Biscuit week makes even the coolest of Bake Off contestants crumble!
With opening scenes showing biscuits being dropped and gingerbread structures collapsing, we knew the second episode of The Great British Bake Off 2016 was going to be one watched with plenty of gasps. It felt a little bit like pantomime, yelling at the TV from the sofa ‘it’s going to fall over’ rather than ‘it’s behind you’!
To calm things down a bit, Sue gave us a brief history of dunking. An interlude that led us to discover that dunking dates back to the Ancient Greeks and biscuits were originally made to be dunked in alcohol – something to try at the weekend!
Here’s our round up of Biscuit Week…
The Signature Challenge
Two and a half hours to make and decorate 24 iced biscuits is hard. Even expert cookie decorators will give themselves a lot more time and would often only do intricate designs on a smaller batch. In this challenge Mary and Paul were looking for an even bake, a good texture and that perfect piping. The question that put the fear into the bakers when describing their recipes was Paul’s, ‘Will it snap?’, and climactic scenes of the challenge saw bakers panic counting biscuits!
Falling at the first hurdle, both Louise and Val dropped their bakes meaning they fell behind the other bakers. Val only managed to produce some of the 24 biscuits and although a ice bake, they weren’t very well finished. Louise managed to get all of hers out but, in Mary’s words, had ‘massive consistency issues’ with her sheep.
We were impressed by Michael’s typical student Pint shaped biscuits, and Benjamina’s attempt at bouquets of flowers on her biscuits. Kate made some intricately hand cut butterfly biscuits, impressing Mary and Paul with the delicate flavours of lavender and bergamot. Selasi made some ‘wheely good’ Hot Wheels biscuits infused with chilli and lime, and Candice pulled out all the stops by making sandwich biscuits and doubling her count to to 48! But it was Tom with his Spiced Frappelatteccino biscuits that had a good crunch, flavour and decoration. As Paul said, Tom ‘nailed it’.
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) 31 August 2016
The Technical Challenge
Viennese Whirls were Mary’s test for the bakers in this round and it looked like there had been a few sacrifices on the gingham alter by the end. It was all about getting the perfect texture for piping the biscuits in to those delicate swirls. We saw piping bags split at the hands of Rav, microwaving from Michael in an attempt to loosen the mixture (they came out flat), and even cool cucumber Selasi attempted to save his mix by re-whipping it.
Last week’s Star Baker, Jane, came second, with Kate taking the top spot! But a shock to the whole nation, Selasi took 11th place.
The Showstopper Challenge
With Louise, Val and Selasi all in trouble and Star Baker still anyone’s game, a gingerbread scene construction is definitely the best way to discover who will snap first. We loved seeing the ingenuity of the bakers in this challenge, from fairgrounds to churches, and mountains to pubs there was gingerbread of all shapes and sizes. First up was perfecting the gingerbread bake, too soft and it won’t hold upright and to hard will make it unpleasant to eat.
Rav created a ferris wheel but burnt the biscuit. Jane created a scene of hastings which tasted good, but didn’t have the snap Mary and Paul were looking for. Opting for caramel as glue, which looked more like crystallised sugar, Michael struggled with his Lapland scene. His memories of meeting Santa aged nine were not quite re-imagined as he intended, instead he created ‘Santa’s workshop from hell’.
Selasi brought himself back from the brink with his gingerbread church inspired by his childhood in Guyana. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Louise’s church. Her creation of the church she’s planning to be married in next year COMPLETELY fell apart! Maybe a bit of a bad omen? Joining Louise in the collapsing gingerbread club was Val, who ran out of time to get hers together properly and watched it topple over just after Mel told them to step away from their bakes! Sadly it was Louise that left the bake off tent this week.
Andrew building a Cambridge punting sceneSelasi brought himself back from the brink with his gingerbread church inspired by his childhood in Guyana. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Louise’s church. Her creation of the church she’s planning to be married in next year COMPLETELY fell apart! Maybe a bit of a bad omen? Joining Louise in the collapsing gingerbread club was Val, who ran out of time to get hers together properly and watched it topple over just after Mel told them to step away from their bakes! Sadly it was Louise that left the bake off tent this week.
On a happier note, Andrew showed off his engineering skills with a brilliantly executed Cambridge punting scene. However, he was pipped to the post by a proper showstopper from Candice. She recreated the pub she grew up in complete with a sticky pub ginger cake carpet, a pool table and her mum and dad behind the bar. As you may have guessed, Candice was biscuit week’s Star Baker!