Hi! We're back baking on the Great British Baking Show and it could NOT be a better day for it! It's cold, it's windy, I've primed my sourdough starter: let's do this! Woooo, rolling into GBBO S8:E05 Pudding Week after the break.
Last week, we got yet another new Star Baker, congratulations Kate Lyon! We lost our Scottish member when Tom Heatherington did horrible things to a perfectly blameless set of delicious ingredients.
After a short bit with hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding on judge Paul Hollywood and his genetic breeding bakers lab, we move onward to Pudding Week! Which is totally related to baking, sure!
Look, there's baked stuff in that trifle!
Judges Prue Leith and Paul watch on as Sandi and Noel introduce the Signature Challenge for Pudding Week, it's s steamed school pudding which is the most English thing I've ever heard. I expect Pink Floyd to start blaring from the walls at any moment.
Paul and Prue explain to us what they like about puddings (custard?) and don't like (nobody likes a stodgy bottom, Paul) and we're off to see what the bakers are making for us.
Sophie Faldo is using Tonka beans (but, not like the truck) as the X factor in her pudding, people love it or hate it so I'm hoping it doesn't go south for her.
Literally everyone is worried about stodge, Yan Tsou is even switching out some of her flour for breadcrumbs because she's sciency like that.
But KATE! Kate is making a pudding based on Colin Firth walking drippy out of water in Pride and Prejudice and I.am.here.for.it.
In case you've forgotten and it hasn't been burned onto your brain via your eyeballs.
Star Baker runner-up last week Liam Charles and Technical Challenge 2 time winner Stacey Hart are both making Bakewell Tarts, its a tart-off!
Stacey has practiced hers 17 times. 17!
Erm James Hillier why are you leaving the peels on your oranges for your pudding?
Giant massive pith-covered peels.
Julia Chernogorova did not have steamed puddings growing up in Russia (have we mentioned that she's Russian yet? Like five times an episode? Totally she's Russian) so she's once again using her in-laws as inspiration.
Do we know if she
Nevermind, nevermind, lalalala.
I can't stand how tentative she is with her food, gently smearing around a bit of pudding with a spoon instead of a spatula, which is the only thing that would make sense.
Steven Carter-Bailey is our tech guy, he's using a giant syringe to make his pudding extra fancy.
Time to steam! Most bakers start dropping their batters into their steaming pots, this is so utterly foreign to me that I shall smile and nod for the next bit.
2 hours! 2 hours to steam that pudding in a giant pot filled with steam without any of the moisture making it into the cake. Sure!
You can't touch it once it's in the pot, that's an absolutely FATAL mistake, Stacey tells us. She's steaming for only 90minutes and I would be worried that's too short based on the other times but I have zero frame of reference so I shall take her word for it. She seems quite certain.
Kate drops her pudding into the pot just as Stacey says that, some pudding vessels look like the sort of thing you pour molten metal into for bullets and some look like bowls with tinfoil slapped on top. Kate's was one of the latter.
Time to make sauces! And custards! Which I thought were what I think of as pudding, basically chocolate, milk and cornstarch. It turns out in Britain custard is something you pour over top a pudding or stuff inside.
Liam is 19 and has no clue what a steamed school pudding is. Sandi is here to help! She takes us to Cambridge to hear the horrendous history of the Cambridge Pudding, once made in a sheep's bladder. Really, I just liked watching Sandi's Ah Yes face.
She makes a pudding, mashing suet into flour and sultanas then plonking in a huge mass of butter for the middle.
*the hardest of passes*
It's time to take out the puddings! Stacey is ecstatic when she sees the flat bottom of her bakewell tart.
I wish I was that excited about literally anything.
Julia can't even bring herself to look, so Noel looks for her then of course teases her. She really is very sweet.
James's pudding has fallen in and is not cooked. It would be a kindness to call it a stodgy bottom.
My god, watching these bakers unbowl their puddings is the most fun I've had all week.
Time to top the puddings! Stacey loves hers, she calls it "the nuts" no actually she says it looks really good. Yan shaves her mangoes, not a euphemism. Kate is in trouble.
Time for judging!
Wow, I didn't think I could hate James's pudding more than when I first saw it, but I was mistaken. Also clearly I didn't understand the assignment, because the judges call it a very good steamed pudding and Prue thinks it's pretty.
Julia's pretty pudding is very neat, but maybe not as light as it could have been. Orange peels, sigh.
Sophie has hints of stodginess is her melted-poop-pile of a pudding but it tastes good.
I think Steven's looks even worse, but then, what do I know? He gets a Hollywood Handshake for it because apparently that's a superior pudding.
Kaye's custard isn't a custard but rather "a big mistake" says Prue, way harsh, Tai! Paul warned Kate that using Earl Grey and lemon as flavours would not result in anything tasting like Earl Grey but she didn't listen and here we are.
Yan's shaved mangoes look great to the judges.
But it's the delicious and light insides that get her a Hollywood handshake, her very first!
I love how excited she is!
Doesn't Liam's look fantastic, though? Too bad he overmixed it, the gluten did something and now he has a stodgy bottom and no Hollywood Handshake.
Lookit Stacey's tart!
