The fifth series of GBBO. We've become too lazy to say ‘The Great British Bake Off’. It's now so ubiquitous that GBBO dropped into any conversation will lead to tangents galore. Everyone is an expert on every aspect of baking. I passed a group of builders today near work who were sharing biscuit baking advice, on the platform at the station a group of teens were engrossed in conversation about oven temperatures, in my local supermarket butter and flour was sold out. GBBO is EVERYWHERE!
And there are a few firsts this year ....
1. It's on BBC1. In case you missed this, the series has moved to prime time slot on BBC1. I really enjoyed this interchange between BBC1 and BBC2 on twitter and BBC’s change of name to @BBCBun for the duration of the programme. Clever marketing people.
2. We have the youngest ever contestant - the lovely Martha who is already the favourite with my girls.
3. We have the oldest contestant - 69 year old Diana, a WI judge from Shropshire.
Aside from those firsts the programme has the same ingredients that make it such a (BAFTA) winner:
1 tent - I actually think it looked a lot bigger than the one I was in
1 plush looking field - it's got a little plusher this year don't you think?
12 KitchenAids - what would we do without them?
12 ovens - what else would you pray to?
2 laughing ladies - none of us could have survived the experience without the cuddles, comfort and laughter of Mel and Sue
2 superb judges - Household names in Hollywood and Bury, Paul and Mary are an unbeatable team.
Reams of bunting - have you noticed how every shop is now selling bunting?
Introducing 12 new bakers
The programme works hard to bring together a real cross section of the UK into that tent. The interview process takes a whole year and thousands will have been turned away. The line-up this year includes a student, a builder, a mum, an upholsterer and an engineer. This episode worked very hard to introduce us to them all but it was a bit of a whirlwind. They all got some good airtime but it was difficult to get to know them all in this episode. Martha and Norman are a clear media favourites. Chetna seems quietly confident. Richard could be the charming dark horse. Who knows!
A Signature Swiss Roll
It all starts with cake week. A fair set of challenges kicking off with a Signature Swiss Roll. As if it weren't hard enough to get a tight swirl and a light sponge, these bakers were tasked with taking their flavours and designs to the next level. Paul's advice was to choose the filling carefully and ensure it would not be too wet to make the sponge soggy. Mary wanted to see that tight swirl.
There were some beautiful creations. Chetna's cardamom, pistachio and coffee creation stood out for me with stunning chocolate flowers. I remember making chocolate flowers in my first week for my Sakura Cupcakes and forgetting them in the fridge! Luis' Spanish inspired orange and aniseed roll with stunningly simple orange segments on the top was also beautifully presented and impressed Paul with flavours.
The creatives were Richard with pretty and pink floral swirls on the outer side of his roll and Nancy who had a layer of crunchy nuts on the outside. I loved that idea.
It was all looking great until the rolling. There was a lot of rolling, rolling, rolling. Poor Iain's technique received the Mary Berry stare. We don't want the Mary Berry stare. Oh no. That's not a good stare.
Such a shame because his apricot and basil flavour combo sounded amazing and was totally overlooked. Flavours that won the round were Martha's Tiramisu and Norman's Black Forest creations.