SU2C Bake Off 2020: buns, bakes and boozy baths

Carol Vorderman, Rob Rinder, Kelly Brook and Mo Gilligan on Bake Off

Ooh matron! Things are getting saucy in Carry On Baking this week, with more buns than you can shake a stick at, a collection of Jackie Collins novels and, err, dirty knees.

For me it’s all about Carol Vorderman. I mean, she’s got an IQ of 160, can fly a plane and, as it turns out, is a half decent baker. She might be my ideal woman.

Also giving me life is TV judge Rob Rinder. You know those sassy looks Jim does to camera in the US version of The Office? Well, imagine if Jim was a fabulous British judge and you’re pretty much there.

Joining this mischievous duo were radio presenter and actress Kelly Brook and comedian Mo Gilligan who, to be fair, were both entertaining. “I look like I work in B&Q,” Mo said, as he put his apron on.

He was fearless going into the signature challenge, likening the experience to flying a plane because, apparently, why fear something you haven’t done before? Not sure that logic checks out.

Tasked with whipping up 12 sandwich biscuits, the contestants set to work. Kelly and Rob both went for illusion biscuits. Kelly created ‘egg muffin breakfast sandwiches’ with lemon biscuits and white chocolate buttercream and an apricot for the egg yolk, while Rob made lemon, cream cheese and fondant icing ‘smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel’ versions.

Carol Vorderman made cacuits in the Bake Off signature challenge

Carol took the challenge one step further to make cacuits – that’s cake biscuits – her new twist on Welsh cakes in the shape of rugby balls with the Welsh flag on top.

Mo, meanwhile, chose to make spiced shortbread with apple & cinnamon jam beer cans. Well, he attempted to. Turns out not getting your biscuits into the oven until like 20 minutes before the end of the challenge is a bold strategy that won’t pay off, leaving you with two rather sad-looking biscuits. His jam was good though.

“This is delicious, but it isn’t a biscuit,” Prue declared of Carol’s creations. She didn’t seem that fussy this week, offering praise (sort of) to Rob as well, describing his biscuits as “a bit over-baked and over-worked and various other things…” but ultimately nice to eat.

Kelly’s biscuits were the ones to shine, though. As they were neat and delicious, she was rewarded with a Hollywood handshake.

Kelly Brook and Paul Hollywood on Bake Off

Next up the technical, and the Bake Off cheekiness got ramped up significantly thanks to the challenge of making six iced buns. Cue childish giggling from Rob.

“Paul would like you to ice your buns,” said Sandi.

“Your iced buns need to have a soft crust but need to be gorgeously squidgy,” added Noel.

It got worse. “The tops on my buns are perfect,” said Carol. Rob replied: “You’ve got splendid buns.”

Any more bun puns and the tent might implode.

My main issue was the fact that the buns were filled with jam and Chantilly cream and topped with a pale yellow icing and sprinkles. What kind of fancy-ass buns are these? What’s wrong with six buns with white icing and nothing more?

Anyway, Rob came last in the technical after discovering that not using the full quantity of yeast basically makes pitta bread, followed by Kelly, Mo and Carol in poll position.

Rob Rinder with the Bake Off judges and Noel Fielding

The showstopper saw the celebs tasked with making a 3D cake that represented their guilty pleasure.

“My guilty pleasures apparently aren’t appropriate for the watershed,” Rob explained. Instead, he settled for a pile of brightly coloured Jackie Collins novels.

Kelly and Carol both went for bath-time scenes. Carol’s “bath of many pleasures” was designed so the judges drank the Champagne bath water while Kelly’s was a peach bellini-flavoured depiction of washing her dirty knees, covered in compost after a day in the garden.

Mo went with trainers. No, he doesn’t sniff them as he explained to the judges, but he does buy eight pairs a month on average. Unless he’s secretly a centipede, this is excessive.

Mo Gilligan shows off his love of trainers in the Bake Off tent

Let’s just hope that none of his trainers look like the one he created. Having remade the recipe after realising he only put two of the required nine eggs in, he threw some fondant on and hoped for the best, resulting in a white mass with a few black lines over the top. His third batch of jam in the tent was top-notch though. “Catch me at a summer fête near you!” he beamed.

Rob’s was also a distant cry from his intentions; the icing was messy, the rabbit on the cover looked far more phallic than it probably should have, and the pink and purple sponge looked unappetising.

“The whole theme is trashy novels and it looks like trash,” said Prue. Ouch! And yet, it turned out to be tasty with Rob declared a “natural baker”, albeit not a natural decorator.

Kelly, meanwhile, learned that putting booze in your sponge mix does not bode well for the cake, even if it is beautifully decorated, as Carol sought to inebriate the judges by getting them to drink Champagne through straws from the top of her bubble bath cake.

Not sure whether it was the boozy ‘bath water’ or her baking skills, but either way she was crowned this week’s star baker.

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