Well, what a great advert for Boulangerie Jade! Christophe (owner) and Joshua (pastry chef) did us proud on ITV1’s ‘Britain’s Best Bakery’ on Tuesday (catch it on itvplayer). SPOILER ALERT: the result is in the final para!
Up against Chiswick’s Outsider Tart and Haringay’s Yasher Hallim(?) Jade excelled. The first round of signature dishes saw judges Peter Sidwell and Mitch Turner claim that Jade’s Croquem bouche (‘crunch in the mouth’) pastry tower, whilst “impressive”, was not “memorable” enough. Unlike a cheesecake (I’m always disappointed by lack of stilton) from Tart and flaounes (stuffed bread) from Yasher… Clearly a classic yet challenging bakery dish done exceptionally well is not ‘sexy’ enough for ITV’s X-bakery on ice in the jungle. Obviously this Radical is not biased – although getting hungry.
Round Two was a ‘wild card’ challenge requiring the bakers to be imaginative with flakey pastry and ricotta. Yasher got the pastry wrong and Tart the cheese wrong. All of a sudden a classic bakery, without a silly name, “nailed it” in Peter’s words with a Corne D’Aboudance (horn of plenty (titter)). The cornetto-esque flakey pastry was filled with honey, whipping cream, chopped pistachios, white chocolate and the ricotta. Jade won the round by a mile.
The final challenge was to bake 13 orange Viennese biscuits. Jade opted for a traditional finger biscuit where Tart and Yasher went for less traditional offerings. The judges had taken against ‘traditional’ in the first round so a risky strategy by Jade. Yasher was deemed to have won the round with a “refined, wonderful” biscuit. Tart’s was good. From Jade the judges (as feared) wanted something more than traditional and felt that the biscuit was slightly over-done and the flavour not balanced enough.
So, Tart won the first round, Jade the second, and Yasher the third. The winner was… Outsider Tart. But Jade was certainly not a loser. The team came across as knowledgeable and experienced, producing high quality food that everyone can enjoy. Just the sort of bakery we want. Now, the big question: will Corne D’Abundance be featuring anytime soon?