Bake Off: the return

Bake Off: the return

It might be warm and muggy outside – i.e, not exactly baking weather – but who cares? It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, put the kettle on, cosy down on the sofa with the cat and believe in a rosier world where the thwack of cricket balls, the tinkle of china and the smell of just-out-of-the-oven scones makes everything somehow better. Yes, it’s back – the programme that has us all wishing Mel and Sue were our sisters and Queen Mary were our grandma. What about acid-tongued old blue-eyes? I’d like him to stop grumbling and mow the grass.

So who’s in the line-up – and who’s standing out so far among the melée of baking hopefuls?

Norman – the new Brendan, with his precision and penchant for talking about the detail. He’ll be in for a few rounds, I’ll warrant.
Kate – a more grown-up Ruby, all wanton hair and squidgy off-cuts.
Luis  with his ‘slightly medical’  pipettes of lemon syrup.
Iain – the bearded one with the honeyed accent. Very Shoreditch meets Ireland. Amazed he didn’t find an excuse to make doughnuts filled with sea buckthorn curd.
Martha – impossibly young and showing promise with her crusty-topped mini lemon drizzle cakes.
Enwezor – hasn’t had a chance to shine.
Jordan – the new James M, only less cute and without the tank tops (and I suspect he won’t be in the show long enough to make a cobweb-strewn gingerbread barn).
Chetna – quiet but one to watch, I’d say.
Diana – GBBO’s oldest baker yet and as comforting as a chocolate mousse.
Richard – gives good hugs. Not sure about his baking yet.
Not forgetting star baker Nancy, who did far too well for such an early round, slicing cakes in half with her intimidating guillotine.
…And of course poor old Claire, with her chocolate disaster-cakes: so endearing it’s a shame she’s already gone.

So… Are you a budding GBBO contestant? How would you have fared with the Mary cherry-cake challenge? Test your skills with this delicious. cherry loaf cake – but don’t forget to wash and dry the cherries like Nancy did, to stop them sinking. Next week the signature challenge is florentines. Time to get practising…

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