And we're back with the Great British Bake Off wooooooo! Catching up never felt so good! I admit I have to completely ignore Twitter or any other social media to avoid spoilers, but that's just the price you pay for being eleventy episodes behind. Without further ado, please enjoy my recap of GBBO S12:E05 German Week after the break!
Oh. Right. It's German Week. Okay, Jürgen, do your worst!
Last week we had an upstart take the lead, welcome Chigs to the Star Baker circle! I admit, I did not see him coming but his Pavlova blew me away. Everyone else was excited about his joconde imprime, but whatever. We did lose one of my early favourites; Maggie and her traditional bakes just couldn't keep up. The thing about traditional bakes is that they have to be executed to perfection or it really shows. Say you threw a fully mobile plane into your bake, it could taste like frog's bum and look like a dog's breakfast but you'd still get points for a flying piece. Not so for a leaky joconde collar with only one extra element.
We open German Week with hosts Matt and Noel Fielding doing their best impression on a German New Wave band, I like their lipstick?
Just like that, I'm blocking that all out and we're into the show. Everyone thinks this is Jürgen's Week to lose, Lizzie says this is just one more of Jürgen's weeks, they're all just along for the ride, aren't they? I mean, I think that's what she said, she's carrying around a full set of marbles in her mouth at any given time.
However...she's not wrong. First runner-up Giuseppe acknowledges Jürgen's advantage but he's still going to try. I can't even be mad they gave Jürgen a whole week because they gave Giuseppe focaccia AND ciabatta during Bread Week.
Judge Prue Leith is wearing a tie-dyed version of a dress I've owned several versions of, that's it, my reputation as an 80 year old woman in a slightly younger body precedes me!
She and other judge Paul Hollywood are very excited to show us how they're screwing with the baketestants for our Signature Challenge this week, the only thing is...nobody has a German signature bake except for Jürgen and I'm already tired of typing his name.
Matt crowns Jürgen Star Baker before they start, hahahaha, it's funny because it's true! Anyway, they're making two batches of German biscuits and before I get confused: do you think they mean cookies?
They definitely mean cookies and decorated as well, sure.
I understand so little of whatever Lizzie is saying. I like how she says it, but she could be saying literally anything.
I love the confidence Amanda shows here, explaining how the biscuit dough must be chilled before baking. I'm positive that's not a sure sign she's going home.
Crystelle is doing something weird instead of chilling her dough.
It's George who's taking a bit of a shortcut on his, though, these biscuits are supposed to rest and sit and there's no time for any of that in a two hour two-batch challenge.
Chigs keeps getting told his flavours aren't strong enough so I'm crossing my fingers he doesn't use Extract Of Literally Anything because that is the kiss of death.
Whew, only the zest of three oranges.
I just don't really understand any of these cookies. Freya's doing a vegan version of course.
You would not believe how many cookies can be decorated in less than one minute, there is tempered chocolate and icing sugar flying everywhere, it's MADNESS!
I love at least one of Giuseppe's cookies, let's see what the judges think!
They love them, particularly Paul about the coffee/pecan whatsits.
Crystelle's are too spread out, need two pics! But here we are.
They get good reviews, Prue calls them a triumph.
I will never understand why anyone uses marzipan on purpose, but here is an unrepentant Chigs who has done just that.
And then Paul complains he can't taste the marzipan, as if anyone ever wanted to EVER!
Erm Lizzie, I don't think those 'cheeky boys' look exactly as you thought they might.
You know, or maybe they do, I don't know her home life! The flavours are good but the cheeky girls are underbaked and there is too much chocolate on the other thingies. I still don't understand this 'too much chocolate' rumour going around? Vas es das?
Okay, Amanda maybe forgot one cookie on her baking rack. The jam is delicious, it's even 'worth the calories' declares Prue!
Oh look, George managed some definition after all.
The lumpen ones of Freya's are burnt, right?
Like I'm not just imagining that, am I? I'm not.
Jürgen has done at least one perfect biscuit and gets a handshake.
Aw he almost cried when he got the handshake.
The Technical Challenge is from Prue; she advises them to not panic as you feel the air shift in the room. Awww, Matt made me laugh for the very first time when he was sending the judges out, I'll have to take a snippet.
The bakers will be making a Prince Regent Cake but in German, it has a LOT of tricky elements. Genoise, ganache, it's impossible.
And what are the little green crown thingies??
I mean, that's just mean. Those are some tiny little layers, and there are 8. George immediately makes his layers far too thick, he's going to run out of sponge.
Lookit Giuseppe the Giraffe with his manspreading! Although it may be tall-squishing-to-low-counter.
I won't be able to think of Giuseppe without thinking giraffe, thanks for that Noel.
I mustn't dwell on the amount of chocolate ganache that streams off the side of every cake as the bakers pour off their shiny toppers.
I don't know how any baker would manage this challenge blind, but here we have 8, let's see how they did in least awesome to most fantastic:
- 8th - Amanda whose cream split
- 7th - Crystelle - lovely and shiny
- 6th - George with his massive differential in layer thicknesses
- 5th - Freya
- 4th - Jürgen with his bubbly ganache and missing crowns
- 3rd - Lizzie did a great job
- 2nd - Chigs did an even better job
- And first place goes to: Giuseppe!
'Takes an Italian to make a German cake' as Prue blithely starts an international incident.
I love Chigs' face when he's being judged, he's very very concerned.
Onward to our last challenge of the week, which is a yeast leavened cake of the Show Stopper variety. No-one knows what that means. Yeasted.cake. Bleh.
Man I hate sticky brioche dough, it's impossible to knead.
Aww Jürgen did a German Week baking tutorial the week before, that's really nice of him.
George has no idea how long he has been married.
Wait. Why aren't we getting any little glimpses of the bakers' lives any more?? C'mon, let's see your Aga and golden retrievers, you lot!
I don't understand how anyone is making a yeasted cake with WINE.
Disaster strikes as Lizzie de-pans her cake: half stays behind. The next half an hour is a blur of decorating but everything goes okay, you know? Everything is weird but nothing broke or even seemed all that rushy. Odd.
Let's start with Lizzie's bizarro cake, very nice and pleasant apparently.
Crystelle's effort is pretty and tastes great.
I love the look of Chigs' whatever but it's slightly overbaked.
I wonder if there's too much going on with Amanda's cake. Paul calls it one of the best tasting things he's ever had.
I love how we're actually seeing bakers get stronger as we go along, usually people start to fall off but it seems as though our gang is starting to hit their collective stride.
Okay, Freya.Too doughy.
George has made a beautiful and completely raw cake for his anniversary.
Lookit this tidy Italian-engineered German cake baked by a giraffe. It's great.
Jürgen has gone a little too bready for his yeasted cake. Paul likes it but he doesn't love it. Jürgen is very sad and I feel for him.
So this week, our surprise Star Baker of German Week is: Giuseppe!
And we're in danger of losing my fellow feeder: George.
Those are my predictions and I was half right. That's wonderful but I do feel for Jürgen. But it's Freya we lose today, I really thought she was going to be in the final three with Jürgen and Giuseppe! You did amazing, Freya, you and your glorious vocal fry and vegan baking. I shall miss you, top 8 in Great Britain, you're fantastic!