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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Bake Off returns to its roots with 'Cake Week'

After last week’s curveball of biscuits in week one, this week we are on more familiar territory as week two WAS cake week.  We all love a cake but the bakers were not loving the heat in the tent this week.  It does feel like the bakers now all know how to try and bribe the judges – plenty of booze was on offer. The signature challenge was a tray bake. Now that is easy, isn’t it? What could possibly go wrong? I wanted to climb into my television and bathe in the Black Forest bakes! The technical challenge was, essentially, “green”.  Pistachio and spinach in a cake. Why would you do that? It really tested the bakers and a number of them really struggled – Terry, Karen, Antony, Dan and Luke all had to start over again at various stages. Finally came the showstopper challenge for the bakers to make a chocolate collar cake on one of the hottest days of the year.  Good old bake-off.  We had inspirations ranging from Pina Colada to saris; from cats to art deco.  There were lots of tears and tantrums here with a number of the bakers failing to set their chocolate collars.  It was really interesting to see the pecking order completely change this week as the bakers needed completely different skills for the challenges this week. This is one of the great things about bake-off.


In the week of Black Forest traybakes and raw sponges the highlights were:

Well risen Victoria sponges of the week:


  • Briony created a divine tray bake even if it did look pretty awful.
  • Dan’s black forest bake was “nice and boozy” and got the first Hollywood handshake of the series. Wonderful.
  • Jon made the top gateaux vert which was, simply, lovely.
  • Dan’s chocolate collar cake looked amazing.
  • Jon’s Pina Colada cake was a real success- colourful and moist.
  • Rahul’s chocolate orange layered cake was a sight to behold and he got the first ever showstopper handshake…… with Ruby getting the second. Every piece of her cake was perfect.



Flat traybakes of the week:

  • Paul nearly threw up smelling Kim-Joy’s Pandan.
  • Luke’s tray bake was “Tough as old boots” and “sloppy” – I don’t think that was a good thing.
  • I don’t think Ruby was aiming to make her tray bake look like “a forest floor”. Woops.
  • Manon had a bland sponge.
  • Karen’s Gateaux Vert was more not-cooked-pancake greenish.
  • Terry made pudding instead of cake.
  • Ruby overcooked her gateaux vert.
  • Luke’s showstopper melted and collapsed – the fault of cream and white chocolate. It tasted OK though.
  • Terry only managed half an Eiffel tower cake, which ended up “boring”.



Sandi and Noel highlights of the week:

  • Noel dressed as Marie Antoinette – it totally suited him.
  • Noel’s haircut this week looked like it had been modelled on Michael Myres!
  • Noel was convinced Karen’s folk song was about a lady of dubious morality.



Star baker: Rahul. And how could he not with his show defining Showstopper handshake from Paul. He really did make cakes that were wonderful to look at as well as to taste.

Who left the tent: Luke. A terrible traybake and a complete disaster of a showstopper meant he just had to go this week. The scorching tent did not help him either.

Who’s for the chopping board next week?: I’ll say Terry again but it could also be Briony as she really crumbled this week. However, knowing it is bread week, it could really be anyone’s turn to go.

Contributed by Graeme Thomson-Gold


The Great British Bake Off Continues Tuesday at 8.00pm on Channel 4 

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