The Great British Bake Off: 11.02 Biscuit Week
Forget the outside world, if you can. For ninety minutes there is innuendo to snigger at, baking mishaps to cringe at and hopefully some biscuits this week.
First up, a set of 36 Chocolate Florentines with just the right amount of snap. As ever, the functionality of the bake was secondary to the range of outlandish flavours the contestants could conjure up. Dave, Mak and Mark (with his LARGE macadamia nuts) all went for mango though Hermine initially wished she went for something less stressful as hers simply refused to come out, looked rushed and were too chewy. Another with a slight regret was Laura who might have wished she’d gone for dark chocolate for her salted caramel batch.
Just like last week, Rowan went big with candied orange, cherries and raspberries then decorated them with waistcoats in the sort of over-elaborate twist we’ve come to expect from him already. Shame they were under-baked. Sura arguably went further and incorporated saffron and rose water with hers and even had time to brew up some cardamom tea. Again, no snap. Marc opted for ginger, cherry and pistachio; though delicious, there was no snap.
Star Baker Peter impressed again with his Sticky Toffee Pudding flavoured batch. Linda failed to include any texture and hers were not even classed as florentines, at least there was a snap. The mango in Mak’s was at least chewable and though the cumin was intriguing his were not considered florentines either. Then it was Lottie whose ginger and sour cherry variations were faultless and with that admission the first Hollywood Handshake was out (don’t worry folks, they’ve been in a contained bubble).
Coconut Macaroons are complicated enough but throw in a mango curd with some rice paper cut outs and the Technical Challenge suddenly became a whole lot more precarious. Rowan was last for his uneven and under-baked batch then Peter followed by Dave for their anaemic looking efforts. Third was Mak, second was Mark and first place went to Dave.
Has there been a mandate for 3D sculptures this season? This week it’s a 3D Biscuit Table Setting, basically a giant biscuit in which a scene is set. When Paul Hollywood calls it ‘tricky’ you know they are in for a mind-boggling afternoon of panic.
Both Dave with his ‘Waiting For Tacos’ set and Linda with her shortbread teapot impressed by the sheer daintiness of their creations. The cranachan in Peter’s Biscuit Burns Supper was as delicious as the surrounding gingerbread. Rowan even provided a working Lemon Biscuit Lighthouse.
For the sheer noir of their sets there was Mark, who may have involved too much caffeine in his Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and Lottie whose love of Viking Rock showed with a gingerbread Longboat and goblet. Laura’s tea set was lofty but disappointing and Marc’s scene was a bit more solitary, of simple Morning Coffee ‘n’ Toast for one in a bold Roger Hargreaves Mr. Men and Little Miss/Simpsons-esque fuschia and yellow colour scheme.
Finally, there was the Battle of the Gingerbread Teapots. There was Hermine whose had a Japanese Sakura theme and Sura’s slightly rushed Ramadan tea set. Alas, Mak with his rustic flatpack disappointed and he was next to leave the bubble.
Next week, bread.