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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Great British Bake-Off Week Four: For Batter or Worse



It feels quite odd writing about The Great British Bake-Off without actually mentioning all the drama that has been happening this week. Not only has it been announced that the show will move from BBC One to Channel 4 next year but also hosts Mel and Sue won't be fronting the programme in the future. Watching this week's episode with this knowledge left me quite sad especially during an opening which saw them singing before Sue mistakenly believed that the fact that this was batter week meant that they'd be playing cricket. I just feel that without Mel and Sue the sort of British eccentricity that the show is known for will be lost and that in itself is a great shame.

Signature Bake - Filled Yorkshire Puddings 
I do feel over my Bake-off reviews so far I've been a bit harsh on poor old Val who has seen herself in danger of going home each week. However being a Yorkshire girl herself, the technical challenge shouldn't present too much of an issue especially seeing as she was using her mother's recipe. As is always the case some bakers went that little bit further to be different most notably last week's star baker Tom who used chickpea flour for the basis of his curry-centric Yorkshire pudding. Whilst Candice, Selasi, Kate and Jane all were going for a variety of roasted meat in there puddings a couple of the other bakers were doing something slightly different. Benjamina flavoured hers with a combination of brie, bacon and red onion whilst Rav made a tofu curry to go inside his Yorkshire Puddings. It seemed to me that the curse of star baker was becoming a bit of a thing as Tom's Yorkshire puddings came out of the oven as little discs. Although he blamed the oven for this, his offering wasn't looked upon too fondly by Paul and Mary and he was down at the bottom of the pile. Although at one stage Val thought she would be kicked out of Yorkshire, she managed to salvage her puddings and was complemented on the texture and how her chilli filling worked well inside. Praise also went to Rav and Andrew the latter of whom included a round of tapas inside his Yorkshire Puddings.

Technical Challenge - Laced Pancakes 
If someone told me to make a lacy pancake I'd have no idea where to start and indeed most of the bakers looked equally as flummoxed. However if I was tasked with shaping a rather thin pancake batter into the shape of a heart then I'd have a good go. There was at least a bit of leeway on this challenge as the bakers were allowed to make one test pancake before the other twelve which would be presented to Mary and Paul. However this got some of the bakers even more nervous especially Andrew whose test pancake was apparently the worst thing he'd ever made. Conversely Rav was prouder of his test pancake then most of the ones he put on his plate. To be fair to Rav what he ultimately presented looked more like battered biscuits than lacy pancakes and there was no surprise when he ended up in last place. Faring better this week was Candice who was praised for the taste of her Yorkshire Puddings and came second here for pancakes that were described as being beautifully moist. However it was Benjamina whose dedication paid off as she didn't just go full throttle into the challenge and instead made rather dainty pancakes which also looked incredibly tasty.

Showstopper - Sweet Churros 
This showstopper brought back memories of the Christmas fairs they used to throw in my old town as there always used to be a churro stall where I'd happily spend most of my pocket money. Looking at the bakers dipping all of their mixtures into the hot oil brought back happy memories although some of their finished products didn't look the full ticket at all. Tom was in trouble straight away when he announced that he was going to add fennel to his 'sweet churros' arguing that it was just on the cusp of being a savoury item. Meanwhile Rav's Japanese inspired creation was flavoured with green tea giving the churro a very unflattering colour however his white chocolate and wasabi dipping sauce at least piqued my curiosity. Both Kate and Andrew decided to give their churros a distinct shape with the former making bunnies and the latter shaping his into the shape of flower stalks before sticking into a window box which was full of chocolate soil. But it was simplicity that one through here as Benjamina arguably produced the best churros which were all flavoured with coconut and came with several tropical dipping sauces. Elsewhere a lot of the bakers come under attack for producing churros that were too oily meanwhile Tom's were described as hard to eat. However it was Selasi who had the biggest fail here as his method of freezing the churro mixture before putting it into the fryer had negative results. Whilst the outside of Selasi's churros were burnt the inside was full of raw dough leading Paul to exclaim that it wasn't a good day for one of my favourite contestants of the series.

Star Baker: A deserved win for Benjamina especially for the intricate design of her lacy pancakes alone.

Eliminated: Kate whose sad bunnies and Christmas dinner Yorkshire couldn't save her from the chop.

Innuendo of the Week: Candice seems to be winning in this category every time and this week's offering saw her respond to Mel's question about her pancake flipping by saying 'I'm a tosser Mel'.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: It has to be Tom's idea to make his Yorkshire Pudding batter with chickpea flower meaning that he had small discs instead of healthy looking offerings.

Next to Go: I would have to say Rav, he's been lurking in the background a little bit and this week he was danger of going home despite producing one of the better rounds of Yorkshire Puddings.

Next Week: Who'll stretch their luck too far as we head into pastry week?

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