Wife-of-Gordon Sarah Brown was pipped to the cake-making post by the man famous for playing Tony Blair, Michael Sheen. Hope Gordon wasn’t watching
Ah. Trust The Great Comic Relief Bake Off to tackle those key culinary conundrums: “how do you cut a mango?” “are quails eggs the same as chocolate eggs?”, and “what IS lard?” But there were more pressing questions and concerns: the crowning of star baker Sheen over consistenly competent Brown.
Not since the Great British Bake Off sabotage scandal have there been so many conspiracy theories flung around the tent like a flat meringue - there are even calls for a movie to be made - but more on that later.
Back in the Bake Off world, and Jo Brand locked up Mel and Sue last night to put comedian David Mitchell, actor Michael Sheen, Sarah Brown and Radio 1 DJ Jameela Jamil through their cake-making paces.
First up, 24 identical shortbread biscuits with a touch of je ne sais quoi (no shortbread fingers here, then). Jamil approached pretty much every piece of kitchen equipment like it might bite her, while Mitchell mainly wrestled with a sieve (his bowl was too small).
Mitchell went for Victoria sandwich-style biscuits (his wife is called Victoria, geddit?) which looked more like a bad Eton Mess but apparently tasted delicious. Jamil’s pretty orange shortbread with marshmallow nearly choked Paul as they were too dry (well, she had never handled butter before). Sarah’s red nose shortbread with vanilla buttercream were “smashing” (Mary’s word, not ours), and Sheen's spicy dragons looked a total disaster but had the best flavour. High praise indeed from Paul Hollywood.
For the technical challenge, it was Paul's turn to be all Dr Evil as he tasked the bakers with 6 mini pork pies made with hot water crust pastry. It was no surprise that there were mixed results and it was kind of stressful.
Jamil said she had never seen a pork pie before (which seemed unlikely) while Sheen’s dough resembled pancake batter and he tried to peel an onion with a potato peeler (yes, really). Brown had some leakage, which meant Mitchel took top spot – even though his eggs were sleeping sideways according to the judges.
On to the showstopper: a three layer pavlova with fruit and cream.
Jamil managed to use oil instead of vinegar (just how does that happen?) and she burned and undercooked her meringue at the same time (we’ll park her Bake Off career here, then). Sheen overcame his timing issues to produce “Beyond The Lemon Thurderdome” aka a citrus and passion fruit concoction that sounds like a movie. But Brown’s winning three-tiered meringue showstopper, quite frankly, looked amazing. We wanted it.
The winner takes it all
But in the fickle world of pavlova politics, "Blair" prevailed over Brown and went on to be crowned star baker. What a complete shocker.
OK, OK, who thinks the Bake Off was the victim of a Hollywood hustle?