Great British Bake Off 2020: Chocolate Week

Shutterstock / ltummy © great british bake off

Chocolate Week was going to be “back to basics” week on the Great British Bake Off.

That must have been music to the bakers’ ears, following the general drop in standard during Bread Week.

Then again, there are probably basics to achieving nuclear fission, but that doesn’t mean I have a snowball’s chance in hell of actually pulling them off.

The signature challenge: chocolate brownies

Sounds simple enough. Michael Chakraverty, from last year’s series, thinks otherwise over on the Guardian blog:

Great British Bake Off

Photograph courtesy of The Guardian.

Sure enough, despite being begged not to over-decorate . . . that’s exactly what everyone sets out to do.

Perhaps the spirit of Rowan still haunts the tent, all waistcoats and cricket and tea, cajoling the contestants to put the “over” in over-reach.

Every week is chocolate week with Mrs Digital Ed and I, but still . . . I found myself getting some serious brownie envy.

Well, maybe not for that.

Mark and Laura both opt for smores brownies, while Lottie — on a bit of a shoogly peg from last week — chose to leave her offerings in the oven a little longer than most, and cool them in the freezer.

It did not go well. I don’t really know what “wet freezer juice” is, but I know I don’t really want it on my brownies. Or whatever it was that she actually made in the end.

Paul was taking no prisoners:

Texture caused everyone an issue, with several of the bakers accidentally birthing sponge cakes. For Sura, it was gravity (or karma?) that was the issue, when she dropped half of her brownies trying to take them out of the oven.

The one’s that survived didn’t exactly wow the judges either.

As Last Year’s Michael predicted, keeping it simple proved impossible, and there were no clear winners.

The technical challenge: chocolate babka

Backing away from the basics, Paul picks chocolate babka for his bakers.

It’s all about folding, apparently. Like bedsheets, but made of chocolate.

Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad.

The bakers grappled manfully with their somewhat vague instructions once again.

“Make the dough?” one of them might have said. “What? Here? On a baking show. Don’t know how, mate.”

Several of the contestants suffered from size problems, leaving them to force their babkas into the tin to bake.

And if you thought that caused the traditional degeneration into innuendo, you’d be wrong.

Sort of. Enter Barbara Winner:

She had plenty of Old Vic energy this week, and was duly crowned the winner. Fair play, her babka looked genuinely delicious.

Lottie’s, on the other hand, looked “like a Viking longboat”, and despite a general lack of finesse among the fleet, she sailed in last — and into some trouble.

The showstopper: white chocolate celebration cake

It’s bold of the Great British Bake Off to assume the bakers have so much to celebrate this year.

Though they will be celebrating the end of chocolate week, that’s for sure.

Everyone has one eye on the weather, with any soaring temperatures likely to see cakes melting like so many Wicked Witches.

Mrs Digital Ed predicted a heatwave. Wished for one, even. Harsh.

. . . she didn’t have to wait long.

Lottie figured the only way she was going to survive the week was to go big.

(“Are you there, Rowan? It’s me, Lottie.”)

It proved to be a little over-baked, but not a disaster.

Irish Mark packed his cake with so many flavours that picking any one out was a little too tough. But that didn’t stop him picking up Star Baker for the first time.

Baby Peter took to listening to cakes again, and pulled another good’un out of the bag. This Year’s Dave was back to his uneventful best, while Indiana Marc and Linda were solid (but not in a bad way).

Sadly, Sura she became the first baker this year to not actually bake her cake. As oversights go, that was a cracker, and off she went.

The bakes


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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.