One of the contestants in this year’s season of The Great British Baking Show is a left below-knee amputee named Marc Elliott. We’re tracking his progress through the season, while sharing favorite recipes from limb-different bakers in the Amplitude community.
It was another strong showing for Marc during Episode 7 (Eighties Week). For the second straight episode, he excelled in the Technical Challenge and drew unreserved praise for his Showstopper, a beautifully executed ice cream cake that was prepared on one of the hottest days of the summer. We also learned a bit about what Marc was up to back in the Eighties: a) learning to drive; b) listening to New Wave bands like Depeche Mode and Altered Images.
He steams into the quarterfinals with a lot of momentum, one of just five bakers remaining. Next week’s theme: desserts.
This Week’s Recipe: Espresso Martini Madeleines
Because we’re so new to the Great British Bake Off, we had no idea that another limb-different baker competed just two years ago. And competed very well, at that: Briony May Williams lasted all the way to the semifinals, then came back last year and took first place in the annual Christmas Bake Off. She’s now one of the presenters on Food Unwrapped, a sort of culinary version of Mythbusters that explores food science, production, and marketing. You can watch the show stateside on Hulu.
Williams was born with congenital upper-limb difference—a “little hand,” as she calls it, akin to Alexis Hillyard of Stump Kitchen. On the Bake Off she insisted on being judged by the same standards as the other contestants, earning kudos for refusing the producers’ offer of special equipment to help her execute the competition’s rigorous challenges.
“[T]hey asked if I needed any extra help, and I said no,” Williams told Disability Horizons earlier this year. “There should be more people representing disability on TV without us always having to talk about it. From disabled actors to presenters, we shouldn’t have to focus on it or a disability topic. It should just be natural that we’re there.”
We’re sharing a recipe Williams baked in the semifinal round of Season 9. (The original is available at the Bake Off‘s website.) You can follow Williams’ adventures in eating on Instagram @brionymaybakes and on Twitter.
95g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tbsp coffee liqueur
90g golden caster sugar (white caster/superfine sugar is the closest U.S. equivalent)
90g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate (70%), broken into small pieces
12 coffee beans, smashed into fine pieces
Edible gold lustre spray
1) Heat oven to 425°F.
2) Melt butter in microwave for 40 seconds. Use 5g butter to brush tray. Dust with flour, then chill tray in the freezer. Set remaining butter aside.
3) Whisk eggs and coffee liqueur using stand mixer on high speed for 2 minutes, until mixture is thick and foamy.
4) Add sugar and whisk for another 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick enough to form ribbon trail when you lift whisk.
5) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, then sift one-fourth of combined ingredients over egg mixture and gently fold in. Gently fold in remaining flour, then fold in cooled, melted butter and mix until completely combined.
6) Spoon batter evenly into the madeleine tray and freeze for 5 minutes.
7) Bake madeleines for 8 minutes, until risen and just golden brown at the edges. Cool in tray for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
8) Meanwhile, make the decoration. Place chocolate in small glass bowl and microwave in short 20-second bursts for about 2 minutes, until melted.
9) Once sponges are cool, dip scalloped edge of each madeleine into melted chocolate. Return to cooling rack and sprinkle on crushed coffee beans.
10) Place in fridge to set, then spray chocolate with gold lustre before serving.
Previous Amputee Bake Off recipes:
Excel Sponge Cake by Aver Cakes and Pastries
Moroccan Yogurt Pound Cake by RonyRon
Chocolate Eclair Cake by Angie Heuser
Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup by Broken Breadhaus
Very Carroty Carrot Cake by @cy_eats
Lemon-meringue Pie by Stump Kitchen