We’ve now reached the third and penultimate week of Celebrity Bake Off su2c. The celebrities competing for the coveted star baker pinny this week were Nick Grimshaw, Dizzee Rascal, Reece Shearsmith and Phillipa Perry (more widely known for being the wife of eccentric artist Grayson Perry).
The program began with the entry of Paul, Prue and Matt who all appear to be expanding in girth by the week, especially Matt who is now increasingly looking like a weeble that wobbles (showing my age again – link to the catchy tune below, judge for yourself).
The first challenge the bakers faced this week was a traybake with vegetables in. Pretty tame stuff for the tent, but I guess these are supposed amateurs who’ve never baked before.
Nick chose to make a chocolate beetroot cake, which completely disguised the fact that it contained any beetroot, and might be a sneaky way for mums to get more veg surreptitiously slipped into their kid’s diets. Dizzee made a carrot cake that Paul loved, but said very trepidatiously that it “could have done with a few minutes longer in the oven”.
Reece made a surprisingly tasty looking pumpkin cake which Paul said was “perfection” and rewarded him with a long forgotten PHH (Paul Hollywood Handshake). Phillippa made a concoction of avocado and raspberries, which looked very art deco in a sickly green and pink stripy way, by the time she’d finished (having enough time to stop for a cup of tea and chat mid-bake) and which went down well with both judges.
End of round one saw a level playing field between all four celebrities but with obvious signs of competitiveness already creeping in between Phllippa and Reece.
For the second technical challenge Paul and Prue asked the contestants to make the very old fashioned Queen of Puddings, which most of them had never heard of before. The seemingly simply dessert proved quite tricky to perfect and although Nick’s creation probably looked the best and closest to the actual dish Paul and Prue requested, his custard hadn’t set and so the end result was more lilke Queen of Soups.
In the final showstopper challenge round, each celebrity had to create a portrait of themselves in their daily lives but in biscuit form. This seemed like a challenge too far, but all the celebrities put their best feet forward and the results were surprisingly appealing – to the eye at least.
Nick created a Glastonbury scene with him looking nothing remotely like himself as the central image, made from gingerbread. Dizzee decided to recreate his album cover, using Bake Off words rather than the actual title Boy In The Corner, using chocolate double layered biscuit, with cream filling. Philippa created an image of herself in her role of agony aunt, pouring over a screen surrounded by yellow smily ’emoticon’s, with her lemony biscuits pleasing the judges. Finally, Reece chose to create an elaborate theatre setting made from gingerbread, with himself centre stage in the role of McBeth, instead of holding up a skull, holding a camera and taking a selfie.
All the finished biscuits clearly resembled the images the celebrities intended (if you took your glasses off and didn’t look too closely), and Reece ended up narrowly pipping Philippa to the post by being adorned with the star baker title and pinny to show for his effort and determination.
The judges Paul and Prue spent every available opportunity to sycophantically suck up to Dizzee, so it came as something of a surprise when they didn’t choose to give him the winning title too, but they were both quick to make it clear he’d done extremely well in the bakes he’d made. Is it me or are the judges on the celebrity version completely the opposite in their scrutiny of the celebrity’s bakes than the ‘proper’ contestants where they are often harsh to the point of being cruel?
Only one week remains in this series, and then how long until the real Bake Off returns? I’m already counting the weeks!