Hi everyone, welcome back to The Great British Bake Off, or Great British Baking Show or GBBO or whatever the Sam Hill they're calling it, it just doesn't matter because all that matters are the bakes! So many bakes! We're fresh off Cake Week, let's see what they have in store for us for *Biscuit Week!
*Biscuits are also known as "cookies" literally everywhere else in the world.
We open with hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig embroiled in a heated match of Biscuit Jenga; Noel's actually winning and we're all surprised. And cheating, now it makes sense!
Last week we lost support worker Dan, booooo, and gained our first Star Baker of season 10: Michelle Fecci-Evans even with some dodgy icing in the Signature Challenge.
The bakers file into the iconic Bake Off tent, Alice Fevronia has been having nightmares and everything. It's like when you start a new job and the sound of the door chime wakes you up screaming for weeks.
Phil Thorne's been getting tough love from his wife, the Biscuit Queen (he said Freak but I feel sure he meant Queen). Suck it up and quit yer moaning, Phil! Awww, a little encouragement can go a long way, Queen!
*Side note: my middle son used to require a little extra motivation for difficult tasks and I loved that he knew to ask for what he needed. So I would cheer him on, yelling "Go, Middle, GO! You can do it!!" when his energy started to flag. Now I just shout "YOU GOT THIS" as apparently the other stuff is now embarrassing, including the use of his name.
It's time for the Signature already, the baketestants will be preparing their personalities in biscuit bar form, 12 with chocolate coatings and lots of decoration. Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will be overseeing.
Rosie Brandreth-Poynter is a veterinarian, have we talked about this? You remember, she proves her bread in her snake's terrarium. (HERK) Anyway, she makes homemade dog biscuits (which is the only appropriate use of the word thus far) that people love! And something with booze flavour but not actually alcohol.
Young Henry Bird is actually wearing a tie to bake, he's so my middle child. His hazelnut shortbread sounds AWESOME! Until he brings up the cardamom mousse.
Hahaha Noel calls him a sophisticated toddler and now we have Henry summed up in two words.
On to Steph Blackwell, who's got a slightly more grown-up look to her bake due to her hanging out in cafes with her mother all the time.
Michael Chakraverty is half-Scottish so he'd better not mess up the shortbread, yeah? Although to be fair, I couldn't care less about poutine, hockey OR curling and they let me keep living in Canada, so here's hoping it Scotland is similarly understanding should there be an incident.
Part-time waiter Jamie Finn's making a different version of Millionaire's Shortbread with sour cherries.
I liiiiike Amelia Le Bruin's cookies just because she's got ground pistachios and I saw real vanilla bean being scraped in earlier. Yes pees!
Hallowe'en-loving Helena Garcia is making something Halloweeny, using Matcha Powder that always makes me sigh. It's just. Enough with the Matcha Powder, yes? Although I guess witch's fingers are more "authentic" green?
Michelle is working the Bakewell angle!
While Alice does something from New Zealand with honeycomb that isn't called honeycomb.
Except she didn't start her oven! Hurry!!
Most of the bakes are in the oven, David Atherton explains about warming your nuts before incorporation into batter.
I'm sorry, I just love David and I think he should use his nuts however sees fit. Awww, they called the guy in the promo that he fed by hand his friend, I guess that's confirmation about what I guessed about Manon's roomie last year. Love is love, y'all! And I'd love some of these!
Oh but he's adding too much coconut essence, he was judged last time for exactly that! David! What are you doing?? You don't try new stuff on Game Day, just ask Dan! OH WAIT YOU CAN'T.
Amelia's intro showed her "kicking about" with friends, what does that mean...She's got a rosewater syrup I'm worried about.
Phil's bars look sort of amazing, to be baked by the sort of chap who brings *Fairy Cakes to a biker's meeting.
*Not a euphemism.
Priya O'Shea struggles with too much chocolate in her mold, don't you just want to drink it, Priya? Don't you?? She's also experimenting on prime time, using Ruby Chocolate, so Paul and I are concerned in a helpful way.
Most bakers are using silicone trays for their bars, but Amelia is going to chop them and I am apprehensive. There's very little time left and most of the bars are not yet chilling.
Michael and Alice are successful! Yay! Wow I hate Helena's witch's fingers. HATE. Icing dropping out the end of a piping bag messes up some of Alice's and we're freaking out over here, man!
Oh no, Jamie, Jamie! This is terrible.
Michelle and I are over asking what we can do, what can be saved in one minute? That's literally all the time left and all the finished bakers are helping those that aren't, I love Bake Off for that, I truly do.
Judging! Sorry, just for a second I missed Mary Berry. I know I'm not supposed to and I do like Prue and Paul, I just miss her calming and wise presence.
Okay! Michelle's Bakewells are up first and are called exceptional by Paul...but no handshake. That's fine!
Less precise but undoubtedly as yummy are Amelia's bars. Oh. But underbaked, so scratch that. the nougat was good!
Go Henry, go, you can do this!
But the mousse didn't quite set, so not full marks.
Another rough and ready bar belongs to David, but these ones are full of great flavour with a slightly messy exterior.
