Tag Archives: Great british Bake Off

Great British Bake-Off judges last night, from left: Paul Hollywood, Pru Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Tovskig

The Great British Bake-off raised temperatures last night on Channel 4 with Dessert Week.

Too sweet? Not sweet enough? Or just right?

Frilly Keane writes:

Let’s talk about first impressions, and again, I’m sorry to say it was about appearances again last night. Terry’s sick note really spoilt dessert week for me ‘cause before they’d even turned on their ovens I had already predicted that no-one’ll be on the Extra Slice  this week, and that had me vaguely wishing the show along just to see if I was right.

I’m still ticked off with meself ‘cause I really wanted this FrillBake to be sum’ting nice and fulla sugary melty chocolatie Kimmy Joy. Like we haven’t bin’ getting on lately, just thought t’would be a nice reminder that there’s some really other important stuff going on besides elections, and Brexit n’ the like.

Instead I could only think about my Nana Lulus carpet (in her good room) whenever Noel appeared or wonder if The Hollywood had put on a few. At least Manon obliged by leaving the earrings at home, and the weekend in the tent became all about hair plaits. And yellow eyeshadow.

Anyway lads, do yer best to give Dessert week a guilty smile instead’ve a snort. And before we get to it, they’re turtles not trolls.

I think most home bakers have a dessert Signature that is not just a fruit tart. Ye might remember this oul’ reliable , of mine, even though I’ve been promising to try a lime curd kiwi & pineapple one since Tom Parlon was a TD.

My takeaway from last night’s Roulade challenge was Rahul’s rhubarb and custard, and my running favourite Dan got his third Hollywood handshake in a row. Which I can’t remember happening before, but he was Star Baker there and then, and probably should be given a monument inside the tent.

Sum’ting else about Dan, he uses basic everyday ingredients most of the time and he hasn’t needed chemistry, exotic teas or foodie techniques to get those handshakes.

He is the very definition of a proper family home baker, here I’d do this meself but since I’m the only one in my house that eats coconut I’d only make a pig of meself.

Also, the great thing about having Roulade as your own Signature is that it will always be what Jon called rustic looking, and icing sugar will always be your best friend, so you’re never under pressure to have it looking like it came from the Butler’s Pantry lot.

They were being a bit too fond of judging the swirl for me. Its dessert so don’t worry about the swirl, its all about the filling and having seconds; if its full spiral your after you’ll have ta’ reduce your creamy tangy good stuff.

The technical was the technical. Meh for Blancmange but if ye fancy it, Prue’s recipe is easy but loads of ingredients t’ be fecking around with, like Green Cocoa Butter. Yep. Green Cocoa Butter, for biscuits that last a second and involve eight different ingredients, and piping. But it is a good one if you’re baking as a quality time with kids thing.

Last place Manon just asked for it earlier on when she uttered she hadn’t messed up a bake so far.

Ah the Showstopper. Now a bitt’ve tale here. When they trailered it, I was heard saying sum’ting like ‘I would no more be arsed’ … like fecking around with a chocolate dome only to melt it before ya can get to your afters. But the dependent was a bit too quick with the snark herself; it must be the weather now that I think of it, at home as well as this gaff.

Anyway, I got a bitt’ve ‘you’d have to give it a go first and see can you do it before deciding you’re not being arsed’ (pronounced aursed.) Yep, getting it everywhere lately.

But wasn’t it great tho’ ? Like none of the bakers really made it look painful or too fancy with kit and techniques; a balloon was used for this. Shur’ it doesn’t matter if it melts and cracks. I’m definitely going to give one a go over the Christmas. Like for a group. Maybe the Broadsheet Christmas do, and I would probably do something like Kim Joys Turtle Astronauts …troll truffles, with bitter orange sauce.

Ah I’m only messing. I still love ye all.

Here, one thing before ye start separating yere yolks, Kim Joy was hard done by not t’get herself a Hollywood Handshake, but I reckon she’ll be there or there abouts in the last 2 weeks.

Star Baker, no need to mention. But its worth noting that three of the last four Star Bakers were lads.

Spice next week.

Yeah me neither

So hopefully I learn something new to do with my favourites, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; and there’s a bit more to Spice than gingerbreads.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Tyrone-born Imelda on last night’s ‘Great British Bake-Off’

The Great British Bake-off returned on Channel 4 last night.

