Over the past couple of weeks, the world has been inspired to take up sports thanks to the Olympics, but now Great Britain will once again be drawn to spatulas and cake tins as The Great British Bake Off burst back onto our screens yesterday evening.
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood returned to put twelve more bakers through their paces, while Mel and Sue were back with a number of puns to keep us entertained.
And what was on the agenda for week one? Cake
Starting off simple and classic, the first signature task of the series was a drizzle cake. As expected there were many lemons about, along with some surprises such as gin and tonic from Tom, which gave me possibly the highlight of the episode when both Paul and Sue’s eyes nearly popped out of their heads during tasting.
This first challenge also gave you the first chance to get to know the contestants, including cool as a cucumber Selasi who is one of the most laid back contestants I think I’ve every seen on the show (a stark contrast with the panic we would see later on), and Val who likes to do exercise while baking, and has a unique way of checking the progress of her creations… Listening to them to see if they’re ready.
The technical task was Mary’s choice and she chose jaffa cakes. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of jaffa cakes but I like to think that if I was asked to make them I’d have a decent shot. What I didn’t expect was to see so many of the bakers struggling to figure out how big they should make the jelly discs or which way up they should have their cakes. And if that wasn’t enough Andrew not only constructed his jaffa cakes upside down, but would have served them upside down too if it hadn’t been for Lousie telling him they were the wrong way up as he was plating up.
And finally the big one, the showstopper – a mirror glaze genoise cake, a task which saw nearly every baker throw their first cake attempts away – quite literally in Candice’s case, as Paul encouraged her to throw hers out the window – and start again. It was this task that saw the first tears of the series, as Benjamina grew frustrated with the her cake and Candice weep in disappointment when Paul and Mary confirmed what she already knew, her second attempt hadn’t been successful.
After the first weekend it was Jane who was named star baker thanks to her fabulous drizzle cake and shiny mirror glaze, while unfortunately Lee, the oldest baker in the tent, was sent home.
Next week, biscuits…
Photos from BBC show ‘The Great British Bake Off’, no copyright infringement intended.