Twas a sad week in the GBBO fandom; the BBC juggernaut is moving to Channel 4 in England and Mel and Sue will not be following. I am brand new to the show, but I can see just how devastating it's been for people. We still have the rest of this season; rolling the first ever Batter Week after the break!
So we lost Michael to Bread Week last time, the youngest and oldest baketestants are gone, leaving all the yumminess in the middle. My friend Violet makes the best Yorkshire puddings ever and she leaves her batter out overnight, so I'm not sure how they'll even be able to make puddings under the clock!
Mel and Sue take us in with a singing rhyme, I'M GONNA MISS YOU GUYS!!! Lynne Allingham (@Tuck_Shop on Twitter) has said she won't be doing the miniatures any more either, it's like I just showed up to the party with my gin and noisemakers and everyone's emptying ashtrays. Booooo
Swear I won't keep going on about this, but I just LOVE Sue's clothing, she always looks like a teenage boy dressed against her will in the Not Cool section of a Major Department Store and it just WORKS for her! Everyone keeps saying Channel 4 will be all strippers and spray tan, it's so unfortunate. Sorry, sorry, it'll be fine and Sue will be fine and I just love seeing something not completely homogeneous, you know?
Kate lays out the week for us:
Sue excitedly explains the challenge; it's a testament to her hype skills that she has even Mary and Paul listening, rapt. 24 identical Yorkshire puddings, please, can I eat the leftovers? The not-so-pretties? COZ I'LL DO IT. Ready bakers? It's mind over batter!
They only have two hours, still trying to sort out how Violet's batter will have enough time to rest. Tom is happy, he loves puddings! Jane is dreading it and Mary explains what they're looking for: just "top grade Yorkshire pudding." That's it, just 24 perfect puds, once it's in the oven, it's out of their hands and into
Paul's looking for uniformity and finesse; adding more things makes them heavier and he does not want that.
The recipes are all over the place, Tom's using twice as much eggs as Andrew, who advises that there's been quite a lot of debate in the Yorkshire Pudding Community about that. There's a Yorkshire Pudding Community? Of course there is, never mind.
Val's FROM Yorkshire, NO PRESH! She's using her mum's recipe, which is Mum's Chilli Yorkshire Pudding and Val, I expect that chilli shite from the young testosteroni dudes, but I expected better of you. *Tsking motion* Oh wait, I'll take it back, she's filling the puddings with actual chilli, not chiles, so carry on
Candice is making deconstructed Beef Wellington with her Yorkshire Wellington's with extry horseradish! Extry horseradish is ALWAYS awesome!!
Andrew's taking his pudding on a holiday, his Yorkshire Tapas Puddings will be Spanish-inspired.
The bakers can make as many as they like, but they only have the one oven, see. Jane's making Meat and Two Veg Yorkshires but she doesn't have any faith they'll be any good. She's never been able to make a properly crested Yorkshire pudding.
I can actually feel my enthusiasm for Yorkshire pudding waning as I type it for the 400th time in 7 minutes.
Rav's using smoked paprika (yum!), cumin (I'm with you!) and red chile (WHUT) in his fusion style Thai Tofu Panang Yorkshires. Paul and I feel sort of ehhhhh about tofu, but we'll see! Rav's using his signature coconut milk and lime
Tom's West Yorkshire Fusion Puddings are getting short schrift from me because I don't think he should have taken Star Baker over Andrew last week, I need to shake it off! The wee ginja ninja will rebound! He's using chickpea flour, which is a big difference, so the judges wish him well.
Andrew's resting his batter!! Just like Violet. Most of the bakers are, and moving on to fillings. Tom's making his curry but smelling everyone else's curry: it's the Great British CurryOff!
Selasi makes ALL the judges (and me) drool when he says he's using crackling in his recipe, I think Mel even had to wipe her chin. His Perfect Sunday Roast Accompaniment HAS ALL MY ATTENTION. The recipe is from his girlfriend's mum, and of course he has a girlfriend, why would we think otherwise? Look how adorable he is! It's perfectly fine. Sigh
Kate's made a story out of her puddings, of course, and her Christmas Dinner Compromises are filled with 12 years of resentment marauding as "getting along" and I'm just kidding, kidding! Her hubs grew up with Yorkshire puddings on Christmas and she never did, but she makes them anyway, because she lurves him and Yorkshire puddings are fcuking fantastic.
