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  • Katie Home Cook

Britain's Best Home Cook, Chocolate Week

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

All pictures from BBC iPlayer.

I thought last week was tough but it was nothing compared to this week!Since the start of the competition I had really been hoping to get to Chocolate Week, I never thought I would make it past the first week so being in the fifth week felt like a dream. I wanted to demonstrate my baking skills, I love to bake! As much as I love cooking, it can sometimes be a chore, which I have to do every day to feed my family, but baking is pure passion.We had 2 ½ hours to complete the challenge so the dish I chose couldn’t be simple, I knew I wanted to show off my choux pastry, most of my friends and family love it when I make profiteroles. But I also wanted to make something more exciting, something you might not see every day, so I thought about making a chocolate bombe, but neither of these choices took long enough!After a lot of thinking I decided that instead of making one dessert I would make 3, in my three favourite chocolate combos, chocolate orange, black forest and mint chocolate.Trevor was super excited to have made it through to chocolate week as well, the first day in the BBHC house we had confided in one another that we really wanted to show the judges our Chocolate Ultimate. I woke up on the day of the first challenge, bright and early again, but for once I didn’t feel nervous, I was looking forward to baking and showing the judges what I was capable of, I knew I could get the flavour combinations right, but could I get everything done on time?

Claudia was there to welcome us into the kitchen as always, with her lovely smile, the huddle is considerably smaller than when we started, the kitchen is starting to feel quite empty. Mary, Dan and Chris stroll in, Mary is looking phenomenal, but in white? What a lady… I could never eat all that chocolate in white, my husband always says if I’m wearing white I’m destined to spill food down my front! And he’s right!

You can tell when I'm concentrating... My tongue comes out!

We set off and start cooking, I know that I need to get my Genoese sponge in the oven within about 10 mins and that I need to make my mousse , get it in the mould and the cake on top and then all in the freezer within the first 30 mins or the mousse won’t set for the mirror glaze. I don’t like using gelatine in my mousse, I think it affects the texture and makes it spongey, but that left me strapped for time!I’ve got a new bench buddy today, Pippa, it’s interesting watching her cook because her cooking style is so different to mine, it’s like watching a chef in a professional kitchen.

I get the mousse in the freezer in record time, then I’m onto the pastry, I have a lot of processes and techniques to get right! I decided to make a chocolate orange pastry, I love orange sweet short crust pastry, I make it every year for my mince pies, but adding the chocolate came with its own set of issues because it is difficult to tell when the pastry is cooked. Also the pastry has to be chilled once made and then chilled again once it’s in the pastry cases.

I also need to get on and make the choux pastry, I love making choux pastry, but at home my profiteroles are often huge and all different sizes. I brought my macaroon mat with me to make sure that my profiteroles were all the same size and teeny tiny! I decided to fill them with a coffee flavoured crème patisserie and dip them in a mint flavoured chocolate. Who doesn’t like an after eight and a coffee?

Everything was going really well but I left making my mirror glaze a little late and then the unthinkable happens… I burn it! I have time to make it again, but then it was too hot and I’m seriously running out of time. I stick it in the freezer, in the last few minutes I pour it over the bombes and it’s too thin, they’re ruined. If you watch the episode closely you can just see my face and me shaking my head. I carry on and finish them with the gold glitter, but I was distraught, the others console me, but I was gutted! During judging I couldn’t actually face tasting any of the other’s food because I was so upset, my tummy felt like a big bag of rocks.

Tobi’s pudding was a Chocolate Charlotte… it wouldn’t look out of place in a French patisserie shop front.

Trevor has some pretty harsh feedback on his dessert with Chris saying that it tastes like “disinfectant”!! My heart went out to him, but afterwards he said that it didn’t matter he was happy with the dessert he put out and he would make it again. I’m just gutted I didn’t try it but he has promised he will make it for me next time I visit him.

Phillip made his take on a Black Forest Gateaux and yet again he split the judges, it did look very fancy!

Dipa’s dish looked amazing and I liked that she had used white, milk and dark chocolate with tropical flavours, again I wish I had tried it, but I was so upset because of my glaze I just couldn’t, why did I have to be last today of all days!

It was my turn, I was dreading the comments, I felt sure the first thing they would ask was what had happened to my mirror glaze. Mary compliments the flavour and the texture of my bombe, Dan even compliments my use of the alcohol. Then he asks me “Are they cocoa nubs on the outside of the bombe” well I have to be honest, I explain that is the mirror glaze which hasn’t worked properly, to my amazement, he says he wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t have said (also I didn’t know what a cocoa nub was!) All three judges like my chocolate orange tart and Mary really likes my little profiteroles, I’m just glad that the mirror glaze didn’t ruin the whole dish.

