Hi, look where we are!!! In England for The Great British Bake Off once again! I recapped season 7, then pout-flounced for a year when they moved to Channel 4 (okay I was suuuuuper busy) and now I'm back to drool over cakes, cookies and many, many enameled appliances. Who's with me??
We open in the field behind our magical white tent and oh. Oh. We're doing a Back To The Future sketch with Whathisgoth and NotSueorMel, aka Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig. Are we...sure we want to do this, Bakies?
*quick minute to remind myself that Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins always did bits too
We do a fast meet and greet with all the new bakers agog at the famous tent; "more people have been in space than in that tent."
I'm pretty sure I've heard a dirtier version of that!
We've got Paul Hollywood and NotMaryBerry returning to judge the bakes this year, Prue Leith wears a lot of bright colours and has different hair and pledges to judge more firmly this year. Does she enjoy a rum tipple or two as well?
*promise I'll stop comparing, any minute. Y'all have had a year to get used to these faces, I'm still in the moony-griping stage
We've got quite the mixed bag this year! Ordinaries mixed with Jocks and a MAC Counter, hmmm. Even Hercule Poirot stops by!
We've got a frenchwoman, loads of Scots, a Stay At Home Dad, an extremely handsome East Asian dude and a woman convinced she'll do well under pressure. We shall see, my pretties!
Oooh the intro, wheee!
Do we normally start on Biscuit Week? Noel and Sandi get the bakers warmed up (...er) and we're off to 24 regional biscuits!
That mean something to them! I don't understand why Noel.
Paul Hollywood is wearing a bright blue shirt that matches his swoony blue eyes.
First baker we meet is Briony Williams
a Stay At Home Mum who is making Apple Cider Empire Biscuits.
Which involve boiled eggs. Paul and I are perplexed but Sandy keeps telling everyone to stand down, everyone just got here!
Now we have SAHD Dan Beasley-Harling
who can't figure out why he's sweating his crumbly lemon whatsit biscuits, they always come out great at home!
Next up is Manon (of the SPRING?) Lagreve who says she likes cream but
Does she just carry it around in a pocket? At any rate, she's making clotted cream somethings
Ruby Bhogal is also using clotted cream
in her Masala Chai Devon yummers
Nuclear Scientist Rahul Mandal was not afforded the opportunity to choose his best side, poor dear,
but is planning to push through with his Coconut and Fennel jobbies nonetheless because his mum likes them.
He's a slow talker with a slow voice that rises on the opposite syllable that you expect, it's cacophonous yet hypnotising.
Imelda McCarron is all Northern Irish
but her biscuit choice leaves people talking about pooping. Just pooping.
Now we have Luke Thompson, our bro-jock horseman of the group.
Adding ginger and lime to his biscuits. I'm sorry, I saw him grinding with his eyes closed during the two-second shot of him dj-ing so I will be working at not loathing him.
Poor Noel and Sandi, they're working hard but his misshapen Elvis face looks uncomfortable over his ice cream shirt.
Banker Antony Amourdoux is making sandwich biccies too,
Super spicy biscuits with Bollywood dancing on the side!
I can see I'll have trouble not giffing his adorable face non-stop.
Everyone else is all English self-deprecation: I sure hope they'll like my fabulous jam!! and over in the corner is Antony drooling over his own mango chili shazza.
Blood courier Jon Jenkins (what? That's a complete job? You just carry blood, not other assorted organs and offal?) is an avid sailor, so he's making seashell goodies.
That sounds SWEET. The batter sounds OBSCENE.
On to Kim-Joy, a mental health specialist who is apparently in costume for a yet-unknown reason.
I try not to make fun of how people look, because that's unkind and negative and shite, but I truly have no idea what this person looks like, she's covered in the most atrocious clothing and accessories. A two year old would say there was a lot going on there.
Grandma food promoter (you have my attention) Karen Wright is making flowers too, but from scratch.
Artist Terry NoLastName is our last baker, he's making 24 little lamb biscuits. I beg your pardon?
My favourite part of his intro was when he kept trying to get his massive horse to move by saying "Walkies? Walkies Amy!"
Bakes are in!
I am sad because the mixers are all the same (albeit beautiful light teal) colour.
