Great British Bake Off 2016 – week one

Last week we saw the return of the Great British Bake Off. Twelve new and nervous contestants are back in the tent hoping to wow us with their Show Stoppers and avoid all soggy bottoms. I was really excited for the start but in actual fact I had to record it and watch it late because life got in the way. That’s why my post about it is a little late, but hopefully I’ll be watching along with everyone else this Wednesday.

Week one was Cake week, a great start to baking. 
First up was one of my all time favourites, Drizzle Cake. If I’m honest I have only ever made orange or lemon drizzle cake, I’d like to try something a little more exotic.
Most of the contestants were very shaky, it must be nerve wracking to be in that tent and judged by Paul and Mary. The first round went fairly comfortably apart from the youngest contestant Mike. He’d gone for a Matcha Green Tea cake and Mary said it tasted like grass. I’m actually a big fan of Matcha but I will admit it’s an acquired taste for some. In fact I remember Dorret, a contestant last year, using matcha in her biscuits and they didn’t go down very well with Mary.

Then came the technical round and the contestants had to make Jaffa Cakes, something I’ve not tried before and would love to do, only no-one in my house but me likes Jaffa Cakes…so maybe not. I wouldn’t dunk my Jaffa Cake in my tea though, shame on you Mr Hollywood, Mary’s face was a picture when he did that.

I warmed to the quirky Val who listens to her cakes to see if they are cooked and has great difficulty in distinguishing the difference between icing sugar and cornflour. I hope she stays for a while, she could be fun to watch.

Selasi had to be the most laid back baker ever, nothing seemed to faze him, especially not the Jaffa Cakes as he came in first in the technical challenge. Poor Andrew was the only one who managed to do his cakes upside down, although Jane was a little confused and started her first upside down but continued with the rest the right way up. Lee’s Jaffa’s were a little short on chocolate, what a crime, in fact so much so I’m sure he would have come last if it wasn’t for Andrews upside down cakes.

Then it came to the Showstopper, the make or break of cakes. A Mirror Glazed cake which Sue described as simple but fiendish. They were told to produce cakes with a mirror shine, which was taken a little too seriously by Candice who presented hers on a mirror. Unfortunately, as mirrored as her cake was decorated the actual sponge was a big flop, literally, and she walked away from the judges trying to hold back her tears. Another one in tears was Benjamina, she had real trouble with her cake and felt it had all gone wrong…she was wrong, the judges were really pleased with her efforts and her tears where turned to tears of joy.

Kate, Louise and Selasi failed to get a mirror glaze on their cakes, although their sponges were not so bad. Lee had a glaze on top but not on the sides, his cake also had no decoration and when they tasted it they complained that it was missing something…maybe the cream that Paul hinted at when talking to Lee about his choice of cake. Take the hints bakers!

Andrew of the upside down Jaffa Cakes produced a beautiful, shiny and tasty cake and redeemed himself. We will talk no longer of the upside down Jaffas.

Jane was working along a theme, her drizzle cake was chocolate and orange, the jaffa cakes, were of course, chocolate and orange, and her showstopper cake was also chocolate and orange. It was also a big hit with the judges so not a bad call really. In fact, really not bad at all as she was crowned this weeks Star Baker.

Lee was the baker sent home back to his parish, he tried but it was his lack of chocolate on his Jaffas and lack of shine on the side of his Showstopper that let him down.

It’s hard to judge in the first week when nerves are also playing a huge part but I think that Jane, Selasi, Benjamina and Candice will do well and struggling already are Mike, Louise and Val.

I’ve not baked along this week but please feel free to take a peek at my Matcha Green Tea Cake and my Lemon Drizzle cake. 

Here’s one I made earlier 

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