What Ruby Baked: Dessert Week
Welcome to the second instalment of ‘What Ruby Baked’. We follow UCL’s very own Nigella in her pursuit to be crowned ‘Amateur Baker of the Year’…
Last week, everyone’s favourite genetically blessed giraffe girl emerged triumphant from the fiery depths of the bakers’ oven to be crowned Star Baker of Bread.
However, her feet still remain firmly on the polyester tent carpet as she explains, “Last week I was Star Baker, so it’s only going to go downhill from here.” Spoken like a true fatalistic philosopher, Rubes.
This week was ‘Dessert Week’, where the bakers were expected to flex their culinary prowess by creating the pièce de resistance of any good meal – the end.
The first task was to recreate their favourite trifle, including great texture and defined layers. ‘Favourite trifle’ is a bit of an oxymoron really, as trifle is the jilted bride of the dessert world, but the contestants seemed fairly enthusiastic as always.
Ruby chose a tropical Desert Island Trifle. “I do have some tricks up my sleeve”, she said with a cheeky smile as she arranged her lady fingers.
“I love what you’ve done with those palm trees”, Paul purrs, staring intently at Ruby’s foliage. Mary, a vision in neon, remained unimpressed by her decorative choices but conceded general approval.
The plight of our heroine was briefly interrupted by the news that there had been a baking theft in the tent. Was it Colonel Custard in the Pantry with a spatula? No, it was the one with the fringe getting her bowls mixed up. Mystery solved, thank God.
The second task was to create ‘Îles Flottantes’, actually known as ‘Floating Islands’ but Mel and Sue seem convinced that throwing French words around for no apparent reason adds an international edge to the show. Mais, non.
Rightly so, philosopher Ruby began to question the existential purpose of this bizarre creation, which largely resembles miniature albino wax people drowning in a sea of cream.
Hell is a Floating Island, perhaps. Although her handiwork “needed more beating”, P n’ M award her a very respectable third place, beating a fair few ‘weeping meringues’.
The final challenge was to create another French delight – Petit Fours, the canapé of the dessert world.
The bakers are challenged to make loads of teeny tiny elaborate cakes that would satisfy no ordinary human. What is this, a baking competition for ants?
Our gal Ruby decided to make a veritable smorgasbord of Petit Fours, including seashell things, lemon shortbread and some chocolate cake things. Paul ambles over to investigate, looking saucily at Ruby. Ruby looks awkwardly at her sauce.
In the Big Judging Bit, Mary declares that Ruby’s dessert is ‘a bit of alright’, an opinion which solicits a smile from Ruby and a glower from fellow baker Christine. No more community spirit in this marquee then I suppose – its kitchen knives at dawn.
In the end, Christine was crowned Star Baker, two people were sent back to their ordinary flourless lives and our girl Ruby was safe for another week. Hurrah!
Join us again next week as we follow the trials and tribulations of our student heroine during the nail-biting ‘Pie Week’.