Biscuit Week had us making this face.
Biscuit Week had us making this face.

Pop CultureNovember 13, 2018

The Great Kiwi Bake Off power rankings: Step inside my Biscuit Birdhouse of Love

Biscuit Week had us making this face.
Biscuit Week had us making this face.

It’s week 5 of GKBO, which means we’re halfway through our delectable voyage into baking nirvana. Tara Ward power-ranks the performances.

I don’t even want to contemplate what I’ll do with my empty husk of a life when this is all over. GKBO is my TV biscuit lighthouse. Without it, the lolly stained-glass windows of my soul will darken, my internal strobe light will flash only at inopportune moments, and my core will crumble from the weight of too many layers of shortbread.

Don’t believe me? Me when I heard it was Biscuit Week:

Me at the end of Biscuit Week:

Who knew a humble cookie could take us to such dark places? I’ve always had good feelings about biscuits, but this week GKBO made me eat my feelings, bake them for an hour at 150C and then build a nineteenth century castle out of them.  I’ve cried over biscuits in the past, but never like this. After the end of that Showstopper Challenge I could have pressed my face up to Stacey’s gingerbread water tower and let my tears flush out the entire city of Invercargill.

Ah, the Showstopper Challenge. No big deal, but Dean and Sue asked the bakers to choose a three-dimensional landmark that had a personal connection to them, and then make it. Out of biscuit.

I’m sorry WHAT!

Bless you and the dinosaur cake you rode in on, GKBO. Biscuit Week was exactly what we came for: collapsing castle walls, water-tower nubbins, and a gingerbread parliament as hollow inside as it is in real life.  Emotions were high and the pressure was on and if you thought the time Clayton burned his dulche de leche was nerve-wracking television, then brace yourselves. This was one heck of a ride.

Let’s put on our favourite Brettshneider cuddly jumper and eat our way through this week’s GKBO power rankings.


Cancel this show. Sonali’s gone.

Sonali is too good for this world. She put so much heart and soul into her Birdhouse of Love that the universe couldn’t handle it, and her hopes and dreams collapsed along with her biscuit. To be fair, her tears may have weakened its structural integrity, but Sonali must never give up on her tiny love nest, because I’m planning to move in and eat Belgium Biscuits with her until the gingerbread cows come home.

7) Joel

Last week I wondered how much ‘less’ Joel could do, and this week we found out. “Apologies to Belgium,” Joel said after coming last in the Technical Challenge, but it was a cookie dough bridge too far. Just like Justin Bieber sang that time he too made an ugly bridge out of biscuits, it’s too late now to say sorry.

6) Clayton

Gary Brown, is that you?

Anyone who whips up a conceptual piece of genius and names it ‘Oh Beehive Yourself’ is a winner in my eyes. Clayton built this brave biscuity masterpiece from three thousand tiny sticks of gingerbread, and it’s the sort of thing I’m happy to pay my taxes for. Two ticks, Clayton for PM, hive fives all round.

5) Larissa

Queen Larissa and her chocolate castle!

Old mate Larissa is timing her run perfectly. She came second in the Technical Bake for her beautiful Belgium Biscuits, before whipping up a three-sided citadel out of gingerbread planks. Who cares that it broke? “It’s an old building anyway,” said Hayley, and give me a castle I can eat over a castle I can bounce on, any day of the week.

4) Annabel

Praise be to our local Willy Wonka!

Perfection on a plate, thy name is Annabel. Is she a baking robot? Is she actually Willy Wonka? Whoever the real Annabel is, she’s incredible.

3) Stacey

This doesn’t look very much like a water tower.

Stacey’s back in the game, coming first in the Technical Challenge with her “near perfect” biscuits and then shining a gingerbread light on the architectural work of art that is the Invercargill Water Tower. Have you ever seen a finer sponge nubbin? The answer is no.

2) Hannah

There be dark waters beyond this lighthouse.

Wrap your eyes around Hannah’s glorious piece of construction, the finest navigational aid for maritime pilots made out of two types of biscuit that you’ll ever see.


Jeff! Blue blue Jeff.

I fall, you fall, we all fall for Eiffel. Jeff was an all-singing, all-dancing wonder this week, but it was his fabulously complex Eiffel Tower that bought the win home. Jeff even knows the difference between Belgian and Belgium! He really does take the biscuit. Foux de fa fa, j’adore.

Keep going!