It’s Week 6 and we’re down to six contestants in their quest to be crowned Ireland’s best baker. One of them will have to remove her sunglasses from her head if she wants to wear that crown though. On with the crumpled granny’s-stripey-bedlinen aprons and we’re off.
The technical challenge is Millefeuille – layers of puff pastry with berries and crème patisserie. Paul Kelly says he is still scared by it. As everyone quietly gets to grips with the instructions Maryanne loudly questions her every move. It’s like Woody and Rachel combined into one anxious Allen.
Pastries are puffed, custards are curdled and cooled, and all is fine until they read about the flaked almonds. Paul wants them stuck to the sides but he doesn’t say how. “I’m just going to throw them on the side and hope they stick” says Barbara. They don’t. Oonagh’s top layer falls off. “Shite”, she says. I love her, not just because she looks like Hayley Mills. However, she is pipped at the post by Maryanne.
The Showstopper Challenge is a Croque-en-Bouche. It’s a cone of profiteroles delicately held together with caramel or chocolate threads. Will decides to make his in the shape of a windmill, with assurances that the addition of limoncello “won’t be sending them off locked”. Oonagh has to have three goes at the choux pastry, eventually giving up on measuring the ingredients. Then she only makes half the amount. Come on Oonagh, pull yourself together! Barbara’s filling spills all over the floor. “Shite” she says. It’s like a sailors’ tavern today.
Aoife puts a lot of effort into her bee-themed structure. “That’s like a crunchie bar. It’s got everything in it for me” says Paul. I imagine him sitting down to a crunchie with a knife and fork, eyes closed with happiness. Most of the end results are wedged together with too much chocolate or caramel. Stephen wins Star Baker as he is the only one with no flaws. Apart from his tendency to wear shorts under his apron, which is disconcerting.
Anna, who is a bit more into it this week, has a shock announcement. Two are being eliminated. Poor old Barbara is out. I suppose that’s what you get for throwing things at your cake, hoping they’ll stick. The camera then swivels to Oonagh as we wait for her name to be announced. However, it’s Aoife who’s gone. What the what now? Paul said hers had everything. Maybe Biddy doesn’t like crunchies. Maybe they’re locked after all. Either way, the two ladies take it in good grace.
We get a glimpse of next week and some gruesome -looking cakes. “No”, says Paul, “this cake really doesn’t appeal to me at all”. Maybe Biddy will find it soft and gentle in her mouth. Maybe some kindly runner will decide to iron the aprons for the semi-final.
What did you think of the decision? Are the right people through?