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Bake Off Episode 2
Bake Off Episode 2

Great British Bake Off: Episode 2. Gingerbread Meltdown

Picture of Remy Millar
Updated: 1 September 2016
Episode two of Britain’s favourite show brings us biscuit week. The mics are turned up to capture the crunch, but who is going to crumble?

Not Selasi, that’s for sure. The ‘cool as a cucumber’ contestant explained to Mel (presenting solo this week) his game plan: ‘The trick is to just bake, and produce whatever is required.’ Quite. 

For the first round, the contestants produced their signature biscuit bake. Encouraged to make biscuits as crisp as Paul Hollywood’s hair, possibly the most unappetising metaphor we’ve had to date, Paul and Mary began their rounds, inspecting ingredients and Paul able to make the bakers second guess everything they stand for with a simple twitch of his left eyebrow.

As if Paul knew the furore his Jaffa Cake gate caused last week, he says, ‘I just hope that they give me a mug of tea big enough so I can dunk all the biscuits in.’ Yes Paul, by all means dunk your biscuits, just please, not your cake. They arrived at Louise’s counter, and both judges’ faces fall to her words, ‘It’s a softer biscuit, it’s not crunchy.’

A softer biscuit

Paul and Mary, about to taste failure

Further disappointment entails when Kate tells them that she’s making lavender and bergamot flavoured biscuits. ‘You’re using two flavours I’m not particularly fond of.’ –ouch!

And right on cue we have the first oven drop of the series. Louise drops her dollops of dough, which later let’s Mary reveal, that she would indeed, eat a bit of carpet.

Paul’s rather unsavoury criticism  of the first round comes in thick and fast. Amongst some choice insults, ‘They look hideous,’, ‘It reminds me of a Thai green curry,’ and ‘What we’re actually eating there is like a stale biscuit.’

Also featuring this week is a great British pass time: apologising. Candice apologises that she didn’t manage to cut the centers out of all of the biscuits, while Jane is sorry for her half iced flower pots. Ever one to soften the blow, Mary’s harshest judgment comes in the the shape, ‘informal’.

In more positive news, the first handshake of the series is dished out to Tom. High praise indeed from the silver fox.

hollywood handshake

Meanwhile, the history lesson segment informs us that biscuits (in particular, biscotti) were created to dunk into Vin Santo.

The technical challenge calls for Viennese whirl.

Most were flat and broken, echoing the souls of the contestants after this challenge. Could it possibly get any worse?

Ginger bread finea

Yes, yes it can.  Michael brought in a collage of him making ginger breads as a youth in scouts, perhaps to earn brownie points. It was at this point that Mary revealed she was in fact a Brownie, and promises ‘to do my best, to do my duty to God and the Queen. ‘

Meanwhile, gingerbread bridegrooms, landlords, foliage and family members waited patiently to assume positions in various churches, chapels and pubs. Paul showed his macabre side by dismembering gingerbread brides, pets and siblings: ‘I think your sister Susan tastes lovely, Val’. Meanwhile, Mary delivers the quote of the episode, turning Twitter a shade of crimson – ‘I’ll eat a bit of carpet’.

It was ultimately Louise who headed towards the tent door (or should that be flaps?), leaving having had a ‘disastrous day’ with a collapsed depiction of her wedding day, her dreams ashes in her mouth.  See you in seven days for bread week!