It's just as good inside as it looks outside, SHE gets a Hollywood Handshake too!!
You know, Paul, we've talked on this before, they're your hands, both Stacey and Yan were thrilled to grab them but maybe you could make it a slightly more exclusive club. You know, to give it more meaning. Once you throw your hands out to nearly every steamed school pudding, they start to feel less valuable. You understand.
We're back for the Technical Challenge, this week is has a twist. The showrunner must have been reading my notes several years after on the bakers looking over each other's shoulders so they've staggered the start times. That means young Julia gets to find out what the challenge is first, then each other baker is told at their start time. That's sort of evil genius!
Julia will be making 6 molten lava puddings filled with peanut butter in one hour only. YUM. I would like to judge those with my FACE!
Okay, the reason for the staggering isn't the shoulder-surfing but rather that the cakes have to be served piping hot, or the peanut butter lava won't flow properly.
WHY is Julia stirring her chocolate and butter with yet another massive steel spoon?? Do they not have spatulas? I'd even take a wooden spoon.
Sophie is admitted to the tent next and sets to work melting butter and chocolate. Liam is next, then I see that Sophie is using a spatula on her chocolate and I relax.
Steven's next to start, then Yan and I haven't made these for awhile but I'm surprised nobody is separating egg whites because I don't believe there's another leavening agent involved. I could be misremembering.
Kate is third last in the tent to start the challenge, followed by James. Yan has made these before so she's carefully folding the eggs in as Kate goes full bore on her mixer, sounding much like a lawnmower.
The last baker to start is Stacey, that means that whatever she comes up will be scrutinized by every other baker as well as the judges, which is...like every other challenge, I guess?
Oh. Oh really? The bakers are just dumping a spoonful of peanut butter into the middle of the batter. They're not even mixing it with icing sugar or anything, just shoving it in there. Huh.
The bake time is the next stumbling block for the bakers: Paul recommends 10 minutes but nobody has chosen that number yet. We've got 12 (Julia), 15 (Liam) and even 8 (oh James) but it's Kate who made me rewatch three times when she said she's baking hers for 35 minutes. Thirty.five.minutes. Yiiikes. They're so tiny, how could you think it would take that long??
Jaysus, Steven's at 25 minutes, but they only had an hour to do this challenge, how. Okay, I couldn't do any better, let me just say that. Sophie forgot to turn on her oven, so she's up against it. I don't know if it's a great choice to bake them while the oven is preheating, you want that crisp exterior, Sophie, and going in low and slow is not going to do that.
Yan!! Yan gets it! 180 degrees for 10 minutes!
We're starting blind judging one at a time, go on Julia! She gets a "not bad" that she can't hear from across the room.
On to Sophie, whose are called excellent.
Steven's look fantastic but are solid and not awesome inside.
Yan serves hers as phallically as possible, shame they're horrendously under-baked. But but Paul said ten minutes!!
Kate has clearly come in last with her dreadfully over-baked and over-beaten cakes.
But James can't be far behind as his are raw.
Stacey's aren't bad, but they're over-baked as well as well as under-filled.
The order, from worst to least worst are: Kate, James, Yan, Steven, Stacey, Julia, Liam and Sophie wins with her excellent molten lava cakes!
It's the next day and we're raring to go on our Pudding Week Showstopper Challenge. This week the bakers are challenged to make Ornamental Trifle Terrines with one baked element, a set custard or mousse and a jelly. The cut pieces must be as fabulous as the whole. Four and a half hours, go!
Oooooh, I saw Steven's on the preview last week!! I can't wait to see it. He's gone full high-tech again.
And the rest:
Stacey's looks extremely busy but I dig it.
Everyone makes fun of Liam's chai latte flavours. Sooo trenddyyyy.
We're halfway done and the bakes are mostly done, it's down to the insertion and fluffing, as it usually is if we're being honest.
Oh Liam's in trouble, his jelly hasn't set and it's ruined his whole dessert. James's looks fab, he'll skate through again, whew. He's such a good baker, I can't think why most of his things go...pfft.
Sophie gets full marks for her Showstopper.
Look.at.YAN'S! Oh I have a lump. Great flavours if slightly over-set mousse.
Stacey's doesn't just look great, it tastes spot-on. Excellent work!
Kate has achieved great layers.
Ah James, his jelly is over-set
Julia doesn't do much better.
I am VERY excited to see what Steven's tastes like; look at these colours!
Ah. But it's like chewing on beautiful rubber, which can only be for special occasions under controlled conditions. I have wondered before if Steven is about form over substance, Paul suggests the same.
But really, it looked fantastic.
Steven tries not to cry, but honestly, fella, go for it, there's no shame in it.
Speaking of tears, yikes, Liam.
Just an off day, kiddo, you're fine to carry on to next week, you did well in the Technical and almost got a handshake in the Signature.
The judges deliberate while eating the leftover terrines, that leaves us with:
Star Baker: Sophie Faldo! Wooo, good job, lady
And going home: (has to be James): James Hillier. You know, you're an excellent baker and you're in the top 8 in Britain! You're fantastic.
Congratulations Sophie, we'll see you next time for Pastry Week! Cheers!