Britalian Bake Off review: Giuseppe on Rebs hopes and Syabira's "hilarious" feather mistake
Great British Bake Off champion Giuseppe Dell'Anno shares his thoughts on Week 2 of the Channel 4 show.
It was Biscuit Week on The Great British Bake Off this week, and some of the contestants (and their bakes) certainly crumbled under pressure.
Here, reigning Bake Off champion Giuseppe Dell'Anno talks all about episode 2, including Syabira's hilarious feather moment.
Giuseppe on episode 2
I must say that last night (Tuesday 20th September) ticked all the essential Bake Off boxes. There were happy tears, we had sad tears, we had comforting hugs, we had bakers helping each other, and there was also a beautifully crafted biscuit mask crumbling under its own weight. We had the first Hollywood Handshakes on the season - first to Dawn, and then the second to Maxy.
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Moment of the Week
I like the biscuit 3D mask Showstopper Challenge. I think it will go down in Bake Off history as a memorable challenge, because we saw a theatrical display, creativity, technical skills and just a lot of imagination. It was also heartbreaking to witness Carole's crumbling. It was honestly heartbreaking, but that also sort of opened the opportunity for one of the most heartwarming moments on Bake Off when Maisam comforted Carole. That's what Bake Off is truly about and it was a very good reminder of what the show is. We saw a genuine display of friendship, mutual support, and camaraderie between the two of them.
Syabira's Garibaldi creation
The decision to put chocolate with garibaldi biscuits last night sparked a lot of debate. Chocolate might not belong to garibaldi, but I'm very glad the bakers had the opportunity to do it, because it gave Syabira and Abdul the opportunity to redefine and reinvent chocolate feathering.
I can't deny as a baking geek I cackled and completely lost it when Syabira and Abdul made a feather out of actual chocolate. And I mean, Syabira's feathers were really good. It looked perfect! Being able to work with white chocolate, which is particularly difficult to mould and make a perfect feather, I think she should have received grace.
"Janusz continues to shine"
Generally speaking, in terms of who stood out last night, Janusz keeps shining. He's an adorable, cheerful, just irresistible human being. I mean his laughs throughout the episode last night were just a delight to witness. And he's also an exceptionally talented baker and he gave a fabulous, exceptional performance.
I still confirm my early predictions, and I would be very surprised if Janusz or Syabira – or possibly both of them – don't make it to the final. I will say that anybody that can successfully deliver a savoury macaron is worthy. So I'm hoping to be able to see more of Syabira and Janusz.
Fingers crossed for Rebs
Rebs had a couple of stumbles in the first episode, but she seems to be having a hiccup every single bake. It's almost as if she likes to play on the edge. She smashed the Technical Challenge yesterday with her garibaldi biscuits, which is what I believe saved her. But I think she needs to get her act together or one of those hiccups might be one too many. So fingers crossed for Rebs!
Tip of the week: It's all about the structure
I'm not a fan of garibaldi biscuits. As much as the name might sound Italian we don't have them in Italy. The only suggestion that I can think of when it comes to Biscuit Week is structure and to have a very stiff biscuit for displays, which most of the contestants did, going for gingerbread.
Pizza faux pas
I couldn't help but notice in the sneak peek of next week's show and apparently there is going to be pizza. And if I'm not mistaken, I spotted a fig on pizza! That is way beyond pineapple, so I'm intrigued to see that. I don't personally like pineapple on pizza - I think that it should be a criminal offence, but everybody's got their own taste. I'm genuinely curious to see what they pair figs with, but I'll keep an open mind.
Do you agree with the judges choosing Maxy for Star Baker this week?
There is no doubt in my head that Maxy's mask was top of the list for imagination and ingenuity. It looked truly stunning. Colourful creative, masterfully decorated, just flawless – and according to the feedback she got from the judges, it tasted great as well. So there was no doubt that she deserves the accolade. If I may, I would like to give James an honourable mention. I mean, his mask was horrifying - the stuff of nightmares! But it was masterfully put together. Handling brandy snaps isn't easy, but the way he used these to hold up a very crafty 3D shape was incredible.
What advice would you give to Maisam as a young baker?
Seeing her go wasn't easy. You could see the genuine look of disappointment on her face and it was blatantly evident that she was heartbroken. To be honest, I've never wanted to hug anybody more! It's not advice, but my observation is that although she's only 18, she managed to keep a cool head throughout the challenges.
She didn't manage her time, so while she didn't have enough time in the Signature Challenge, she had plenty of spare time in the Showstopper Challenge, so she might have to look at that and try to manage that. But the kills that she demonstrated on keeping a cool head and a steady pace throughout in a really stressful time is something that will help her in real life, so she should be looking at this as an achievement rather than a failure.
A week in the life of Giuseppe
I've been very busy this weekend and the next couple of weeks are going to be even busier! I've got a couple of days in Wales signing off stuff for the book, I've got literally piles of books to send off to the States and distribute around the UK, and I've got a food festival this weekend. So I've got to go all the way to Oxford tomorrow and I'm meeting up with some former bakers this weekend. And then from next week, I'll be starting the book tour, so I'll be going around book shops meeting people. It's all very exciting!
To make your own show-stopping bakes at home, Giuseppe’s debut cookbook, Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes (Quadrille, £20) is available to pre-order, out 13th October.
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