1046 – Caramel Week | Great British Bake You Off to Sleep C5/S8 E4
Weather not wurthering the fill of fuller words should help keep you company while you drift off.
- Maybe Bay is the Answer
- Troops, we need your stroops
- Caramel Crusade
- Werther’s Originals
- Rutger Hauer
Notable Talking Points:
- Holy cow, anyone that works in a grocery store works hard
- Like a game of Caramel Chicken
- The best cake Prue has ever eaten in her life
Episode 1046 – Caramel Week | Great British Bake You Off to Sleep C5/S8 E4
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, all my bakers, oh boy, I hope your sleep tonight is pillowy like a caramel; soft and smooth, but not drippy or sticky. So, just the good parts of caramels or caramels, or, you know. Hopefully you’d be…you’ll be weathering this podcast, not Werthering it in an original way. Thanks for making it possible, patrons.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts, things on your mind that you’re thinking about, the past, the present, the future, the unknown, the known, or somewhere…whatever…for most of things…most things whence in-between, for me. It could be anything emotionally coming up for you if…that you’re having feelings about, about thoughts or something else or that are just there.
It could be physical sensations that are coming up for you. It could be something that has changed your routine or your schedule or the temperature or your situation, or it could just be situational. Could be something else. Whatever it is, I’m here to try to take your mind off of it and keep you company while you drift off. I’m here to try to help, to send you off to sleep, to carry you off into dreamland, but mostly to be your friend in the deep, dark night, and that’s what I’m gonna do, is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna try to use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. So, I’m gonna go off-topic, I’m gonna get mixed up, then I’m gonna go back, use some filler words. Sleep With Me; you listen for free and we throw filler words in for free.
We fill the cart the rest of the way up. You say, you want a bag of filler words with that? I don’t even say…when I’m checking you out, I say…checking you out of the imaginary grocery line…there’s a job, holy cow…as an aside; anyone that works in grocery, especially over the past few years, I’ve been talking about how important you are, but that is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It was when I was fourteen and fifteen, and I couldn’t even…I was at the prime of my youth or whatever, and I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the physical or the…I didn’t have the acuity, I don’t think. So, oh, what am I talking about, though? So, if you’re new, I’m so glad you’re here. That was a little…that was a teeny, tiny pointless meander.
But what I’m here to do, if you’re new, is give you some info in a pointless, meandering-type way to demonstrate the show but also to tell you more, because if you’re skeptical or you’re doubtful or you’re confused or unsure, you might be in the right place, because this show is very different. It does take some getting used to, but if you’ve been through it like I have and a lot of the listeners have, you tried tons of things; other sleep audio, other gadgets, changing this, getting a cross-breeze, quadrupling your fans, all that stuff, if you tried a lot of it…not everything works, and you say man, I’m really fed up, but I’ll give this podcast a try, of course you’re gonna be skeptical. If somebody told you about it, they said oh, that podcast is great; it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but yeah, it puts me to sleep every single night, you might not believe that, naturally.
So, a couple things to know; this podcast unfortunately does not work for everybody. Some people, it really gets their goat, as we say around here. Well, I always say don’t get any goats, please. It’s been a few years since I’ve reminded everyone. Goats; please don’t…on behalf of goats, don’t get them. Goats; don’t get any goats, because I’m not even sure if that’s the phrase. But again, I can be irritating to some people, and even hardcore listeners said at first, didn’t like the podcast. It made me feel like nutmeg that was about to be grated. So, give the show a few tries, but it does not work for everybody. But for hundreds of thousands of regular listeners, they said it took two or three tries to get used to the show. It is free, so just kinda see how it goes. I do want to help you. I just, there’s a couple other things to know.
This show is just very different. One, it’s a podcast you don’t listen to. You just kinda barely listen, almost in a passive way. It’s just on that border of passive background noise, but it is something you could listen to if you need to. So, listening…Sleep With Me; listening’s optional. Filler words are free. Listening’s optional, and I said some other stuff that I already forgot. Sleep With Me podcast. So…oh, so that’s…so, it’s a podcast you don’t really listen to. Also, it does not put you to sleep. I’m here to keep you company while you drift off, a little bit different than putting you to sleep or sending you to sleep. I’m here to make things feel less lonely and to give you something…like a friend in the deep, dark night; bore-friend, bore-bae, bore-cuz, bore-sib, a bore-bestie, bore-bruh.
I’m here to be your bore-bud, talking nearby in a somewhat pleasant…take-some-getting-used-to voice to keep you company and to let you know you’re not alone. So, that’s…those are two hurdles, we’ll say. A podcast you don’t listen to? What? A podcast is by definition something you listen to. Well, let’s be honest, just like sports, I kinda barely listen to a lot of things. Just like sports and authority figures, I say uh-huh, oh yeah, oh yeah. Go…oh yeah. Tell me more. So, and it does…I thought it was Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. I say, it does kinda put you to sleep, but it doesn’t…it’s more…keeps you company while you fall asleep. So, those are two things. The reason I make the show…and this is the most important thing I will say ever; you’re important and your sleep is important, okay?
