The Great British Bake Off – Botanical Week

Botanical week indeed – what’s that?!  I want biscuit week, cake week, chocolate week, toffee week.  I don’t want to hear about gardens and flowers when we’re talking about baking!

Oh well, let’s see what it’s all about.

The first challenge is a citrus meringue pie.  That actually sounds quite nice – this citrus week might not be as awful as expected.

Rav is making a mandarin margarita curd pie.  Sounds ok.

Andrew is putting stem ginger in his pastry and making a lime and ginger pie.  I like ginger but I don’t know if I’ve had it with a citrus meringue pie so I’m not sure if it works…

Selasi (in botanical shirt) is making a grapefruit, orange and mint pie.  I’m not sure about the mint but sounds ok.

Benjamina is making a grapefruit and ginger pie.  Does grapefruit and ginger go?  Not sure about that?

Tom is making a blood orange Halloween pumpkin pie – here come the nuts again!  Stop putting nuts on/in all of your baking.

Jane is making a lime and coconut pie.  I detest coconut, I’m not allergic to it but I can’t abide the texture of it.  It’s like having hair in your mouth that you can’t get rid of.

Candice is also making a lime and coconut pie.  Which of the ladies will win the battle of the lime and coconut pie – erm, neither because they both have coconut in them!

Mary Berry’s face gets grimmer and grimmer as she hears that most of the bakers will be using a blow torch on their meringue.  No one wants a blow torched meringue!

I made a key lime pie years ago – – no meringue on the top but it was very nice.

I’ve been trying to work out why Candice looks different this week and I don’t think she has too much lipstick on.  She looks so much better.

Oh dear, all the bakers are disappointed with their stiffness – meringue-wise of course.  Now, I thought Tom was making a Halloween pie but Candice’s bizarre bright green meringue could be at home on any Halloween display table.

The meringue piping on Benjamina’s looks amazing, she wins the piping hands down.  The judges love it.

They think the flavour of Selasi’s if amazing but the curd is too thick and dry.

Rav’s pie collapses and the flavours aren’t great.

Andrew’s pastry is almost the same thickness as his curd but the judges love the flavour of the curd.

Tom’s pastry is underdone and there is no citrus flavour coming through.

Jane’s pie looks great and the judges like it.

Paul doesn’t like the appearance and colour of Candice’s pie.  Mary thinks the curd flavour is good.  Candice suggests that eyes should be closed when tasting her pie as it looks horrendous but tastes good.

The technical bake today is two herb (French word) lets call it bread in a leaf shape.

As they are making the dough it becomes obvious it’s one of those nightmare ‘Hollywood’ doughs that is so wet that the contestants all think they are doing something wrong.

While the bakers are all proving their dough I want to know if anyone remembers it raining so much over the summer?  My experience of this summer was that it was hot, hot, hot and also muggy.  The botanical week in the tent has shown quite a lot of rain outside.

The bakers cut their proved dough.  They have various interpretations on how to make the cuts but they have all produced bread that looks acceptable.  Tom was star baker during bread week and his bread does look good.  Selasi is still cool and laid back and not giving in to the other bakers panicking.  Even when he’s starting to worry that his bread is going to be underbaked because he put it in too late he still doesn’t come across as panicky.

As Mel tells the bakers to bring their bakes up Sue is standing there tickling her chin.  Now tell me, when Bake Off goes to Channel 4, who else could get away with doing that??

Now, I was thinking, is Master Chef an original BBC programme?  If so what about Master Baker… oh, hang on, maybe not the best name!

Back to the bread.  Selasi comes last, then Andrew, Candice, Jane, Rav, Benjamina and Tom is first.  Tom is clearly Mr Bread Man.

So we’re left with just the showstopper after a brief pause for me to go and get a KitKat.

Mel does a floral dance to tell the bakers that their showstopper must be a floral cake.

Andrew is making an elderflower trio.  Rav is making a blossom cake.  Both of these cakes have a nut based cake in them so I’ve lost interest.

Tom’s making a floral tea cake.  Could be interesting as I’ve seen tea flavour desserts on other cooking shows.

Candice is making a four seasons cake.  Now this sounds lovely and, if it looks like the picture, it should be lovely.

Jane’s making an orange cake with chocolate collars.  Jane is the only one who is doing floral decoration rather than floral flavours.  I don’t envy her making the chocolate collars, that looks difficult!

Selasi is making a tiered ombre floral cake.

Benjamina is making a floral tea cake.  Unfortunately she is making an almond cake so lets move on.

Rav’s cake mixture looks a rather bizarre and lumpy consistency as he’s plopping it into the cake tins.  Tom takes his cakes out of the oven and smells them but he gets so close it really looks like his nose goes into the cakes.  Yuck!  No one wants a nose in their cake!

I absolutely love the piping on Selasi’s cake.  That wouldn’t look out of place at a wedding.

Candice’s cake looks very nice.  Four layers each representing a season.  Unfortunately for her she chooses to use nuts in her carrot cake and Paul tells her that her carrot cake lets her down.  That’s what happens when you use nuts!

Andrew’s cake is pretty boring looking.  Mary is not impressed with his piping skills, neither is she impressed with the cake.  The cakes are dry and the flavours don’t come through very well.

Benjamina’s cake look unfinished and Mary says that the cake is just underbaked and there is no tea flavour coming through.

Paul tells Rav that his icing looks a bit of a mess.  Mary says that it’s not very creative.

Jane’s face says it all while Paul and Mary appraise her cake.  Paul says that it looks a mess and it looks like mashed potato between the layers.

Selasi is up next and Paul says that it’s very impressive looking.  The judges are also impressed with the cakes, they are baked perfectly and the icing is good.

Tom’s looks like a simple version of Selasi’s cake but it looks tidy.  Mary finds the cakes moist and pleasant.

So now it’s time to crown a star baker and boot someone out.  Andrew has got to be down at the bottom with Rav and Jane.

The star baker is Tom.  He did brilliantly in the bread and did a decent job on his cake.  Sue tells Rav that he’s leaving this week.  Andrew looks as though he’s dodged a bullet and Rav looks completely unsurprised.

Next week it’s desserts week.  Yummy!  See you next week.


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