The Great British Bake-Off: 6.01 Cake Week
The Great British Bake Off is back and a new batch of 12 amateur bakers face the withering looks of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. May the cakes be moist and the innuendo flow.
Their first task was simple enough; a Madeira Cake in two hours with Mary hoping that they kept close to the classic recipe. Of course, the next shot is of a bunch of thyme belonging to Ugne, the Lithuanian bodybuilder. Full-time Mum, Nadiya, opted for green cardamom, Ian combined ginger and lime with a coconut batter while Mat included a gin and tonic glaze. Largely, all four got away with their twists aside from Mary being unable to taste the seven shots of gin in Mat's glaze. Then there was hipster Stu who went too far with his indoor hat wearing and his chocolate with lime combination.
Another variation was to add fruit. Alvin added figs while Sandy added chopped apricots to varying degrees of success. Trainee anaesthetist, Tamal, brought in a work prop and injected rose syrup into his bake which went down a treat. Talking of work, do the inmates at the prison where Paul is a governor realise that he does sugarcraft? They do now.
Three went down the tried and tested 'traditional road'. Dorret is an accountant and her cake was straightforward enough, as Paul remarked that it was 'proper' but 'quite bland'. At 19, Flora should be blessed with time yet she looked understandably nervous worrying if her blood orange variation had enough minutes in the oven. However, proving that no frills can be the way forward, grandmother Marie had enough time to wash and dry her pans as well as bake a 'lovely' and 'perfect' cake.
The technical challenge is notoriously the sneaky task where a set of directions seems to offer more questions than answers. Oven temperatures are set out but not the baking times and the size of a chopped nut becomes a major issue. So while a walnut cake sounds simple contestants were caught out by simple mistakes.
The round also leaves room for showing off or being made to look stupid. Nadiya left her sides uncovered and one of Alvin's layers was wonky (yet Paul actually praised their evenness). There was also the delicious moment of a look of incredulous disgust from Marie at Ugne's sugarwork which went some way to the bodybuilder winning this challenge while Alvin scored second.
A showstopping Black Forest Gateau would separate the aces from the amateurs. Flora's tall, pink and cherry effort looked sublime, Ugne's was theatrical while Ian's tempered chocolate elephants brought a smirk. Marie's tall chocolate trees confirmed her as head and shoulders above the rest as the week's star baker. Alas, someone had to go and there was a case of deja vu as Dorret's chocolate mousse oozed and collapsed her gateau into a gloppy mess. Tears were on their way but unlike Iain in the last series she would remain to bravely present hers before being rewarded with the 'good cop, bad cop' routine. Stu had been on borrowed time since his ill-fated rum and lime glaze left Paul picking his teeth and his lack of tempered chocolate sealed his fate.