The Great British Bake Off – episode 7

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It’s dessert week, yay! Back to proper baking, not pratting about with pancakes that you FRY, Paul.

So, the signature challenge was to bake a roulade.  Last fashionable in 1981 (I can still recall the horror of spinach roulade filled with coronation chicken), it put the fear of God into all the bakers, as everyone immediately fretted about their roulade having a crack when rolled.  I’m just going to leave that sentence there, as my gift to you.

Andrew made a Tropical Roulade – yeuch, and also, why? – and Benjamina knocked up something repulsive involving pineapple.   The only two ways to serve pineapple are (a) in the 14 Pina Coladas you knock back on a night out in a dodgy cocktail bar, and (b) on top of the Hawaiian pizza you snarf in a feeble attempt to banish the ensuing hangover.  I realise I may be in the minority with this opinion.

But wait!  The bakers are not just good at baking.  No.  Some of them are philosophers, specifically Tom, who briefly decided to abandon his roulade to take up the role of Confucius.  “Good enough is not good enough,” he intoned solemnly.  Honestly, if I wanted to drown myself in that sort of meaningless shite, I’d scroll through Instagram.

Back to the tent.  Everyone served up their sponge tubes of goo, and Mary and Paul liked some of them.  Far more interesting was the technical challenge: making something nobody had heard of.  Marjolaine.  Who the what now?  It’s a  fiendishly difficult French (obvs) dessert, essentially a combination of nutted meringues, pastry cream, and a hint of chocolate.   Or as Andrew put it, “It’s like a Vienetta, but posher.”  Paul and Mary would, we were informed, be looking for a perfect daqciose. Aren’t we all, darlings, aren’t we all.

Anyway, at the judging, Mary told Selasi that his effort was “a bit drunk looking”.  You should know, Bezza.  Andrew won.  He looked thrilled, as well he might.  Onto the show stopper – 12 Mini Mouse cakes! Hey, that’s a bit low rent, isn’t it?  Just icing a load of red and white bows onto sponge.

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Sorry, what? Oh, Mini MOUSSE cakes.  If you’re not sure what they are, let me explain.  They’re the kind of pointless shizz you buy in a panic in Aldi when it’s Christmas and the whole family’s coming round and you suddenly think you need a metric tonne more food but you don’t want to cook any of it.

Candice confided that she would be making a “Champagne Cocktail Mousse.”  Mmmn, yummy.  “I’ll be making it with Prosecco.”  So a Prosecco Cocktail Mousse, then.   Andrew whipped out a ruler to measure his strawberries.   Look I just report this stuff, I don’t make it up.   Tom and Benjamina did complicated stuff with apples.   Jane did something with gelatine.  Selasi looked worried as his mousse refused to set.  “Disaster.”  Oh no, not Selasi, the king of laid-backness (shut up, it’s a thing.)  Would he be booted out of the tent?

Jane’s mousses (I really want to type mice) were terrific, despite some gelatine disasters (steer clear of gelatine, people, nothing good ever comes of it).  “Great moussiness,” snuffled Mary with her mouth full of pink gloop.  Selasi’s were pronounced to be too big *sideways look to camera* but had a lovely flavour.   Candice’s chocolate mousses weren’t mousses, according to Paul “more of a ganache”, and her other mousses were “too stiff for me” he added.  If you say so, Paul.   Tom produced mousses called “Hipster Madness” but, if I have got this right, as there were no Doc Martens, beards or checked shirts they were pronounced inadequate.  Andrew won Star Baker.  “He showed us a very good finish,” creamed Mary.   What is this woman on? And can I have some?

Tom got the boot, and was incredibly gracious about it.  “You always hope it won’t be you, but I knew, really, it would be me.”  What a lovely chap.

Next time, quarter final.  Tudor Week.  Tudor Week? FFS.  Baked swan and leeches, anybody?

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