Ooooh so many gorgeous and different biscuits!! Dan threatens Kim-Joy's yield in the most English of ways: be a shame if one of hers fell on the floor, wouldn't it? Pity.
Oh goodness, less than 5 minutes left and Terry hasn't got one biscuit ready. Karen's digging into the crisps already, both of us are worried that she's not sweating like a normal person trying not to swallow their tongue. How can she be done already? Must not be difficult enough, that last 4.5 minutes of effort really sells a savory/sweet whatsit.
Ah Terry, I'm sorry. He can't get his chocolate lambs on his biccys.
Beautiful texture, gorgeous blend of flavours
Not a biscuit, a cookie. Too basic as we feared, even with the restful piping.
Beautiful AND beautifully blended, well done!
Underbaked and bland
Neat and beautifully baked
Too many flavours - fennel lost
Dry sponge, difficult to eat
Which I fell asleep just looking at. Tough and chewy, bad texture.
Break well, delicious biscuit! Oaty! Worth the calories.
Best shortbread today! Blows your mind, that's a great biscuit!
I just now, 23 minutes and 12 second in, have remembered that in the UK biscuits means cookies. I was wondering where the Buttermilk be! You should probably stop reading now.
Well maybe after the Technical Challenge!
8 Wagon Wheels in 2 hours! I think I'd sooner eat actual wheels off wagons.
Antony makes a mistake immediately, but the overweening sense is that nobody's made one. Most bakers haven't even eaten one but Sandi's not eaten a lot of things, I gather. What's a "pot noodle?"
The interviews are so STIFF!! The banter won't BANTER!
Antony makes more adorable mistakes, Manon explains the recipe in her gorgeous accent, it's all too much at once.
I can't take much of Kim-Joy's mugging, you lot.
Sandi's hair gets bigger and bigger as I strain my eyes trying to see a label on the rounded enameled fridges.
Ruby's wheels are the only ones that look close at all, good job Comeback Kid! Briony is the second best, she'll be one to beat!
From last to best: Antony, Imelda, Kim-Joy, Terry, Luke, Rahul, Karen, Jon, Dan, Manon, Briony and Ruby, woo!
Time to call it a night! They'll join up tomorrow for the Showstopper Challenge, who will be the Star Baker then?
Early prediction for Star Baker: Briony
Early prediction for Walk Of No Shame: Terry
The Showstopper Challenge is a Biscuit Selfie Portrait. Um.I don't even know what that means. They're going to create their faces with butter and sugar? On an easel?
Lookit all the fancy choices!
I didn't realise Dan was a SAHGayD, wooooo! I love it when we get to see relationships other than the usual heteronormative stuff on TV!
Luke is a total dudebro, Vegas, baby, Vegas.
Briony calls it Gin O'Clock but poor dear Terry is dying again. Oh goodness, talk about creepy, his brandy snap Face-Off.
Biscuits overbrown, crack, break, fall on the floor and disappear. Karen brags about her large hooter (just the one then?) and Ruby suffers a catastrophic loss in the form of shards of broken cookie. It is always so exciting, down to the last minute and people are almost crying with exhaustion, rage and fear.
They're baking COOKIES! As Noel has said: they've taken a relaxing pasttime and turned it into a nightmare.
Very artistic, nice biscuit
Great job, bland cookie
It's certainly gingerbread!
Lovely lemon curd, Paul calls the biscuit spectacular and Jon and I almost cry we're so relieved. He's had a rough couple of days!
Well baked biscuit, well done Chubby Face! Paul called him that to.his.chubby.face
Can't taste the rosewater, but looks great.
Bland and unrecognisable, dry too
Strange taste, unfinished look, soft biscuit and dry. Sorry, Ruby
Not quite enough flavour
Okay, changing my prediction to Manon as Star Baker; she gets a "wow" and an "amazing" here
Terry's face while he's waiting to hear...then he gets terrific feedback and we both cry a little for real.
Okay, Manon gets Star Baker, good thing I switched at the last minute! Congrats, mademoiselle!
And leaving us today is: Imelda. BOOOOOOO. Awww, I liked her and wanted to see more. I honestly didn't even realise she was at risk!
Thanks for reading (okay, looking at pictures), bye Imelda, so sorry we didn't get to see any more! Until next time, Terry, Ruby and I are counting the votes in the back.