It’s cookie time in the tent as biscuit week kicks off (with a snap!).
The bakers have 2 hours to create Florentines, which must be dipped, decorated and/or coated in chocolate. Prue explains that Florentines usually have nuts and dried fruit bound together with caramel. #Mouthwatering!
Fun fact: in the UK, raisins made from green grapes are called “sultanas.” I call all raisins “disgusting.” Moving on…
Several bakers use mango in their Florentines; there are square cookies, cookies with edible flowers, lots of raisins, and even some airbrushed decorations.
Prue worried about Mark’s very large nuts (I really don’t think she meant the double entendre, but that’s how it was received, with a laugh from everyone). Here’s how some turned out:
Paul and Prue were happy with most of the Florentines, though some didn’t have enough cookie-snap. Lottie’s cookies impressed Paul – who said he couldn’t find a fault with them – earning Lottie the first Hollywood Handshake TM of the season!
Prue sets the challenge, in which the bakers must make 12 hand-shaped coconut macaroons – six of which must be drizzled and filled with chocolate, and six must be piped with mango curd. They have 1 hour and 45 minutes to do so.
Prue says macaroons are trickier than they sound, because there are a lot of things that could go wrong, and the bakers must be precise to get the right textures all around.
The bakers start making their mango curds with their pared down instructions, and most seem to get it right. They move on to processing the coconut to shape their cookies; they pipe the coconut onto six rounds on rice paper (for the six mango cookies), and flatten some more coconut onto six more rounds, for the chocolate ones.
As the instructions just say to “bake”, the bakers wing it and chuck their cookies into their ovens. Don’t you just love these technical challenges? They’re supposed to be golden brown, but most of the bakers seem to have trouble getting them completely baked.
The judges critique the macaroons and ultimately most were under baked. When they are ranked, Mak came in third, Mark came in second, and Dave came in first. This was a struggle for most, and Rowan came in last place.
The final challenge is to create a 3D cookie table setting from a memorable meal each baker has had. What does that even mean? As Matt says, they need to use cookie dough in order to make cookies that “deceive the eye into thinking they’re teapots, or cups or knives, etc.” They have 4 hours to complete the challenge, and this sounds near impossible (even though they do get to practice).
Prue says she wants the bakers to use their dough “as a clay” to mold their creations. Even with actual clay, this would be incredibly difficult. Adding in the fact they need to make these sculptures taste good and actually keep their shape? Good luck!
Indeed, each baker has a ton of work to do. Some bakers struggle to get their cookies out of their molds, and even Paul admits this is a tricky challenge. Some bakers come up with some amazing designs, others aren’t so successful. Delightfully British Prue tells Rowan “it’s not [his] best,” and she knows he can do more. On the flip side, she and Paul both love Peter’s Scottish cranachan – a mix of oatmeal, whiskey (!) raspberries, honey and cream. We know Prue loves boozy desserts!
Here’s are some of the finished products:
After some deliberation, Noel announces Dave is the Star Baker for the week! Matt then announces the baker going home for their biscuits is Mak (to Rowan’s relief).
So after week 2, Dave and Peter seem to be leading the pack, while Rowan is having a hard time of things. More importantly, everyone seems to having such a great time on this show – the contestants seem happier and more giggly, and I think that’s because of Matt Lucas’ jokey energy. He certainly makes Noel laugh, and they seem to be getting along quite well and feeding off each other’s goofiness.
Truly, how can you not smile at an adult man wearing a knitted sweater with a giant smiley face? M