Good morning lovelies, are you ready for eleventy thousand pictures of gorgeous food and unfortunate soggy bottoms? ME TOO!! Rolling the second episode of the ninth season of The Great British Bake Off after the break!
It's Caaaaakke Weeek!!! I am so excited! I love Cake Week! Jon's not into cake, I don't understand what that means.
Noel Fielding (he can pound sand) and Sandi Toksvig (she's growing on me) introduce the first challenge of Cake Week, the baketestants are to prepare tray cake bakes, 16 identical slices.
That means square sponge cakes, woo! Judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood extrapolate: they want something different, something crunchy on top and a lot of flavour in one bite. Time management will be crucial.
Sorry, was distracted because I saw a gorgeous enameled refrigerator over Ruby Bhogal's shoulder. MC and I think those are SMEGs, but they look taller, the proportion is wrong?
Antony Amourdoux is making his tray cake with desiccated coconut in a Indian Bakewell tart
Briony Williams's tray bake is to reference Spain, somehow that ties in with her training for her third half marathon and I am confused.
I love how everyone uses almond! Sandi takes exception to Briony's affection for Spain and decides to teach her Danish instead. Briony is the King of Denmark and likes strawberries!
Dan Beasley-Harling will be making a Black Forrest gateaux
So will Ruby!
Let's see what Manon of the Spring is making! Manon Legreve isn't even using a rising agent, I am biting my bottom lip
Terry NoLastName is dumping apple sauce into his batter, so I can see I'll have my attention split between the two. I use applesauce in cakes all the time, but not ones I expect to not be rubbery. Paul and I are skeptical.
I just want to hug Noel, he seems so out of his metier.
The time management part of the baking comes in almost immediately; the contestants have to get their cakes baked as quickly as possible so they can be chilled and sliced nicely. Dan's cake is baking in half the time as everyone else's, I hope it won't be dry. Or a cracker.
Jon's making a lemon meringue cake? With Rosemary syrup?
That sounds.. discordant.
Kim-Joy is making her cake with an ingredient that makes Paul hurl and Noel wax poetic about frog ponds.
Antony is leaving it in the hands of the universe.
Luke Thompson is making one of my favourites, a lemon poppyseed whatsit that I just decided to make as well! I have some lovely cardamom and some elderly lemons, tomorrow it is!
Rahul Mandal is making the same thing-ish, I shot off too quickly. Wow, 2 layers, 4 lemons and 25 cardamom pods in this cake? He'd better stop talking and htfu.
We're finding out everyone's hobbies this week, that's why we know Briony is a runner!
Karen Wright is the last we see, there is only half and hour left!
Oh I want to eat Rahul's first! They're gorgeous!
Flavours in proportion, look beautiful
Tough sponge and bland cake
Tough as old boots, sloppy
Very rummy, beautiful but traditional, real pleasure to eat
Lovely, textures and look are perfect
Hideous looking, taste divine. Briony and I cry
Delicious, sponge is good but needed more whipping
Fantastic cake, doesn't look pretty but rather like a forest floor
Looks amazing, boozy inside THE FIRST HOLLYWOOD HANDSHAKE
Technical Challenge time! 2.25 hours to make a green cake? What? Gateaux Verte from Claude Monet? Whut?
Paul calls it the basics being done well, I think it's all about time management. Imagine making an icing with spinach?
Oh noooo, Karen's not made a lot of genoise sponges, she didn't know you've got to whip the eggs like crazy for ages first. She's trying to do it after, this sums up GBBO for me perfectly.
Terry did same, but he's gone ahead and Karen's starting over. Terry's sponge is not going to be as high as it needs to be.
Rahul is doing excellently, I don't think anyone else is as happy. Sandi made me laugh!
I don't understand the SPINACH.
Dan and Terry rebake their sponges while everyone else tries to cut theirs into thirds.
Oh it's bad.
But Dan was able to get his bottom off!
5 minutes! Does Briony have the one hand that's different?
I can't believe people actually managed to get cakes out!
They love Jon's cake, Briony's isn't dark enough, Terry's is too wet, Kim-Joy and Manon get props, Ruby dropped a layer. Karen's if awful, Rahul's is fantastic, Dan's is okay. Antony overdecorated.
Ranked from worst to best: Karen, Ruby, Antony, Terry, Luke, Manon, Briony, Kim-Joy, Dan, Rahul and Jon.
Rahul and Jon have completely redeemed themselves after last week! I am so worried for Karen, she cries outside the tent in interview and I send her all the juju I can muster for the showstopper challenge.
It's just. I don't want to lose ANYONE. Not even Luke anymore.
The judges and entertainers discuss the playing field, Manon will have to work to stay at the top and so will Briony as Dan and Rahul are coming up fast. It's going to be a scorcher in the tent today for the Showstopper Challenge, it won't make a Chocolate Collar Cake any easier.
Each cake has to be at least two tiers and a whole chocolate collar to wrap all around. In this heat.
Even Prue admits that nobody in their right mind would be working with chocolate in this weather, but it's Bake Off!
Lookit all the potential pretties!
Ruby's at risk, this cake will make or break this week for her. Terry's making an Eiffel Tower cake?
And Noel's got his Marie Antoinette get up on IN THIS HEAT. I admire the commitment if not the execution. Needs more face powder
Oh Briony does have a different hand, it's not slowing her down a whit. Those stupid silicon baking pans will, though.
Rahul talks and talks and talks. Of course Manon used to be an au pair and also of course Kim-Joy makes adorable kitties.
Briony struggles with raw fudge cakes and I am trying my best with Luke but he's doing so much white chocolate that I have to renew my reservations.
Buttercream is melting everywhere! And now they have to temper the chocolate ahhhh. IN THIS HEAT. I love Karen's even though I sideeye strawberry jam in cakes.
Half an hour left and the chocolate is not setting. Is that a SMEG? Just tell us!! show us the inner workings! Ruby and Rahul talk themselves into committing, just go for it! Oh no Luke, it's all bad, I'm so sorry. Terry's tower falls down and everyone looks sad. Manon cries and Rahul comforts her, I love how supportive everyone is.
Dan's looks fine
Rich, moist and delicious and looks great. Awesome
Prue likes the cats but the sponge is too firm
Looks fantastic, not much pistachio flavour
Looks fantastic and tastes even better. Yay Karen!
Fantastically baked and great design
Great flavour, terrible sponge and look
She didn't take the acetate off.
Too sweet, boring cake
Mostly silence, but the cake is beautiful inside. Sponges are all wrong.
Unbelievable job! I hope it tastes good: fantastic PAUL HOLLYWOOD HANDSHAKE!! First one ever for a Showstopper Cake!
The judges love Ruby's cake, looks so elegant and A SECOND SHOWSTOPPER HOLLYWOOD HANDSHAKE. Good job Ruby! And then she interviews that she doesn't so much care, she wanted Prue's approval, so.
Briony cries, Luke tries to console her and I worry about Terry again.
Star Baker for this week: Rahul! Yay!
And going home: Luke
Aww I'm surprised that I'm crying and he's not, there's no shame innit, to be in the top 12, goodonya Luke. Until next time for Bread Week, which is my FAVOURITE!! Cheers!