You deserve a safe, restful place, and I wish I could provide that for every single person in the world. If I had that power, that would be amazing. But I hope I can provide it for you or start you on that path. Maybe you even graduate from the show. I’ve heard from a few people this past week that said yeah, I got past what was…I was dealing with. I don’t even listen anymore; thank you. Or, you could be a regular listener. People have been listening since I started the show. But the key thing is, you deserve a safe, restful place, and I hope I can be a part of that for you so that I can help bedtime be something maybe you feel neutral about. Maybe it’s easier for you to fall asleep. Maybe you don’t dread getting in bed. Maybe Sleep With Me becomes part of a wind-down routine that works for you most of the time.
That’s what my wind-down routine…oh, works for me most of the time, and makes me feel mostly good about going to bed. If I can accomplish that for you, that’s…for me, that’s a home run or a touchdown or a goal. So, that’s one thing. The other thing building on that is if you get the rest you need, your life’s gonna be better. Your life’s gonna be more manageable. It can improve, and that is really important. I know it’s easy to brush off or have…for me, my internal critics say ho-hum or hee-haw. I say, hee-haw? That doesn’t have any…but whatever it is, it’s the truth. You deserve a good night’s sleep. The other side of it is, I know how it feels. I might not know exactly what you’re dealing with, but I’ve been through it.
I’ve heard from a lot of listeners and a lot of people dealing with it, and underneath, there’s just that feeling, right? There’s a couple different parts of it that I won’t even point out. I’m here, really, to counteract those, to be your friend in the deep, dark night. You know what I mean. So, those are some things. Another thing that can really throw people off is the structure of the show, but the show is designed in a very specific way. Then yeah, you can use it in off-label ways and adjust as you become a regular listener, but the show’s structured…starts off with a silly but poignant greeting; friends beyond the binary, boys and girls, the…something else, and then I try to say something funny, like about caramels. That’s the silly parts.
You say oh, ideally, you feel welcome in, you feel seen, and you say oh, the nature of the show is a little bit goofy. Then there’s support so the podcast can come out twice a week for free, support for the podcast, the sponsors and patrons, support for listeners, and support for the community. Then there’s the intro, which is not part of the support, but when people…some people, they say, this just goes on and on and on. I say oh yeah, the intro is a show within a show. It goes on and on and on for like, twenty minutes of me trying to unsuccessfully describe what the podcast is in a concise way, so that I…new listeners, they say oh, okay, I kinda don’t get it, but I kinda almost get it. Regular listeners, they’re reassured. They say, there’s Scoots again doing a new intro every single time.
But he doesn’t really…he never has…never solved the intro. The Case of the Contorted Intro. So, the intro introduces the show. It gives you a familiar friend. You say oh, once again, there’s my bore-bud. But it also is supposed to give you some time to transition from your waking life to your sleeping life, whether it’s a wind-down routine, it’s getting ready for bed, it’s getting comfortable, it’s doing something quiet, or stretching. So, the intro is the in-between time between when you were awake and ideally later when you’ll be asleep. It eases you into bedtime. So, that’s the intro. Then there’s more support for the show. That’s where sponsors like their stuff. That keeps the show free, and then there’s our bedtime story.
Tonight it’ll be a recap of the Great British Bake Off, and I’ll be talking about Caramel Week or Caramel Week, and getting mixed up and stuff like that. You’ll say okay, it was kind of…I don’t remember that episode, Scoots. I say well, good. Did you sleep right…maybe you slept right through it. I’ll get Noel and Julian mixed up, I’ll talk about Prue…Prue’s accessories, maybe, if they’re popping. I’ll keep an eye…this is the only podcast that I know of right in this moment that tries to keep an eye out for alliteration, and it doesn’t…necessarily successful. That could be a segment; if LeVar Burton ever listens to this show and there’s a full relaunch of Reading Rainbow, maybe there could be a fake news segment, Eye on Alliteration. Then you say, which eye? I’d say wow, you’re brilliant.
You really get that I don’t get it, but…say, Eye on Alliteration. You say Scoots, do you realize that’s not alliterative? I say no, I don’t realize it. That’s why I keep saying it. So…oh, so, we’ll talk about Greatish…Greatish…Greatish British Bake Off. That was the spin-off. That one’s…it’s not bad. I’ve got a bunch of mediocre bakers here and we’re gonna determine which one’s right in the middle. That’s Greatish British Bake Off. That’s on I-TV 5 or whatever. So, that could be…if you want to do that as a segment…it sounds like something the Muppets would do; Greatish British Bake Off. So, anyway, I’m glad you’re here. I really hope I can help you fall asleep. I work really hard on this show. I yearn and I strive, so thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways I’m able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, it’s Scoots here. I’m talking about Great…we’re talking about Great British Bake Off, Week 4, Collection 5, Season or Series…I’m not sure. The first…I don’t know, the…Prue’s first series, and maybe Noel and Sandi’s, but I get mixed up on that one. But it’s Caramel Week here at the Great British Bake Off. I’m just letting the download happen. I mean, this could be my favorite week just ‘cause oh boy, do I love caramel. It starts with laying in the grass, and we’ll go to the dialogue. Pillows…overhead…Caramel Week. Teaser, jumping, luxame crystal, grass going in wind. Liam; excellent. Sign…proniferi. Not grant well. Sophia; not going well. Kate; excited. Julia…tr.dy? Nine remaining bakers. It looks like I said breaths. Tickle something. Millionaire shortbread. Two laws…fifteen. Yan says OMG.
