The signature bake was 24 biscotti which were all to be uniformly formed and baked to perfection, in fact baked twice to perfection. I've never had a go at making biscotti but I know they go well with any overpriced cup of coffee from a coffee shop. So Mary and Paul both agree that cranberry, chocolate and hazelnut is the best combination for biscotti. So, do any of the contestants comply? Don't be silly, we get everything from goji berries (I love goji berries) to physalis and even rosemary. Mr Hollywood seemed a little worried about the rosemary but in the end Ian's Orange, Cranberry and Rosemary Biscotti got a thumbs up.
The Technical Bake was Paul's recipe for Arlettes. No, I've not heard of them before either...but I have now, I've even baked some!
Basically, they are biscuits made from puff pastry with a lamination of a butter, sugar and cinnamon layer and rolled out really thin. Then baked quickly on each side to produce a thin crispy biscuit. They really are delicious too!
Little Dorret came in first on this round, closely followed by food blogger Flora, the youngest contestant at only 19. Marie had trouble with her oven setting and only managed half a batch. She didn't do too well in the first round either with her biscotti being a bit too tough. Is there really a curse of the star baker?
Final Show Stopper round and the bakers are asked to make a box out of biscuit to hold biscuits. It's a biscuit lovers dream come true. Most of them made this 3D stuff look pretty easy, I can tell you from experience of my Christmas Gingerbread houses, it does take some practice to get your biscuits standing erect! I got all excited seeing Little Dorret using my favourite Matcha powder for her little green frogs. Paul and Mary were not impressed though, either with her biscuit cutter frogs or the matcha taste...pah, how would they get on in Japan if they fancied a cuppa! I was very intrigued by the Earl Grey tea bag biscuits made by both Mat and Flora. I will have to try them sometime.
I felt very sorry for poor Nadiya who ruined her first biscuit box lid herself and then had her second attempt destroyed by presenter Sue. She was so close to tears, I wanted her to cry, it was tear worthy, I'd have cried.
Quick step to the end and we find that Ian is Star Baker for his cylinder biscuit box filled with perfect macarons and his rosemary biscotti. Then, after a really poor week we say goodbye to last weeks star baker Marie. (cursed)
So after much deliberation I decided to bake for my bake off challenge with Silver Mushroom is some pinwheel biscuits.
Strawberry and Chocolate Pinwheel biscuits.
300g plain flour
100g cold butter
100g caster sugar
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp strawberry flavouring
a few drops of pink food colouring
Preheat oven to 170C
Cube the butter and rub it into the flour until it represents breadcrumbs
Mix in the sugar
Add the egg and knead together to make your biscuit dough.
Separate the dough into two halves
Knead the cocoa powder into one half
Add strawberry flavouring and food colouring into second half.
Roll into two sausages, cover in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into two rectangles and then put one on top of the other.
Roll them up into a sausage shape.
Slice your biscuits
You can leave them like this to cook, but I was looking for something more crispy so I rolled my slices again to make them thinner.
Cook for 8-15 minutes depending on thickness.
Of course I had my little helper in the kitchen with me, thank you Boo.
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