Watched by a happy, if crumb-laden, Frilly Keane

Frilly writes:

Talk about shifting it up, Biscuit week trading places with Cake week! I think I would have coped better if they redecorated the tent.

Admittedly I did have an uncomfortable inkling on Monday when I retweeted Bake Off’s official little vid for shortbreads and wondered weakly why t’wasn’t a cake recipe when I did the 1 sleep to go thing.

As with other years, I purposefully do not follow all the online chatter about Bake Off, simply because I prefer to go into each heat completely ignorant and open minded, and will continue that same policy this year. I only  follow the Hollywood @judgebakeoff as a vocational obligation, and now in recent weeks @BritishBakeOff; and I will endeavour to keep it at just that.

So, week 1, Bikkies. Firstly, the opening Bake to the Future didn’t work for me and I hope we’re spared these uncomplimentary intros over the next 9 weeks, but I doubt it; there I’ve said it.
Secondly, remind yourselves of my view on Biscuits.

I do think doing Biscuits on week 1 was unfair and it should have been cake; if they really wanted to shuffle the formula a bit, maybe put Bread week ahead of Cake. They are the main occupation of the home baker and that’s what we should have been allowed  to consider from all 12.

The Technicals in particular, have always introduced something we, the home baker, have either not known of or even considered attempting; so last night;s Wagon Wheels, was a great opportunity to try something we’ve only ever shop bought and try and make it smart and artisan.

OK it’s not for a beginner, but Biscuits aren’t anyway, so if you’re nervous use Stacy’s fluff recipe  from last year’s Bikkie week.

One more bites from the bakes last night; boiled & shifted egg yolk in shortbread? Yep, I’ll give that a go meself so thank you Briony .

So, what of the contestants;  There’s France-born Manon . She’d been on a cooking show before. I never saw it, I never heard of it, so I’m comfortable saying she’s one to watch.

Ruby  was trying too much to be a character but isn’t irritating; Yet. And isn’t it great to have a flake back in the tent?  I also think Kim-Joy is one to watch.

I’m currently predicting another Win for the Girls; although Tyrone girl Imelda had to go last night. (Might be a sign of things to come in Croke Park there, Shayna?)

Overall, I think we’re in for a great season, although I’m very unsure about Vegan Week. Yep it’s a thing. No Handshakes, but I definitely got a sense that this year The Hollywood appears to have got attached to all the bakers.

I just wish Pru would shurr’up about calories tho’.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Monday: And We’re Bake

Pic: Channel4

Meanwhile…

Tasty, in fairness.

The Great British Bake-Off returns tonight TOMORROW on Channel 4 at 8pm.

This can mean only one thing.

Frilly Keane has got her ‘pinny’ on.

Frilly writes:

8pm Tomorrow we’ll be tuning inta the tent to try and suss out 12 new bakers  . Hardly a spoiler but you can expect the same gender break-out as before; 6 boys 6 girls competing and watching their ovens, 1 male judge, 1 female judge, 1 female presenter and Noel Fielding.

I’m hardly alone in noticing the lead up this year has been very quiet and steady, but I suppose that was to be expected since Bake Off in now in its second term with Channel 4 and any anxiety or doubts were all settled, and sugar dusted last season, and the only fluctuation with presenters and judges to fret about might be Noel’s latest girth; I suspect he enjoyed the filming a bit too much.

But shur’ that could happen to the best ov’us.

Any noise out there ahead of this season tended to circulate around the bakers, and there being some chatter about the producers going old school with a number of this year’s shortlist not having any Social Media profile ahead of entering the tent tonight; this was a criticism in previously with Selasi and his already established insta carryon being a particular target of the soggy bottom conspiracy tins.

Not for me since I don’t follow him, and he was one of my favourite bakers in the tent. OK he was never going to be a winner, but he was great telly; and he is the one baker I’d love to see back in the mixer with Sandi and Noel.

Something also for this season that is Social Media related, the personal accounts have been handed over to the producers’ PR people to run for the duration so they can ‘leakproof’ the tent; although I don’t believe that could ever be possible.

One thing that did stand out, to me anyway, in the ramp-ups over August is that the producers were particularly emphatic about the rules; no baker must have a formal confectionary qualification or training awarded within the last 10 years.