Stan…Steven; go with it. Millionaire is three layers. This millionaire shortbread…I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one on the show that made me more desirable of eating it. Decorators fin…bread not cheesy. Seventh…I have not had. Three, two, one shortbread; that’s the ingredient…like, that’s…I think Yan explains it. Three flour to two butter to one something. Sugar three, flour two, sugar one, butter…something like that. Yan will tell us in a minute when we roll the tape. Julia…pecans. Mom in…mother-in-law did not…does not like shortbread. Sea salt, more salted, Star Baker. Double…can you get the double? Why blame your mother-in…if not, blame your mother-in-law. James…pecan Chicago. Americans love tray bakes. Maple caramel like the Windy City with some gold leaf on top. Tom…so something.
She biz, but adding nass…salt…Stan…ginger caramel. You pop in tin. Liam; in a mold. Julia too. Too fast to change Steven. Bigger than most…orange macadamia nut. Handful…Sophia sighs. Four layers…Jaffa Cake inspired. Laborious. Laborious. I’d say laborious…la…laborious. I spelled it…I wrote it out. Start in earnest. Caramel, sugar, heat, monitor and wait for sugar to melt. Caramel…that’s…it looks like it says caramel chicken. Yeah, suds…Delaney don’t let it crystallize. Give over…glucose or…liquid glucose or water. Game over if it crystallizes or redo. Stay…run…salted, rum and lime…panda’s tears. This is very poetic, my running through here. Liam…salt, sweet…his caramel…or June. Peanut butter caramel. Hard peanut…caramel balance it out.
Oh, this is Liam and he does this peanut butter caramel that sounds delicious and, spoiler, turns out to be delicious. I have to crack on like Laura. Salted…Santa…castle buttercream. Butter…next…Jerry precision. Temperature 115 or higher. Not too long or it will harden. Yan has other ideas. Something…thunder ginger nuts. Drive off of the moist water steps? Shunning over and out, out of the oven. Caramel’s consistency; that’s…or something. My handwriting’s just really bad on this one. That’s why we have the tape to go to. Kate…bay…she uses bay leaves, salted. Very Roman. Wealth and status. Maybe bay is the answer. Off the heat, cool and catching on this hob. Sheen of sweat on Tom. Something…something piping layers. Chocolate layers…Tom, chocolate…his chocolates split. Deep breaths. Low on time.
Final touches. Bowl train. Taking on the hot in here. Barnaby stencil…they’re not…only bus boys could say that. Platter…time is up. So, Kate; like the top. Holds its shape. Spot on. Aromatic. Love it. James; doughy textures. Not there. Too much pecan. Unpleasant. Julia; love the shortbread. Nutty, but too salty, the caramel. Yan; I like the flavor, but the toffee-like texture’s not right. Sophie; these aren’t identical. Too issue…orangey but dry. Soft, silky…test answers. Steven; identical. Biscuit thick. I don’t like the flavors, and toaster taste. Too bitter, but Prue loves it, so this is a little bit of a debate between Paul and Prue. Stacy; so pretty, neat. Flavor’s strong. Don’t like to run. Too much chat. Yan; time problem. Flour great. Flavor’s great. Not finished. That was Tom, though.
Liam is…he does his in a Tetris theme, even. Nice, simple, neat. Peanut butter set. Nice balance, love it. Love the flavor. He gets a handshake, high fives. Oh my days, Liam says. Crazy, crazy. Kate says something. Faces…alright, then. Yan’s a little sad. They get a bunch of zooms on Yan, like when she’s feeling down, so I don’t know about that. So, let’s see what we got…our…let’s turn our subtitles on. Tape’s rolling. Can you guess what I’m thinking? I’m thinking we would love to be flying things with wings to smell this caramel. It’s heaven; it’s Caramel Week. Then we have the teaser, Kate dancing, people moving, luxurious layered signature. The bakers go Dutch in the second thing, and then the showstopper. Then we get the intro…skip the intro. Great British Baking Show. Moth…everybody moving in. Liam’s excited.
He loves caramel and he’s good at it. Sophie’s been practicing, so we’ll see. Aprons go on. Kate…it’s all caramel. Sophie…or, well, the complex challenges. Exhale. We get a zoom. This is the first time I noticed the different colors of the mixers. There’s a maroon mixer; that was some of the handwriting I couldn’t read, or maybe I say it later on. Millionaire short breads. Two hours and fifteen minutes to create. On your marks, get set, bake. Everybody starts their baking. Yan says OMG. Caramel…we gotta work it out. You gotta be careful, though. Don’t lose your fingerprints. Beautiful, soft shortbread. Gooey, firm caramel, Paul says, and thin chocolate coating. Nothing that sounds better. You could put coffee or an orange. Prue’s looking for something special she’s never had before. Everybody starts out.
They’re making their…three, two, one. Two butter, one sugar. So, three flour, two butter, one sugar. Checking the nuts…that’s Julia’s pecan salted caramel millionaire shortbreads, golden syrup. I learned more about that kinda golden syrup; if you add something like that, it keeps it from crystallizing. Some sort of glucose. Salted caramel, but keep it under control. Star Baker, going for a double. Good luck. Then James; pecan shortbread. Inspiration from Chicago, like we said, where he lived. Back to the American roots, Windy City. Maple syrup, American glamour with the gold, brushed gold. He’s gonna put some bling on top. They actually get some on his teeth, and that…Sandi has a laugh about that. Then Tom’s working his butter. He’s like, Scottish, so he should have an advantage, he says.
