The Great British Bake Off – Episode 2

Here we are for week two.  We have lost Lee and Jane has star baker under her belt.

This week the contestants are making biscuits.  I love baking biscuits but I’ve made a gingerbread house (very primitive) but I know how difficult it is to make biscuit structures.

The signature challenge is to make 24 iced biscuits which should be ‘as crisp as Paul Hollywood’s hair’.

Louise is making sheep biscuits.  She tells Paul that they are a soft biscuit and not crunchy.  Paul looks rather disappointed!

Val is making Neapolitan ice cream shortbreads.  I love shortbread!  So tasty but so bad for you!!

Andrew’s Dad won a shortbread competition in the 70’s so he should have a nice recipe!

Kate is making bergamot and lavender biscuits – that sounds disgusting.  I hate things that taste like perfume and these sound like they would taste very much like perfume!

Selasi is making chilli biscuits.  Those are my favourite so far!  I make chilli and cheese biscuits and they are gorgeous so I imagine them to taste like those.

If Benjamina can ice her biscuits as she plans then her bunches of flowers should look beautiful.

Rav is making coconut and lime biscuits.  I can’t stand coconut, it’s just this vile foodstuff that you can chew forever.

Louise drops her biscuits as she goes to put them in the oven.  It’s the stress – the more careful and calm you try to be, the worse things usually turn out.  This is where Selasi seems to have an advantage because he hasn’t looked stressed at all so far.

Candice decides to make double layered biscuits.  Mel addresses the lipstick issue and asks if she’ll be wearing a different shade each week.  Candice says that she will.  At least the pink this week is less distracting than last weeks black shade.

Val drops a load of biscuits on the floor and wonders whether she can serve them – urm, no Val, they’ve been on the floor where everyone’s walking about in outdoor shoes!

While everyone’s panicking to get their icing finished Selasi is just eating biscuits and helping the others serve theirs.  This is what I love about Bake Off, they are in competition but they are willing to help each other, it’s really nice to see.

Michael’s biscuits look really good.  The icing of little beer mugs are all so very similar.  That’s a really great job.

Benjamina’s biscuits do look really lovely and the judges say that they taste good as well.

Candice is told that her biscuits look hideous but taste amazing.  Selasi’s biscuits are a hit with the judges, I might look and see if his recipe is available.  Tom’s biscuits are obviously good as he gets the famous Paul Hollywood handshake!

Not sure why the programme does the boring ‘history of’ bit in the programme but it gave me a couple of minutes to close my blinds, put the light on and get a drink!!

The technical challenge is one of Mary’s recipes.  The bakers are making 12 Viennese whirls.  Oh wow!!  Now these really are my favourite!  I used to get huge Vienesse whirls from Forfars many years ago until they started plastering nut allergy warnings all over them.  I have made them myself and they are not easy to make.  I wouldn’t fancy making them in an hour and a half.  They do melt in the mouth though and if you fancy a challenge then give them a try.

The ‘warm hands on your bag’ moment comes along when Rav is having trouble piping his biscuits.  Mel also asks him why it’s so stiff.  So many opportunities for innuendo bingo in this programme!

Selasi is having his first nightmare with crumbling biscuits that are disintegrating: he’s not the only one though and there are a few people having problems.

Benjamina’s biscuits looks really good as do Kate’s and Jane’s.  I think the top three are easy to pick and I’m correct with Kate taking the top spot.

Selasi, Louise and Val are all in trouble going into the show stopper.

The show stopper challenge is to make a 3D gingerbread story which is at least 30cm high and contains 8 characters or ‘things’.

My gingerbread house is here if you’re interested:

Louise and Selasi are both making gingerbread churches.  Jane is building the seaside town of Hastings.  Candice is making a pub and she’s making a sticky ginger cake to make a sticky carpet as the carpet in the pub she grew up in was always sticky.  Michael is making Santa in Lapland.  Kate is making three flavours of gingerbread to make a Brownie camp.  Tom is making a mountain.  Andrew is making a punting in Cambridge scene.  Benjamina is making the Chrysler building in New York and Val is making the Empire State Building.  Rav is making a Christmas fairground.

Building with gingerbread is difficult as the biscuits change size and shape in the oven so you have to make sure you trim them while they’re still hot as soon as they come out of the oven.

I know how the bakers feel when they are ‘gluing’ their structures together.  I remember screaming at my gingerbread when I was assembling my little house.  It’s so much trickier than you think and it takes longer to set than you think as well.  Louise is rushing and is a real mess as bits of her gingerbread break off.  Val’s is also falling to bits.  Louise’s completely falls apart as Mel says that time is up and Val’s falls apart just after.

Kate’s creation looks, by far, the best.  It’s well piped and it’s all still standing but the taste of her gingerbread isn’t gingery and it doesn’t have a good snap.

Michael has made Santa’s workshop from hell but Paul says the biscuit is the best gingerbread so far.

Candice’s gingerbread pub looks amazing.

Val and Louise seem to be in trouble.  As there’s no Sue, Mel has to deliver the good and the bad news.  Candice is star baker, well deserved.  Louise is the baker leaving but I think that Val had a very close shave.

Next week is bread week but the big question is – what colour lipstick will Candice be wearing??


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