Okay, so technically it was biscuit week for the second episode of The Great British Bake Off, but ‘The Way the Biscuit Crumbles’ just doesn’t really have the same ring does it?
And there was certainly a great deal of crumbling going on in the Bake Off tent, with biscuits and bakers alike crumbling under the pressure…
For the signature challenge 24 identical iced biscuits were required, with Mary and Paul desiring a good snap from each of them. This challenge was arguably an indication of how the episode would go, with some of Louise’s biscuits not even making it into the oven, while Val showed she was a follower of the five second rule, serving (what was left of) her biscuits to Mary and Paul despite them having fallen on the floor after they came out the oven.
Mary once again chose the technical challenge, and this week she wanted the bakers to produce 12 Viennese whirls with a butter cream and jam filling. While the jam and cream seemed simple for the bakers, the main challenge seemed to be the consistency of the biscuit mixture, with a few bakers having difficulty piping it onto their trays – Selasi opted to give his a further mix, Michael decided to blast his in the microwave, while Rav took up Mel’s offer of a pair of warm hands on his bag (piping bag obviously). One of the defining features of Viennese whirls is, of course, the whirl pattern, leading Benjamina, Kate and Candice to chill them in the fridge – despite this not being part of the recipe – to help them hold their shape. These actions ultimately had a knock on effect on the success of each baker’s whirl. Selasi and Micheal’s biscuits collapsing completely in the oven resulting in them taking 11th and 9th place respectively. Rav’s decision to warm his mixture using his (and Mel’s hands) meant he took 6th place. Unfortunately for Candice, she took her biscuits out just a bit too soon so only secured 8th place, but Benjamina and Kate’s decision to chill led to them being named 3rd and 1st.
The showstopper challenge was one of the most nail biting things I’ve ever watched (at one point I actually hid behind a cushion Dr Who style because of the stress). The bakers were challenged to create a 3D gingerbread story featuring eight characters and measuring at least 30cm. The bakers certainly rose to the challenge – a few ideas that stood out for me were Louise, who designed hers around her impending wedding, Candice, who re-created the pub her family lived in when she was a child, Tom, who illustrated his near death experience, and Andrew, who depicted himself going punting in Cambridge.
The pressure was well and truly on, and as the construction phase began my heart was in my mouth. Utensils were propping up bits of gingerbread up left, right and centre, and there were plenty of cries of anguish as pieces fell down. And once again, it was Louise and Val who’s creations came tumbling down – Louise’s seconds before time was up and Val’s a few moments afterwards.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Louise who was sent home this week, while Candice’s flawless gingerbread pub saw her crowned star baker.
Next week the baker’s face bread, Paul isn’t holding back…
Photos from BBC show ‘The Great British Bake Off’, no copyright infringement intended.