He’s putting some almonds in there. Stem ginger caramel, chopped almonds, white chocolate, feathers, even. Tell you one thing; Tom’s hair looks good. Everybody puts the stuff in the oven, ‘cause you gotta let it cool. Some people are using…oh, molds, like I said, Liam and Julia, I think, or cake tins, to have a little bit more even thing. I like that. Steven’s weighing his out and then using cake tins. I’m gonna have to…maybe I’ll do it this way. I’d like to make these. Steven’s have coffee liqueur. Quite substantial. Two hands worth of stuff. There was a lot of double entendres there as Sophie rolls out hers, her shortbread. She’s doing four layers; orange juice, orange zest, Jaffa Cake inspired. Noel loves Jaffa. Circles…I’m gonna cut it out and put in these acetate collars, little acetate collars.
Could be some leakage; maybe that’ll prevent it. Things go in the oven, people are baking in earnest. Caramel begins with sugar and heat. James says oh boy, this is…the pressure’s on, eh? Tom’s watch…everybody’s…oh, so this is when the caramels get made. You gotta keep an eye on it. Low and slow though, is what Prue said. But then caramel chicken…oh, that’s the game, if you’re not monitoring enough. Yan says that. So, you can’t let it crystallize, which unfortunately, spoiler, happens to everybody in every…almost every part of the competition, except for the people that really are excelling, like Liam. But yeah, glucose, golden syrup…seems like people are cooking it over high heat and then they have to redo it. Stacy’s rum salted…lime zest, chili. She’s using a spiced rum. Paul takes a hit of it.
Prue says hold on, cowboy. Rum and lime together could be good. Let’s just see what happens. Liam’s got his peanut butter one. He does this for his friends when they come over. He said every time his friend comes, there’s a jar of caramel in my fridge. He’s been to my house a lot, Jamie. Peanut oil, peanut butter. He makes his own peanut butter, too. Man, I’d…this is supposed to be fun. Late nights at Liam’s would be fun, eating millionaire shortbreads. Okay, one hour left. Crack on. Everybody’s getting theirs. Cream’s going in, then we’ll thicken it up. Hot like lava. Butter cream, malted sugar, then it gets even harder. So, people are mixing their cream in. They get it, then leaving it to boil. Maybe leave it ten minutes, Julia says. Butter…can’t be chewy, but you don’t want it oozing out.
You gotta heat it to a precise temperature. It’ll be 115, maybe, James says. Maybe higher. Don’t overheat it or overcook it though, ‘cause then it’ll harden. Everybody’s stressed. Gotta get it up. Yan’s…she’s right at…she’s like, I’m not gonna use a thermometer; I watch how much steam is coming off. Little reds, ginger nuts, shortbread, ‘cause…and she has a point, because that’s how you kinda make waffles, too. You watch the steam. It’s the moisture coming off, and that…when it lowers to a certain point. Everybody’s shortbreads come out. They’re going in the fridge or the freezer. Caramel consistency; that’s a nice one. Oh boy, Liam’s nom, nom, nom. Kate’s putting a little bay tree from home right in there. She got a bit of a haircut, I think, or maybe the tree did. I guess the tree did. That’s gold leaf, walnuts.
Bay is a symbol of wealth in Rome. So, if the caramel’s too sweet, maybe bay is the answer. We’ll have to wait and see, but be careful. It goes back on; Steven’s cooling his caramel, chilling it down. Liam’s using a baking tray. People are gonna have to pipe it. Tom’s sweaty sheen. He could be a sheen though, Tom. He has that quality of hair, like Martin level. Liam’s piping his. Oh, boy. I hope Liam owns some place I could visit one day. Let’s see, Kate’s putting some walnuts, or Julia…somebody’s putting walnuts in theirs. Everybody’s trying to get theirs to set, and then they’re trying to get their chocolate while their caramel’s cooling, pacing around. Twenty-four minutes. A lot of pacing and cooling. Sophie’s cooling her caramel on the floor in ice. Rapidly running out of time.
Then trying to get the chocolate on top with the different methods; scoopers, ploopers, and more. How do they get this stuff…? I can’t imagine you’d be doing…I’d be doing dishes for days. Tom’s chocolate splits. He’s trying to breathe. Steven’s low on time ‘cause he’s still gotta get his in the freezer. Liam’s running to the freezer. On the clock, looking around…ten minutes left. Yeah, quick, running out of time. Oh boy, what’s gonna happen? Full tray…oh, Tom doesn’t even…isn’t even gonna have time to cut his. Everybody else is taking theirs out of their molds. Looks like…well, the…some of them came out really smooth. Liam had a silicone mold, so his popped out. Yan’s also decorating them. Noel says, you’re like Banksy. She goes, I’m not Banksy. He goes, that’s what Banksy would say.
