entertainment

Monz recaps The Great Australian Bake Off episode 5: A chocopalypse now.

Missed the last episode? Read the recap here. 

Close the lounge room door. Have tissues ready to mop up the wet corners of your mouth. You’re about to see images that will test the strongest of no-dessert willpower.

It’s the chocolate episode of The Great Australian Bake Off.

And tonight, three things happen.

  1. They make brownies.
  2. Things get really silly.
  3. We are subject to some of the greatest images to ever hit your eyeballs:

At this point, I sorely wish my TV was larger.  Foxtel, if you’re reading these recaps I hope you are keeping a list of my suggestions which so far are:

  1. Get a smellogram or at least a scratch and sniff TV in development.
  2. Trigger warnings for anyone on the ‘I Quit Sugar’ diet and;
  3. Chocolate episodes to be played at imax so we can bathe in the vision of chocolate raining down.

Thank you.

SIGNATURE BAKE.

It’s brownies. This is the easiest bake in bake off history. Have you ever eaten a bad brownie? Such a thing does not exist. Our judges Maggie Beer and Matt Moran (beermat for short) have asked for gooey, rich fudgey, not-too-cakey cakey brownies made with chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

(DROOL).

James is making a chocolate Miso brownie.  Sian is making an Italian ricotta brownie, the rest of the recipes just seem to be variations of ‘a shit-ton of chocolate’, but then Jasmin the Britt actually describes hers as, “chocolate on chocolate on chocolate”. At which point, I think it dawns on Maggie that she is going to have to eat eight of the richest brownies the world has ever seen.

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It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain. Image via Foxtel.

AS IF THIS EPISODE COULDN’T GET BETTER, the judges stroll over to judge chilled out Brendan’s bake. And as he stands there, levelling them with his cool gaze, Matt Moran asks him if he did ok. And he pulls out this one:

gabo episode 5
YES. Image via Foxtel.
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BRILLIANT MOVE and it might have just been the ten or more Fantales I just ate while watching but I LOLED. This show is the actual best. Everyone is having the best time. Can you all please never stop?

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YES. Image via Foxtel.

But like all bake offs, some bakers are determined to push the boundaries. Baffled Ben put thyme in his chocolate brownie, which should be no surprise, given he also made a bacon macaron earlier in this season. Ick. The judges are nice about it, but Maggie makes a slight face.

Then there’s Suzy Sparkle. Whose brownie makes no sense whatsoever:

gabo episode 5
WUT? Image via Foxtel.
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Don’t cut the middle out of your brownie, Suzy. Any Brownie with LESS actual physical brownie is a bad thing. And also, that name. The circle does end, Suzy.  It ends in two bites.  A more accurate name might be “The Circle of Doom” or “Circle of Tragic Ending” or “Do-not do this to a brownie”.

The rest are elaborately decorated, at which point I would like to acknowledge James. His is the only one that actually LOOKS like a proper, I-made-this-in-my-kitchen-and-not-in-a-French-patisserie-school brownie:

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Best. Image via Foxtel.

TECHNICAL BAKE!

The technical bake is a Black Forest Gateaux which is French for Black Forest Getinmybelly. It’s a complex Matt Moran recipe: four layers of kirsch soaked sponge, cherry jelly, white chocolate and vanilla mousse, morello cherries and then crunchy chocolate shards. It’s SUCH a tricky bake that Beermat have given our bakers the entire recipe. The trick? They have to do it in two and a half hours.

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gabo episode 5
Make it stop. Image via Foxtel.

The bakers all struggle with the various elements except chilled out Brendan, who is a chocolate whisperer, and spends much of the bake sneaking over to other benches and helping where he can.  This guy knows chocolate better than anyone.  He admits to the camera that he FINALLY feels like he’s at home and that he is utterly in his element. Huzzah!

With two and a half hours up, the bakers plate up for blind judging and it’s a moment so spectacular that I actually cried out with joy. A Gateaux runway. A GATEAUX FRICKING RUNWAY.

My joy isn’t shared by Beermat though, who manage to pick fault with most of the bakes. Dry sponge, grainy cream, some chocolate is TOO thick (as if that’s a bad thing), some have defined layers and other have soggy globby layers, and James’ is accused of making a trifle rather than a gateau. As if that’s a bad thing too…

It leaves him dead last and Brendan, the chocolate whisperer, absolutely nails it and chalks up the victory.  A VICTORY FOR THE CHOCOLATE WHISPERER.

SHOWSTOPPER BAKE!

The bakers have four hours to make a chocolate centrepiece. The only rule is it needs to contain white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Everyone is expecting big things from Brendan because chocolate is notoriously difficult to work with. It requires a cool hand and a cool air about you – and that’s what he has in spades.

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After coming last in the Black Forest Gateau technical bake, James announces he is making….a Black Forest Gateau. Cue laughter from judges. Cue terror from James.  Sian is dropping some giant logs on a plate, and Jasmin is crafting three different elaborate cakes.

Ben, ever keen to “push the boundaries” AKA “do something a bit gross,” is making a white chocolate cheesecake that contains camembert. As he tells BeerMat, it’s like that moment on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, when a contestant chooses the wrong answer and Eddie Maguire is all like, “are you SURE you want to do that? You still have time to change – hint hint.”

Matt and Maggie give Ben the same look. Ben won’t budge on the camembert idea.

Four hours later, The judge’s decree that it’s a bit wrong and he will not be winning a million dollars. It must make them shitty because then Blue Ribbon Angela plates up the most BEAUTIFUL looking trio of treats and is told there is “too much going on”.  She returns to her seat and looks like a puppy that just got kicked.

Teachers’ pet Sian kills it with her chocolate logs, which Matt Moran says is the best thing he’s seen on the show so far, and James surprises everyone by making a perfect, textbook Black Forest Gateau, in which he smiles politely but is probably thinking “suck it.”

And the tragedy of it all? Brendan. So chilled, so busy helping others, so relaxed and in his element, that he completely cocks up the amount of time needed and ends up plating up just one third of his entire masterpiece.

It’s HEARTBREAKING.

He is the chocolate magician and his bag of tricks can’t even be revealed. He is devo. I am devo. Everyone is devo.  Not least of all Mel and Claire, our hosts, who by this stage have spent two days surrounded by more chocolate than is appropriate, and can only look on forlornly while Matt and Maggie eat yet another decadent dessert.

In the end, and very sadly, we say goodbye to Brendan, who frankly looks relieved at the thought he can now spend days chilled out in his home kitchen, rather than battling the clock. And star baker this week somehow goes to Sian, which I wasn’t expecting TBH.

Sian is brilliant, but I thought Jasmin just nailed EVERYTHING to the wall of that bake off shed. She made Maggie weak at the knees when tasting her brownies, she came second by a whisker in the technical and her showstopper elicited noises from Matt Moran that you shouldn’t normally hear on a family TV show. But this is Australia, mate.

And no one can beat dropping a couple of massive logs.

Who do you think should have gone home?

Here are some of the yummiest from this episode (be sure to put a drool guard on your phone if reading on a mobile device):

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