Last week, the bakers took on a Bake Off first: Dairy Week. Phil left the tent and Steph was Star Baker.
Aside from birthday present wrapping, (still) job searching and doing some more writing, I managed to get the time (who am I kidding, I always make time for Bake Off!) to watch the bakers go all Gatsby in yet another first for The Great British Bake Off: 1920s Week!
Some bakers had the flair of a party at Gatsby’s, whilst others flapped up pressure. As always, here’s what I thought of this week.
As the competition surges on, I think people are going two ways. They’re either proving themselves to be strong competitors or they’re proving that, as the pressure increases each week, they haven’t got what it takes to impress like the other bakers. I think Henry, Alice and Steph are proving strong. Whilst Rosie, Michael and Priya seem to falter under pressure, still producing impressive bakes but bakes that are overlooked by Paul and Prue in favour of others.
I had no idea what the challenges were going to be this week, considering my knowledge of the 1920s only goes as far as GCSE History lessons and reading The Great Gatsby in English, another “first” in the tent. It seems it begins with the Signature Challenge, which saw the bakers create custard pies. Most of the bakers went fruity, though David went traditional all the way.
Rosie dropped one of her tarts, prompting a loud shriek from me, but (luckily for my heart) that was the only disaster. David proved traditional was the way to go, earning a Hollywood Handshake (and causing me to shout HANDSHAKE round the living room, sorry Mum!) whilst other bakers were caught out over their flavour or execution.
Next, the Technical Challenge saw the bakers make 18 raspberry filled beignets with custard (the actual word they used for custard escapes me). Michael got a bit emotional over his beignets, which I’m pretty sure meant the whole of Britain got emotional over them, too, and the rest of the bakers had their own struggles. David’s raw beignets were a far cry from the fantastic flapper girl biscuits on his tarts in the Signature Challenge, leaving him in last place. Meanwhile, Helena probably got a bit of a fright over the results her “delicious” beignets came out on top.
This week’s Showstopper Challenge was possibly my favourite one of the series so far, as the bakers were asked to make a 1920s cocktail themed cake in honour of the Prohibition era. Four bakers went for one of my favourite cocktails, the piña colada, whilst Helena opted for a Vampire’s Kiss and Priya ditched the alcohol entirely. Steph was praised, whilst the other bakers found themselves under fire over flavour or decoration.
After keeping us well and truly on our toes last week, the double eviction finally came. Despite a few bakers leaving the sparkle on 1920s Week, Helena and Michelle were sent home. For the second time in the competition, Steph won Star Baker.
At the moment, I think Steph is front runner. Yet, as I always say, anything can happen so anyone can win. I think Helena was really intriguing and I loved how she made every bake unusual and I honestly thought Michelle was one of the most impressive at the start of the series. I’m not going to harp on about it being the “wrong” result because it wasn’t. Yeah, two bakers who were good did go home, but it just shows you that as the competition progresses the standards get higher and higher.
Next week, I’ll watch my first Bake Off as a 22 year old which is a horrible thought! They’re back on familiar ground next week with Dessert Week.
Stay tuned for my thoughts next week.