And no baker can have earned most of their income from baking. That tells me that they must have taken a bitta’ve stick over Steven and personally I’m glad they did, because this is all about what we can do from our own kitchens.

That last bit it worth mentioning as there are a few contestants you’ll meet tonight who are stay-at-homes; and in equal quota split, one boy one girl.

One thing I’ll comment on as a Bake-Offender since season 1, the cloning from season 2 onwards has been immaculate; Signatures, Technicals and Showstoppers remain untouched, and the old reliables are still there, Cake week, Biscuit week, Bread week etc. While the unimpeachable

Judging has persisted; it remains all about the bake, save for the odd week of dissent with the Hollywood, but shur’ that’s what we’re here for.

So as with every other season, the benchmarks remain intact. Bread Week is the marquee event and the [Paul] Hollywood handshake will still be the central tent pole.

In the meantime here’s some handy tips for some of us, and lingo translators for the rest ah’ ye.

Before I go and set the timer on the telly; a Tyrone girl, not Shayna, will be among, the bakers tomorrow, and watch out for the fussy ‘tash.

Your time starts now; BAKE!

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Pic: Channel4

Countdown presenter Nick Hewer on  this week’s Celebrity Bake-off

Sleb Bake-off continued this week.

Frilly Keane was watching.

She writes:

Sorry tis a day late lads, I was off getting me bits done for Paddy’s weekend so I was caught for time.

No time wasting so first things first; no disputing the winner ah’tall.

It was one of those rare Bake-Off occasions that the Star Baker was top bun in all three bakes. On a side note, I found the lad, Perri Kiely, the big haired dancing cutie a daycent sort who clearly took every ounce of pleasure he could from the experience, from being in the tent, to getting the handshake to winning the technical etc.

The sort that doesn’t pretend they never heard of Bake Off and is handy enough to know the difference between plain and self-raising; but wouldn’t fret if his pastry wasn’t flaky enough.

He’s a proud and an as long as I like it type of baker. In fact t’wouldn’t surprise me to learn he was one’ah the real Kiely’s (although having been in school with Mattie’s eldest I doubt it since none’ve ‘em were over 5 feet and weren’t the fittest or most athletic.)

Having said that Ricky the Rockstar ()) took it all very seriously and fancy didn’t he? Feckin’ Seaweed Scones and Anchovy Butter, shur’ that’s Masterchef carry on. Although I will have ta’ get me hands on that Choux recipe – more about that in a sec.

Then there was Dagenham Stace. I always had a bitta’ve soft spot for Stacy as I remember being told she was from the Avenues. A series of terraces in Dagenham I know well as my grandparents lived on 3rd Avenue, and subsequently my Aunty Dee, who btw could burn cream crackers and curdle packet gravy if she was left anywhere near a cooker.

But Christ those eyelashes were as off putting as the blinding bleached teeth. Pure Dagenham Barking Romford I know, but I was waiting for The Hollywood to find one of the eyelashes in her bakes.

Yet still there is something very genuine about her and I would love the lemonade and blueberry scone recipe myself. And she’s not the worst with a spatula and la-di-dah mixer.

So, Posh Nick. Like, what’s left to say since Tuesday night since you’d swear he won the main gig with all the chatter? Well I’ll give it a go, I think it’s unfair to consider him the useless one in the bake off tent because he has actually never done anything in a Kitchen, and probably never turned on an oven in his life.

I also have to respect the fact that he kept going, and actually put something in front of Pru n’ Paul, nor did he flap or throw a wobbler once; unlike the Paddy that time with the melted Ice Cream.

The boss here was skitting laughing at him, I wasn’t meself now although his wryness wasn’t tedious, but I was surprised he was as immaculate at the final judging as when he arrived into in.

Shurt n’ Tie with an apron, the only other time I’ve seen that was Mark D’Arcy in Bridget Jones. Never the twain…please, Mark D’Arcy should be a protected UNESCO sum’ting.

So Choux got the better of Lord Nick Hewer. I don’t feel so bad meself now. But I made a promise here the other night; when the new kitchen is in Cork’embouche will be the Champagne off the side of it.

