In the time-honoured tradition of reality TV programmes, our eleven intrepid bakers have certainly been on a ‘journey’ this week – without stepping so much as a flour-flecked foot out of the tent.
First stop is Italy for the signature bake of two dozen biscotti. We gasp in awe, as we are told this is a first for a Bake Off signature bake. Indeed… these twice-baked rusks have only ever appeared before as a technical challenge in Junior Bake Off.
Frankly, there seem to be a lot of cranberries… and chocolate. Alvin however is introducing us to the genuinely pioneering jackfruit. The juicy jackfruit is notoriously wet. And Alvin is putting it into a biscuit that is notoriously dry. The tension is palpable. I have to pause the programme and steady myself with a glass of wine.
Marie is having trouble with her oven. In an encounter just half an inch short of flirtatious, she appeals to Paul’s better nature and explains her predicament. Paul smirks – his better nature is not coming out to play today.
Dorret has a perfectly logical explanation for her ingredients – citing the fact that these are classic coffee dunkers, she tops her biscotti with amber sugar crystals. Dorret claims she is not overly worried. Paul crushes her hopes with his molars, informing her that he’s off to the dentist.
In an unexpected intervention, Mary tells Paul, “We’ve caught you with sticky hands”. Just to clarify, she’s talking to ‘amateur’ Paul, not ‘professional’ Paul.