Television: From panache to ganache, with not a soggy bottom in sight
‘Cutting Edge’ was on to a winner with its fabulous fashionistas – as is TV3 with ‘The Great Irish Bake Off’
Did the mammy lock her door and phone the police? Of course not. She hid in the communal attic where the original murder took place. It’s not often the killer in a drama set in London is felled by an arrow. And I still enjoyed it all.
The Guilty (UTV, Thursday) featured Tamsin Greig – the reason to watch it in the first place – as DCI Maggie Brand. The story of the investigation into the death of a young boy – yes, another one, although this was no Broadchurch – was never quite a nail-biter. But, in DCI Brand, Greig created a convincing female TV cop – it’s a crowded field – so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her return in the role, although the plot would need fewer loose ends, tension-dimming flashbacks and handy coincidences.
If The Great Irish Bake Off (TV3, Thursday) proves as popular as its British originator, TV3 will be on to a winner. I think it is. It’s not a straight copy of the formula: the BBC version has three challenges each week; this has two, which stretches things out a bit, as there are only so many shots of people peering into ovens you can take.
And TV3 has wisely ditched the Beeb’s boring section on the history of some British bun or other. That might be for budgetary reasons or because after it had done gur cake and soda bread, what other Irish recipes could it have featured?
The first “signature challenge” for the 12 amateur bakers was to make cupcakes – or fairy cakes, as we called them in simpler times – and then a fancy sponge.
So much is the same, though: the kitchen in the tent, the random shots of nature from the grounds. The contestants are a good mix, with nobody even slightly odd (which is a little disappointing). The judges are kind, knowledgeable and less intimidating than their BBC counterparts, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
White Lennon, an actor turned cookery expert, is well known; not so Kelly, who’s a hotel pastry chef. We were less than five minutes in before he said “ganache”. Fans of the Great British Bake Off, never a week of which goes by without someone using the word, were immediately reassured.
White Lennon’s baking watchword is “moist”, five letters guaranteed to make you feel queasy in a way that Berry’s signature “soggy bottom” never does. Last year the New Yorker magazine asked readers to nominate words they’d like to see deleted from the dictionary. “Moist” came tops, but the editors ruled to keep it, on the grounds of its usefulness for describing things such as cupcakes, so I grudgingly have to concede that White Lennon has a point.
Incidentally, they ditched “slacks” instead. The fabulous fashionistas would have approved.