Welcome to the Eater round-up of Great British Bake Off 2019, as Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding return to Channel 4 with the 10th series of cakes, puddings, breads, and inevitable recourse to terrible baking puns.
After cake week kicked off GBBO 2019, Great British Bake Off 2019 Episode 2 tackled biscuits for biscuit week, with a signature challenge covering fruit cakes, a technical challenge covering angel cake slices, and a showstopper covering birthday cakes. Contestant introductions were many, cutaways were rife, and there was an awful lot of abject feathering. Here, now, is Great British Bake Off 2019 Episode 2, Biscuit Week, (sort of) as it happened.
02:53: Sandi’s throwing biscuits at Noel in the intro, which seems like a legitimate thing to do when you’ve been forced to “play Jenga” over several takes in the garden of a stately home. Rosie reflects on how dog biscuits are easier than human biscuits, because dogs will always eat them, no matter what, and never look at you as if to ask, “what is this excuse for nourishment you lay before me?” Rosie... Do you have a dog? Wait:
03:06: What Paul doesn’t want is a “whole lump of chocolate” with a bit of biscuit in it. Alright Paul.
3:45: Henry is wearing a tie. He plays organ at his local church, is apparently a worthy segue into his biscuits. Noel Fielding refers to him as a “sophisticated toddler.” Sick ... Burn ... ?
04:31: Steph is taking the coffee route, with some semolina in the dough to make it extra short. Michael, a Scot, is making shortbread, which is heavy on the pressure. He cut himself thirty times last week; odds on an even 15.
06:03: Rosie is making white chocolate and mojito cookies. Jamie is making millionaire shortbread with sour cherries; his twin features once again, but with less of the horror movie vibe. In a case a reminder is needed:
07:01: Fielding cautions the power of moisture; Helena was once a professional poker player; she’s making witch finger biscuits. Fielding flashes back to his time as Richmond on the IT Crowd. Michelle, meanwhile, is going for raspberry bakewells. With chocolate. Bold. Alice is going Kiwi, on the peanut slab and hokey pokey beat. That’s what it’s all about.
9:02: Noel points out that biscuits, high in sugar, are “quick to bake, also to burn,” much like a millennial opinion writer. Cue a montage: biscuits flying into ovens for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 12 minutes, short careful baking to minimise risk and ensure success.
9:09: Jamie is baking his biscuits for half an hour. Welcome back, Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week.
09:45: David feeds his boyfriend a cake. It’s cute. It doesn’t have butternut squash in it.
The good thing about the technical challenge is the bakers are given all the ingredients and have to follow the recipe very closely, meaning it's impossible for David to put butternut squash in a cake this time. #GBBO— innocent drinks (@innocent) August 27, 2019
12:05: Amelia is adding rosehip and pistachio to a Turkish-inspired biscuit. Everyone’s taking their biscuits out. Jamie is leaving his in the oven.
12:54: Phil is going for some white chocolate, orange, and cranberry, the iconic Costa-adjacent combination. Priya is using ruby chocolate and making a biscuit filled with barfi, the milk-based sweet.
13:30: Lots of general inadequacy, bluster, and disaster. Wait. Changed the channel to the Commons. Great Boris Blast Off.
15:20: We’re back. Jamie’s biscuits didn’t set in time. Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week strikes for the second week in a row.
16:00: Signature challenge tiers
- God tier: Michelle, Alice, Rosie
- 2⁄3 ain’t bad tier: Michael
- Ambitious tier: Henry, Priya
- Too crumbly for Paul tier: Alice
- Rustic tier: Amelia
- Sloughy wound tier: David
- It’s a bit boring, but also very original tier: Helena
- I don’t think it looks particularly good tier: Phil
- Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week tier: Jamie
23:11: Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood’s Machiavellian schemes continue, with Paul in the hotseat. A favourite of his dad’s, these: FIG ROLLS. Risk of overbaking. Needs to be pale. It’s a serious, technical challenge. Paul remembers watching the wrestling on a Saturday. ??? Meanwhile, poll:
How far would you make it in The Great British Bake Off? Personally, I would collapse about 3/4 of the way walking up to the tent.— Chris Gonzalez (@livesinpages) September 3, 2019
25:29: Michael reflects on how Paul said that you can add, but can’t take away. Well, in the case of Paul Hollywood’s Knead Bakery...
26:00: David shits on his biscui — no it’s the figs it’s the figs.
29:30: Jamie egg-washes his fig rolls. Can a week have two Foolhardy Manoeuvres That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As They Are Mentioned of the Week? Yes, yes it can.
36:30: Technical challenge tiers
- God tier: Alice
- Aren’t flattened at all and also delicious tier: David
- Pastry’s nice tier: Phil
- Some, i.e. too much, ginger tier: Priya, Michelle, Steph
- Bit small tier: Henry
- Flat tier: Michael, Rosie
- Overbaked and overworked tier: Amelia
- I can’t believe they’ve egg washed it tier: Jamie
- One’s missing tier: Helena
33:50: It’s not looking good for Jamie in the showstopper. It’s a 3D biscuit sculpture. It’s a bit Renaissance. It requires deftness of hand.
34:58: Helena is going full Guillermo del Toro on this with a spider sculpture. Steph is making a ginger cat. With ginger biscuits. A ginger biscat.
36:17: Rosie is making a chicken out of 212 biscuits; Phil is making a tortoise; Michael is making a Highland Cow; Alice is making a sheep; Priya and Michelle are both making dragons. All creatures great and small. Michael’s cow is “sort of cubist.”
39:40: Paul Hollywood’s Kneady Sleazy Wheeze of the Week is inflicted on Henry and his “massive organ.” Jamie, meanwhile, is making a gingerbread guitar, with shortbread. The shortbread that wrecked him yesterday. DO WE HAVE A TRIO OF FOOLHARDY MANOEUVRES THAT WILL QUITE OBVIOUSLY BACKFIRE AS SOON AS THEY ARE MENTIONED OF THE WEEK. David has made a biscuit bouquet.
44:48: Michael weeps over his cow. We have our first Touchingly Specific Emotional Weep of the Week.
47:43: Showstopper challenge tiers
- Chicken tier: Rosie
- God tier: David, Alice
- Horror tier: Helena
- Gingerbread house, but a cat tier: Steph
- Strong dragon tier: Priya
- Clumsy dragon tier: Michelle
- Spicy coo tier: Michael
- Your piping is, uhm, not the best, but you evaded a potentially foolhardy manoeuvre tier: Jamie
- Not really a massive organ tier: Henry
- Inspires Prue to pretend to be a tortoise but it’s really not great tier: Phil
- Stacking it leads to stacking it tier: Amelia
Star baker: Alice
Going home: Jamie, a victim of the second Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week, and, to be honest, bewildering as to how he made it on in the first place. Country loves him though.
Running theme: Animals, organs.