Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith and presenter Sandi Toksvig chat to Stacey Hart about her bakes

Frilly Keane continues her analysis of the new season of the Great British Bake Off

Week 2; Bikkie Week; a few crumbs for ye

This is one of those weeks ye could normally have missed in previous seasons; simply because most bakers won’t do biscuits.

I’ll do shortbread and the odd tray bake, and that’s about the height of it for stuff you’d carry in your mouth on route from the Kitchen to the Front room.

Biscuits are quick but can mess up too easily; and, well the main reason for me anyway, and I suspect many others might recognise this, is they use up too much kit and take over the place – there’s too much faffing about with baking trays and timers and 8 minute bakes; and you never have enough cooling trays.

And they’re can be an’awful lot of piping if like me you’ve no patience for sizing and straight lines. And they’re gone before bedtime.

So last night was a pleasant surprise. If you are one of those that would have given Biscuit week a miss, make sure you pick it up. The Technical was something I never would have expected on GBBO, and it introduced us to a technique we never would have put our own thoughts to.

The Recipe of the week to follow up on is Stacy’s Signature Bake especially the Marshmallow Fluff filling which could be handy for a load of stuff.

I’m not afraid of saying now that I don’t miss Mary Berry, yet I don’t feel disloyal or that I’ve cheated on her because she hasn’t actually been replaced. Prue Leith has established her own role in the Bake-Off tent and with the Bake Off itself.

Instead of replacing Mary Berry, Prue now has her own individual partnership and relationship with the Hollywood and the viewers that is totally independent of Mary.

I’m actually really looking forward to seeing how she accompanies Paul on Bread week (next week btw) Mary had a tendency to let Paul be her teacher on Bread and Pie stuff; so will Prue be as willing to let Paul lecture her and the remaining Bakers?

If anyone still had any doubts about Sandi and Noel; they must be well steamed off by now. They own that gig. In fact, I think the process of developing a whole new audience and market for themselves outside their usual genres is well underway.

Because they are so unique themselves they are creating a string of new dynamics for Bake Off. With the Bakers, with the Viewers, with Paul and Prue, with themselves; whereas Mel and Sue were, despite being a Double Act, one blonde one brunette etc, one straight one not, were actually just a single and same role to cast; same lines, same wardrobe, same gags.

Totally unlike what Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig are filling the tent up with.

Finally, no dispute about who went home; but I would have challenged Star Baker meself. Having said that the Liverbirds won’t have worried anyone last night; but then again it was just bikkies; however, the Scouse Girls are still the ones to watch.

Previously: And How Was It For You?


12 thoughts on “Taking The Biscuit

  1. martco

    for me (very much depends on how you’re looking at things) the bread and pies n pastries is where the real action is at so lookin forward to seeing that

    just my humble opinion but baking a really good loaf of bread or getting a pie crust bang on is far harder to nail than the stuff they were at last nite

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Dead on.

      Pastry is fiddly little divil, though absolutely amazing when you get it right, and bread is something that requires constant work – imo.There’s a real knack to it, and not everyone has it (me included – my bread is hit and miss, despite my best efforts)

      1. martco

        it’s a faff but try this, if u get it right you won’t go back
        -first freeze your fat (butter or…)
        -big grater
        -2 bowls
        -get your dry in one bowl
        -butter out of paper, work as fast as your hands allow…into the dry & coat like your battering a fish, grate a layer off each 6 sides into second bowl, repeat repeat till no fat left…
        -fold/roll as usual if u can on granite slab…cling film can be a help…fast and cold

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Thanks! Will be baking an Apple Tart™ this weekend to try it out on. You’re welcome to come over for a slice, if you like.

          1. martco

            oooh. and be a judge?
            em dunno if I’m up to it, I’m fairly shy and lacking in confidence…

            would you serve with whipped double cream or just as it sits?

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            You don’t HAVE to be a judge, you know. We could just have tea and compare favourite deserts.

          3. martco

            oh it’s a good one alrite if you get the pastry case right that’s half the battle…I fill mine with a lovely moist almond mix and fresh summerfruits like blackberries redcurrants and blackcurrants (not ever strawberries as they get waay too wet n loose n messy) as opposed to more traditional pears…the top tip now is to use nothing less than proper salted butter and almond extract (never essence ffs)

  2. martco

    still trying to figure out wtf Noel Fielding is doing in there

    a bit like Craig Doyle…I don’t get it

    maybe he’s got some sort of rolling contract with C4 and they have to give him slots legally like

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