Week 3: It's 'Desserts' week, so which contestant, or should we say contestants, failed to keep Paul and Mary sweet?
The Great British Bake Off: the go-to show for all your food pun and baking euphemism needs, whether it be soggy bottoms or lady fingers, or this weeks "inspired" pun that kicked off the first 'signature' bake round, trifles. "We're not trifling with you," giggled Mel to Sue's exasperated face-palming. Why pretend to be embarrassed? Presenters Mel and Sue keep the jokes coming each week with fired rounds of cringeworthy jokes; it's the fodder that keeps the contest together.
"The Silverback" Beat His Chest And Made Life Difficult For One Baker.
This week the theme of desserts took the remaining 11 bakers through the usual three rounds. Apart from the signature bake trifle, this week's technical challenge was the devilish ile flottantes and the showstopper was an array of petits fours. This was the week where the contestants got to play around with alcohol, whether it was spraying Cointreau in a gardening bottle, soaking lady fingers in rum or infusing the trifle in a moreish piña colada flavour with some delectable brandy snap cones, as Christine did, which had Paul and Mary merry with praise.
The first major hiccup of the day - not nearly quite as bad as the salt cake in week 1 - came as dentist Deborah "accidentally" used the wrong custard, picking up bespectacled Mr. Perfect Howard's bowl of radiant yellow gloop over her own, rather more dodgy concoction out of the fridge. Horrified by her mistake, Deborah had to choice but to own up in front of the sour-faced judges and admit the custard confusion. Paul and Mary praised Howard's handiwork, even if it was in the wrong trifle, but Deborah would be treated with extra scrutiny.
"The custard is very slack," said Hollywood to Mark as he prodded about in the trifle. Beca would also receive a bark of "slack" when she presented her layered pudding. Could anyone get their custard right?
Poor Deborah, Forever Branded As A "Custard Stealer."
Next for the Ile flottantes, or "floating islands," which are supposed to be a soft domed French meringues floating in some creme anglaise custard. Ah, custard. Howard guarded his bowl with an eye on Deborah as she struggled with the floating fancies. The shape, size and texture all had to be perfect in this challenging task, which proved too much for Mark, Beca and Deborah who landed themselves in the elimination zone after their iles failed, sinking pitifully.
If Deborah wasn't sweating before the Flottantes Fiasco she surely was now, as two black marks against her name meant she had to pull off a stormer in the showstopper round. The challenge was to create a batch of identical petits fours, or mini cakes. The emphasis was on the bitesize proportions of this bake, after several contestants during last year's series created whopping great 'fours,' earning the derision of the judges.
Mary Berry Decided That Two Contestants Would Be Leaving The Process.
Deborah's fours began breaking up and she may as well have ripped off her apron and stormed off there and then but she soldiered on, trying to make the best of her crumbly cakes. She failed to apply her meticulous dentistry skills to her little bites, and earned the harsh words of Hollywood who described her cakes as bone dry and too bright.
Frances kept to her theme of outrageously creative designs, presenting her nutcracker suite-themed fours on a gramophone record. However, philosophy student Ruby was in trouble again after her lemon shortbread and white chocolate seashells and blackberry and chocolate layer cakes were described as "a bit of alright" by the disappointed Queen of cakes, Berry.
Meanwhile, Mark's macarons were branded as inadequate whilst they were still a work in progress. Beca presented perfection in confection with her platter of identical little purple macarons but most bakers had acid thrown their way by Paul and Mary.
Double firing week came early this year, as the Bake Off waved goodbye to, predictably, Deborah and Mark as both had failed to please with any of week three's offerings. Christine was crowned this week's star baker with her "scrummy" Ninety Niners and Sachertorte parcels.
Pies next week, get those shots lined up for a round of the GBBO drinking game with "soggy bottoms" and dodgy "crumb structures."