Cape Town – Amateur baker Shainaaz Kariem showed that the proof is indeed in the pudding on The Great SA Bake Off this week.
After spending consecutive weeks at the bottom of the competition the 41-year-old client care representative took the star baker title after three rounds of intense dessert making.
We had a quick chat to Shainaaz about her win, how to make the perfect choux pastry and how she finally got the jiggle right.
Channel24:After having difficulties with the other challenges in previous weeks, how did you stay motivated?
Shainaaz:I guess I am someone who just believes in myself and has an attitude to persevere. But I also drew strength from my family and friends who always encourage and motivate me to never give up and always try my best. The group of amazing bakers in the competition was also there to keep your spirits up and keep you going. We were more of a family than fellow competitors.Channel24:How confident were you going into dessert week?
Shainaaz:I was pretty confident as I always enjoy making desserts. I just stuck to what I know and my instinct. I must confess though I am always nervous for the technical as you never know what gets dished up on the day.
Channel24:What were some of the difficulties you faced with the challenges this week?
Shainaaz:Every challenge is difficult as you definitely outside your comfort zone. For my cheesecake round I wanted it to be done in time as we were not allocated a lot of time. I did not want the cheesecake to be dry. For the technical I was glad I had some know how. I make a milk tart which consistency is similar to a crème caramel. So that helped me with that challenge. And for the showstopper it is always a case of timing for me. Getting all my elements ready and having no hiccups along the way.Channel24:What are some of your top choux pastry tips?
Shainaaz:- Most choux pastry use water but try using half water and half full cream milk in your recipe.- Have your baking pan greased and sprinkle some water on the pan before forming your choux buns. This creates some steam which aids with drying out of your choux bun when baking.- Always ensure your water/ milk and butter comes to a rolling boil before adding the flour.- I like to use a hand mixer when I add the egg to the pastry. Less elbow grease than using a wooden spoon.
Channel24:Have you tried making a crème caramel again? And what were the results?
Shainaaz:Yes I have and this time round is was less of a blonde and more like brunette. It had way more flavour as my caramel came out better... and yes Tjaart would have been impressed with the wobbling bits.
Tune in for more baking drama Tuesdays at 20:00 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174).(Photos: BBC)
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