Great British Bake Off review – Week 5, Series 4: Biscuits
The bakers were on fine form this week, apart from Ruby. The undergrad was back to her self-deprecating, sulky ways.
She blagged the icing on her tray bake, scowled a lot at her DIY piping bag and declared she’d totally “messed up” her showstopper biscuit tower. But she is pretty viewing, and a good baker despite her grumblings, so she stayed.
I have heard she is studying (hard, by the sounds of things) at UCL, and this week came across her blog, ‘Ruby and the Kitchen’.
Aside from a number of tasty recipes, one obscure post reads: “This is a new house, and my uncertainty breeds throughout a sleepless night until dawn creeps across the sky to reveal dozens of apple green doubts sitting heavy on the grass, great brown bruises bleeding across their sides.”
Anyway, back to tonight’s show.
Signature Challenge- Tray Bake
For the signature challenge, the bakers were asked to make everything in their tray bakes from scratch, be it marshmallow or caramel.
Larger-than-life Glenn took on the challenge wholeheartedly, making a marshmallow layer for his pistachio nougat-y bake. True to form, his quantities were bigger than ever and he was told by the judges his pieces “looked grotesque”, although they liked his bold flavours.
Howard thought outside the box (as ever) to create the only savoury tray bake, a grapefruit and cereal number with yoghurt icing. Sadly Paul thought it was too stodgy. But I will continue to root for the adorable Sheffield council worker.
I was also hoping Frances might prove too style over substance for the judges tonight, but she excelled on the first two tasks and her gimmicky jenga tower was praised by the judges for its good toffee and banana flavours.
Rob had a rockier time this week. The once favoured precision-man fell from grace with his raw tray bake and continued his decline throughout the tasks.
Kimberley’s Florentine slices looked beautiful, as did Beca’s chocolate cherry brownies.
Technical Challenge- Tuiles
This was, apparently, the most difficult technical challenge Mary had ever set, but it didn’t seem to dampen their spirits.
Howard spiritedly said his tuiles “looked more like fag ends than cigars”, and Frances told the camera: “I know they’re meant to be thin, but there’s thin and there’s Alexa Chung.”
Ruby replied to Sue’s ever-annoying wittering by telling her: “Studying Wittgenstein is nothing compared to this. I won’t be defeated by a sodding French biscuit.”
As they were lined up to be judged, Paul and Mary said Glenn’s were (shockingly) “too thick”, Rob’s didn’t snap and poor Howard’s were under-baked. Christine’s were named the best thanks to their golden colour and perfect snap.
Showstopper- Biscuit Tower
The showstopper was a fun one this week, compared to last episode’s less photogenic pie challenge. The bakers had to make a tower of biscuits at least 30 cm high.
Scientist Rob went for creating a Dalek, and pulled the feat off well (better than his goal-predicting octopus loaf) but Mary and Paul said it was too clumsy, and Mary in particular was disgusted by the edible glue.
Howard again went against the grain and made a tea-flavoured pagoda tower. His tea-flavoured biscuits divided the judges, but Paul said he enjoyed them- Mary wasn’t so sure.
Frances was looking strong going into the showstopper challenge but her buttons and beads tower did a bit of a jenga thanks (at least it looked like) to Mel’s over-enthusiastic measurement. The judges were impressed with the taste of her biscuits, but disappointed that her tower had collapsed.
Christine was named star baker again, currently the only baker to win the spot twice, thanks to her ornamental Bavarian clock tower. Original star baker Rob was sent home. Mary said he had stayed on the same level since the first week and hadn’t gone up a gear. When you temper chocolate that perfectly in episode one, it’s hard to impress any more.
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