The Great British Bake Off – Week 5, Biscuits & Traybakes

Oh yes, we’ve reached that point of the show where we have to recreate the tent of baking dreams in cake form…not quite, but close enough! It was week 5 on series 4 of #gbbo and we were tasked with making Biscuits & Traybakes, but not just a plate of biscuits, oh no…a tower of them; cue manic building of jammy dodgers stuck together with custard!!

We started the weekend as usual with the signature challenge and were asked to bake a traybake.  There was a great variety of traybakes in the tent that weekend, and they were all yummy!  I decided to make a favourite amongst my friends, the classic brownie; but because it was for #gbbo I thought I’d better pimp it up a bit!  Flavour is a big thing for both Paul and Mary, even if the bake is good the flavour needs to be fantastic and it was something I was keen to get right in the first challenge.

I decided to taste test two different types of brownies on my husbands unit; one of them was dark chocolate, pear and walnut and the other was the cherry, chocolate and hazelnut variety.  Typically, Matt’s unit were rubbish at telling me which they preferred, and so I had to make an executive decision and went with the cherry variety; especially as the cherry season was just starting when the episode was filmed.  Paul & Mary were happy with the look, size, decoration and flavour of the brownies, with Paul commenting that he had an issue with the middle three being underbaked.  If I had 10 more minutes, then I would have kept them in the oven for slightly longer, but I had to take them out and let them cool so that I could cut them in time….and everyone loves a squidgy brownie don’t they?!  You can try them yourself by clicking through the below link to the BBC Food website:

Next up was the technical challenge and I’d guessed correct that it would be tuiles!  They were rather tricky to make, with a lot of us having issues with timing the bake so that they would be crisp, but not too crisp so that they wouldn’t roll/bend.  Having made them once, I would definitely attempt them again, especially as I can take my own sweet time making them!!  I came 5th in the line-up which I was happy with and put me in a good position going into the final day and the Biscuit Tower Showstopper!

The final challenge of the weekend was a tall order if you ask me!  We had to create a Biscuit Tower that needed to be 30cm/12inches tall, without the aid of anything supporting it.  Everyone’s ideas were amazing; such a creative bunch with no-one creating the same tower or biscuit flavours.  I’d decided not to replicate a tower as such, but thought it would be fun to make an edible cake stand that would be fun at an afternoon tea or wedding dessert table and as Mary suggested, it would go down a treat at a little  girl’s birthday party.  I was happy with the construction and the royal icing as the ‘glue’; it was structurally secure and something that both Paul and Mary liked.  Paul wasn’t as keen on the biscuits themselves, saying they were neither cookie or biscuit in texture, but the macarons were exceptional.  I was happy with my feedback and if I were to make the cake stand again I would definitely flavour the biscuits and make sure that the texture was more a biscuit base rather than a cookie.


Here’s one I made earlier…excuse the chaos either side of the wobbly tower!

At the end of the weekend, whilst we were all waiting for the judges to announce who would be leaving our merry band of bakers; it was difficult guessing who would be asked to leave.  A lot of the group had been given some form of negative feedback and so it was difficult knowing who would be going.  However, Christine definitely deserved the accolade of star baker, her Bavarian Biscuit Clock Tower was nothing short of amazing.  Another close runner up to be star baker was Glenn, who really shone in all three challenges, and his rocky road is AMAZING!

Sadly it was Rob’s time to leave the tent of broken tuiles.  He is an amazing baker and his knowledge and skills will not go unnoticed I’m sure, and to leave during week 5 is something that he should be very proud of.

Next week we reach past the halfway point of the competition and we’re tasked at baking some amazing sweet dough creations…welcome to yeast, again!

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