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Bake Off Bake Along Week 7 Roundup & Week 8 | Patisserie

We made it! We all made it through the nightmare that was Victorian week. I genuinely thought I was going to pass out from fear at tackling one of those bakes, and then pass out from boredom when actually baking my choice of tennis cake. Still it went down a right treat at work, and was worth all the compliments, even after nearly breaking my arm carrying it to work (such a heavy cake) as well as surviving the torrential downpour that morning and a nice rush-hour crush, being winded by my own cake box. Thumbs up all round eh?

Before I get onto this week's bake, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing, we've picked our favourites for last week - and what a bunch of stars you all are!



So without further ado, below are the fabulous favourites of Victorian week, a big fat round of applause to:

Sophie and her stunning game pie, Cate and her excellently on-point tennis cake and Kat and her perfect looking Charlotte Russe - congratulations ladies, you absolutely smashed it! But I do still think we all deserve a pat on the back because that was a TOUGH week.

As always, don't forget to link up your bakes at the bottom of this post! We announced some pretty awesome prizes for the end of the series last week from House of Fraser and Dr Oetker, there's still time to get involved! You can find out more info about the prizes here.And on we go... Even though I was pleased with last week's cake I didn't exactly stick to the brief. However this week, I really feel like I've got my baking mojo back. Just as a side note, despite what the photos show, I did actually make 16 religieuse (I doubled the recipe) and believe it or not, they all turned out pretty fab, if a little mishapen.Ok so I've made choux pastry a couple of times before, but hands down this has been my best ever attempt. I used this recipe for the whole lot, instead of mixing and matching elements, and I'm so impressed with Mary's choux instructions that I don't think I'll ever make it any other way again. I know you can only really make choux one way but I'm sure I've done it differently before, and the pastry didn't cook that well or taste that nice, whereas these choux buns rose amazingly and taste pretty darn good as well.The only thing I struggled with ever so slightly was the creme patissiere. In the recipe it says after mixing the milk with the egg/sugar/flour mixture you only need to heat and whisk for a minute, which is quite clearly not the case, you really need to keep going until it properly thickens, and this process took me a good 10-15 mins, not the 'one minute' quoted in the recipe, UNLESS I did something wrong beforehand, but I don't think I did because it looks like custard and tastes like custard.HOWEVER, I did decide to add some instant coffee when infusing the milk, so the creme pat has a lovely subtle but complimentary milky coffee taste which makes the religieuse a little different, but nothing too outrageous.Doing this challenge, as messy as it was has actually made me feel a lot better about my baking skills - I was starting to feel a little bummed out by how many fails had happened so far during this year's bake along, and has also confirmed my pastry ability - I'm starting to get quite good at it.Needless to say these things taste absolutely heavenly, and are as one of my housemates put it, 'profiteroles on crack'. They're so indulgent but HEY! How often does anyone make choux pastry? I definitely think if I was ever to go on Come Dine With Me, I'd serve these for dessert because they give the wow factor, although I'm not sure I could just stop at one.An InLinkz Link-up