Back from Hong Kong and I’ve caught up with Week One of GBBO and what a way to launch the series.
The signature challenge was a Madeira cake and this simple yet delicious cake managed to challenge a few of the bakers. A distinctive crack and dome was the quality that the judges were looking for, and Mary was looking for a brittle candied decoration. Ugne was the source of many an innuendo with her looking for her crack in the oven. But Marie and Tamal impressed me with their Madeiras; the simplicity of her classic Madeira wowed me and the judges from the start with Paul saying her Madeira was ‘perfect’; Tamal’s Madeira cake flavoured with Pistachio and Rose and the wonderful combination of these flavours and the apple decorations means he was one to watch from the start.
The technical challenge was a frosted walnut cake, sounds simple but the tricky timings and the difficult marshmallow frosting around the outside took this cake from simple to hard. Many didn’t beat their frosting enough and the sugar remained grainy but Ugne and Alvin kept theirs smooth and finished in the top two.
The showstopper challenge was the retro classic of the Black Forest Gateau and you can see my version (although not as technical as the versions on the show) by clicking here. Once again Tamal’s cake impressed me, his chocolate collar with red and white chocolate decorations was stunning. Marie’s simple cake (again) was stunning and powerful and got her the position of the first Star Baker; Nancy was the first Star Baker so maybe Marie might win!
Unfortunately Dorret had a massive disaster in the showstopper when her chocolate mousse didn’t set. I think the problem was that she put it in the freezer and she had used gelatine and gelatine in the freezer has the complete opposite effect. But luckily the strength of her weekend saved her and Stu, after a run of poor bakes, was eliminated. It’s a shame, I just think the pressure of the tent got to him.
My favourite contestant has to be Sandy. She had the strike of Nancy from last year about her, this no nonsense style of baking and her quote, ‘I could be baking a cake and end up with a meat pie’ was amazing. Her piping on her BFG was stunning and I feel she will be good in the weeks to come.