Poor Enwezor. Scuppered by bought fondant! In last night’s episode, the showstopper was a 3d biscuit scene. Not a scene made out of 3d biscuits, because, as one Tweeter pointed out, all biscuits are 3d, even those that dub themselves “thins”, but a 3d scene made entirely out of biscuits. The judges were at pains to point out that it must stand up on its own, “unlike us in the bar tonight”. No, of course that wasn’t Mary Berry. It was Sue Perkins. Mary Berry did, however, say “And of course (beatific smile) we want to see everything home-made!” Cut to Enwezor, who is making a biscuit and fondant moon rocket. Sue: “Are you making your own fondant?” Enwezor (decisively): “No”. Shot of Mary Berry looking as though she’d swallowed a bee. Twitter instantly agreed that “Mary Berry’s fondant face” is not one you want to see on the Bake Off. I would go so far as to say that it’s not one you want to see anywhere; it’s the sort of face that usually goes along with phrases such as “I’m not angry, just very disappointed”.
Interestingly, although Paul Hollywood is the bad cop of the partnership, making Chetna literally leap into the air with nerves when she turned around after successfully completing a particularly tricky operation with a carousel roof and discovered him right behind her, Mary is the one they all want to please. Enwezor was never going to recover from his bought fondant shame, and his fate was sealed when his biscuits were also revealed as substandard by reason of a soft centre. Paul, who has a bit of a soft centre himself, paid him a farewell tribute with the words “You don’t get into that tent if you’re not a good baker, and Enwezor is a very good baker indeed.”
Elsewhere, other contestants were meeting with triumph and disaster and treating them with an admirable mix of stoicism and delight. Both Luis and Richard produced astonishing creations designed to entirely slot together and decorated with beautiful and intricate piping. Iain seemed destined for the chop after some unfortunate zaatar biscuits and a failed Florentine, but redeemed himself magnificently with a lime and ginger wild west scene. It will be a while before you hear the words “Iain! Get some chaps on that very naked cowboy!” before the 9pm watershed again, or, indeed, ever. Norman fulfilled my hopes of shortbread but fell short on the bonkers creativity front, having apparently confused the 3d biscuit challenge with a carpentry project. In a tent where Martha’s ski scene used coffee biscuits, hot chocolate biscuits, mulled wine biscuits AND marshmallow, plain shortbread stained with food colouring was clearly not going to cut it. “And I’d like to have seen a bit more piping on those sails.” Me too, Paul, me too.
And Jordan! Ah, what can I say about Jordan, with his Queen Mother teeth, wardrobe that looks as though he’s stripped naked, covered himself in Copydex and run through Primark with his credit card, and the sweetest, sunniest nature you could wish for. I do hope he survives longer than seems likely, because I love him so much. At the stage of the showstopper last night when all the other contestants were bent over their templates breathing heavily, Jordan was sanguine about his anime scene: “It doesn’t matter if the monster’s a bit misshapen because” beaming smile “he’s a monster!” When his tiny plane went horribly wrong “Sod it, I’m gonna eat it.” Crunch. “Life’s too short, innit?” We could all learn a lot from Jordan.
More Bake Off goodies next week. It’s bread week, so we may be privileged to see Paul Hollywood’s kneading technique (sigh….). And someone is bound to ill-advisedly attempt a seventeen strand plait. I can scarcely wait!