They’re setting up the table and breathing. Liam’s got sixteen. Tom’s only got one, or two sheets of shortbread. Now it’s judgement time. Kate’s up first. Everybody’s having it. Spot on with the flavors. Aromatic bay. Then James; there’s difference in the sizes. Quite doughy, like we said. Textures aren’t there. You got…textures, or it gets a little unpleasant, Prue says. Caramel’s budging out of Julia’s, but it’s all equal. I love the shortbread. Very nutty. Nice edge. Crunch, but the caramel’s too salty. Yan; I like the picture on top. Is that Prue or the Queen? I like the toffee…the flavor was more toffee-like. Prue says the texture’s not right. The biscuit’s thick and coarse. Julia; they’re not identical. Oh, that’s not Julia…Sophia. Four-layer job. That made it tougher. Orangey…base is dry. Soft, silky caramel. I like the orange.
It works together, very good, but they look hideous. Steven; they look identical, but your biscuit’s pretty thick, dude. So, they take a bite. Paul says, I don’t like the flavors. Don’t like the texture. But Prue loves the caramel, the bitterness in the orange and the macadamia. That mitigates the caramel for her. Stacy’s…they say these are very pretty and neat. They’re heart-shaped. Flavors are strong. Rum comes through. It’s a grown-up taste, but I don’t like the rum flavor. Paul doesn’t like the thickness of the chocolate. Tom’s is incomplete. A little time problem. Eighteen…a splodgy mess. Crackly top, I like that. Flavor’s great. Caramel’s not the right texture; too soft. Not finished. Liam presents his Tetris board. Levi…did that say Levi shortbread?
Maybe that’s who he’s playing against, or maybe it’s…anyway, I can’t…two to one. I like your proportions. Sick. Can you eat that much caramel? He goes, oh…Paul says oh, yeah. Peanut butter really adds a nice balance and flavor. Handshake. Big clapping. High five to Sandi. Everybody’s happy for Liam. That’s wild. Paul Hollywood shook my hand because I…crazy, crazy. Kate’s like, I want…good; she does a little dance. Sophie; a little too complicated. Tom’s nervous. So is Yan. She’s disappointed. It’s hard for me. I don’t know, I really care about Yan. Then we see some ducks and some ducklings. Ginger cloth…Prue says that…she says why she picked what she picked. Everybody’s watching. The technical, chosen by Prue; caramel trickery. We’re looking for a Dutch treat. Sandi makes a joke about that.
They head off. It’s stroopwafel, which I love stroopwafels. I love a caramelly, cinnamonny flavor. Everyone’s laughing. You got an hour and forty-five minutes. On your mark, get set, bake. Everybody gets to work. Stroopwafel, James says. Never heard of them. They’re kinda…well, let’s give it a crack. I don’t know, everybody says. Paul says Prue, why stroopwafel? Well, maybe our bakers have never made one. You don’t have any yeast. If you overcook it, it…make it too brittle. Caramel should be thin and stretch. They’re really good, holy cow. I bought them in bulk last year. Twelve stroopwafels…let’s see my notes. Table talk, yeast…there’s yeast, though. That’s a rare thing. Don’t make it grainy. That’s the key. Tom said I read the instructions twelve times. Yeast, cinnamon, and sugar.
Washed hair…washed hand like pancakes? Have to knob…butter sugar…oh, you have to knead it. It’s caramel, butter, sugar. No template. Slow or grinding crust. Tell smarter caramel and leg waxing? But you gotta melt the sugar slowly, very low and slow, or it’ll be grainy. Something…second batches…a lot of people have to do second batches ‘cause it’s grainy. Rark…no one happy. Lots of fingers on the faces. Julia does bum, bum, bum. She’s good for sound effects. Thirteen balls; you only get one practice. Two minutes, maybe, to put it on the waffle maker. Sandi helps Liam with his tongs; he can’t get them unlocked. How to cut? Overdone. Brandy…burndy? Flowers and bees. Noel…we’ll get to that. Something…cut scene. Oh, so there’s…falls on bush.
So, we have this scene with Noel, who goes to make stroopwafels. This is the first time I’ve seen this. They didn’t really have it where he goes on location. Sticky hand shape…gloopy. Molasses or dark treacle. 25,000 a day. So, he goes to the stroopwafel factory. Something…it’s the national cookie of Holland. He does the assembly; not good. Put it in a bin. If I was here full time…then we go back. Everybody’s stressed. Yan’s making her third time at the caramel. Amsterdam…that was quick. Oh, that’s…oh, here’s Noel. Let’s go back here. He talks about Rutger Hauer…the biscuit equivalent of Rutger Hauer. Blade Runner, racing…oh no, that’s Rutger Hauer. Let’s do stroopwafels. He falls over a bush. We go to Gouda, which also makes not just cheese, but stroopwafels. 1784.
It was a poor perskin’s biscuit with stale bakery layovers stuck together with caramel, which has evolved into a delicacy. Van Den Berg has been making them for a long time. They got a big hot waffle maker, 200 degrees. They put a puck of dough on there. They do use a machine…machinery to do it, but he’s…Noel’s doing it the old school way; you take it out, cut it open, put the caramel in, and that’s the secret. Molasses, dark treacle, sugar, butter, cinnamon. Mm, good. How many of these do you make a day? About 25,000 waffles. Well, Noel says I could be here for a while, helping. A stroopwafel is a kind of rags, riches tale. Then we go back. Everybody’s cooking their waffles and worrying about it, of course, trying to get it out, trying to get them cut open. I don’t know. We’re still waiting. Stress…five minutes left.
