It looked like a small earthquake had rumbled it’s way across the Bake Off tent this week as Gingerbread structures started tumbling and crumbling to the floor. It’s biscuit week and the final challenge this week was to build a Gingerbread Structure. So we had a Church, a Wintry Village, an Eiffel Tower (which should have won a prize for tallest structure), a Carousel, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a High Country Hut, a Monster Robot, and an Outdoor Dunny.
All very adventurous, but I would have liked to see a traditional gingerbread house. Many of them lacked finesse in the execution of the structure. That’s not to say that I could do any better, I can’t – which is why I’m an armchair critic and not on the show, – but I was willing the contestants to do better.
Kerry showed her softer side when Maria started crying over her lost piece of Eiffel Tower, giving her a hug and reminding her gently that it is only gingerbread. Although I think that lost piece of gingerbread is going to haunt Maria forever.
After his disaster in previous episodes with the collapsing checkerboard cake, and the ruptured Lemon Meringue Pie, Mark surprised everyone by building a High Country Hut that didn’t collapse. He deserved an extra point for that.
The technical challenge this week was to make Brandy Snaps. This is a tough challenge as they had to produce 12 snaps and all had to be the same length, and be a consistent colour, but it was quite a boring challenge to watch. When they were all served up they all looked pretty consistent, but some fell short of the required length, some didn’t snap very well, and others had no flavour. Julie triumphed in this round, and produced the best ‘Snap’.
The Signature Bake was, of course, biscuits, a signature Aussie assortment. The contestants had to make 24 biscuits in total with two different flavours. It was battle of the Anzacs as three contestants took on the great Anzac biscuit, but woe betide you if you mess with a classic, as Mark and Brendan found out. Two others took on Wagon Wheels with Jonathan winning that contest with Nancy. My favourites were Jonathan’s Wagon Wheels and Julie’s Macadamia, Mango & Passion fruit Shortbread.
After careful consideration and deliberation the judges awarded Star Baker to Julie, and eliminated Sara-Jane.
At the start of the baking Kerry quipped that ‘I’m too old to waste calories on a lacklustre bake’ and that really summed up this weeks episode – a bit lacklustre. The contestants seemed a bit subdued (is the pressure getting to them?) and after the first round I didn’t get the impression that the judges were bowled over by anything either.
Hopefully things will pick up with next weeks Tart challenge.