony joy.
Last but not least, Mark was seeking the award for longest bake name with his Lemon Curd With Lemon Marshmallow Crème And Orange Chocolate Ganache. His bake was good. It was very good. But his presentation was particularly masterful. The disc of orange ganache that sealed the marshmallow crème into the miniature jars was a showstopper, and earned Mark the top spot as this week’s Star Baker!
Congratulations, Mark, on a job well done, and thank all of you for joining us for this week’s competition! Tune in next time for the first of four special bakes, each aimed at trying to win the favor of just one specific judge. Next week is Mandy Week! Until next time, bon appétit!