Mons recaps GABO Episode 3: Why would you put pumpkin in an eclair?

Missed last episode’s recap? Get on that. Read it here.

I’ve never been so excited about chouxs, darlings.

Choux pastry, (pronouced “shoe” and not “chux” as in “chux superwipes” like I initially thought) is so fun.  Especially if you’re 1. looking at it, piled up in a bakery window or 2. stuffing your gob with it. Choux is the pastry that dreams are made of. Engorged eclairs. Puffy profiteroles. Calorie laden croquembouches.  Choux is French for yum.

Making it though? Sacre bleu. And thus we begin week three in the bake off tent.

Signature Bake!

The bakers have to make and present their signature eclairs. Difficult but not impossible. The hardest part, really, is probably the bit where the bakers are not allowed to eat any of them, instead, they’re forced to watch while Maggie Beer and Matt Moran slide eclair after eclair into their glistening mouths.

Not only is this episode full of French words you would never have heard of, we open with Nathan, whose the youngest baker, making a mandarin and yuzu eclair. WTF? Yuzu? It it some sort of hip acronym that all the kids are saying? ‘YOLO, it’s soooooo Yuzu, and I was like OMG?’

No. Maggie and Matt both nod knowingly so I guess it’s a legit ingredient and I’m the idiot. Thanks a lot, Nathan.

Also in the “I can’t believe you’re doing that to an ECLAIR” category is Brendan.

He’s making a pumpkin eclair.  What is with this man trying to sneak vegetables into our baked goods? In cake week it was a parsnip in a cake and now this? Brendan you’re not trying to feed fussy toddlers here.

Meg is making some sort of chocolate eclair (good) but can we please take a moment to appreciate her look:

She’s like a hipster nanna with that lipstick-nanna jumper-spectacles combo. It’s like a homage to my CWA spirit, Mariana, who left us last week.  Yes, Meg may bit a tiny bit shit at the actual baking part, but the whole thing looks so great that YES MEG, I will buy your cookbook just so I can look at the photos. Take my money now you gorgeous thing.

And Ben. Whose reality continues to defy expectation.

There are some ugly choux and some incredible looking choux and Jasmin, the British one who made that ridic flag cake in ep one makes these eclairs that look SO GOOD that I can’t imagine the self-control it takes to not eat one.

But then she DOES. Not a minute after the judges leave her bench.

GOD DAMN I love this show.

You know what else I like about this show? It’s so HAPPY.

It’s not just the sugar high talking. I think it’s Maggie Beer. The woman positively radiates goodness wherever she goes. She’s the baking equivalent of Marcia Hines on Australian Idol: it’s just love for everyone. Every piece of feedback is delivered with such warmth, such exuberance, that I’m mesmerised. You could plate up a rubbery cheeseburger to this woman and she’d find beauty in it somewhere. She sparks so much joy in me that I’m currently printing off A4 sized pictures of her face to stick in my kitchen, as the KonMari method would wish.


Technical Challenge time!

It’s brests out. Paris brest that is. Some sort of sadistic technical challenge where you have to make choux pastry puff in a perfect circle, fill it with cream and top it with profiteroles and add some other bits and bobs and french french blah blah etc etc.

So I’m waiting for a million brest jokes but of course they don’t come because this show is for gentleman and scholars and lovers of baking, not for smutty cheap jokes about brests.

The bakers plate up their brests and they vary in size.  Some a big, some small, some saggy, some look like they’ve had work done and no one seems happy with their own.

Meg, the cool nanna, covers up hers, to my surprise. Most bright young things I know would be snapchatting their brests to their friends, but Meg demurely covers hers with some spun sugar.

The judges spend a long time looking at all the brests and it’s deemed that, SHOCK, SIAN HAS THE BEST BREST OF THE BUNCH.

A victory for Sian.

Showstopper time!

The bakers are making a Gateau St Honore centrepiece which is a fancy French way of saying “the devils carbohydrate”. It’s pastry upon pastry upon pastry. It’s puff pastry, piled high with cream, topped off with profiteroles and then finished with sugar work.  It’s early onset diabetes.

You know what they say about girls and choux. The women are absolutely dominating this ep. Some of their bakes are showstoppingly, eye wateringly beautiful. Like SIAN. HOLY SHIT woman.

And Jasmin. How did you even.

Maggie and Matt delicately taste all of them and there is a point at which I wonder if occupational health and safety regulations will see them install a treadmill judging table, so they can run and eat to keep from keeling over from the blood sugar spikes.

On the high that they are, Jasmin is awarded star baker. Meg gets booted out. Which is sad making. Because everyone is having such a good time on this show that I don’t want any of them to go. But, BeerMat has spoken. The cool granny’s torch has been extinguished. And the bakers are down to NINE.


Who do you think deserved to go home?

Meet the contestants…