Technically, it’s “Biscuit Week” on The Great British Baking Show, but since a biscuit in the United States is generally something savory, often made with buttermilk, which more closely resembles a scone (or something you give your dog), it’s more like “Cookies, Crackers, & Crisp Bread Week.” No matter what you call them, the small individual treats look and likely taste yummy (or scrummy if you listen to Mary Berry).
But besides the difference in vocabulary, whether you call them cookies or biscuits, there is not much difference but the name. Vulture broke down the semi-final of The Great British Baking Show once again into a signature, technical, and showstopper challenge. The competition started out with a savory cracker or crisp bread, where they all must be the same size, same shape, and it must snap when broken.
Because of thinness, burnt edges are the biggest fear, as crackers go from done to burned rather quickly. They must be seasoned, but not too salty. Cathryn was chatting with Mel and forgot about her crackers, leaving her bake in the burned zone, and she was stressed knowing that she was already in trouble. Once again, Brendan and James came out ahead.
— WGBY (@wgby) August 3, 2018
Next was the technical challenge, which is actually called a tea cake, but it’s not a cake, it’s a cookie. The bottom is a digestive biscuit (think whole wheat healthy-looking cookie), topped with marshmallow, and coated with a chocolate dome. A chocolate-coated s’more if you prefer.
The bakers were given few instructions, and as England was in the midst of a heat wave, tempering chocolate and then getting it to chill was a challenge. James commented that considering that they are baking in a tent, it was hard to get anything to be “room temperature.”
“We don’t have a room temperature here. We have … hot.”
This challenge was a challenge for everyone, but once again, it was the worst for Cathryn, who didn’t properly chill her chocolate. Could she redeem herself with her showstopper?
All five bakers were asked to make a gingerbread building, as opposed to a gingerbread house. There was a Big Ben clock tower, a coliseum, a birdhouse, a Buckingham Palace, and an old barn. The bakers not only wanted to create an original structure, but also make a gingerbread that tasted good.
This week was James’ birthday, and he was the star baker. It was fairly predictable that Cathryn was having a bad week, and she headed home after being eliminated.
Next week, it’s four bakers and “Patisserie Week.”