The cutting part…I would never be able to make one ‘cause I could never cut one of those in half. They’re too thin. I’m not…I can’t do that kinda straight…I’m not good at that kinda thing. Caramel, grainy…Yan’s, yeah, having high heat, low heat, groaning. Thirty minutes left. Amsterdam, that was quick. People still trying to count out how many they do. Multitask. People feel like, yeah, they’re always rushing. Gotta get it right. Do this laying out; looking good. Time is up. Sad bakers. Troops, we need your stroops. Fin but flexible, or something. Firm but flexible; that’s another alliteration moment. People feel like theirs are gross. Sophie…okay, so these are the judges. Sophie; right texture caramel. Gooey…or grainy. James; texture good. Very grainy. Tastes nice, though. Yan; overdone, dry, grainy sugar.
Liam; too much filling. Grainy. Steven; too much filling, grainy. Stacy; great waffle. Perfect. Maybe a little grainy. Kate; same old…same problem. Tom; grainy. Julia, she was the last one. They say, I pray…oh, this is the worst one yet. Over-baked mess. So, it went Julia; nine, Yan in eighth, seventh; Steven, sixth; Kate, then Tom, Sophie, three; Liam, second; James, first; Stacy. She goes, she’s well…succeeded. Everybody else failed. So, I would have…I’m the best of the bad bucket or something. Then there’s talking heads about stress. Tom, Yan. There’s another pause on Yan. Up, love long. Nice give. Down to stars. Fourth Star Baker. Whose can it be? Total triumph? Table talk. Steady. Stacy could be Star Baker. Tom’s in trouble. James, Yan…I…oh, I saw finally a maroon, then a blue mixer.
Short stop…stroopwafel…coconut cake, powerful mad skills. Spun sugar. So yeah, for the showstopper, they have to make a coconut cake with sponge…a caramel cake with…featuring some spun sugar. Sensitive subject; another alliteration. Oh, there’s Tom. I gotta perform tomorrow. Julia; it’s the worst I’ve done so far. Extra pressure, Yan says. Never give up, never surrender. They do a long pause on her thinking and looking up. Everybody goes into the tent. Who’s gonna leave, who’s gonna be Star, is the question? Millionaire shortbread, we had a lot of triumphs, but the technical challenge, a lot of failures. But Stacy’s doing okay. Liam’s doing good. Kate’s a steady horse, Sandi says. She pulled off a great showstopper. She could be Star Baker. So, she’s in a good position, Paul says. Who are we worried about? Tom.
Not his finest week. James is having some difficulty, and Yan, but she did do that Banksy stencil. Oh, Yan has a greenish mixer, so those, I guess, are the three mixer colors? For the first time, I’m noticing even more color, and that doesn’t even include the shirts that everybody’s wearing. Three layer cake. It’s a showstopper, so powerful decoration, mad skills on the caramel front, spun sugar. We’re crazy about the spinning. Three and a half hours; go. Or get set, bake. Don’t make it too sweet. Flavor, cake, dance…I don’t know. Oh, this is caramel icing, caramel in the fillings, caramel in the decoration. But yeah, Sandi says don’t…or Prue says don’t make it too sweet. Distract your palate. Paul says yeah, make a beautiful cake, a cake that dances. We go to James. He’s using brittle, praline, a little toffee taste.
Nutty caramel cake, amaretto, peanut, praline, honeycomb, sugared hazelnut, sesame brittle, a lot of sugar work. Then he’s gotta dip his nuts in the leftover sugar that…after he spins it. Sandi says okay, take it easy. Liam; big sugar, black treacle, all the good stuff. White layered ginger caramel cake. White chocolate buttercream, a praline…this caramel drip. He says man, this is a trendy thing; salted caramel drip on the sides. So, you’re gonna be impressed. He’s very confident. Kate’s using fruit. She’s cutting up some apple. Toffee apple cake. Appley flavor, caramelly with a treacly flavor for a bonfire night. Toffee buttercream, dates…and they gotta bake a good cake, but make it look good. Tom’s using fruit. He’s making a hummingbird cake; banana and pineapple. He goes, normally I do just cupcakes and muffins.
This is gonna have a bird’s nest, passion fruit cream, pecan praline. Then they say well, where’s the caramel gonna be? Sandi says, leave him alone. Tom says, I gotta get this right. Then they’re saying, do I have enough caramel? Then I say no offense, Tom, it’s Caramel Week. It’s caramel cake. So, yeah, you gotta get it right. Okay, then everybody’s trying to get their sponges in the oven. Sensitive subject…let me run through my notes. Let’s see, sensitive subject, James, Liam…cinnamon spiced caramel drip we talked about. Spice…Kate…fruit toffee, bonfire night. Who gets fireworks…Tom…fruit…sponge, a hummingbird, banana, pineapple, passion fruit. Not enough caramel. Sandi scolds Paul. Tom’s stressed. Nest time…get sponges in the oven, everybody.
Yan is doing a tiger spice…tiger strip of orange and chocolate, so her cake will actually have tiger stripes and a caramel rainforest. It’s ambitious but I can’t hold back on the showstopper. Then we have a in-oven sequence; every cake going in the oven. Sophie; caramel, something…Italian buttercream, a bird’s nest, a hazelnut sponge, four kinds of caramel. Don’t run out of time. Stacy is doing the life cycle of a butterfly. I’ve done it before, like 3.5 hours, so don’t…as long as my spun sugar does not fall over. Then we see some stuff coming out of the oven, people using toothpicks. James has sinkage in the middle, then Tom has so-flat bad cakes. So, two people will have to…they’re gonna re-bake, Tom and James. Halfway through. Caramel on the go. First caramel.
