So the first episode is now over and it was a fantastic start to what is set to be a tasty series!
We want you to hear the lowdown from us first so that is why you need to stay tuned next week for our take on all the shenanigans that go on!
However for this week, let me give you the juicy gossip from last night’s episode…
We met all the contestants and what a group they are! We saw that there is going to be some brilliant flavours brought to the tent and some extravagant and sometimes crazy styles of decoration.
This week the first challenge saw the bakers make a classic Madeira cake. They had two hours to make this and whilst some decided to stick to the traditional citrus based recipe, others wanted to just show what skills they have to offer in the first task.
Mat, a 37 year old firefighter decided to put an alcoholic twist on his, with a gin and tonic flavour and Stu went for a lime and chocolate cake with a rum and lime icing.
The trick we found out was to get a good crack on the top of the cake, which many of the contestants managed to achieve. Unfortunately for Ugne, only a small crack appeared and Mary and Paul thought her lemon and thyme flavours did not match with the lemon being too overbearing.
Apart from a few minor taste issues, everyone got through the first round in one piece. But next came the technical challenge which I am sure they were all very nervous about!
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood asked the contestants to make a walnut cake with an italian meringue icing. A top tip from Mary was to ensure the walnuts are chopped nice and small otherwise they would just sink to the bottom.
Many had trouble making the caramel to cover the walnuts with and some found their icing crystallising making it very grainy and bitter to taste. This is my favourite challenge, as brutal as it is I love the way they vote from worst to best!
But who wants to come in last on the first week? Unfortunately for Nadiya this place was handed to her for the fact she did not cover the cake fully in icing like everyone else. In close second came Alvin who made a very good and very close to the criteria asked. 1st place was awarded to Ugne for her fantastic cake and she even went the extra mile with some fancy sugar work to top it off. This very much made up for her disaster in the first round!
The first show stopper of the series saw the contestants making a black forest gateau. The judges were looking for a light chocolate sponge with cherries and fresh cream and every other good treat that you find in this delicious dessert!
This is the final round and the one to really show off your skills in, it is also usually where we see some elaborate ideas go drastically wrong, and this time was no exception!
At this point we already knew that Stu liked to experiment and in this round we saw him try out a ‘purple forest gateau’ using beetroot instead of chocolate. Unfortunately for him, this did not go to plan and Mary and Paul were not best pleased when there was no chocolate to be seen!
Flora decided to make things more interesting and coloured her cake pink, luckily for her this worked in her favour and the judges loved it!
We saw a very stylish and contemporary design from Nadiya, 3 dimensional trees from Marie and Ian, who even made some chocolate animals including an elephant!
Other decorations including mirror glazed shards from Alvin and an impressive chocolate cone surrounding the cake from Tamal.
Unfortunately for Dorret the pressure of many different elements got to her, the chocolate mousse did not set and her cake turned into a bit of a mudslide.
After a long hard 2 days in the tent, the pressure was finally off of the 12 bakers, whilst they sat in anticipation to see who had been crowned star baker and who was out in week 1. With her fantastic decoration in the show stopper challenge and her brilliant Madeira cake, Marie was a deserved winner of the star baker trophy. Unfortunately for Stu, his attempts at mixing in some daring flavours put him to the bottom of the pile and we waved goodbye to him.
Next week is all about biscuits and I cannot wait to see what kind of delights the bakers will bring to the table! Who will the pressure be too much for this time? Will Ugne, Alvin and Marie bring their creative flare to their creations again?
Stay tuned to find out!!