The Blog

Great British Bake Off 2014 Week 2

Manly Richard (he's a) wins the technical thanks to Mary telling him his biscuits "have got a nice forking". Inexplicably, no-one collapses into giggles at this comment.

As we enter week two's signature challenge - 36 identical savoury biscuits - chief interrogator Paul Hollywood has some curious words of wisdom. "It's one thing making three or four biscuits for a dinner party," he begins, as if making fewer than five biscuits for a social gathering were a normal thing. Pro tip: make sure you've got a packet of Jacob's in your glove compartment if you're invited for tea Chez Hollywood.

Scottish Norman is defiantly baking farthing biscuits with no additional flavour. "These may be bottom of the list as far as taste is concerned, but I like them," he chuckles. Come the end of the challenge, Mary and Paul are praising his farthing biscuits to the hilt. "My wife will have to eat her words now... and the biscuits!" offers Norman. I think he might be my hero.

Calm Nancy brought in a homemade cake guillotine last week, and today has a "biscuit iron maiden". Presumably, in future episodes, she'll bring a pastry mace, a bread hatchet and a petit four rapier to the Bake Off tent. Hipster Iain's za'atar-infused biscuits aren't a big hit at the judging table and neither are Enwezor's pumpkin and sunflower offerings but, to give Enwezor his dues, his VT shows him attempting to bake at home with his children clinging to his legs throughout, which can't make life easy.

During the technical challenge, our elite eleven have to make eighteen Florentines from a Mary Berry recipe, and the judges are looking out for well-tempered chocolate and a distinctive wave pattern on the bottom. AS Level student Martha is one of the few to correctly use her fork to achieve this effect, and Mel Giedroyc tells her to hide her Florentines, for fear of the other contestants copying her handiwork.

Manly Richard (he's a BUILDER!) wins the technical thanks to Mary telling him his biscuits "have got a nice forking". Inexplicably, no-one collapses into giggles at this comment. Hipster Iain is bottom of the pile, just behind my hero Norman and restricted-legs Enwezor, who has elected to - incorrectly, as it turns out - cut out his biscuits to try and achieve a uniform circular shape.

The show-stopper is a 3D biscuit scene, and the participants show their flair and imagination over the six hours they have to complete the challenge. We've ski resort scenes (AS Level student Martha), an anime-inspired monster set-up (ponytailed Jordan), the Wild West (hipster Iain) and more besides. Mary proclaims the judges want everything homemade and when restricted-legs Enwezor unwisely admits his fondant is shop-bought, she gives him a look that would make Medusa's hair hiss in admiration.

Ponytailed Jordan's biscuits get stuck on the baking sheet and, over the course of the challenge, he manages to eat as many biscuits as he displays. At one point, he exclaims, "It's not a good morning for Jordan". Whether he's talking about himself in the third person or offering his own sideways look at the Middle East situation remains unclear.

Graphic designer Luis has created a St. George and the Dragon inspired scene where the pieces cleverly lock together and, what's more, the biscuits that make up the dragon have a hint of chilli. The judges are effusive in their praise, yet more enthusiasm is reserved for manly Richard (he's a BUILDER!) whose pirate-themed display, which also utilises an interlocking method, really takes the... well, the biscuit, I guess.

As the judges deliberate, Luis and Richard earn the plaudits, whilst Enwezor and Norman - whose naval-themed mise-en-scène is deemed too simplistic - are in the danger zone, but which way will the pendulum swing?

Innuendo of the week: "Typically, I do it on the floor, because it gets so stiff." Trust me, Enwezor, we've all been there, my friend.

Star baker: Apparently, Richard's a builder (if only they'd mention it), and he's excelled in all three challenges over the course of the episode.

Going home: It was almost inevitable from the start, but Enwezor heads home to give his children more time to hang on to his legs.

Next week: Proving, kneading and scientific conversations about the characteristics of gluten - it must be bread time.

Popular in the Community