In the thick of it !!

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Well I can honestly say that Bharat and myself weren’t smiling in the first round of the Bake Off, it was a blur. From the time they said “GO !” to the finish on the first day, I still don’t know where the time went. This is where we had to make the Conversation (not talking between ourselves) and the fruit tart (our own version).

We had this planned out to the last minute, the problem was that we had no bloody idea what a “conversation tart” was, it also appeared that no one else did either. We did our best from searching the internet and books and began to get a picture of what was needed.

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When it came to making this on the show it didn’t turn out as well as in the picture I’m afraid to say but the idea was good saying that we had no clue. This we thought was meant to throw us, a spanner in the works and to test our skills as pastry chefs. Bharat and I thought we had done badly with this as we decided to change things the night before. We shouldn’t have done this, go with your gut instincts….always). Then we saw everyone elses weren’t great, apart from the Hilton’s team, they were all pretty bad. That was the saving grace and so didn’t do too badly after all.

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The fruit tart was a good one for us, well at least we thought so. It’s something we do on a regular basis so we could apply this to the task in hand. Everything we did for the tart in the show went to plan but this we only managed to get done in the nick of time with seconds to spare.

The problem we had with the tart and the Conversation is the fact that before being judged they were left out for over 2 hours before tasting began. This wasn’t good and we felt it was unfair to judge delicate pastries when they weren’t in the best condition, and it showed. But again, compared to others we didn’t do too bad. That was the first day over and done with. On to the next traumatic day!

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What can I say, this part of the show for me was the most difficult in the entire program. We went into this not understanding the brief fully, or so we are told this. As we understood the brief we had to make a center showpiece in a black forest style of our own making and desserts to feed a certain amount of people. If you look at the picture I think we did this, saying this was our first ever showpiece. I don’t think we did a bad job. We tested the Entermet with so many people before we went on the show and we knew we had great flavours. Well, things didn’t go to plan. The heat in the studio kitchen was not good for chocolate work, everything we did in white chocolate just fell apart, the bands that are supposed to be highly finished looked terrible and the stress was getting to us…a lot !! Well me for sure, haha.

We got it done in the end and then it was judging time, eeeek. The first ones to be judged were the Hilton. Their showpiece was stunning and we knew that ours was going to get ripped apart when the time came. Judging was brutal as it went down the chain and after a very long wait it was our turn. They didn’t hold back in anyway shape or form, we got judged royally for a good 15 mins and I could feel my frustration rising but I knew I couldn’t talk back as this could have consequences. By then end I was a broken man with nowhere to run, I cried for the first time in many years and it felt like I couldn’t cook at all. What the hell was I doing on this stupid show!!?.

Elimination time and to be honest we thought it would be us going, but it wasn’t. Chris and Bjarni from the Warren unfortunately bit the dust, it was a sad time but also we were extremely thankful we survived to the next stage. After saying our goodbyes, i turned to Bharat and said “We have to come back fighting for the next round!” and boy, we did just that.