Julia’s spun sugar dare…dramatic…oh, I can’t read my handwriting, but we got a good one here. Dare, dramatic decoration? Something alliteration. James is…puts number two in the oven. Steven; caramel stars. Caramel stress. He’s doing a caramel crown cake, red velvet. He loves the Royal Family. That’s his second family, he says. Crown jewels, lots of ice, water baths. We see peanut brittle, macadamia brittle, almond scone. Back on track. Time…still not what I would like. Half hour. No run for Emma. Toffee apples. Caramel molds and spun sugar. No sugar string shape, like old hair. Sugar spice…spun sugar. Lots of drizzle. Planning pipe ladle. Oh, ladle…like, different ways…a pumming pipe or ladle, how people are spinning their sugar. Sugar and hair…I remember a place my hair was spun sugar, Noel says.
We could sell spun sugar ponytails for $3.99. Cakes cool. We’re icing…icing time. Lion road edges. Smooth finish. Stem…seasonal…Stacy not right. Kate; apple from fireworks. Julia; caramel is stuck on her ladle. Stacy says do not move. Five minutes. Coming together sequence. Lots of caramel. Time is up. Time to judge. Paul and Prue…okay, let’s run through the tape for a minute. We got Yan making her cake. Not as fast as she can, but it looks tasty, oh boy. Animals of the Rainforest caramel cake. Praline forest floor. I’m ambitious. Sometimes I see it in my head, but then I gotta…I can’t hold back. James puts his cakes in the oven. He also had a coffee, I think, or tea with cream. Somebody has a watch so they can watch the time everywhere. Sophie’s trying to juggle multiple jobs.
Italian meringue, buttercream…oh, that’s what I got the handshake on, that’s…so I’m gonna do that again. Bird’s nest, caramel cake, spun sugar nest. She’s got some eggs with caramel on the inside. Say okay, you’re gonna have…are you gonna over-complicate things? Then Stacy’s also doing a lot of caramel work. Theme; the life cycle of a butterfly. Caramel-glazed coffee cake. Ode to a caterpillar. Molded sugar…that’s quite intricate. She goes well, I practiced it. Three and a half hours, bang. Just don’t fall over. Cakes are out of the oven. Some people do good, but Tom and James, not so much. So, I think they gotta redo it. Too much baking powder. Too much fruit. I don’t know. Bad cakes. So, Tom and James are trying to encourage each other. Halfway through. Eyes open wide. Okay, 300 grams of sugar.
Caramel decorations, caramel for my shards and spun sugar. Julia’s spun sugar dome, poppy seed sponge, caramelized walnuts, but her sugar crystallized on the first run. Maybe I’m not supposed to stir it. James begs his cakes, or Tom does, to be okay. Steven’s working on his caramel to make sure it’s right. Ice water bath. His is definitely looking like crown jewels. Raspberries…my second family, the Royal Family. So, Your Majesty, I present to you the crown jewels in sugar. Everybody’s trying to cool stuff and they’re starting to make their pecan…their different nuts and different things. Macadamia nut brittle, sesame seed brittle, praline…almond praline trees. Kate’s doing different colors. So is Stacy. Is that pea soup? She goes, no. Excuse me. She goes, I need a jug. Does anybody have a jug?
He goes, I found that in a bin outside. James feels like he’s back on track with his second cakes. Tom’s still not where he wants to be. Bees and flowers. Half an hour. Showstopper…nuts caramelizing, trying to get these butterflies and spun sugar, toffee apples, egg molds. Everybody’s working hard. Spun sugar’s like, patissiere chef kinda thing. Everybody’s trying to do it in different ways, spinning it in the air, spinning it over dowels, making it in their hands, like hairful of hairspray. Plumbing pipe, ladle, spinning it with…I don’t even know. It’s interesting to watch. Not my thing. That would be too messy. They’d have to do that somewhere else. But yeah, and then we joke about filling your hair in with that kinda stuff. Ponytails; $3.99. Sugar-spun ponytails. Ten minutes to go. Cakes are cool. Let’s ice them.
The icing looks…starts to look good. Things are coming together. Sophie says I could be a good plasterer. Liam’s getting his drips going. Yan…Sophie’s getting a chocolate finish on hers. Steven’s like oh boy, this has got some undercurrents. Stacy’s caramel flowed a little bit too much. Didn’t stay on the sides like Liam’s did. Kate’s making candied fireworks from spun sugar. Julia’s sugar’s stuck on her ladle. Caramel’s so bad. Everybody’s…this is total…and you don’t know how this is edited, but there’s five minutes left. Everybody’s moving, trying to get everything put together, trying to get it decorated and done. There’s gigantic glops of caramel on Yan’s cake that look delicious. They say okay, time’s almost up. Everybody’s doing their finishing touches, and time is up. Everybody’s breathing, looking.
