The Great British Bake Off returned to our tellies last week (you can find out what I thought about the first episode HERE) and if you couldn’t tell already I was pretty excited!
My sense of excitement was ramped up a notch this week as the baking competition continued, this time with Cake Week (to which my Marble cupcakes I baked last week would’ve been the perfect accompaniment).
As with last week, here’s a breakdown of what happened this week: my thoughts on the bakers, the challenges, the Star Baker and (in the end) the latest Baker to leave the tent.
DISCLAIMER: SPOILERS FOR THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF, SERIES NINE EPISODE TWO, AHEAD!
We were introduced to the latest batch of hopefuls last week and (even though I’m still rusty on a few names) we got to know them more this week.
This week, I was impressed with Ruby (not just because she’s my person in the sweep I mentioned in my first blog post) Dan (something about his recent performance makes me think he might just be one to watch) and Rahul (I think people might be quick to underestimate him but, after last night, I think people might just change their minds!). These bakers all have something in common this week, too, they received the first ‘Hollywood Handshake(s)’ of the series!
(He was giving them out like perfectly sliced individual cakes or, well, handshakes!)
This week was Cake Week and the show’s Signature Challenge called for the bakers to create a traybake, essentially a cake baked in a tray only to be cut into 16 slices. This challenge, like most in the Bake Off tent, gave way to a series of different bakes: an Indian Bakewell tart, a Spanish traybake and two tries at a Black Forest inspired bake (only one worthy of the first [of many] Hollywood handshakes).
For the second challenge, the Technical Challenge, the bakers were tasked with making a Gateau Vert. No idea what that is? No, me neither! Basically, if you combine a pistachio flavoured Genoise sponge, a pistachio marzipan and icing made of spinach (yes, spinach)- that, my friends is a Gateau Vert.
Many of the bakers were stumped- with a few starting again, some not getting it right but going for it anyway. Others, like Jon, took it in their stride. It produced varying results, some not green enough, some flat or washed out but also some success.
Not as fiddly as the previous Technical, but I still don’t think I’d give it a go- the thought of a green cake alone makes me feel uneasy!
The final challenge, the Showstopper, saw the bakers create a two tier chocolate collar cake in four hours- during the heatwave…as you do! This involved a chocolate cake encased in an intricate chocolate collar..because regular chocolate cakes are “so last year, darling” (I don’t know who said that, but somebody probably did).
Making these cakes proved as challenging as you’d imagine doing so in the time constraint would be, just with added heat! This heat proved difficult, with masterpieces melting and chocolate not co-operating. In the end, Rahul wowed with his stunning chocolate collar creation and so too did Ruby- both earning the coveted Hollywood handshake!
When it came to the reveal this week, Rahul earned the title of this week’s Star Baker (and I sort of felt like a proud parent). Though Karen and Terry were in a precarious position, it was Luke who left the tent. So, I guess he had to hang up his apron and put on his headphones once again..maybe?
I’m not really sure what this week means for the competition. I had my money on Manon but, now, it actually could be anyone’s game!
Next week, the bakers face Bread Week and I’m (er) totally bready for it!
This week, I made rocky road and flapjacks for watching the second episode with my mates, so you can expect the recipes up on Sunday.
What did you think of the episode?