Koekedoor Season 2 episode 8: Trouble brewing in beer baking challenges!

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imageThere was trouble brewing for most of the remaining six contestants on Thursday evening, when the Koekedoor Season 2 episode 8 focused on beer, and its role in watching rugby at home, accompanied by beer and beer-related snacks. Craft beers were the hero of this episode.

Judge Mari-Louis Guy reminisced about listening to rugby matches on the radio, imagewith commentator Gerhard Viviers. One of the snacks which a wife would make for the rugby-mad ‘manne’ would be a beer bread, shared judge Elizabeth Cloete, and this was the first challenge set, each of the three in the episode being beer-focused.

Koekedoor PR consultant and Content Manager Errieda du Toit sent some background information about the theme for this episode: ‘It celebrates the craft beer revolution and the benefits for the
baker. Some historians hold the theory that beer brewing preceded baking of bread, and that bread arose from the brewing process. I also chose this theme as craft beer, beer tasting and matching beer and food is a much more informal experience than e.g. the more formal aspects of wine appreciation. Also SA has produced the world’s best craft beer ( Stellenbrau), and all the aromas of the Stellenbrau which stuck with me.  The informality of beer also gave us lots of license to have some fun… and Mari-Louis’ beer chippy chocolate tart with pretzel crust, served with a peanut butter ice-cream float was the result! Manly baking, fun partnering with finesse.

At this stage of the competition the contestants have developed their baker’s instinct, relying on   Their new-found  confidence to tackle the unfamiliar. The Pronkgebak challenge is very much in tune with what’s hot, happening and trendy. The history of pretzels are fascinating and we hope baking enthusiasts will enjoy this challenge as much as most of them did. Kanya would rather not see another pretzel ever again, while Wessels was in his element, making use of his bread and yeast experience’.

  1.  Tuisgebak/Home Bake

imageThe contestants were given 1½ hours to bake their beer bread. For Wessels bread baking is about kneading. He added cheese and biltong to his bread.  Corli said that she knew little about rugby before meeting her future husband, whose work has a rugby focus. She looked in the iconic recipe book ‘Kook en Geniet’ for a recipe for beer bread, and was happy to find one.  She made a corn, cheese and beer bread, and made butter with mascarpone and cream.  Kanya added Rooibos and honey to her bread, and decided to make a hot tomato and yellow pepper jam, as well as a burnt milk powder butter to eat with the bread.

Sanet added apple and feta with cider to her beer bread, and made another with blue cheese and pear, and made a salt and pepper butter. Tara decided to add fennel and cheddar cheese, while Wilandi and Corli both added bacon. Wilandi made onion marmalade, coriander butter, and liver paté to serve with the bread.  Tara had forgotten to switch imageon her oven, and had to bake her beer bread from scratch. In making her onion marmalade, she cried, saying that there must be more than a thousand remedies to prevent this when chopping onions, but none of them work!  She made a wholewheat beer bread with fennel, cheddar, biltong, and sunflower seeds.

Wessels made salt tarts alongside his bread, made with Black Label and biltong. Wessels and Corli both beat cream for longer to make butter.

imageThe judges said that Corli’s bread had a strong beer taste. Kanya’s bread had a fynbos taste, from the a rooibos tea she added. Sanet made a bread each from a lager and a cider. She did not knead them. Wessel’s bread slices were quite white when the bread was cut, and the judges said that it meant that no eggs had been added.  His salt tarts were said to be a winner.

2.  Fyngebak/Advanced Technique Challenge

The second challenge was to make a Beer Chip imageTart, for which 3 hours was allocated, as well as a peanut butter ice cream Milk Stout float. Each contestant was given a pack of ingredients to prepare this challenge, as well as a recipe, but the contestants did not see the final preparation before they had completed their own tarts. The pack of ingredients included beer, nuts, curry powder, chocolate, chips, cornflakes, and more. Wessels used curry and peri peri in his preparation.

The tart had a smoked beef chip crust, and a chocolate and stout filling. The challenge included making a Chakalaka flavored nuts, homemade peanut butter, ice cream, and a beer stout float.

Kanya said that she felt like being on the Titanic, the ship about to set sails. She complained about the sweet taste of the ice cream, and decided to add a little salt to temper the sweetness. Sanet was unsure when to take her tart out of the oven. There was a lot of running between the work stations and the fridges.

imageWessels’ tart was judged to be the best decorated, and judge Mari-Louis Guy said she wished that she had used his simple method of decorating the tart with pretzels around the edge. Tara’s tart had baked for too long. Kanya’s tart had received too much heat. Wilandi’s flavored nuts were judged to be good, was her Stout a Beer. Sanet was said by the judges to look unsure during the preparation of her tart. The tart did not set, and judge Elizabeth said that she must have used too few eggs, or imageadded too much beer.

Corli was praised for her Beer Chip Tart, described as being perfect. Her flavored nuts were praised too. The judges spoke amongst themselves, saying that the contestants did not realize that an oven loses 40% of its heat when the door is opened.