Benjamina's Red Onion Chutney, Brie and Bacon Yorkshire puddings sound terrific to the judges. Had she just left out the "chutney" part, I'd be right in there with them.
We've got all kinds of different fat sources for the baking. Val's using traditional beef drippings but Andrew's using Sunflower oil because of the higher smokepoint, Now that's dd, I always associate sunflower oil with fruit oils like olive, which have lower smokepoints. Hmm. All right, maybe the aeronautics engineer has a better recall than I.
Kate's using a ladle to make her cups uniform (approve), rather than a measuring cup (iffy) or tablespoon measure (abort! abort!) as Jane is doing.
Mel's worried that Tom's batter isn't smoking and it's all over the place: beware the Curse of the Star Baker!
Everyone's hunched in front of their ovens; Selasi's look delicious, but not uniform. The little ones are for the kids!
Val's and Candice's didn't rise; those were just for practice! Now for realsies. Jane doesn't even want us to look at her pan
Rav's are GORGEOUS! Get in my face!! Tom's are awful. Curse of the Star Baker! The second batch isn't any better for Tom, Rav's trying to help him and I love how supportive this show's contestants are with each other!
Oh my goodness, Andrew and Rav can come for Sunday dinner ANY time, nom nom nom!! Candice and Val are welcome if they bring booze (you KNOW Candice will have the handmade vodka)
Andrew gets good feedback, Paul likes the way he's toasted his nuts (always toast your nuts):
Kate's are too small and irregular
Jane's are also tiny but look SO YUMMY
Candice's meat looks great! But the pudding itself is flat and dense
Benajamina's rose much better
Selasi's crackling-topped Yorkies get a little bit of flack for size differences, but he gets the Hollywood Handshake AND Paul steals extra crackling, so that's a win for Mr. Selasi
Well. Rav's puddings sounded great, but they look like...Paul LOVES the tofu even, he'd have another!
Tom's, well, Tom doesn't exactly have Yorkshire puddings, does he? Blinis with rice. It's Mary who drops the hammer on poor Tom (Curse of the Star Baker)
Val's are called proper Yorkshire puddings and she finally able to breathe
So that was supposed to be the easy part! Now they've got to do one of Paul's recipes in the Technical Challenge and I am worried for our baketestants! I think Tom was quite shaken in the signature challenge (CotSB) so I hope he's able to focus.
The Technical Challenge is this: 12 identical lace pancakes, which makes all of us go: whut? What's a lace pancake? I will say that I make pancakes at least once a week, usually waffles too, so I have batter down PAT. I don't know if everyone is down for whole grain whole wheat pancakes, but my kids just don't know any better!
Paul wants fancier:
And intricate, and delicate and IMPOSSIBLE, basically.
Batter time! Benjamina invokes baker's intuition for knowing when the batter consistency is right and then they all try to draw out a lacy pattern on paper. They only get to do one tester, but a bunch of baketestants are practicing with batter on paper too. I'm slightly concerned that Benjamina's batter looks too thick.
Tester pancakes abound, I quite like Candice's! Kate's are coming out too dark and Benjamina's are taking too long. We have tossing and flipping and "caramelizing"
Judging time! Candice and Benjamina do the best and there is everyone ranked from Worst to Best:
Rav, Selasi, Kate, Val, Tom, Andrew, Jane, Candice is second and Benjamina gets her first win, yay! Baker's intuition takes it!
Going into the Showstopper, the top two are Andrew and Benjamina,Tom and Kate are in the bottom.
The challenge is Spanish churros! 36 identical sweet churros and oh my goodness. This is frying, not baking! Paul explains how this is about baking; like Yorkshire puddings they need a light crispy exterior and a fluffy inside, so it will all be about knowing when something is done and essentially: keeping your fat hot enough. All I know about churros is that if you want one, you have to tell the people at the Mexican bistro in advance so they have time to heat the oil properly.
