Umm….what? Bread Week, Cake Week, Pastry Week, Tudor Week???? I wasn’t aware that was a style of baking….Honestly, when I saw it was “Tudor Week” I didn’t know what to expect….sounded, frankly, a little bit scraping-the-barrel…
I WAS WRONG. There, I said it. You can quote me. I WAS WRONG.
Tudor Week was a blooming brilliant theme!
They started with making their own flavours of pies. With visual ideas such as a tudor rose, a fish, and interlocking gears; and contents like ox cheek, sausage meat, guinea fowl, rabbit and chipotle pork & black beans; they really had a variety of ideas and flavours!
I thought Benjamina’s sounded amazing, I’m not entirely sure how the Mexican flavours and sun shape design fit in with the Tudor theme, but I still want a bite anyway!
Candice has been doing an amazing job over the past few weeks – her Botanical cake has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen on Bake Off – This task was not one of her strongest visually, but from the judges responses, It looks like it tasted amazing.
Andrew absolutely SMASHED the design on this task. The gear design looked amazing and, it WORKED! The gears actually turned! So impressed! His happy little face when he got his good feedback – bless him!
So, moving on to the Technical Challenge – Jumbles!
The look on the baker’s faces when they saw the recipe was hilarious. Every single one of them seemed completely thrown! I did have a little giggle as Andrew and Benjamina both exclaimed “What?!”
The designs of the Jumbles were really tricky – I know for me, I would have thrown the most incredible strop trying to get the knots right. I don’t know how they all stayed so calm!
Candice smashed this one this week. She really cracked it. It was fairly obvious when they started judging that Candice had it in the bag. She has really come out of herself in the past few weeks, I really didn’t think she was going to get very far at the beginning of this series but she is turning into a bit of a dark horse!
Onto the Showstopper – Marzipan Centrepieces!
I love marzipan. I could eat it by the handful (though I’d end up the size of a house!) and so to have a whole challenge around it had me very excited! The designs were all brilliant, and so varied.
Jane’s centrepiece was so neat and detailed – and with the traditional tudor roses on it too – really sticking to the theme. Andrew’s jousting knights centrepiece just made me giggle; the placement of the jousting pole, which was commented on by Paul, just needed to be a bit higher….but it did look like a decent cake too….though not one of his finest showstoppers I don’t think. Benjamina’s maze looked great – yes, it did grow a bit in the oven and I think with a bit more time it would have been much neater, but over all, I thought it looked fab and loved the tree in the middle! Candice’s peacock absolutely knocked everyone else out of the park – no-one else had a chance – it was amazing. As soon as she started putting it together I had her pinned for Star Baker – absolutely outstanding in every sense of the word. Selasi’s piece looked a little simplistic in comparison when being judged straight after Candice’s but it held together and seemed to have all the right flavours etc, but not exactly a standout in my eyes…
[ALERT – SPOILERS BELOW!]
I cannot believe Benjamina went home! It wasn’t her week at all, but everyone has off weeks! I really liked her and I really think she should have gone through to next week. For me, it should have been Selasi to go home…I’ve definitely got Andrew, Jane and Candice as my finalists now…..there is no way Selasi is going to make it through next week…
Argh, Can it be next Wednesday already – I want it to be the semi-finals now! I can’t wait!
Featured Image by Rebecca Matthews