Errieda sent the following note for this episode: ‘Hi Chris, for this series we had a very accomplished baker on set who tested the Fyngebak recipes designed by Mari-Louis, ensuring that it can be baked in the time and competition conditions. Christine Capendale enjoys a moment behind the scenes with the Beer tent’s fyngebak she made according to Mari-Louis’s recipe. A chocolate beertart with a Simba chips crust and a beer and peanut butter ice cream shake, with chakalaka spiced beer nuts on the side. Most unusual ingredients for Koekedoor, where everything is made from scratch and Simba chips beef flavoured is the last thing to expect. But when Mari-Louis is involved, expect next level baking, on trend and always delicious’.

3.  Pronkgebak/Flaunt It Challenge

The challenge was to bake nine pretzels each, ‘paired’ with a specific beer. A dipping sauce had to be prepared too. It was a difficult challenge, as none of the contestants had ever baked pretzels before.

Each imagecontestant received a beer from a box, Kanya being allowed to choose one first, in having won the previous episode. Corli was chuffed that she was given a pumpkin-based beer, given that her daughter’s nickname is ‘Pampoen’. She made Pumpkin Parade Pretzels, the filling made with butternut, feta, maple syrup, and pumpkin spices. This she served with toasted pecan and
pumpkin butter, a pumpkin cheesecake dipping sauce, as well as pecan pumpkin chutney.

Sanet initially appeared challenged with the flavours in her banana beer, and had hoped to get the Darling Brew (which I was fortunate to try some flavours of at #FirstThursday two days ago), which is made in the West Coast town of Darling, close to her home town. She made ‘Piesang Paraat Pretzels’, which she served with banana chutney and cinnamon dipping sauce made with natural yoghurt, cloves, cinnamon, and honey. She created flavour sprinkles of banana (having first bruleed them, and then dried them in the oven until crisp), rum, walnuts, pimento, and salt flakes.

Wessels was a gentleman on the set, helping Tara to open her bottle of beer. Tara made Bone Crusher pretzels with grapefruit glaze and grapefruit salt, and as a dip she made a mascarpone and caper ‘butter’ flavoured with lemon zest and wasabi.

Kanya had chosen a coffee based Black River Coffee Stout, and chocolate and orange would be a perfect match.  She made ‘unani’ Persian Pretzels, unani being an ancient practice of balancing ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ flavour profiles.  She sprinkled the pretzel dough with coffee and star anise, and others with a blend of rose petals, coffee and orange salt. Her dip was a beer, spices and rose chocolate fondue. Koekedoor 8 WilandiShe also made a roasted camembert in vine leaves as a warm dip.

Wilandi made Purper (dark purple) Pepper Pretzels. Her focus was on beetroot and dark chocolate to enhance the flavours of the Jack Black Butchers Block Pale Ale. Her sauce was a beetroot puree with dark chocolate, flavoured with aniseed, nutmeg, cumin, and cloves, coriander, and rooibos. Her flavour sprinkles baked into the pretzels included toasted  pepper, aniseed, and coriander. She also made oven-baked beetroot chips, some of which were ground and added to the dough, and the rest was served salted with the pretzels dipped in the beetroot choc dip.

Wessels said that he has never baked for a living, and would love to bake all day if he could. He selected Southern Right Ale, referring to a Southern Right whale, saying that it had swum to Cape Town, and gave his pretzels a Bo-Kaap flavour. The beer has pronounced spice, with tropical and caramel aromas. He named his creation ‘Walvisdraai Koekedoor 8 WesselsPretzels’ (Turn of the Whale, or also Dance of the Whale, as ‘draai’ has different meanings in Afrikaans). He added honey, warm chai rooibos tea, and beer to his dough and glazed it with honey, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.  He made a buttery ale caramel dipping sauce, a fresh tropical fruit yogurt dip, a three-mustard and honey dip, and a peanut butter and chili beer sauce.

Wessels’ pretzels were judged to be of a bakery standard, as were Wilandi’s. Tara’s sauce was judged to be too thick, while Kanya had used too small a pot, restricting the size of her pretzels. Sanet’s pretzels were judged to be neatly made, being soft and crisp where they should be.

While waiting for the judges’ feedback, Wessels said that he felt that all had done well in this episode. The judges said that Wessels is a good general baker, and was named the winner of the episode. Wilandi was praised too, being told that she had her rhythm back. Corli also went into the top three.

The bottom three were Kanya, receiving feedback that she should not change recipes; Sanet, for losing focus; and Tara was told that baking is like a sport practice, needing dedication.  It was Tara who was sent home. Wessels was sad to say goodbye to her, saying that she is a small person with a big heart.

Koekedoor, kykNET, channel 144 on DStv. Thursdays 20h30 – 21h30. www.kyknet.dstv.com Twitter: @Koekedoor @kykNETtv

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog  Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

 

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