Episode Two – Biscuit Week.
It’s week two in the Bake Off tent and it’s time for biscuit week. The bakers had to tackle sandwiched jammy biscuits, delicate brandy snaps, and create interactive 3-D biscuit replicas of their favourite childhood toy. Will our bakers rise to the challenge or snap under the pressure?
Signature Challenge – Brandy Snaps.
Paul and Prue asked the bakers to make twenty four identical brandy snaps, Prue warned the bakers that the biscuits needed to have a nice snap and a delicate lacy finish. Nervous bakers and fragile biscuits, what could go wrong? Last week’s episode saw the battle of the black forest mini rolls, but biscuit week began the battle of the apples. Lizzie hoped to impress the judges with her fast food apple pie brandy snaps whilst Crystelle put a twist on the classic flavour by adding apple cider vinegar. Will Crystelle’s deviation from the sweet apple classic wow the judges, or leave them with a sour taste in their mouths?
Judgement time arrived and the bakers eagerly awaited feedback. Complimented for her lovely snap and delicious flavour combination it was Crystelle who won the battle of the apples; whilst Lizzie was commended for creating a ‘lovely mouthful’, her snaps did not meet the lacy criteria. Although we haven’t seen any Hollywood handshakes this year, Matt Lucas gave one to Jürgen who once again impressed the judges with his ‘A Cup of Chai’ brandy snaps. Unfortunately it was Maggie’s blackcurrant brandy snaps that failed to impress the judges this week; although Maggie achieved a delicious flavour, her brandy snaps were more of a brandy chew as they needed to be cooked for longer. Can Maggie redeem herself and turn up the heat in the technical challenge?
Technical Challenge – Sandwiched Jammy Biscuits.
This week was Paul’s choice for the technical challenge, he prefaced it by telling the bakers “This is pretty straightforward”, but previous seasons tell us that Paul’s version of straightforward can often be the most troublesome. The bakers were asked to bake twelve sandwiched jammy biscuits with consistent colour and the signature swirl on the biscuit’s surface. Paul’s reassurance that the bake was “straightforward” left the bakers in a panic that saw Crystelle drop her biscuits, Rochica burn her jam and made Chigs sacrifice his swirl.
The time flew by and it was time for the bakers to learn their fate. Once again, Jürgen, nicknamed the ‘baking terminator’ by Giuseppe, dominated the challenge and earned himself first place with his delicious and uniform bake. Giuseppe was a strong competitor placing in second, but it was Crystelle this week who failed to impress the judges, falling in tenth place and Rochica placed eleventh.
Showstopper Challenge – 3-D Biscuit Replica of Favourite Childhood Toy with Interactive Element.
Never the people to ask for too much, Paul and Prue asked the bakers for not only a 3-D biscuit replica of their favourite childhood toy, but also asked them to include an interactive element. George decided to make a replica of his toy plane with a motorized stand to propel the plane in circles. Will George’s ‘Paul and Prue Airlines’ showstopper leave the judges on cloud nine, or will George be heading for the departure lounge? Chigs revisited his youth by designing a snooker table made out of spiced gingerbread with marshmallow fondant balls. Both Freya and Amanda made their showstopper based on horses, but which one will Paul and Prue back?
The bakers awaited feedback for the last time in biscuit week, but who will come out on top? Despite the rough decoration of his bake, George impressed the judges with his flavours, design and crisp biscuits. Unfortunately, Amanda’s rocking horse leaned too much into the vintage aesthetic as it fell apart. Whilst deliberating, Prue pointed out that Amanda’s could have been the best had it not been for her structural mishap. Jairzeno was complimented on his blend of flavours but the judges saw his ‘laid back’ approach translate through his rough and ready decoration.
It’s time for the best and worst moment of the week where we find out who will be the star baker, and who will be leaving the tent. Jürgen pulled ahead in week two and earned the title of star baker for the second week in a row, an impressive feat. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to another baker this week, Jairzeno. Jairzeno may not have won The Great British Bake Off but he definitely won the hearts of our viewers with his laid back approach and charm.
