The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show – Week 2 – Biscuit Recap

Last week, we saw Amos leave the tent and Dan being deemed star baker. It is a new week and the theme is biscuits!

Signature: 12 identical marshmallow biscuits with either marshmallow in the center or on the top in 2 1/2 hours.

During the challenge, I kept thinking “Won’t someone please tell Keith that he has a dot of marshmallow on his forehead?” I was fearful that the judges would arrive to his work station and it would still be there but alas it was gone.

I loved the background on Keith that showed he was known as “needy Ned” for taking his baked goods around to neighbors for input. Look, we all need validation – I can relate. Keith’s biscuits were quite a mess but were “really delicious”. Paul said they were the beauty and the beast biscuit – beauty on the inside, beast on the outside – again something I can relate to.

Tasha was the first one this series to receive a Hollywood handshake for her malted chocolate biscuit – they did look spectacular. Most of the bakers made beautiful offerings.

Some recipes for wagon wheels/marshmallow cookies if you want to do a little GBBO at home:

Darcie: I’m not a fan of egg white marshmallows; I’ve had far better luck with a syrup, gelatin and water (and fruit puree if making a fruit flavor) recipe. However, I’m not sure those would set in time for this challenge. I’m surprised people didn’t try to add more flavor to their marshmallows, they were pretty much all just vanilla. I think this would have been a great challenge to use freeze-dried fruit powder for a flavor punch.

I thought that most of the molded ones looked great, especially Kristi’s with the painted roses, but Tasha’s was exceptionally sharp. Saku’s were lovely as well. I thought it was brave of Dana to use that swirly mold, it looked extremely tough to get out properly but was terribly cute. Overall I’m impressed – this was definitely a challenge where I wish we could taste along with the judges.

Jane’s translation service: not really a translation but a further recommendation of Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, which Nicky raved about. Of course, having Scottish parents I am biased but they are worth trying (and I don’t even like marshmallow). I’ve seen them in the British/Irish section in US grocery stores.

Technical: 12 imprinted custard creams in 1 1/2 hours – Prue Leith’s Custard Creams

The judging saw Keith, Saku and Cristy in the bottom three and Rowan, Dan and Abbi in the top positions.

I had to order a custard cream stamp and found one on Etsy and then ordered this set on Amazon. One can never have too many cookie related items. If you want to create a gorgeous cookie like Dana, you will need this mold.

Recipes to try:

Darcie: I definitely want to make a custard cream after watching this; now I have to hunt down custard powder (I know that I can get it online but it’s much more fun to go to my favorite import shops). Kristi must have done a great job rolling Rowan’s dough as he came in third place. I wonder if she felt better about almost swiping his dough because he ended up doing so well. Challenges like these are a great test of a baker’s ability because they look so simple but they can easily all go sideways, especially when you add a huge time constraint.

Showstopper: A cookie display of your favorite meal in 4 hours. (An illusion theme).

I’d be a horrible judge because I thought all the displays were gorgeous. Tasha’s Katsu chicken (my favorite dish) set the bar – her flavors and textures and design were perfection. Josh’s burgers and fries were a triumph – full of flavor and gorgeous. Josh then received a Hollywood handshake after judging.

I had to laugh at Keith who said the tomatoes on the south coast did indeed look like the tomato he had crafted for his sandwich. Later, when Paul held up Josh’s perfect looking tomato – I was waiting for Keith to say “that tomato definitely wasn’t grown on the south coast”. See this article for the tomato-comparison.

Star baker this week, and rightly so, was Tasha. I just love her.

Sadly, Keith was sent packing to the south coast where the tomatoes are bright red and dotted with neon colored yellow seeds and his neighbors are waiting for his cookies.

Darcie: After the signature bake, I started to think Josh could be a contender. He’s unassuming, but seems to be improving with each challenge. The showstopper proved my hunch to be correct. I had to laugh when Noel said that Paul Hollywood’s workstation was covered in pressed denim.

I like these illusion bakes more than the structural ones and most of these were adorable. I thought Abbi’s dim sum was fantastic and Dana’s pizza was clever. Even Keith’s humble effort was pretty good, especially when you think back to the first couple of seasons when the bakers who went home early had some disastrous bakes. It seems that 14 years of Bake Off has improved the state of baking across the country.

I’m so glad the producers took viewer criticism to heart – so far this season is amazing. The contestants are lovely and the challenges aren’t crazy yet they are still quite interesting. It’s going to be difficult to lose bakers week after week since they are all wonderful.

Jane’s translation service: Noel said they were taking their dunkable cookies to Dragon’s Den. This is the UK version of Shark Tank. Aspiring entrepreneurs have one chance to make their dreams come true when they pitch their business idea to five multimillionaire investors.

Keith doorsteps with his bakes – doorstepping is catching neighbours outside their home. The implication is that it’s unwelcome though if Keith is carrying bakes, I’m sure it isn’t.

Big marrows – Josh’s gardening with his brother includes these large, and I think quite tasteless, squash. I’m sure they can be tasty when cooked well – check out these online recipes in the Library – but it seems they are often grown by male gardeners to enter contests for the largest or heaviest (what’s that about I wonder?).

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