Great British Bake Off Recap: Week 1, CAKES
It’s the TV event of the year and pretty much our entire reason for living: YES, Great British Bake Off returned to our screens last night with another fresh batch of contestants, hot, fluffy and determined, straight out of the oven.
So how did it all go down?
We knew it was going to be a strong starter right from the off, especially considering the title of the episode.
So, aside from a new set of bakers (who you can read about in our handy guide HERE) everything looked pretty much as it should.
Mary Berry’s face like a competitive mother at a child beauty pageant was still there, Paul Hollywood’s wet look gel was perfectly in place, and Mel and Sue’s different shades of blue blazers were back in force.
Initial reactions of the contestants were pretty solid: bodybuilder Ugne seemed like a delight, Tamal’s chocolate brown eyes sent us into a forbidden part of our brains, and one of them was wearing a hat.
Signature: The Madeira Cake
Paul Hollywood gives us the first uncomfortable quote of the series when he says “we have 12 new fantastic bakers to ‘break in'”, which led us to missing half the show to make time to crouch in a dark corner and rock back and forth slowly.
This week’s innuendo word is CRACK, because the team are making madeira cakes, famed for their distinctive ‘crack’ on the surface of the sponge. This leads to everyone saying ‘cracks’ a lot, leading to the president of Ofcom to retire.
Someone makes a gin n’ tonic madeira, clearly with the intentions of getting Mary Berry hammered in episode one. Honestly. Is this Great British Bake Off, or a MOSH PIT, young man?
(FYI: We like to make gin n’ tonic cakes too. They are glasses of gin’ tonic in baking trays.)
As this all goes on, we get the inevitable look into all the contestant’s personal lives, but we never really listen to those bits, just like we never listen to the boring history portion of show. The man with a hat ruins all the baking tension by increasingly resembling Olly Murs.
As the round draws to a close (“It’s the end of a mad-era!” nobody says) Paul and Mary hurl a barrage of shocking insults at the contestant’s efforts, such as, “overwhelmingly lemon”, “overbaked”, and perhaps most offensively of all, “the gin is not there”.
Technical Round: Walnut Cakes
The next step is the technical round, where the bakers must follow an intense list of instructions from Mary herself, or else they get taken round the back and shot. This week is WALNUT CAKES. For some reason, this seems to turn everybody on, with people saying sexy things like “I’m going to caramelise my walnuts”, “things are getting a bit sticky” and “I don’t think it’s going to stay up.”
Alright, steady on.
After half an hour of apocalyptic massacres like uneven sponges, it’s time to pitch the walnut cakes anonymously to the judges. At the last minute Nadiya realises she hasn’t covered up her cake like everyone else, and has to offend Mary with a saucy naked walnut cake instead.
However, this is not as bad as one offering, which suffers the most public battering of dignity since George Galloway put on a red catsuit.
“That’s a shame.”
The person who made that cake is dead now.
(Just kidding.) And the winner is…UGNE. YES, UGNE. Bodybuilding AND cake making. Such talents. What next? Running for governor of Califronia?
Showstopper: Black Forest Gateau
The final challenge of the day is to make the ULTIMATE black forest gateau, a timeless classic, like Paul’s wet-look hair gel. Tamal is making a rich, dark chocolate sponge, because he is coordinating his gateau with his beautiful endless eyes, which are like molten hot cups of cocoa on a stormy night. Er, anyway.
Olly Murs takes the term ‘black forest’ literally by making some chocolate trees, but because of his hat we have no time for his ambitions.
Ian, on the other hand, decides to go for the unorthodox gateau theme of ‘joke shop poo’.
Elsewhere, people are using high tech methods such as BALLOONS to shape the chocolate, like we’re in the middle of Minority Report or something.
Tamal says something overwhelmingly seductive like “it’ll form the collar round my cake” and we enter our special part of our brain again. So far so good. And not a Baked Alaska or a bin in sight. Right, Dorret? DORRET?
Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water after last year’s Baked Alaska fiasco, poor Dorret found that her mousse had not set in time, leaving her gateau as a gloopy hot chocolate mess. (To be fair, we still would.)
Just when we thought we going to get another dessert in a bin moment, Sue comforted the very upset Dorret to BAFTA-worthy levels of kindness. “It’s just a cake.” she says warmly. JUST A CAKE, SUE? That’s like saying, ‘It’s JUST a Greek economic collapse.’ Just a cake.
Nevertheless, Sue genuinely seemed to calm Dorret down, and the bins were safe. Has Sue got an OBE? Give her an OBE.
If things weren’t bad enough, Paul brutally slaughters Dorret during the judging stage, calling her cake “like rubber”, and may as well lazer the poor woman with his ice queen blue eyes.
But Dorret had nothing to fear, because, as the great ancient proverb goes, melted mousse is one thing, but wearing a hat and being a terrible baker who puts beetroot in a chocolate gateau is another.
Yes we are of course talking about Stu, who is brutally booted from the competition for his insults to cake and hat-kind.
“Back to the music, I guess!” he says. And Stu goes off to destroy another thing human beings love.
NEXT WEEK: IT’S BISCUITS. WHEN WILL THE TURMOIL END?