Some people are frowning, putting their hands on their hips. We go outside. Time for the caramel…time for Paul and Prue to weigh in. So, Sophie goes. Elegant. I like the glaze. What’s not to like? The eggs, the caramel. She’s breathing deep. Thank you. Humidity kinda messed up some of the caramel ‘cause the nest was bigger, but the glaze looks good. Hazelnut…I like the hazelnut chocolate. Light buttercream like silk. Eggs are amazing, with salted caramel inside. Paul bites an entire one. Prue’s like, still, can you eat…how can you eat so much caramel? It’s a skill. James’ cake…nutty cake; too simplistic. All the extras are on the side; they’re not part of the cake. They say flavor’s lovely, wow. Caramel taste…I like the brittle. Over-mixed the sponge, though. A little rubbery. Liam goes next. Looks appetizing.
I love the drip effect. It works. Great color on the cake. Good contrast. Prue says wow, gingery, treacly, lovely. Texture’s good. You should be proud of yourself. Stacy; love the colors, love the butterflies. Wonderful. Icing on the cake’s too thin though, Paul says. It ran off. Looks slimy. Stacy almost cries. Chocolate cake texture’s perfect. My big issue is the finish. Julia goes. She’s like, shards are nice, thin. Walnuts are…she has her hands behind her back, nervous. Love the taste of the cake. Beautiful. Poppy seed works. Elegant cake. Ticked all the boxes. Yan; her cake is definitely the most showstoppery, her and Steven, I guess. Cinder toffee, caramel river, original animal print in the cake. Clever. Sponge is a little tough. Love the flavors, though. Just over-baked. Steven’s looks absolutely amazing.
Doesn’t even look like a cake; it looks like some sort of mirror-glaze, shiny…they go in, crunch it up. Looks good, but it’s dodgy, solid. Disappointed. Looks great, but the taste isn’t. Tom; spun sugar looks good, but you got a lot of flowers on here, too. It’s a caramel cake, Prue says. It should be caramel, not flowers. Prue makes this face; she goes, gluey, under-baked, no crumb. Everybody’s in shock. They must have even said harsher stuff ‘cause they…Paul says, how’d you manage to make this with the ingredients? Tom says well, normally I make cupcakes. Prue says, at least there was some passion fruit in there. They go to Kate’s cake. It’s clever, clear, bright. Love the toffee apples. Can’t wait to try it. Prue says wow when the cake comes out. Apple flavor, good and light. Beautiful, delicious.
Cream cheese frosting is good. Another level. Masterful. Sensational. Well done, very well done. Thank you. We see the ducklings outside, we see rain. Okay, what did the…table talk. What do you think of the skills? I’m impressed. Kate did well. I asked her for a recipe ‘cause I gotta know how she made it. Liam did good; spiced ginger. Tom’s in trouble. Felt for him ‘cause he just had an off day. James’ cake was dry. Didn’t put enough caramel on the cake. Sweets on the side. They say Paul, how are you feeling? You ate so much caramel. He goes yeah, I need a bag of crisps after all that. We see the rain. Everybody comes…they come outside. Everybody’s twiddling their thumbs. Well done. Caramel crusade. Star Baker…a pretty fine shortbread.
The showstopper produced a cake so banging, the judges wanted the recipe. Sent off sugar fireworks. Star Baker’s Kate. Everybody’s big smiles. Julia kisses her. Kate covers her face and laugh. Sandi says great, I get to announce who’s leaving. Somebody does have to go, and the person we’re saying goodbye to is Tom. I’m sorry. Everybody…some tears get shed. Tom gets big hugs. I’m sorry. Unlucky. He goes yeah, I mean, I had a bad day. Everyone else did good, so, I feel like it’s fair. Prue says poor Tom, he made a mess of things. Unlucky. James says I need a beer. Stacy said Liam almost made it to the top. Liam says, so close. Almost there. Kate’s very happy. I’ll be happy all week. Prue says it’s the best cake I’ve ever eaten, I think in my life. She calls her mom; hey mom, I got Star Baker. You believe it?
Her mom…that’s how the episode ended. Let’s just run down my notes, though. James; simplistic, external…not part of cake flavor. Lovely. Over-minded, rubbery. Lydia, which is…no Lydia in there. While hybrid gamer looks good drip…oh, this is Liam. Works. Great color contrast. Gingery, treacly, good. Be proud. Stacy; love colors, butterfly, icing too thin, slimy. Delicious, texture perfect, baked well. Julia; poppy seed, caramel cake. Smile, shards, nico. To thank…hands behind back. Nerves…love taste of cake. Ticked all the boxes. Yan; fantastic, original, very choice? A little tough. Love the flavors. Over-baked. Steven; like something out of Game of Thrones. So shiny. Crunch…look at that. But too stodgy. Disappointed. Tom; quite basic. Cinder price should be caramel. Centerpiece should be caramel.
Prue shakes her head on Tom. How did you take all these great…? They really are hard on him. Then Kate; so many colors. Wow. Wonderful apple flavor. Delicious. Another level. Masterful. Ducklings, rain, table talk. Best cake…asked for recipe. Tom; no good. Felt for him. Paul; feeling like he had too much sugar. Rain…wait, everybody’s sitting up straight. Noel; Star Baker. Set of sugar fireworks. Kate, Sandi, Tom, so sorry. Tears, hugs, talking heads. Totally felt for Tom. Made a mess of it. Off day. James needs a beer. Liam…oh, my days. So close. Kate has a smile. The best cake I’ve ever eaten in my life, Prue. Many…mommy cheers, and the episode comes to an end. Alright, goodnight everybody. I’ll talk to you soon.
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