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Published: 10:29 GMT, 25 September 2013 | Updated: 14:21 GMT, 25 September 2013>
It was a week of few surprises on
Howard was, to coin a culinary phrase, toast.
He tried one quirky creation too many, making a Tea Loaf based around an ingredient (hemp) that hadn’t ever featured on the show or that Mary had even tried before. At least that was her story and she was sticking to it.
As for Star Baker, Paul Hollywood only had eyes for one contestant, deciding Ruby had the tastiest buns, which he does every week, even when they’re making biscuits.
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Nice buns: is Ruby the 'Ninja' or the Mata Hari of the bakers? Certainly Paul and even Mary are not so much dough as putty in her hands
It was ‘Sweet Dough Week’ which meant a signature sweet tea loaf, a technical challenge making Paul recipe for apricot couronne (‘a twisted round thing?’ guessed Beca), and finally two varieties of European sweet buns.
This led to an assortment of juvenile doubles entendre that were, I'm afraid to say, also hilarious.
‘I’ve never known buns that big,’ Beca said, disappointed in herself.
‘Who was Sally Lunn?’ Mel asked Food Historian Annie Gray. ‘And why were her buns so famous?’
Because she went to the gym every day?
Howard (right) smiles with relief that going home means he won't have to hear Sue Perkins (left) find ever more increasing ways to shout 'Bake!'
It was a shame about Howard. He was the nicest Baker, a gentle Alan Bennett character clearly lacking in the culinary ruthlessness to stand a chance of winning.
Whilst the others were making 'Secret Squirrel Cakes' or loaves in the shape of Paul the Psychic Octopus, too many of Howard’s previous recipes had been mundane – gluten-free cakes or biscuits that were ‘infused with tea.’ Hold me back.
He needed to pull something out of the bag this week. Sadly, he had his worst week yet.
Date & Hemp Yorkshire Loaf didn’t exactly sound appetising.
Sue Perkins took it upon herself to explain hemp to Mary, who had managed to live this long in a dignified state of blissful ignorance.
‘Let’s just say there is a legal side of hemp and an illegal side. The flour is the ground-up extract of the seeds. The leaf is naughty cigarettes,’ said Sue who seemed to know a lot about it.
Mary took one look at the Date & Hemp Loaf and with glorious dismay suggested: ‘this looks as if it’s going to be rather good for me’ - pretty much the worst thing anyone can say about a dish on the Great British Bake Off.
Sure enough, Paul Hollywood found ‘the hemp dries out your palette’, which didn't sound ideal.
Mary’s second comment was even bitchier.
‘It’s... different,’ she said, walking away. Ouch.
Paul Hollywood (left) tries and fails to find an Apricot Couronne as good as the one he made Mary Berry (pink)
The technical challenge was making Paul’s Apricot Couronne.
‘Howard’s crown is massive,’ Glenn looked on admiringly and Howard thought he had done well, which even he said was a novelty for him. Except sadly he hadn’t, and was placed last.
Finally, for the Showstopper Challenge, he declared: ‘I’m making peachy buns. Peachy buns have got pieces of peach inside,’ he felt the need to explain.
His buns certainly looked peachy, as it were – ie, like peaches - but Mary announced: ‘I can’t taste the peach!’ – a bit of a blow with Peachy Buns.
He also made Schnecken, which are named after their resemblance to snails.
‘Ah. You’re a little schnecken!’ Mel told him.
‘Thank you!’ said Howard, taking the comparison to a snail as a compliment.
This made Paul Hollywood scoff, but did after all prove to be the highlight of Howard's night.
Paul Hollywood is, of course, not a man who would regard being compared to a snail in this way.
His ego was in particularly lavish form, preening himself like a lion admiring his mane.
It took Mary’s reaction to sampling his apricot coronne as simply his due.
‘It’s absolutely delicious !’ she gushed.
‘I should hope so,’ he preened. ‘I made it.’
After a hard day's filming, Mel Giedroyc (far right), Sue Perkins, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood enjoy a light snack
He seemed to take particular satisfaction in telling the contestants their dough was ‘over-proved’, ‘under-proved’ or somehow flawed in the 'second proving.' What 'proving' was I never did find out.
It was a low-key week, destined to be remembered mostly for Sue Perkins beating her Personal Best for her irritating way of shouting ‘Bake!’
