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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Bake Off Breakdown: Patisserie Week


I can’t believe it’s true but we have reached semi-final week and time for patisserie.  Traditionally tricky and always demanding it really was a fitting test for the remaining bakers who cruelly stole our Liam’s place. First up the bakers had to make 24 choux buns with Craquelin.  Very fancy! It’s like pastry on pastry and was weird and gave a real mixed bag of results. Next up was the most complicated technical challenge recipe in Bake Off history with the final four making nine Les Miserables slices. Two pages of recipe to make the miserable layered cakes and it really does feel like Prue just found the most obscure thing in the history of cake making. Sponge, buttercream, painted chocolate, other sponges and raspberry powder.  It was miraculous but they all generally looked pretty good but the judges were super nit-picky. The last bake between them and the final was the showstopper meringue challenge and they had an intense battle with the heat of the tent melting chocolate and mousse all over the place.  There was fruit, mousse, macaron, chocolate and piping. It gave us the closet result ever in bake off history.

I have to say in this penultimate episode that Bake Off moving to channel 4, and those who stayed at the BBC, really allowed them to breathe new life into what was, last year, a bit of a dull format. Prue is a great judge and the hosts they have chosen work perfectly in the show.

In a week of crispy profiteroles and scabby petit fours the highlights were:

Dainty delights of the week:
  • Kates buns were stunning to look at and lovely to eat.
  • Sophie’s Miserables were fantastic.
  • Sophie’s opera cake tasted “so good” accord to Prue.
  • Kate’s rainbow showstopper was great looking and was “delicious” - even if it was freaking out Paul a little.
  • Stephen’s flavours in his showstopper were “amazing”.

Raw choux buns of the week:
  • Stephen had burnt Craquelin and undercooked buns.
  • Stacey’s Choux-moji and Choux-nicorn buns looked awful and were “sickly”.
  • Kate’s Miserables were untidy.
  • Sophie’s tutu meringue cracked really badly and, as Paul noted, looked more like a hat.
  • Stacey’s Italian meringue was too sickly sweet whilst her mousse was too tart.
  • Stephen’s meringue hot air balloon looked rubbish.


Sandi and Noel highlights of the week:
  • The dynamic duo hen-whispering eggs out of a chicken - Malcolm Eggs.
  • Noel was flashing a bit of chest hair.
  • Sandi helped Sophie by staring at her chocolate to cool it.
  • Noel’s QI moment - a group of flamingos is a “flamboyance”.
  • Sandi revealed she was kicked out of ballet after three weeks.
  • Sandi commented the rainbows, flamingos and tutus made it the gayest showstopper ever.



Star baker: Sophie and she absolutely deserved it.

Who left the tent: Stacey.  She was very flustered during the challenges this week but it was extremely close and Stephen was a lucky man.

Who’s the winner going to be?: Kate. She just seems to be a natural baker and did so well again this week.

Contributed by Graeme Thomson-Gold

The Great British Bake Off Continues Tuesday at 8.00pm on Channel 4 
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