The Great British Bake Off: Biscuit Week
October 4, 2023 1:41 PM - Season 14, Episode 2 - Subscribe

It's Biscuit Week and the bakers get stuck into a marshmallow Signature and a custard classic, and make their favourite meal out of biscuits in an illusion-themed Showstopper.
posted by ellieBOA (12 comments total)
Biscuits are my favourite baked goods, so this was a nice one to watch.

Only downside is, I don't have any Custard Creams in the house. They're not one of my favourites normally-- I find the filling too sweet-- but after this episode I REALLY wanted some.

Glad to see Tasha do better after last week. I think she's a potential finalist, maybe winner?

I feel for Nicki and Saku and I hope they have better luck next week. They're still probably early eliminations, but it would be nice for them to have something go really well before that happens.

Similarly, Dana's stuck in the middle of the pack, but the pizza showstopper was lovely and I'd like to see her hit her stride in coming weeks.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:11 PM on October 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

And the showstopper seemed ... reasonable? Like sometimes it's just verging on obscene, but all those cookies were sort of kind of cookie-like? I mean it doesn't hurt that my first live-in girlfriend bought me a cookie bouquet once, so I'm primed to like cookies-on-sticks just on general principle.

I'm still of two minds about technicals where nobody or only one contestant manages to meet the time requirement. On the one hand at this point you should have good time management in the kitchen. On the other hand if the difference between undercooked and overcooked is only a minute or 90 seconds, sometimes that feels more like luck than time management or cooking ability.

But still, a nice enjoyable episode.
posted by Kyol at 6:10 PM on October 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

I’m over the moon about the changes this season. Alison is a breath of fresh air, Noel seems so much happier, even Paul was cuddling bakers from the jump. The challenges are more interesting despite—or actually, because of—being simpler. I haven’t even minded the opening sketches! I’m not going to point any fingers but it sure seems like they saged that tent.
posted by babelfish at 6:42 AM on October 5, 2023 [6 favorites]

Apparently custard creams are the British biscuit most likely to cause injury. It seems weird that the preparation seems to involve the stamping of an explanatory "Custard Cream" label into the dough. Maybe more biscuits could adopt that useful approach.

The page on Chocolate Coated marshmallow treats gives a good overview for the first challenge - includes the mighty Tunnock's Tea Cake but not the Wagonwheel.
posted by rongorongo at 7:39 AM on October 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm from Chicago, so I've definitely seen a pizza that deep. But three charcuterie boards?! I was thinking, "How clever!" about the first one, but apparently it was an obvious choice.

The standard seems very high this year and I love that they're mostly getting enough time for the bakes. The atmosphere is still occasionally tense, but so much less miserable than last year.

Tasha is so brilliant and engaging (and very tall, I just noticed this week)! Wonderful to see her thriving. Poor Keith, though! He reminded me of an old school music hall comedian and I'm going to miss his wit and charm.
posted by merriment at 10:36 AM on October 6, 2023 [7 favorites]

I'm from Chicago, so I've definitely seen a pizza that deep.

I’ve never been to Chicago yet I am aware of deep dish pizza!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:32 PM on October 6, 2023

Such fun! It feels so good right now. I'm not turning to my partner annoyed about an editing or challenge yet. I hope it continues, because the contestants deserve the loving support most of the rest have gotten, they're wonderful.
posted by Carillon at 12:42 AM on October 7, 2023

I'm agreeing with everyone -- so far this year seems much improved, Alison is great (I'd never heard of her before this), the challenges are reasonable, and yeah, the timing thing is apparently always going to be a thing, but it's at least felt like they generally have enough time and they just have to concentrate on managing it well.

If we can get through the whole season without weird judging on ethnic foods not usually seen in Britain and non-baked items (remember the damn tacos?!?), I'll be stoked.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:00 PM on October 7, 2023

So far, so good. Really enjoyed these first two episodes.

The time limits are still stupidly tight, though. Not even a professional bakery works with such time limits, so I don’t see why these non-pros have to deal with such an artificial limitation. Paul’s getting a little too liberal with the handshakes, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:53 AM on October 8, 2023 [4 favorites]

Aww, sad to see Keith go. He can doorstep me with baked goods, if his neighbors are going to be ungrateful about it.

I credit the improved atmosphere to Alison's laugh, which no bad vibes could possibly stand against.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:51 AM on October 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

Poor Keith. Everything he did was awful but he seemed very sweet. I am totally enamored with Allison as the new host. She brings a lot of light into the tent. My underdog choice is Dana, early star choice is Tasha with Rowan a close second. Looking forward to a return to form for this season!
posted by donnagirl at 12:14 PM on October 10, 2023

The Not-So-Great Defector Bake Off attempts custard creams: I should note that before we got started on this bake, I texted my friend’s boyfriend Max, who is British and lovely, and demanded he explain his culture to me. Because I had NO IDEA what these were and respect the game enough to not Google. He told me they are “slightly fancy,” “yellowy beige,” and “have an ornate design on the outside of the biscuit.” So I decided that they are exactly like vanilla Oreos.

Archive link, if necessary.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:41 AM on October 11, 2023

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