Monz recaps GABO Episode 2: There cannoli be one winner.

Missed last episode’s recap? Get on that. Read it here.

If you are a sugar-free convert, the best thing you can do right now, is run. RUN AWAY NOW. RUN AND DO NOT LOOK BACK! Because this can only do untold damage to your willpower and life as you know it.

It’s week two of Bake Off and it’s biccies. Which means ungodly amounts of butter, sugar and those silver cachous that look like tiny little ball bearings but are in fact sent from the sugar heavens of fatland. BRING. IT.

It’s actually pissing with REAL rain this episode (and not just silver cachous) but that doesn’t dampen the spirits of hosts Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle who again, carry this show like a pig with a baby monkey on its back. Awesome.


The bakers have to make 12 identical filled biscuits. Not even the people at Tim Tam could win this one (there’s only 11 in the packet).

Twelve identical filled biscuits in 90 mins is hard enough. But to make the biccie much more tricky is BeerMat (that’s Maggie Beer and Matt Moran, our esteemed judges) arguing over what they want.

Should they bend? Should they crunch? Maggie Beer wants nostalgia and Matt Moran wants modernity.  And I sit there watching and thinking for HEAVEN’S SAKE.  Someone just make a wagon wheel and let’s call this whole thing off.

King Of Biscuits.

Mariana my CWA hero admits from the start she’s not big on biccies. But she’s pumping out lemon shortbread with lemon butter and royal icing dots, which is SO CWA that you can sense the collective nodding of grandma heads. Her future’s so bright she wears transition lenses and I love her.


Angela, the blue ribbon collector, is doing something similar.  She tells the judges that she’s, “made hundreds of these” and won “many awards at shows” which gives us an excuse to look at her blue ribbons again and feel a bit crap that we can’t be that good.

James is a food historian who decides his biscuit should be an Orange Cream. NO JAMES NO! ARE YOU CRAZY? The orange cream is ALWAYS the one that’s left behind in the Arnott’s cream multipack. It is the Jolt Cola in the vending machine. It’s the green snake in the Allens snake packet. No one wants the orange cream, James.

Even Maggie Beer the queen of food, the essence of everything good and right in this world admits openly she scrapes the cream off and throws away the biscuits. Yes Maggie. YES.

The Beer that got the cream.

Meg the cool chick is making a biscuit with bourbon in it ‘cos she’s a badass.

Janice is making something she claims to be a biscuit but seems to belong in the sausage roll ep.

Whoops. Hope they don’t notice.

And Ben, who’s playing the part of befuddled bloke, is making a biscuit with chocolate and bourbon. Like a beautiful 18th birthday mud cake that’s been spiked by your older brother and his gross friends. Despite this, I think Ben might be my actual favourite.

He looks in a constant state of bewilderment.  The voice-overed Claire Hooper tells us, “Ben loves coming home from the mines and relaxing with a beer and a bake”. But mostly, I love him because when everyone else is busying themselves making love-heart-shaped biscuits, piping perfect little dots of heaven, he plates up this kind of mangled atrocity.

Pretty as a peach slice that is hiding a mangled biscuit. My hero.

The judges taste and are impressed with everyone.  Except JAMES has broken the CRUCIAL RULE of the orange cream, and not put enough cream in his biscuits. JAMES FFS YOU HAD ONE JOB!

And Sian, a young fashion designer who incidentally should win a blue ribbon for her excellent lipstick, ends up smashing it out of the park with this monstrosity, which I’m not sure can really be called a biscuit. This is a burger:

Much like the cronut, she has frankensteined together a burger with a biscuit and hence the Bisurger or the Burscuit wins the day.


This episode it’s a Matt Moran recipe: they’re making cannolis.  Not just a cannoli but a cannoli with something called a pistachio cremeaux which sounds fancy as all get out.

Most of the bakers are like “WTF?” except Angela who is like ‘I’ve won thousands of blue ribbons for my cannolis’ and Brendan, who looks completely chilled out for a man who is about to make an impossibly thin dough and dump it in boiling oil.

But there’s details left off the recipe and then GLORY of GLORIES the bakers start to sneakily help each other.  Suzy sparkle, the one who bakes with everything sparkly and love hearty, skirts over to befuddled Ben and drops this helpful truth bomb on him.

“Are you putting egg yolk in your pastry? I think we need to” she whispers. And then she gets caught by the camera and giggles madly and goes back behind her counter to her love heart biscuits.





Finally after what cannoli be described as a hot mess, we have 11 weird cannolis and some look shit and some look great.  Can we all agree that this should have been a wagon wheel challenge? Yes.

Maggie and Matt crunch their way through and crown Blue Ribbon Angela the winner and Brendan comes last. Not that he cares. Chill.

So for anyone counting at home, that’s Angela twice in a row for the technical bake. That’s mad skills. Someone get her a ribbon so she can start pinning them to her bake table.



The challenge for the showstopper this week is to ‘tell a story through biscuits’.  The obvious choice would be to don a stained t-shirt, recline in a faded velour lounge chair, mash biscuit crumbs all over yourself, and call it a story entitled ‘My Sunday Afternoon’ but alas, our bakers are more creative.

Ben is making Bacon and Lime Macarons. No Ben. You don’t have to prove to us that you are a manly man by putting manly things in your biscuits non stop. Last time it was bourbon and now it’s bacon? Blech.

As for the rest of the bakers, we are promised houses and lanterns and gingerbread horse and carts and a windmill and all manner of gingerbread creations, but the actual show stopping moment is this.

Brendan makes a biscuit with a meringue topping made to look like a Picasso and it’s amazing.

I’ll break the ear off and eat that.

But as we hit the lofty heights of artistic biscuit magnificence, so we come CRUSHING down as Mariana crumbles under the pressure. There are tears. Tears from a CWA woman whose just about had enough of this reality TV nonsense.


It’s a bit sad.

Mariana is like the warmhearted transition-lensed nanna of the show and she’s grappling with all the stress of it and I want to hug her and make her a cup of tea and sit her down. I mean, WHO HASN’T been reduced to tears by baking biscuits dammit? Let’s not pretend we’re not all like Angela.

While Mariana smiles and grits her teeth and keeps baking with the strength of the nation’s CWA behind her. The rest of the bakers plate up.

And hold up.

Sian just made a fricking CUCKOO CLOCK out of gingerbread.


And hence, Sian with her burger biscuit and her gingerbread clock, deservedly gets star baker.

We sadly say goodbye to Mariana, back to the snug, warm land of the Country Women’s Association, of nannas that smell like baby powder and scones, and where no one asks you to make a cannoli.

I secretly put a star next to Suzy Sparkles name for services to mankind, and all that is left is for us to wish Mariana a smooth transition (lenses) into her new, post Bake Off life.

Who do you think deserved to go home?

Meet the contestants…