The Hollywood’s Devil Food cake  isn’t a bad recipe if anyone wants to give it a lash. Vanilla Paste is about the only thing you might have to search carefully for as it wouldn’t be an Spar/ Aldi/Lidl thing normally. I’m not a fan of only Chocolate but I know most people love Chocolate Cake, and one fact about all his recipes, if you follow it exactly – and I mean chemical explosives exactly, it’s supposed to work.

See ye next week

Happy Paddy’s.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

The Great British Bake Off Episode 5 took place last night on Channel 4.

Wait, come back.

it was pudding week!

Frilly Keane writes:

I know last week I kinda dissed puddings a bit, but I’m opening up this week with a complete backtrack. I’d forgotten how easy the prep is and how much fun you can have with them, and how cheaply they can come together with the few bits that might already be in ye’re presses.

Some of ye may have noticed already that I don’t mention my own mother very often, that tis usually her mother, my Nanny Lulu that features from time to time; she’s still alive but we’re not close and would probably qualify as estranged. I have no regrets about this status or suffer any guilt over it.

But it was my mother who was the baker I grew up with.

The only thing I’ve asked from her in the last 10 years was for her recipe books and notes, at the time there was only one hand written one I was explicit about;

A Christmas Cake recipe in the most beautiful graceful handwriting I have ever seen; still. It came into my mother’s collection by way of my sister’s best friend, and my babysitter for years Trisha.

Anyway one year my older sister was charged with doing the Christmas Cakes (it could have been a few years as my mother worked nights – I’d say t’was mid to late 70s anyway), and Tisha came by to sort it out; poor ol’ JackJack still can’t manage to re-heat a shop bought Apple Tart, but she’s an American how, so she probably gets them delivered. (If it’s of any interest I have contacted JackJack just now to get her to confirm how that recipe ended up with us and how it came about that Mam didn’t bake them herself – so a TBC sticky in this paragraph please.)

I digressed here because Mam was, when she was about, a committed and studious home baker. She sourced ingredients and kit from my aunts still in England pretty much from every call and letter between them. And what she did most and best; Steamed Puds.

Although not actually steamed like you saw last night; she used a Pressure Cooker. And in that collection of recipe books is a book with 365 Puddings in it; one for every day of the year.

My 10 year old’s memory thinks it was a St Michael’s Marks and Spencer one. But she had loads of their books, so I won’t let ye rely on it. But with every bake session there was always a few puddings done too.

Interestingly for me now, and hopefully for ye. A steamed pud will keep for weeks if its kept in the bowl its baked in and the greaseproof paper seal and top remains intact. Mam would even leave the string still on, and when it was cold wrap a tinfoil cloak around it.

So, why am I telling ye all this. I was wrong about Puddings. Maybe it was an unintended blocking out of them based on my own relationship with the woman that taught me how to make Queen Cakes and turn them into Butterfly Cakes. I dunno. I don’t care;

I’m putting ye right now.

Give one a go; try a sweet one first and don’t get too fancy with fruit and compote and curd n’stuff. Just put your favourite jam into the bottom of your pudding bowl and pour your sponge mix slowly over it. I’m sure there’s enough YouTube vids up there to teach ye how to seal and tie up a pudding bowl before steaming.

At last, Back to Bake Off; and apologies for taking this long. What I really enjoyed about last night, was that every challenge, Signature, Technical and Showstopper can all be attempted by a first-time baker.

In particular the Showstopper, OK not quite the ones we saw last night. But a tiered dessert is so easy to do, and its great if you have smallies wanting to help. A loaf tin, cling film, some fruit covered in an inch of jelly. Set it. Mix up a layer of Ice cream or custard or mouse or even yogurt and pour over your now set Jelly.

Next, crushed brownies, cheesecake base, trifle sponges, even slices of Swiss Roll; anything. See that, everything there now can be shop bought in the shop across the road. No baking or measuring or weighing or sifting. You won’t even need an apron.

Recipe of the week is not what ye might be thinking because it mentioned a certain gentleman known to us all here. Christ, I couldn’t even think of him and that pond together with Earl Grey tea. I’m holding back my throat now thinking about being forced to drink hot water with washing-up liquid in it.

I’m going to recommend Steven’s Lemon Pud although I’m going to swap out the Blackcurrants for Blackberries or Blackberry Jam. If any of ye have access to any Country Markets, now is the time to get a few jams in to get yere puddin’ on.

