The Great British Bake Off is here at last – with CAKE!
The sun is shining, birds are tweeting softly, and the Galdioli are in full bloom. Looming on the horizon is a a marquee, hung tastefully with Union Jack bunting, scented with panic and burnt sponge.
Yep, The Great British Bake Off is back!
For those who feared it would be a whole new show after its promotion to BBC1, you need not worry – its charm is intact. Mel and Sue continue to crack gently ribald puns about cake while the bakers face mild peril in the form of deflated soufflés.
We start with Cake Week and a Signature Challenge of Swiss Roll. The bakers take it in their stride, with Irish Iain attempting a new type of “score-and-roll”. Mary looks excited, then disapproving.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Norman the potter, who casually produced a homemade porcelain skateboard with Swiss Roll wheels to serve his cake on. Impressive stuff, but it’s the baking that counts, Norman.
The bakes are served, and Iain is gutted when his score-and-roll doesn’t create a smooth enough spiral for Mary’s scrupulous tastes. Claire is the first contestant to shed a bewildered tear: “Why am I crying about cake?” It’s OK, dear, we understand.
The Technical Challenge – a Mary Berry recipe for Classic Cherry Cake – passes with disappointingly little drama. Where are the mangled hands and salt-not-sugar disasters of last year?
Nancy takes the challenge and runs away with it, much like Mel and Sue with Diana’s chocolate mousse the next day.
The sky fills with suitably dramatic thunder clouds for Day 2’s Showstopper Challenge, which is to create 36 identical miniature classic British cakes. Easy.
Luis is preparing a DIY lemon drizzle, pairing each cake slice with a mini pipette. Mary leaves us in no doubt of what she thinks of the new-fangled nonsense.
“Maybe you think it’s fun?” she sniffs.
Across the tent, Claire whimpers in confusion as her chocolate cakes collapse in the oven, while Norman smugly reveals his home-made loose-bottomed cupcake tin. Put it away, Norman.
Judgement time arrives and Paul has his stern teacher act down pat.
“They do look a mess,” he tells Jordan, who looks suitably downcast.
But Jordan escapes by a whisker and the baker who heads home is Claire, while Nancy is crowned star baker with some perfect mini Jaffa Cakes.
Return next week for biscuits!
Best bake: Nancy’s Jaffa Orange Showstopper
So neat! And everyone loves a deconstructed Jaffa Cake.
Worst picture-to-reality result: Claire’s Mini Chocolate and Cherry Cakes
Where have all the sprinkles gone??
The baker to watch: Martha
She may be the youngest baker in the tent, but don’t underestimate her. There’s a glint in her eye…
Sue: “You’ve got two hours to pop Mary’s cherry…
…In the oven, and bring it back out again!”
Also, while you’re here, find out which GBBO Showstopper you are: