Tag Archives: neil fielding

Week Two – Biscuit Week

Warning: there are spoilers in this blog - who won star baker, who left the show, who received a handshake from Paul, what necklace was Prue wearing, things along those lines.

First of all, can I apologise for Xing out Tom, but I couldn’t think of a better way to do it. But unfortunately this will befall all our bakers, except for one of them of course!

Signature Dish: 24 Brandy Snaps

Perfectly baked lace biscuits, identical and have to have a good snap! Any shape but have to be coated, dipped or filled – two hour baking time.

Lizzie’s dog, Pru, has her own Instagram account and seemingly doing quite well with 1,779 followers. When Matt asked Lizzie if she had practiced in the tent yesterday, she admitted that she didn’t but watched Harry Potter instead!

Baking, I wouldn’t say it was rocket science, but…

Jürgen went to University in Germany and gained a Masters Degree in Physics

Freya’s “Brandy Snapuccinos”:
Scrumptious, look quite dark, nice lace and a good snap, too strong coffee flavour. Overall a decent job.

Amanda’s “Open Sesame” Brandy Snaps: Very thin so falling apart. Delicious flavour,

Jairzeno’s “Chocolate, Passion Fruit & Pineapple Brandy Snaps:
Messy. Flavours too strong. Not well executed.

Rochica’s Coffee Brandy Snaps:
Massive variety in size, delicious flavour.

George’s Cypriot Brandy Snaps:
Irregular in size, flavours work well together, but looks a mess. Original and sensational.

Crystelle’s “Apple of my P-eye” Brandy Snaps:
Lovely snap, beautiful flavour combination, done well with the textures.

Lizzie’s, Fast-Food Apple Pie Brandy Snaps:
Very little lace, delicious, nice creme diplomat, lovely mouthful.

Guiseppe’s Gianduja Snaps:
Really pretty, elegant and uniform in colour, nice lace, delicious, crisp, nicely flavoured. Chocolate doesn’t come through very much.

Chigs’ “Espresso Martini” Brandy Snaps:
Nice and lacey, chocolate comes through well, nice snap, right amount of sweetness, coffee flavour a bit weak.

Maggie’s Blackcurrant Brandy Snaps:
Very small and could have a bit more colour, not quite baked enough so are really chewy, but delicious.

Jürgen’s “A Cup of Chai” Brandy Snaps:
Overall look pretty good, nice and even, lovely and thin, blend of spices work beautifully well. Texture-wise done well. Creme pat perfect.

Jürgen received a handshake from Matt Lucas, which Matt admitted that it meant nothing getting a handshake from him.

Technical Challenge set by Paul – Sandwiched Jammie Biscuit

Words of advice from Paul: “This is pretty straight forward, but read your recipe, we want perfection.”

I wonder how many takes they had to redo when Jammie Dodgers was said instead of Jammie Biscuits!

Position in Technical Challenge:

1st – Jürgen
2nd – Guiseppe
3rd – Freya
4th – Amanda
5th – Maggie
6th – Lizzie
7th – Chig
8th – George
9th – Jairzeno
10th – Crystelle
11th – Rochica

Jürgen, the Baking Terminator as named by Guiseppe! Hasta La Biscuit baby!

Picture pinched from Twitter!

Those in trouble before going into the Showstopper Round:

Those in line for Star Baker:

Showstopper Challenge – 3D Biscuit Replica of Favourite Childhood Toy

It has to be delicious but also have an interactive element.

Love this Tweet from Innocent drinks!

George’s “Paul and Prue Airlines”:
Interactive: airplane flies around in a circle
Great design. Not too hard, but very crisp. Well done.

Rochica’s Gingerbread Pinball Game:
Interactive: moving parts
Delicate and thin, texture spot on.

Guiseppe’s Reversi Board Game:
Interactive: you can play the game
Classic gingerbread. Properly engineered. Beautiful.

Chigs’ Snooker Table:
Interactive: you can play snooker
Very clever, a little bit cakey, but if it’s thick you don’t want it to be too hard. Perfect.

Lizzie’s “Paint a Truck”:
Interactive: you can paint the car
Interesting concept. Gingerbread and chocolate together – too strong. Tones down with icing and is delicious.

Jürgen’s “Grandpa’s Windmill”:
Interactive: sails go around
Very good, looks beautiful. Lovely flavour in the mouth, great job again.

Crystelle’s Vanity Playset:
Interactive: you can play with jewellery
Lovely flavour, beautiful, very clever design, flavours spot on.

Freya’s “Winne”:
Interactive: rocking horse
Beautiful, structurally sound.

Amanda’s Carousel Rocking Horse:
Interactive: structure had broken
Wouldn’t have chosen that type of biscuit to use as it’s so delicate.

Maggie’s Beach Playset:
Interactive: you can play with it
Basic, needs to be more elaborate. Should be a bit thinner. School report would say, “Needs to try harder.”

Jairzeno’s Tall Ship:
Interactive: Not sure
Rough and ready. Lovely blend, tastes delicious.

Freya and Amanda’s Rocking Horses – they had varying success!

Star Baker and Who Is Going Home…

Jürgen was able to tell his family this week!


I think Jairzeno was the right choice to go home this week, personally I think he should have gone last week. Maggie didn’t have such a good week as she did last week, but I thought Lizzie and George had much better weeks.

Next week is Bread Week – who will rise to the top and who will knead to improve their baking skills? #sorrynotsorry

Week 7 – Festival Week

This blog contains spoilers of who has left, who won star baker, who received a Hollywood Handshake and what necklace Prue was wearing…

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Festival Week – they had the tent, perhaps they were going to Mary Glaston-Berry…. sorry! But no, it wasn’t that kind of festival at all.

Signature Dish

This week it was to bake 24 yeasted buns. Steph, Michael and Alice go for the hot cross buns, with Michael mixing Christmas with Easter. David is going Bulgrarian with a kozunak, Henry is doin a kardemummabullar, a word that Henry quite likes and Rosie is visiting Finland with a lakiaspullar.

Picture courtesy of Scott Bryan from Twitter

Top of the class this week for their signature dishes was David, Steph and Henry, with Henry and Steph receiving the Hollywood Handshake.

Henry is in shock and tells Paul to, “Shut up,” with Prue replying, “I don’t think you should say, ‘Shut up’ to the judge.”

Rosie’s are described as ‘squat’, Alice’s as ‘irregular’ and Michael’s are uneven because of the volume of fruit he’s put in them.

Technical Challenge

12 Sicilian cassatelle is Paul’s request for the Technical. This involves using a deep fat frier, much to Michael’s dismay, he didn’t get on well with the frier last time.

Technical Challenge positions:

6th – Alice; 5th – Michael; 4th – Steph; 3rd – Henry; 2nd – David; 1st – Rosie.  David once again is second, that’s five times in seven weeks.

Sandi remarks that David has, “Very nice buns,” and Henry says he is, “Covering my cracks with leaves,” so the double endres are back with a vengence this episode.


This time it’s Kek Lapis, the Sarawak celebratory cake, basically a Battenburg but with a lot more layers. This cake is different because instead of baking the layers, they are grilled, both Rosie and David manage to burn their layers, resulting in David producing a very small cake.

My Tweet of the Week from Jamie90:


Steph does a good job, Rosie’s is described as messy, Michael’s is rubbery, Henry does a pretty good job, David’s is interesting and Alice’s is extremely neat and clever.

This week Henry is crowned Star Baker and the person who leaves is Michael. So my choices of Henry and David are still there, though I suspect Steph is the favourite to win this series.


So six become five and next week is the quarter finals and it is Pastry Week – I’m pleased that it’s a classic episode, but who will be flaky and whose bake will be pie in the sky?

Keep baking!



Week Six – Dessert Week

This blog contains spoilers of who has left, who won star baker, who received a Hollywood Handshake and what necklace Prue was wearing…

Before each episode begins, Alexa is asked, “Alexa, tell me a baking joke,” and Alexa replies, “I just entered a baking competition – the final was a piece of cake.”

piece-cakeThis always makes me smile because I used to have a small cake business called A Piece Of Cake and I would make celebration cakes. I stopped about two years ago, very occasionally making cakes for friends. Last year I was asked to make a wedding cake for one of my daughter’s best friends and this is happening in the next couple of days. Look out for my blog of how I got on…

Anway, this week was Dessert Week – not Desert as Noel got confused with… I did notice that Henry was wearing a spiderweb brooch and Michael had a bat pin, a tribute to Helena I think!

The Signature Bake

This week our Magnificent Seven (be prepared for more of these analogies over the coming weeks, Fab Four, Famous Five…) had to bake a layered meringue cake. As Paul and Prue went round the contestants Paul mentioned timing to Priya, does she have a problem with that? I hadn’t noticed!

Priya’s signature bake is criticised by Prue for being a horrible colour and an overbaked meringue, Henry’s was described as messy, Michael’s had too much chocolate, (not sure that could ever be true!) and Rosie’s chocolate was too thick (as was her ganache last week). Steph’s was described as neat and professional, but maybe too many nuts and David’s looked like a painting but wasn’t as tasty as it looked and Alice’s was charming but no big flavour.  So all in all, not a triumphant signature bake for anyone.

The Technical Challenge

Prue sets the Technical Challenge which is six verrines and we are told these are a layered dessert in a glass.  Perhaps the Knickerbockerglory is our English alternative to that?

This week we find out that it is Michael’s birthday (26), how cruel would it be to send him home on his birthday? Henry has started swearing a lot and the Bake Off guys have, “The least laddy’s lad club where we discuss gelatine.”

When the bakers carry their verrines to the judging table, it’s either in slow motion or this is the slowest walk ever!

Technical Challenge positions:

7th – Priya; 6th – Michael; 5th – Rosie; 4th – Henry; 3rd – Steph; 2nd – David and 1st – Alice.  David has come second in four of the technical challenges so far, the phrase, “Always the bridesmaid,” comes to mind.