Few of the contestants excelled. Even Christine messed up her tea loaf.
‘I can’t eat that!' Paul Hollywood complained. Well, you're only the judge.
'It won’t do my insides any good at all.’
He only had to have a mouthful.
‘I have no idea what went wrong,’ Christine lamented. ‘I made it exactly the way I have at home. Both times it’s gone right.’
If ever there was something that 'over-proved' why I can't stand cooking it was here. If Christine can't do it...
If Christine couldn't make a Tea Loaf properly, what hope did the rest of us have? Especially if we don't know what 'under-proved' or 'over-proved' was?
Even Frances toned the visual side of her recipes down so that they were relatively normal.
Her Chai Tea Loaf with a cinnamon swirl in a pot ‘looked like a massive, mad cinnamon cappuccino bun,’ according to Sue, and a golden, tanned bottom to the rest of us.
‘I think it’s a very attractive loaf,’ said Hollywood, not exactly over-doing it.
Frances then devised a giant baked game of noughts and crosses comprised of fruity cinnamon Hot Cross brioches with kolache, a Czech sweet bun filled with rhubarb and a little bit of strawberry.
As you do.
Frances tries to disguise her disbelief that her noughts and crosses game of Hot Cross brioches and Czech buns filled with rhubarb and strawberry wasn't enough to beat Ruby
Her closest rival, Kimberley matched her with ‘Double Chocolate Brioches filled with kumquat marmalade & Danish kanelsnurrer filled with apricot, camomile, and swirled with almond cream’ which was exhausting to write down, let alone bake.
Even her Date Tea Loaf sounded exotic.
‘I’m going to ripple Chai-spiced butter through it,’ she enthused. ‘Butter that is a mixture of green cardamom, ginger, black cardamom, cinnamon, and palm sugar.
Anchor is also available. The next time I buy a brioche, I’m going to ripple it with that.
Kimberley (right) had conducted psychological profiles of her opponents' 'stealth' qualities and concluded Ruby was 'a Ninja'. Not a term likely to be applied to Sue Perkins in her blue jacket (left)
Kimberley had analysed the ‘stealth’ qualities of the opposition and concluded that Ruby was ‘the baking Ninja’, although the way Ruby has been fluttering her eyelashes and pulling Hollywood’s heartstrings recently, ‘the baking Mata Hari’ would be more accurate.
Mary loved the ‘deep citrus flavour’ of Ruby's tea loaf which was in fact 'a Citrus Tea Loaf topped with marmalade and lemon slices', which would explain it.
Paul said it was ‘slightly doughy,’ but still added: ‘a great flavour and it looks good.’ Whether he was still talking about her Loaf or had drifted off and was thinking aloud wasn’t clear.
Whatever some people say, size matters - in the kitchen obviously
Ruby came first in the Technical Challenge because Paul liked the way it had ‘an excellent ripple all the way through and the filling’s all exposed.’
These were words any girl would love to hear but Hollywood went further: ‘that looks like the one I would’ve done.’
To Paul's mind of course, this was the ultimate compliment.
Ruby is obviously bright and eager and perfectly sweet, but her desire to win the Bake Off is such, her behaviour has become increasingly disingenuous.
‘I never bake with this kind of concentration and speed’, she claimed, insisting that she tends to cook while watching the telly, as if she was just some kind of pretty, flighty young gal, so gifted she keeps winning almost by accident.
Mary Berry (right) tries to console this week's Star Baker, Ruby, that her efforts weren't that bad, while Paul seems focused on something else
Even Mary is not immune to Ruby’s wiles.
As with last week, Ruby used the tactic of getting her excuses in early, announcing she had left her chocolate buns in the oven too long before the judges had a chance to taste them.
‘They’re biscuits. They would’ve been good last week,’ she despaired, tacitly pleading for sympathy.
Unsurprisingly, Mary found they were perfectly fine and very tasty.
‘I was expecting them to be really dry,’ she practically insisted, trying to cheer Ruby up.
Paul had no hesitation in making her Star Baker, even though Kimberley and Frances had attempted a greater level of difficulty.
Mind you, even Ruby will have her work cut out with next week’s theme, which is suet.
Altogether now: Yuck.
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Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2431566/Great-British-Bake-Offs-Paul-Hollywood-eyes-Rubys-buns-says-Jim-Shelley.html