Michael's are adorable! But the marshmallow didn't set, and that is the only thing that made his not up to par. Paul calls it a perfect blend of flavours are Michael actually gets weak in the knees.
On to more un-molded bars, Steph's look more uniform but are too crumbly/too coffee, depending on who you ask.
Phil's pretty biscuit bars are called messy but they're very sweet.
Look, Helena, I'm only including because I don't want to be rude, but I would never eat these. Then Paul calls them boring and I feel bad for nodding along.
Alice's crisp biccies get rave reviews, we all carefully watch Paul's hands but...no handshake yet. I feel like it's coming, though!
Priya struggled with time, so not quite decorated enough. Also, her ruby chocolate was too thick, which we thought it might be.
Jamie's "biscuits after an earthquake" are also absolutely loaded with caramel, which I think was a problem last week too.
Rosie did a great job decorating her bars, her biscuits are beautiful.
And we're done the Signature Challenge! Helena is infuriated with Paul: how dare he?!
And we're on to the Technical! Paul set the task this week, they're a favourite of his dad's and they better be accurate and neat in their work. They will be making 12 fig rolls in 90 minutes. 90!! I can't even properly Google fig rolls by then!
The tricky part is that you need to not overbake for colour, that's going to be impossible. Michael's finding Paul's instructions are a tad bit scant.
I still laugh every time I see that.
Nobody really knows what they're doing, the figs don't look at all like monkey testicles, Noel! Not even! Shenanigans ensue, Rosie saving Michael's bacon when he misread and only cut 12 rolls instead of 6.
You know if this was an American competition show, Rosie would be outside interviewing that she DIDN'T tell Michael because she's not here to make friends. Except Top Chef, which is excellent in the same way as GBBO.
Baking montage! Sandi and David play Rock, Paper Scissors (OUR FAVOURITE BOOK RIGHT NOW), does everyone really always start with scissors?
Helena's are awful and one short. David's are perfect.
I'm shocked that most bakes are so well done, though, it's kind of amazing. Worst to best:
- 12) Helena
- 11) Jamie
- 10) Steph
- 9) Amelia
- 8) Michelle
- 7) Priya
- 6) Henry
- 5) Rosie
- 4) Michael
- 3) Phil
- 2) David - WHAT
- 1) Alice. Fine
On to the Showstopper! Which is described as an Edible Masterpiece in the form of a 3D sculpture. What. Four hours, go!
Let's bang through the pics:
Rosie's has 212 individual biscuits. 212! Lots of other animals follow.
TWO dragons! Michelle is repping for Wales today.
Henry is making an organ, Paul wants to know how big it's going to be. We all pause.
Halfway through! They only have one oven! And so many little cookies to bake!
Time to assemble! We all held our breath as Phil took his foil out of his bowl, didn't we? We did. I'm pretty sure we're losing young Jamie this week, you did a great job as there's no shame in going home on GBBO at literally any point. You're all amazing!
So! Many! Organ! jokes! And Henry just looks so young! Stop!
Michael stuck his thingies on the wrong side. He struggles to not cry.
Priya bolsters him up and he tries to regroup. I LOVE Alice's lamb! Phil is really feeling his bright garden piece but David thinks classy is better. Hm. You think you can pick out your flamers some times, but I guess not all the times.
1 minute??? How is that possible??? And we're done!
David and "those guns" bring up our first sculpture to be judged. Delicate, delicious and beautiful.
Now Michael's cow, which is hopefully at least one of those things. It has great heat, but is underbaked.
Henry's Chapel Organ does not impress in looks or thickness.
Steph's boring ginger cat is boring. Well, still on TV Top Twelve GBBO Boring, so
Phil's iridescent tortoise needs...more colour.
I wanted to like Amelia's dolphin thingy, but the judges and I are disappointed. It looks quite amateurish. And yes, I KNOW she's an amateur.
Rosie hopes to score better with Legs the chicken. Looks amazing, tastes even better except for the underdone gingerbread.
On to our first dragon, Priya has done an excellent job in decorating but the longue de chat are poor.
Michelle is right behind with her fire-breathing Welsh red dragon that looks clumsy, but tastes better than the previous. Style has been defeated by substance once again on the Great British Bake Off.
I love this lamb!! So do the judges, it's well baked and very well designed.
Jamie's "thick and clumsy" guitar does not draw the same raves for it's decoration and design, but the judges love the biscuit. LOVE.
And I think Helena's sculpture is our last. I actually quite like it, but I'm not looking forward to several weeks of spooky stuff, you know? She's got more than this, right? Even if the judges call it "magical."
And now we wait. I'm not sure who's in the bottom with Jamie, but Amelia's not feeling safe. Listening to the judges, she's not wrong.
We waste no time in getting to the pronouncements: Alice wins Star Baker as expected. She nailed it this week, that lamb was amazing!
David and I pretend to smile from second place.
And going home is: Jamie. I didn't even have to wait for that one. You did really well for such a young guy, Jamie! You're top 12 on GBBO, mate!
Until next week, you lot! I'll miss you! Cheers