The Great British Bake Off week two: the tent heats up

Contestants in The Great British Bake Off 2018. Picture: Channel 4.
Contestants in The Great British Bake Off 2018. Picture: Channel 4.

Temperatures were flying high as bakers took on cakes and chocolate in the tent this week.

If you’ve not yet watched episode two, turn back now. This article contains spoilers for the second week.

With 11 bakers remaining and some of the hottest temperatures the tent had ever seen, the second week of The Great British Bake Off proved rather more dramatic than the first.

It was a difficult week for Wakefield local Karen, who struggled to impress the judges with her bakes.

The signature challenge asked contestants to produce a tray bake served in 16 equal slices.

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The Great British Bake Off 2018, baker Karen. Picture: Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off 2018, baker Karen. Picture: Channel 4.

Karen’s almond and marzipan tray bake with rhubarb jam featured a red marzipan topping decorated with edible metallic food paint.

She once again proved a hit with audiences as she decorated the cakes and said: “I’m just putting some beautiful glitter on it, why wouldn’t you?”

The cakes received mixed reviews from the judges, with Paul Hollywood declaring that they looked “very elegant” but noting that the sponge itself was very dry and overbaked.

The technical challenge was a fresh start for Karen, though proved difficult.

The Great British Bake Off 2018. Presenters: Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig and Judges Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith. Picture: Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off 2018. Presenters: Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig and Judges Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith. Picture: Channel 4.

The bakers were asked to bake a le gâteau vert, a traditional sponge which features three layers of cake and a distinctive green frosting.

To produce the green colour, the contestants used strained spinach to create a puree used to colour the cake’s pistachio cream and fondant frosting.

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It was a difficult challenge all around, as the bakers took on the difficult genoise sponge.

The Great British Bake Off 2018, the contestants. Picture: Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off 2018, the contestants. Picture: Channel 4.

Karen struggled with the sponge and was forced to pour away her first mixture, though her second did not fare much better and failed to rise in the oven.

As he surveyed Karen’s cake, Paul said: “I worry about this one, it’s very thin. They’ve lost all the air out of the genoise and the colour’s all wrong. Where have the layers gone?”

Karen was placed in 11th, last place, but as the day drew to a close, she still had a smile on her face.

She said: “Within a short space of time I bounce right back again, so watch this space for tomorrow.”

For the episode’s final challenge, bakers were tasked with creating a cake encircled by a chocolate collar.

This bake would decide Karen’s future in the tent, but high temperatures threatened the sabotage her plans.

The Great British Bake Off 2018. Karen's Strawberry Fayre Chocolate Cake. Picture: Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off 2018. Karen's Strawberry Fayre Chocolate Cake. Picture: Channel 4.

Judge Prue Leith warned: “Nobody in their right mine would be dealing with chocolate on a day like today.”

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The heat played havoc with the bakers’ careful routines, melting cream and preventing chocolate from setting.

Despite this, Karen’s Strawberry Fayre Chocolate Cake was a hit. Her hand piped wording, a reference to the popular folk song Strawberry Fair, finished off the cake, which resembled a giant strawberry.

The judges couldn’t fault the bake and Paul said: “That is really lovely chocolate cake. It melts in the mouth, which is perfect, that’s a really great job.”

Karen was saved, and Rahul was declared Star Baker. Sheffield-based civil servant Luke, however, was out of luck, and became the second baker to leave the tent.

Week three of the Bake Off will see the bakers take on Bread Week and promises viewers the largest bread ever produced in the tent.