Has Bake Off become predictable? Last week, I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting our current batch of bakers at a Bake Off-themed charity ball in aid of Childline. Val looked stunning in blue sequins, but I digress. Chatting to Richard from series five, we agreed our predictions for this year’s finalists. Suffice to say that by the end of this programme we’ll have been proved wrong.
Anyway, back to the tent and this week’s signature challenge is to produce a sponge roulade. The bakers are clearly instructed not to make a meringue one, so I predict that meringue will appear in the technical challenge. Having been raised on Delia and refined by Nigella, I’ve always thought the distinction between a Swiss roll and a roulade is that the latter is flourless, but we see plenty of the stuff here. I check Wikipedia and discover roulades of meat but no clarification on the cake variety. I have to concede that on Bake Off there is no real difference, other than to avoid the accusation that it’s essentially a repeat of the Swiss roll signature of series five.
Now I’ve been well and truly chastised by my sister for not picking up on the story of last week, which was Candice’s apparent lack of signature lipstick. Sorry. I thought that she’d just gone for the ‘nude’ look, but she’s back on form this week blowing bold beetroot kisses. Her ambitious white chocolate roulade includes a raspberry cheesecake filling and passion fruit curd. ‘It’s nice to have a bit of seedage in there,’ she says. I love it when people invent new baking terminology. The filling turns out to be soft but ‘scrumptious’, though her sponge is ‘a bit rubbery’.
Andrew pipes diagonal lines of orange to decorate his joconde-style sponge. Paul, possibly looking for a break from loveable Liverpudlian, unexpectedly tries out a little received pronunciation, saying ‘Oh that’s a shame – some of your stripes have come orff.’ Packed with banana, passion fruit caramel and a passion fruit curd made to his dad’s recipe, the judges decide the filling is a little soft but the flavours are lovely and the sponge is delicious.