Come on, does anyone actually make their own filo pastry?
It was a momentous week as the four surviving amateur bakers battled it out for a place in the final. They had to prove their worth with baklava, French entremets and rise to a technical challenge that involved grilling 20 wafer-thin layers of cake.
The Bake Off tent was hotter than a freshly fried doughnut as Chetna, Luis, Nancy and Richard tackled the first round, baklava. Traditionally made with filo pastry and chopped nuts, and soaked in honey, Chetna asked: “who makes filo?” Nobody does. Everyone buys it, right?
Chetna then surprised the judges with her announcement that she was making chocolate baklava! Whaaat? Paul was shocked to his very core: we could see it as his twinkly eyes twinkled in a shocked (but twinkly) manner.
Luis’ bakes looked amazing with its flower design but Paul (again) questioned whether they were baklava at all. Richard (and his pencil) had his flavours bang-on, and Nancy’s were on the pale side. It’s OK though, as fancy Nancy decided that she "doesn’t like baklava."
Next up, the technical challenge, schichttorte, a German patisserie made with layers of grilled cake. Inevitably, none of the contestants knew how to make it (quelle surprise), let alone say it.
Using only 50 grams of batter for each of the 20 layers, it seemed like a lot of faff and Richard lost count of his layers (USE THE PENCIL!). When it came to the line-up, Luis took top marks.
On to the penultimate showstopper (sniff), and it was all about French entremets (the fancy mousse layered treats you'd see in a posh patisserie window) and the baking benches were a hotbed of jellies, mousses and glazes. Richard's polka dot sponge for his grapefruit creations set a high design standard, Luis' were "beautiful", Nancy's chocolate glaze was, well, more of a sugar soup, and Chetna crumbled.
Richard took star baker for the FIFTH time (Bake Off history has been made) and we said goodbye to flavour queen Chetna. Everyone cried.
Next week, it’s THE FINAL. The heat is rising (and we’re not just talking about the cakes), but who will take the Bake Off crown? Our money’s on the pencil …
High point: Richard's spotty sponges have got us thinking: why haven't we used grapefruit in our baking before?
Low point: Mel travelled to Germany to cover a chicken rotisserie in batter. Fun to do, but not so fun to watch.
Top tip: life is too short to make filo pastry.
Did the right baker go? Sorry Chetna, no-one wants to fall at final hurdle but it was all about the boys this week.