We’re straight onto the judges’ favourites, and Chris chooses me!! I’m extra chuffed because now all three judges have chosen me as favourite and 3 of my 5 Ultimate’s have been chosen!! I should start feeling a little bit more confident now, but somehow I still feel like the same as the first day I walked into the house… Am I in the right room??

Dan and Mary both chose Tobi, and we get to choose the ingredient for the next day, its tofu or… (Well in my mind I have already chosen the other ingredient, I have never cooked with tofu and don’t want to start now)… aubergine! Yes, I can make a moussaka. Tobi was agreeable and everyone else was relieved! By the time we got back to the house we both knew what we were going to be making so no research for us. After tea all the others drifted off to bed for an early night, as I think I’ve said before Trevor and I would stay up late nattering in his bed most nights. On this particular night we put facemasks on in bed, we couldn’t stop laughing, but don’t ask Trevor to put your face mask on, he has very rough hands… well he is a farmer!!

We had such fun as we always did, but it was tinged with sadness that night because Trevor was really worried that he would be cooking again and possibly be going home, and I was worried that he was right. First thing the next morning I was up bright and early… again I was feeling quite upbeat, not really nervous. I had decided that I had done myself and Wales proud no matter what, and now was the time for me to just enjoy cooking.

We had an hour to make one aubergine dish, I got stuck into making my moussaka straight away, I had decided that I would put it in a ring, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as the crumble again, I had learnt that looks mattered. Once I started I realised how much time it would take to make this moussaka properly… had I made a mistake? Would the aubergine be cooked through and not watery?

I had one major hiccup, I kept burning my pine nuts… I was so busy with other things I just kept taking my eye off them!!

Today I was first to be judged, and I was a bit worried that the judges would be fed up of me always going for the most obvious choice, I hoped the use of the ring and the addition of mushrooms would be enough to impress. Thankfully the judges enjoyed the flavour and Mary was impressed that I got it out of the ring!

Dipa made aubergine roll ups, delicately spiced and beautifully cooked, I really enjoyed the dish. I might have to give them a go instead of moussaka! I’ll see how many aubergines, Alan’s mother grows this year on the allotment.

Tobi made a pasta, soup dish inside the large aubergine which he hollowed out and roasted. The judges didn’t seem to like it, I thought it was an odd choice, especially packing it back inside the aubergine!

Pippa made an aubergine Thai curry and flatbreads, it looked gorgeous, such bright colours and I just love Thai curry!

Trevor made tapas and actually made two dishes, both tasted delicious, but I was especially taken with the deep fat fried aubergines, he really is a fabulous cook, I really hoped he had done enough to save himself

Philip also made aubergine roll ups, it had a wonderful crunchy topping.

It was a long wait for the judges to make their decision, I felt sick, I would rather have gone home myself than to see Trevor go home… when were called back into the kitchen there were only 3 stools and now I am certain Trevor will be cooking again!

Dan tells us that all the ladies are safe, I should be pleased but I’m so worried, I tell Trevor “You better not go home”. We then have to sit and watch them cooking, what’s quite interesting is that each of us ladies that are safe are closer to one of the boys than the other. Trevor and I, Pippa and Tobi and Dipa and Philip. It’s going to be rough no matter who leaves.

It’s time for the silent tasting, and the three dishes look so different, it’s anyone’s game, I don’t want any of them to lose but I have no idea how I will cope if I lose Trevor!! We’re all sitting around after the tasting and Trevor is still making me laugh, then the judges come out. Its time!

Dan announced that Trevor is going to be leaving! (It’s so silly, I cried so hard when he left and again last Thursday watching the show and again now writing this, it was such an immersive experience and we bonded together so strongly!)

I can’t really say much more about Trevor leaving the kitchen, other than he made us laugh right up until the end. I was very lucky to be able to ride in the car back to the BBHC house with Trevor, so he could collect his car, I held his arm the whole way and I made him promise to be my gay husband forever!When we got to the house, everyone said goodbye and the others went inside the house, but I stood there for such a long time, I couldn’t bear to go back inside without him. Trevor was already in the house when I arrived and he had made the experience for me, having Trevor as a friend had made it easier for me to be away from Alan and the kids. Eventually he told me I was being “weird”, and I went inside and he drove home.That night in honour of Trevor we had lots of alcoholic beverages, loads of sushi takeaway and played RuPaul songs on full volume while having a dance off and catwalk walk off in the kitchen, as much fun as I had with the others, it wasn’t the same without him.Trevor is one of those special people that comes into your life and makes it that little bit better, he’s never ever judgemental and quick to do anything for anyone, I wish he knew how special he is. I’m sure when he reads this he will think that I am being a drama queen, as I’ve already met up with him a bunch of times since!!

Love you Trevor, you are and always will be fab-U-lous!!

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