Sajeela’s team is constructing a Japanese-inspired chest of drawers filled with apple-shaped jellies, lemongrass chocolates and a mango and papaya nougat that’s decorated to look like sushi. On top of the chocolate chest are a sugar bonsai tree, an edible fan and a little lucky yellow cat. The hotel chefs are confident in their construction, having made the chest five times before.
The M&S team has only ever constructed its creation in card before today. Its homage to showbusiness inexplicably centres on a huge chocolate pole, which it falls (hopefully not) to Graham to construct. Gloved Graham firmly grasps his chocolate pole and asks, ‘Is it kinky? It looks kinky.’
Tottering on a stepladder, he attends to his high-rise creation. Tom says, ‘It makes me very nervous standing here.’ I’m yelling at the TV, ‘Well move the f*** away then!’ At the last minute, the bottom drawer of pâte de fruits cracks open, and the jellies tumble out. Graham’s stress addiction is comfortably sated and he can seethe to his heart’s content.
I have to admit that I thought the M&S team’s vision of ‘Show Time’ looked a bit scary, with its deathly mask, dismembered hand and faceless mannequin, but what do the judges think? Cherish says it looks a bit scary, calling it ‘Friday the Thirteenth’. I think I may be turning into Cherish. Even more worrying, I don’t dislike the prospect. The judges decide the passion fruit pâte de fruit is sticky, as is the nougat and the tempering is off on their chocolates – though the hint of balsamic with the cherries and hazelnuts is tasty.
Back to Sajeela, James and Sam, who’ve decided to don samurai-style bathrobes for the judging. It looks like a stag weekend they’re already regretting. Amazingly, all three chocolate drawers pull out of the chest completely intact. Graham spits off camera. Impeccably shaped jelly apples are judged to have a good texture and design, though they lack apple flavour. Lemongrass is also absent from the chocolates and the nougat is undercooked, but the lucky yellow cat delivers and the Hilton team has done enough to secure a place in the final, leaving the military boys to wait to see if they’ll nab the spot for the highest scoring runners up.
Second semi-final next week – goodness, I hope I’m not the only viewer left who’s still quite excited.