After weeks of drama was it a sweet but sticky end?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that it has been an eventful few weeks in the Bake Off tent – you’ve not forgotten ‘bingate’ and the departure of Diana Beard (in an unrelated alaska meltdown incident) already, have you?
So, the return of those chirpy ‘all for one’ type bakers would be a welcome one, right? WRONG.
With the Lithuanian accents wearing thin within the first five minutes (we're looking at you Mel and Sue) and a lineup of cake challenges that no one in their right mind would attempt on an average weekend (or any other time for that matter), it felt, well, a bit stale.
First up was a cake leavened with yeast – cue kugelhopfs, gugelhupfs and savarins (all fun to say after a couple of glasses of wine). Richard decided to "wing it" but not even his pencil could save him while Kate went for a cake inspired by that well know European country, er, Israel (nope, we don't know how she got away with it either).
Nancy's giant yeasty doughnut looked like something from Abigail's party, Louis impressed (again) and Martha was back on form (go Martha).
The technical challenge, a Swedish princess torte (think a giant fondant fancy) seemed ridiculously cruel – even Paul thought so (cue evil laugh). With 26 ingredients and a 14-step recipe, our interest started to wane after watching yet another baker struggle with the continental combo of sponge cake, crème pat, jam, cream (still awake?) and marzipan.
And it didn’t get much better with the showstopper: a Hungarian dobos torte (yes, we had to look this one up too), which was all about the caramel. Falling somewhere between a Venn diagram and a five hour baking project (FIVE HOURS), the key, apparently, was in the layers, clearly defined ones at that.
Chetna took star baker (well, she did make enough caramel for everyone with that Victoria sponge-inspired dobos torte. Oh, and grapes coated in caramel is genius) and it looked like the "curse of star baker" was set to strike again (yes, that's a real thing) as previous badge winners Kate and Richard got a dressing down from Paul and Mary. But, for the first time in Bake Off history, no one was given nil points and shown the tent door. Cop out anyone?
Next up, it's savoury pastries for a place in the quarter finals. Get ready with this spicy Cornish pasty recipe.
High point: this week's history lesson introduced us to the cake table – in short, you eat cake for three to four hours. For this GBBO, we thank you.
Low point: the dodgy accents. Once is enough.
Top tip: grapes work well covered in caramel. Thanks, Chetna.
Did the right baker go: as we like both Kate and Richard, we're going with yes.