No daycent smutty stuff worth bringing to ye’re attention, nor any shurt talk that would be of any interest. As predicted, the new faces in the tent, Prue, Noel and Sandi are fully embedded into the Bake Off; and they did it without stepping on anyone’s toes or by overlooking the tradition and legacy started by Dame Mary Berry and the other two, Mel and Sue. Yeah I know but she should be.

Three Hollwood handshakes in the Signature last night; a record. But only two of the recipients were in contention for Star Baker, Stacey and Yan, who ran alongside Sophie in that final decision.

Sophie who in all honesty was up there at that level for Cake week and Biscuit week anyway, and will be a finalist imo. So, it was well earned and well deserved to final breakthrough into Star Baker.

Now to who went home, James. Ah here t’was only a matter of time anyway. And he was the only one on that step last night.

Next week is Pastry week. And ye all know too well that pastry is an art form all on its own. And no matter how many times we follow the same recipe there is always something different about each outcome.

I’ll be looking for some new tips and techniques meself, and hopefully I can get finally figure out Choux.

It’s still all to play for. The best last 7 ever and if Yan can survive Pastry week, I think Patisserie could be right up her street, and we might just have another new contender for Season 8.

Oh, and what happened to all those Recipes, my mother gave them all away to my father’s niece. Along with all her kit.

Pic; Channel 4

Week 4 Star Baker Kate

Episode 4 of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 contained a naughty centre last night.

The brand new Caramel Week.

Frilly Keane tucked in:

Caramel week is a Bake Off first, but throwing in a different theme among the standard fixtures; Cake, Patisserie, Bread etc is not. So I was looking forward to it myself, in particular the voyeur’ing over the making of 40 shades of Caramel from scratch; sur’ the rest of us just take it out’ve a can.

But here, I was all but gagging on the buttery molten sugar before they even got to the Show-Stopper. I could feel the fumes from that dark muscovado smouldering up my own nostrils.

For a Bread, Pie and Pud man The Hollywood has some sweet tooth and obviously a gut that can cope with a plantation of sugar.

What I did appreciate in particular last night was that the makings of the Signature, Millionaires Shortbread, is pretty much in every home baker’s kit and skill level. There are loadsa of ways to get started with Millionaires Shortbread. So give them a go. All the kit you need is a bowl, a whisk, a tray, a pot and a can opener.

Interestingly, the Technical brought its own first as well, they all made a Mickie of it. Actually, this is a good spot to get the stickie bits out’ve the way.

It must be an’ Irish thing but Prue’s “Go Low & Slow” over that very segment got a knowing sur is there any other way Girl, yet it didn’t feature in the on-line post-mortems hash tagging around. Lots of “Dip me Nuts” and Stacey’s “not as much as an erection as I would like” tho.

Again, with Stacey, and her Show-stopper; forget the erection section, sur it’ll only wilt anyway, her Chocolate & Coffee Carmel Cake is definitely one for me so I’ll be looking for that recipe. All the hoo-haa was for Kate’s Sticky Toffee Apple Cake and deservedly so.

But tis all that buttercream lads, not a fan meself and its messy enough over the day or two after (if you manage to get that out’ve it) and there’s loads of ingredients involved, and some you may not be able to pick up on the way home.

Whereas a good coffee sponge does do well in a tin – add in Chocolate & Caramel and you’ll be winning everything from Tinahely to Tullamore.

Shurt watching now appears to be a thing on Bake Off. And it all started here on the Late Late Broadsheet on the Telly show.

Finally, despite the Twitter meltdown about Star Baker, Kate who can now longer be snuck in as my ‘Dahk Hoarse’ was worthy and has served her time being there and thereabouts consistently.

While Liam did get the only Hollywood handshake last night, readers and watchers need to be reminded he barely survived Bread Week. I also sensed some sense of entitlement off him in the final stages of last night’s show; and its put me right off.

Next week is Pud week. They’re a bit like biscuits for me, too much hassle for a short-lived experience; despite the steamy atmosphere. And I’m a bit funny about suet; I even make my own Mince-Meat at Christmas without it. But looking forward to it anyway.

Pic: Channel 4

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?

Meanwhile…