Andrew's doing a Churros Window Box and ermagahd, they sound AMAZING. Pistachio dust! I made a metric tonne of granola last weekend using pistachio oil, pecans and maple syrup: to.die.for.
Tom's making weird stuff again, called Tom's Fennel Churros Snake in the Grass, and I think rosewater is bullshite.
Rav's doing matcha tea infused food again. Three Dip Matcha Pistachio Churros and one of his dips has wasabi! I love wasabi
Candice's Two-Way Peanut Butter Churros have a beer batter, which just proves that you can take the girl out of the pub... well. Not this girl, not without a warrant or at least two strong men for dragging.
The bakers have got their hot batters made and now it's piping time! Val's are massive, what's she making again? I mean this in the best way, she's been quite lucky, hasn't she?
Kate's another one who has been skating under the radar, let's hope her Hot Cross Bunny Churros bring her 'round.
Oh, how interesting. Bejamina's making Tropical Churros (pass) and Selasi is doing Lemon and Anise Churros that he's planning to fry from frozen. Mary and I are unsure.
I think Mel really likes to say churros
Jane's Pistachio and White Chocolate (NOT chocolate) Churros are making me think I should have held my pistachio exclamation until the end: is pistachio trending? What's trending mean anyway?
Val's filling her churros as well. Her Orange Chocolate Churros will have chocolate in the center. That seems complicated.
Have we seen Candice's? You KNOW they'll be covered in whatsits with something poked inside. Frying time! So many different styles of frying, I've never seen anyone fry something with the parchment paper still attached, these peeps aren't messing about.
Ohhh nooooo, Tom is having no respect for the fact that frying too much at once drops the temperature of the oil too quickly, he's loading his fryer up and I have all the oily dread for him. Curse of the Star Baker! He and Rav are also just dropping their batter in willy nilly and that will make it almost impossible to get uniform lengths. Eeeh!
Selasi's burnt everything again; back it off a scootch, man! Lots of people are running out of time, I adore Kate's bunnies (she's a bunny boiler!) but she hasn't had time to do anything else. Oh goodness, five minutes to go and Kate's still frying. Shall we say goodbye to Kate now? She has been consistently inconsistent, as she says. Selasi helps but I think she barely got them on the plate, let alone a sauce made.
Val's look messy but are ridged and the same length. The doughy interior and runny chocolate sauce leads to: a little bit disappointing.
Tom's look terrible and are super crispy, complete fail.
Selasi's are just that bit too brown, I hope they taste good. Paul hits him straight with it: they're burned, Selasi. *dead stare*
Jane peeled all the pistachios, which slowed her down, let's get a paste next time, shall we? They get GREAT reviews and Paul loves her chocolate sauce, which makes Val pucker internally. Jane's never even had a churro!
Rav's look like wee squiggly peni and taste fatty, so.
As usual, I like Andrew's the best (not because he's a redhead too, honest!), aren't they gorgeous? I think overcooked, though. Too crunchy.
Okay good, Kate DID get a sauce together, look how cute her churros are! They're called bunny roadkill, though, and they're too oily. Poor lady.
Oh that's right, we DID see Candice's earlier, peanut butter something. Her batter wasn't good, though, and it didn't hold the shape. Another oily bunch.
Come on Benjamina! Show us what you've got! She's put on a master class on how to make a churro, y'all! They're perfect! Will she be Star Baker this week? Andrew looks crestfallen, so maybe he's thinking the same thing.
And now we have the final results: Star Baker IS Benjamina! Yay!
And leaving the tent is: Kate. Ah Kate, I think she was amazing and she's still top 9! Go Kate!
Tom and Rav had better thank their lucky stars for that one. Cheers you lot! Until next time! Most likely! I'm having difficulty accessing the show in a timely fashion so I may end up just watching and enjoying. I'm going to try out FilmOn and see if that works well, until then! Have a great bakend!