The Great British Baking Show Season 4 Recap: Desserts Week

We’ve reached the Top 6 in the Great British Baking Show. It must be time for dessert.

After a flowery set of displays last week that sent poor Rav packing, this week the Baking Show returns to something tried and true, and not subject to debate: dessert!

This week’s desserts start with something we’ve seen made in the tent before, the dreaded roulade, which is really just a fancy way of saying “swiss roll.” And we all remember how to make a Swiss roll, right? Push Roger Federer down a hill. This swiss roll also needs to be “family sized,” which means Americans will find it big enough for a single serving.

There are differing philosophies on rolling long end wise or short end wise, but everyone wants to roll while warm to keep from cracking. And all errors can be covered with decorations!

  • Jane Chocolate & Hazelnut Roulade Fail. Paul doesn’t like the long end roll, but they love the flavor.
  • Benjamina Piña Colada Roulade Pass. Mary calls it just perfect, and “beautifully soft”. Paul thinks it’s a bit of a fake flavor, but still yummy.
  • Tom Millionaire’s Roulade Fail. Mary and Paul call him out for icing over his messy mistakes.
  • Candice Crowd Pleaser Roulade Fail. Mary points out the cracks and the messy swirl. Paul says it’s rubbery.
  • Andrew Tropical Holiday Roulade Pass. The filling is too soft, but everything else is great.
  • Selasi Lemon & Strawberry Roulade Pass. Paul says it’s a bit more “fold” than roll, but it looks better when cut into. The sponge is perfect.

It’s a Mary Berry technical, which she says “you have to be organized” to do. This is terrifying. Turns out this week’s challenge is a Marjolaine. Looking at the blank stares, Mel says “Yup, that was my reaction too.” Mine three!

Google says it’s actually called a “Dacquoise” in French, and the almond sliced covered cake with striped toppings looks like a bake determined to trip up anyone who hasn’t seen one before. Which would be all of them. At least most of the bakers have at least made the different parts. Some of them, like Tom, haven’t even made caramel from scratch before. This isn’t going to go well for anyone, is it?


Let’s see who defaults to the top.

6. Selasi: Soggy bottom, collapsed layers.
5. Tom: Also sunk, layers aren’t distinct.
4. Jane: Little chewy, but good flavor.
3. Benjamina: Piping irregular, but good layers.
2. Candice: Neat layers, nice crunch.
1. Andrew: Perfect meringue, perfect visual.

Our final challenge this week for the Showstopper is 24 mini-mousse cakes. MiniMousse! I might just walk around saying that for the rest of the day because it’s so fun to say. Not just 24 mini mousse, but two different flavors of mini mousse, which means they’re really making two sets of twelve mousses

Mary worries that the warm day will work against the mousses setting properly, and seems pleased by those planning on using the freezer for setting (Selasi) instead of gelatine (Candice.) Jane is making gorgeous fleur-de-lis decorations, and she’s got five full sets of mousses in order to impress. Candice is going for creative shapes. These two really know how to make extra work for themselves.


Andrew on the other hand, is going for ICE CREAM. Someone is determined to break into their winner’s circle. Perhaps his aunt, Molly Weasley, lend him a few of her baking tips and a wand or two with spells for the casting? (I mean, why be so obviously related to the Wealseys if you can’t use it in televised competition?)

Tom, who is already in trouble, admits his test bakes have only come out half the time, which is ultra concerning considering he probably needs to nail this (or have someone else really crash and burn) in order to stay. Worse, his mousses aren’t really mousses, they’re cookie sandwiches filled with piped mousse because he was trying to make things easier on himself by not using molds. Paul looks very disappointed. Tom realizes that he may have screwed himself right about now.

Let’s see who’s mini mousse are loose.


Jane’s Chocolate, Coffee & Vanilla Joconde Cakes/Blackcurrant & Vanilla Ombré Mousses They are practically perfect in every way. Paul is very pleased at the texture. (I don’t usually use a “slicing” image, but it was the only way to show the perfect layers.)


Selasi’s Lemon, Strawberry & Passionfruit/Chocolate & Mint Mini Mousse Cakes The passion fruit ones get high marks but the chocolate ones are too large and not light enough.


Candice’s Blackberry & Raspberry Bubbles/After Dinner Mousse The chocolate is deemed more of a ganache than a mousse, and the raspberry one set in globs. Mary frets she made too much work for herself.


Benjamina’s Apple Crumble Mousse Cake/Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cake The coffee one (top) didn’t set right in the freezer, even though it tastes amazing. The apple one is deemed “sharp” and perfect.


Tom’s Hipster’s Picnic Leaving aside that Tom mistook “Harry Potter Glasses” for “Hipster”, he also took “cookie sandwiches” for mousses. Paul says if this was a challenge for a mini cake with a picnic theme he’d win. But it’s not. Therefore, he failed to fulfill the brief.


Andrew’s Childhood Ice Cream Mousse Cakes “Tastes Divine” says Paul about the strawberry one. The mint mousse is deemed “fantastic.”

Andrew has officially used Weasley magic and joined the favorite’s circle with Jane, Candice and Benjamina. Selasi and Tom are clearly in the bottom. Andrew is rewarded with Star Baker this week for vaulting into the top. Tom, for failing on all three challenges, was sent home.


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