After the ‘hot, saucy, spongey’ dialogue from Mel and Sue to intro this programme, I’m starting to wonder if this is now about baking at all! In fact the innuendos have gone rather crazy on Twitter but it was rather gratifying to see #GBBO trending on Twitter last night. Who would have though baking would be so popular again.
The remaining ‘magnificent seven’ were asked this week to make two types of mini sponges – either baked, boiled or steamed. Six of each. (It’s a baking show so personally I think allowing ‘boiling’ was a bit outside of the remit). The judges were looking for a ‘light sponge with a sticky topping or served with ice cream’. Any underbaking results in a gooey middle and over baking in a dry cake like mixture.
Personally I didn’t see the difficulty in this challenge other than time. Getting two different types done in two hours would require a lot of juggling and I think this challenge was there to catch the disorganised.
Sticky Toffee Puddings were the order of the day for John, Brendan and Sarah Jane as well as Chocolate Fondants for Ryan and Danny. I love the way James brings a little of Scotland into each week. This week it was Clooties which didn’t quite turn out as he expected. They looked like a sticky, gooey mess but I loved how he ingeniously used a blow torch to dry them out.
Danny was in despair as her chocolate fondants fell on the floor when coming out of the oven. Accidents happen. You all remember the lovely Rob from last year dropping his cake on the floor on week one? What I remember is lots of expletives and Paul Hollywood rushing to have a taste before it was swept away! Secretly I was incredibly grateful as I was having a chocolate disaster of my own at the time. The judges forgive accidents so I knew she’d be fine as long as they tasted great. But the judges were divided. Paul was adamant that she get marked down for puddings that were not bold and upright but Mary was insistent the flavours were there and all home cooks have accidents.
The most original were Cathryn’s Walnut whip inspired sponges. I loved Walnut Whips and though her rice pudding filling was undercooked, both judges loved the idea and taste.
Sugar Wizards of Days Gone By
The historical interlude focused on confectioners this week and was rather short, and not as interesting, as previous weeks in my view. I would have liked to have seen more of the contraptions used by these amazing ‘sugar wizards’ as Sue called them. I loved the idea of the Cabinet Pudding. How thrifty the cooks of old were in using up bits of leftover sponge to make wonderful towers using custard or ice cream. I guess the modern day equivalent would be cake pops which is what I thought this was leading up to for the technical challenge.