Bake Off Kitchen Appliances.
You may have noticed the beautiful appliances in the Bake Off tent, with hidden oven doors and pastel fridges, the tent was designed for beauty and ease. If you are wondering where to purchase these items, you can read more about the appliances here.
Paul Hollywood’s Jammy Biscuit Recipe
If you are wondering how to make the “straightforward” jammy biscuits from this week’s technical challenge, below I will outline Paul Hollywood’s Jammy Biscuit recipe including all of the ingredients and equipment you need.
- 2 Baking Sheets, Lined with Baking Paper
- 7cm Patterned Biscuit Stamp (optional)
- 2cm Heart-Shaped Cutter
- 7cm Fluted Round Cutter
- Small, Deep Sided Pan
- Potato Masher
- Heatproof Bowl
- Mixing Bowl x 2
- Palette Knife
- Dough Cutter/Scraper
- Cling Film
- Rolling Pin
- Wire Rack
- Wooden Spoon or Electric Hand Whisk
Ingredients for Jam:
- 125g of Jam Sugar
- 100g of Raspberries
Ingredients for Biscuits:
- 1 Large Egg
- 215g of Plain Flour
- 25g of Cornflour
- 120g of Caster Sugar
- 120g of Very Soft Unsalted Butter
- ½ tsp of Vanilla Extract
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 50g of Unsalted Butter, Softened
- ½ tsp of Vanilla Extract
- 100g of Icing Sugar, plus extra for dusting.
The first thing that we are going to do is make our jam. Begin by placing your raspberries in a small, deep-sided pan and use a potato masher to crush them. Then you should add sugar to the raspberries and bring the liquid to boil over a low heat until your sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the liquid for a further 4 minutes and then remove the pan from the heat and use a sieve to pass the jam through into your heatproof bowl. Discard the seeds that are left in the sieve, leave your jam to cool and then chill it so it will set.
Now we will begin to make the biscuits by placing the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat it thoroughly for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Once the mixture is fluffy, add the vanilla extract and egg and beat it again until it has been thoroughly combined.
Next, we’re going to use the sieve and sift in the cornflour and flour and mix it by hand to create a crumbly dough. Bring your dough together with your hands and knead it gently on a work surface that has been lightly dusted with flour – be careful not to overwork the dough.
Use the dough cutter/scraper to halve the dough and shape each half into a flat disc, then wrap the discs in cling film and chill them for 20 minutes.
Unwrap one of your dough disks on a work surface that has been lightly floured and roll it out to approximately 3mm in thickness. Using the 7cm fluted round cutter, cut around 12 rounds – you can re-roll the trimmings if necessary.
If you have a biscuit stamp, you can lightly flour it and stamp each round to create a pattern on the dough. Re-cut the round using the fluted round cutter and then place the 12 discs onto one of your lined baking sheets. Whilst you roll out the remaining dough, you should chill the 12 discs.
With the remaining dough disc, you should repeat steps five and six, then, using your heart-shaped cutter, stamp out the centre of 12 of the rounds. Place these rounds on the other baking sheet and chill them for 20 minutes.
Bake your biscuits for 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to turn a pale golden colour. You should now leave the biscuits to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Now we need to make the filling, let’s begin by placing the butter into a bowl and sifting your icing sugar on the top. Then, add the vanilla extract and using either an electric hand whisk or wooden spoon, beat until the mixture is very smooth and light.
We’re nearly there! Dollop a spoonful of your filling onto the smooth side of each of the 12 plain biscuits and spread it to the edges using a palette knife. Spoon a little bit of jam over the buttercream and sandwich it with another biscuit smooth side downwards with the 12 cut-out heart biscuits. To finish the recipe off, use a sieve and dust your biscuits with icing sugar before serving.