From Biscotti to Boxes of Biscuits, via a rather cheeky technical, biscuit week gave the bakers an opportunity to show some creativity and personality after Cake week’s rather boring offering.
Although biscotti divides opinion, I’m a fan and believe that there’s no need to over complicate the bake. It’s a rather hefty biscuit, and demands a good set of gnashers, but dunked into a strong double espresso, it makes for a cheeky mid-morning treat. I like my biscotti with some whole nuts like a hazelnut or classic almond, then add in what ever dried fruit is in your cupboard and if you want to pimp up your bake, then once baked, half dunk them in some good quality dark chocolate.
You can of course add in whatever extras you want, and I’d expect nothing less from the 11 in the tent. From Ian’s addition of Rosemary to Nadiya’s fennel seeds and Alvin’s Jack Fruit, it was great seeing the bakers showing some of their personality through their bakes…although you could see Paul doubting some of them!
Marie bless her, had a bit of an issue with her bake and thought that it would be a really good idea to confide in Paul….big mistake! I did think it was a bit harsh having to bake 24 even biscotti, because it’s near enough impossible and their rustic appearance is part of their charm. However I was pleased to see that that they loved Ian’s orange & rosemary combination and that they were impressed with Alvin’s attempt of including fresh fruit….hooray for the bakers who are being different!
Next the technical challenge, the arlette, a classic French biscuit but many of the bakers had never heard of it! It was a cheeky one to do in biscuit week as it uses puff pastry so a lot of rolling and chilling. Sadly Marie had a shocker with her oven and was only able to present half a batch, I wonder if she also has an AGA like Flora? Paul came 2nd from bottom putting him in danger of going, but Dorret flew to the top after a very shaky first week in the tent…never assume and don’t pigeon hole anyone just yet!
Onto the showstopper and the obligatory construction using biscuits and whatever the bakers can whip up in the timeframe to stick it all together! I was hoping for a different challenge as this brief of constructing something from biscuits has been wheeled out for the last few series now, but anyway the bakers had to make a box and fill it with biscuits. We had everything from a box of frogs from Dorret to a fire engine from Matt (the firefighter), filled withe teabags made from biscuits – which I loved, especially as my brother is a London firefighter and those guys drink a lot of tea!
Nadiya’s box seemed to not go to plan, but to be honest that didn’t matter as she was making fortune cookies, which looked amazing! There was a macaron-off between Ian and Paul and Ugne decided to raid her food colouring box and went to town on the decorations!
I applaud Sandy and her savoury offering….well done you for being different, and I know that she would have been loved by the crew that weekend! Nothing like a bit of savoury to break up all that sugar!!
And so to the star baker and 2nd out of the tent. Sadly, Marie had a bad weekend, even though she got Star Baker last week, but when things just don’t go your way you just know that you’re on your way out. But a huge well done to Ian! I’m so pleased they liked your biscotti and I hope you continue to be creative and impress Paul and Mary.
Next week is Bread Week…bring on the dough.