Cornwall’s Great British Bake Off baker Marc Elliott had a challenging time in this week’s episode, after winning Star Baker last week.
This week was the chocolate week, with the challenges for the bakers to make chocolate brownies, a chocolate babka and a white chocolate celebration cake.
The signature challenge was to make 18 chocolate brownies with the bakers allowed to use any type of chocolate and flavour they like, with the judges looking for a brownie that was gooey in the centre.
Prue said of the challenge: “The perfect chocolate brownie has a gooey centre and a crackly, crisp top” with Paul adding: “The bake on the brownie is the most critical thing. If you overbake it will become very dry and cake-like. This for me is going back to basics. If you can’t produce a decent chocolate brownie, there’s going to be problems.”
Last week’s star baker Marc revealed that until a few years ago he’d never made brownies, saying: “So I’m making a rich chocolate brownie, with roasted macadamia. To be honest with you I hadn’t made brownies until a few years ago. I wouldn’t say they’re my favourite cake.”
In a discussion with Noel about sleepless nights ahead of the challenge, he called Noel a vampire, saying: “I’m tired, really tired.” to which Noel replied: “I was up in the middle of the night, sleepwalking”.
“But as a vampire, that’s what you’re meant to do, isn’t it? Get up in the night?” Marc retorted, with Noel saying: “I call it sleepwalking. Other people call it being a vampire, taking people into the bushes and sucking all their blood out. I mean, people like to split hairs.”
However, he feared the challenge might not go the same way as his bread-based success the episode before, remarking as he decorated the brownies: “Mine are a mess.”
When it came to finding out the judges’ verdict, they did not hold back.
Paul said: “They don’t look good at all”, to which Marc replied: “I was running out of time basically, so there was a rush at the end.”
Prue commented “It’s quite dry but if you go right into the middle, it’s nice and squidgy” with Paul adding: “Actually, the flavour’s okay. But it does look a mess and that’s a problem for me because brownies are one of the most basic things to bake and if you can’t get that right, well…..”
This verdict made the other contestant nervous, with Lottie saying: “What is he going to say to me if that’s what they say to Marc?”
The signature challenge was a bloodbath for the contestants, with all receiving criticism from Paul and Prue.
Paul set this week’s technical challenge, which was to make a chocolate babka, a traditional Jewish loaf cake consisting of enriched dough, with layers of nuts and chocolate. The babka was to be rolled, split and twisted to create the shape. Once baked, it is brushed with syrup to finish.
On the back of a challenging first task, it seemed this task wasn’t going to be any easier for Marc, with him saying: “What have you got to do? Everything, everything for Paul Hollywood!”
In the blind test, Paul said of Marc’s creation: “The size of this isn’t bad but there are a few holes in there. It’s quite a nice sized loaf”, although Prue felt it was a “bit dry”.
While last week’s bread stole the show, he was only able to achieve sixth in this week’s technical challenge.
This week’s showstopper challenge was to make a white chocolate celebration cake. Presenter Matt Lucas said: “Your cake should be made with a particular celebration in mind. For instance, it could be the first time you went to the toilet all by yourself.”
The cake was required to have a minimum of two layers, with the decoration required to display an “expert level” of use of white chocolate. The bakers had four hours to do the challenge.
Marc went for a three-tier cake, dedicated to his daughters, Rosie and Jasmine. He planned to decorate it with the flowers which they share their names and sandwiched with raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream.
He also revealed he was nervous, saying: “I’m nervous because the comments weren’t particularly good yesterday, and I know cakes aren’t my particular strong point, so in my perspective, I’m feeling I’m close to the bottom.”
Paul’s initial impressions of the cake were positive, saying: “I think it’s a great looking cake. Very pastel.”
The judge’s verdict on the cake was that the sponge was dense and heavy, but that they loved the flavour and addition of raspberry, with Prue also saying: “You’ve done a really good job and it tastes of white chocolate.”
In consideration for this week’s star baker was Peter and Mark L, while Lottie and Sura were facing elimination, with Sura facing the axe for a raw dough on her cake.
Eliminated from the show this week was Sura while Star Baker for cake week was Mark.