The Showstopper

A Celebratory Bombe Dessert is this week’s Showstopper, “I feel like we’re saying a lot of bombes,” Sandi remarked, “Bom-diddly-bom-bom-bom-bom.”

Timing is very much a factor in this challenge, they need to make sure that the bombe has set but also leave themselves enough time for decoration.  Alice has a nightmare trying to get her bombe out of the tin, she is panicking, but eventually it comes out and looks great.

Steph’s Chocolate Bombe

Steph’s chocolate bombe is described by Paul as the best thing he has eaten for a long time. Rosie’s mousse is not smooth and it looks clumsy, David’s is pretty, elegant, Alice’s is beautiful with good layers, Priya’s is elegant and Henry’s is described as disappointing.

My favourite comparison was Paul’s when he judged Michael’s bombe, “It looks like it’s come from a 1970’s sweet trolley.” And it was also compared to the Queen Mother’s hat.

Which leads me nicely to the best Tweet from Amy Van Gar:


Steph is crowned Star Baker for a third time, is this a record, I’m not sure? And Priya has finally succumed to the fate of going home.


Next week is Festival Week – another new week, so I’m not quite sure what to expect!

Keep baking!



Week Five – Roaring Twenties Week

This blog contains spoilers of who has left, who won star baker, who received a Hollywood Handshake and what necklace Prue was wearing….

Another week, another new idea – Roaring Twenties, no, I don’t know where that came from either – I just hope they don’t get in a flap about it!

I hope that the technical this week isn’t the train wreck that last week’s was, with Noel describing it as, “One of the most disastrous technicals in Bake Off history.”

The Signature Bake

pie-in-the-face-picThe signature bake was four individual highly decorated open topped custard pies.  I’m guessing custard pies as they were used as great slapstick humour in the 20s? Would anyone be brave enough to pick one up and plant it in Paul Hollywood’s face? No, probably not….


Rosie has a disaster when she moves one of her custard pies, it falls onto the floor, she has a little wobble of the bottom lip, says “Well I can’t really salvage that,” and sighs, “I’m going home.”

David has a very good signature dish as he receives the coveted Paul Hollywood handshake. Priya ran out of time, again, Alice overwhelms her pie with too much orange zest and extract and Helena’s Lemon and Lavander pies are criticised for having too much lavender in them. Rosie’s didn’t set completely and also she only had three.

The Technical Challenge

The technical challenge by Prue is 18 Beignets Souffles, (I think that’s how you spell it) which is met by blank faces and Prue chose this apparently because they were popular in the 20s.  I managed to get a screen shot of the instructions which were:


Deep Fat fryer – 190c

  1. For the beignet batter, make pate a choux.
  2. Make the raspberry jam.
  3. Working in batches and piping directly onto an oiled dessert spoon, pipe 18 balls of choux and carefully drop into the oil and fry.
  4. Pipe a small amount of jam into the beignet souffles.
  5. Make the sabayon.
  6. Dust the beignet souffles with icing sugar and serve alongside the sabayon.

Well, that sounds easy, doesn’t it? From choux pastry being runny, to it being stodgy, the bakers are struggling. michael-walkMichael has a tough time with this technical, he tries to make the batter a couple of times, but it doesn’t work, he’s nearly in tears when Noel comes over and suggests he has a little quick walk for five minutes and then come back, to which Michael replies that if he did, he might not come back. Who hasn’t felt like that during a tough day at the office?

Technical Challenge positions:

9th – David; 8th – Michael; 7th – Michelle, 6th – Alice, 5th – Rosie, 4th – Steph, 3rd – Henry, 2nd – Priya and 1st is Helena.

The award for best Tweet goes to Scott Bryan:


The Showstopper

Vampire Kiss cocktail

Noel informs the bakers that it’s a two tier prohibition era cake they will be baking and they should use their favourite cocktail to flavour it. Of course, Helena’s favourite cocktail is called Vampire Kiss cocktail which is cherry vodka, Grand Marnier cherry liquor and cherry juice.

We found out that Henry shops at Waitrose and Priya talks in the third person…

Helena’s cake is described as sinister and pretty at the same time, Henry’s cake is a bit dry, Rosie’s cake is described as interesting with beautiful flavours, but the ganache was too thick. Alice’s decorations could have been better, Priya’s cake is ‘nice’. Steph’s pina colada cake is given the thumbs up. Prue says that Michelle’s cake has too many concepts and it is slightly dry.

Star Baker is Steph, for the second week running and we had to say goodbye to a double elimination, yes, this was the double elimination week, so we wave Michelle off into the sunset to travel back to Wales and Helena, on her broomstick into the night time sky, silhouetted by the moon.


So I have lost one of my bakers, Michelle, but I still have David and Henry! Priya lives to fight another week…

Next week is Dessert Week, who will not be trifled with and who hopes their luck doesn’t dessert them!