As the quarter-final of this year’s Great British Bake Off graced our screens, the public and bakers alike were left baffled by the obscure recipes

Once upon a Bake Off time, a simple Victoria Sponge or at a push, some macarons, would’ve been enough to get you a coveted Paul Hollywood handshake or a rare Mary Berry wink.
Oh, but not anymore! You’ll be lucky if you know how to pronounce the thing you’re making.

Related: READ what past Bake Off contestant Kate thought of this week’s episode


As for last night’s quarter-final episode of the Great British Bake Off, we nearly spit out our tea over the showstopper challenge of a Religieuse a l’ancienne. Nop. Us either.

So, here are five of the most weirdly wonderful and obscure bakes we’ve been confused by…

Religieuse a l’ancienne
When Mel and Sue described this as a tower of choux pastry and buttercream, in the shape of a NUN – yes a nun – we didn’t know whether to giggle at how bizarre that sounded or cry on behalf of the bakers. Essentially though, you know you mountains of profiteroles you sometimes get at posh dos? Well, it’s like that but with some éclairs and pretty icing on it and looks pretty swish.

But they do have to stand up a bit of a fight against gravity.

And some survive better than others…

2.) Mokatines

Pastry nuns weren’t the only thing that got us scratching our head last night though, as Mary dusted off her recipe books and got the bakers to make Mokatines for the technical challenge. Although we hadn’t a clue on what they were to start with, being teeny tiny cakes filled with coffee buttercream and not one, but TWO types of icing. We think we’ve found the new love of our life.

3.) Schichttorte

Not only do we have to be EXTRA careful while pronouncing this to make sure we don’t slip up and make a typical Bake Off-esque innuendo, but this recipe always requires us to get our calculators out. It’s a 20 layer cake. Yes, two-zero. It looks beautiful and delicious though, so if anyway want to make this thinly-layered grilled cake for us, we’d really appreciate it.

4.) Kouign amann

Last year saw the French pastry Kouign Amann cause a look of confusion on the baker’s faced. The layered pastry treat, essentially made of butter and demerara sugar, must have caught a few viewer’s eyes as a week after it was on the show, Marks and Spencers announced they were selling the traditional Brittany-based treat in their stores.

5.) Flaounas

Another pastry challenge that no only baffled the nation this year, but even Mary Berry herself hadn’t heard of the Cypriot treat. Using obscure ingredients of mastica and mehley for flavouring, Mezza B was with us on this one that Paul Hollywood was being a bit of a meanie on those bakers: ‘Well, I think that’s totally unfair.’ You tell him Mary.

Amy Lo