The Great British Bake Off S9:E05 Spice Week Recap

We're back, we're back and it's time for the Great British Bake Off! This is my treat every week, I'm even thinking of revisiting previous seasons because I just like it so. Without further ado, let's roll into Spice Week!

Hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig welcome us back to the Bake Off tent, where everyone's a little nervous about Spice Week, Terry being sick last week meant that nobody went home so TWO baketestants will be packing their spatulas this week.

That's the lovely thing about GBBO, even though it's a competition, I don't want anyone to go and that is very unusual in reality TV. They're just all so good! Show me your bakes!

First up is the Signature Challenge and everyone will be making ginger cakes of some kind. Awwww, can you imagine what former contestant Antony Amourdoux coulda done with that?

Judge Prue Leith's favourite spice is Ginger Spice


Course I like the busty redhead who talks about big willies, right? COURSE

Judge Paul Hollywood (silver FOX) reminds us that balance is key and Prue introduces us to stem ginger. What the Sam Hill is stem ginger?

I found a great picture of homemade stem ginger on a website, just waiting to find out if I can use it. Meanwhile, let's head back to the kitchen! Lookit this while waiting:

Briony Williams is making a chocolate cake with apricot and honey

We're not sure that's enough ginger.

Everyone's melting their ginger and molasses and butter gently on the stove, except Dan Beasley-Harding, who didn't melt his butter first and is now looking at his lumpy batter. Four layers in his luscious cake, though!

Rahul Mandal is making a triangle-y wotsit with lots of stem ginger for Bonfire Night. Is that a thing?

Karen Wright is also making a Bonfire Night cake, but with booze. She's our drinky-bake grandma!

Ruby Bhogal is using rum, so it's not just Karen (and maybe Prue) hitting the bottle, I was thinking today about how much Jamaican people must hate this.

Manon Legreve is the first one we've met to use fresh ginger, she talks about cooking a lot of Asian food with it so it makes perfect sense for her Italian meringue. What?

Bakes are going in! What's the baking time, y'all? Ohhhhh nooo, Dan's batter split! He needs to get mixing that again stat with fresh eggs! Or just start again, stop looking at your fingers and get cracking, Dan!

He just talks to Noel! DAN, REDO YOUR BATTER!! MOVE!! He just keeps smelling his fingers!! This isn't prom night, Dan, MOVE!!

Finally, he scrapes out his pans and complains of the Curse of the Star Baker.

Terry hums to himself as he veeeery slowly assembles his cake, he's using fresh pear slices at a tortoise speed.

Noel entertains himself.

Noel intones the parallel problems of working with ginger (fresh ginger dries out and loses flavour, stem ginger is too wet) quietly but with great urgency as we learn what kind of animals Kim-Joy will be using.

Really? No animals? What about inside the tiny gingerbread house?

This episode is perfect for me coz it's almost Thanksgiving here in Canada!

Jon Kendrick's making a cake about his family, did you know he had kids? I wish he'd mentioned it earlier

He's using science again, it looks cool! He tells us how difficult it is, no time for sipping a cuppa, while sipping a cuppa. Now I want a cuppa.

Dan does get his cake out of the oven and into the freezer, ten minutes left! To be honest, it looks better than a lot of others, you got this, Cursed Star Baker!

Jon's growing on me!

Judging time!

A little "claggy" but great flavours in the "little lemon goldy balls"

Too hard, too much booze

Delicious but more of a rum cake than a ginger cake, iykwim

Hollywood Handshake for Rahul the little genius! "You are one hell of a baker" says Prue. And he got a haircut, he looks adorable.

Very dry, not sweet enough

"Interesting texture"

Most beautiful texture! Hollywood Handshake again!!

It's leaning, uneven and a mess

Manon makes the most beautiful cakes! AND gets a Hollywood Handshake too!

It's time for the Technical Challenge: it's all about delicate baking. Helpful. 2 Batches of 6 mamoo, one batch filled with walnuts and shaped with a mold and the other one is with dates? Noel makes us all laugh with his "never before have I ever known less about what I am saying than now."

Right, 90 minutes, off you go!

I can't even Google a mamoo is properly in 90 minutes!

Okay! 90 seconds later, these are ma'amouls!

Ancient Arab treats and I don't feel bad because Prue didn't know what they were either! Paul explains a whole lot more about the seasoning and he's just f***ing with us, yes?

The bakers start their fillings, tasting as they go. Only Dan has even heard of one of the spices and Karen, oh Karen. It's a mess. AND she did the wrong filling in the wrong mold.

Bakes are in, everyone crouched down by their oven doors, some doughs are more equal than others. Karen's increasing temperatures, she's going hell bent for leather. Terry is panicking.

Judging time!

Now from worst to best: Karen, Terry, Jon, Briony, Manon, Kim-Joy, Rahul, Dan and Ruby wins yet another technical challenge! Girl can bake!

Oh Karen.

It's Showstopper Day and Prue is sick. Paul will be judging solo, so he has to explain the rankings to Noel and Sandi, who's just transfixed by his handsomeness. Me too! He looks so pretty in blue.

Spiced Biscuit Chandelier is the Showstopper this week, what? An actual suspendable spice cookie whatsit is the challenge?

I don't even understand!

Karen's hanger

Jon's making something for his daughters, did they just spring fully grown? I wish we'd heard something about them previously, I feel a bit flat-footed

Same same for Dan, I love the butterflies!

And I love how he challenges Paul even more, hahahaha. This IS a ridiculous challenge! Noel and Sandi are like rodeo clowns, doing their best to distract Paul with jokes but he rises to the bait. This is his challenge, dang it!

Kim-Joy is bringing us Christmas

As is Manon

Terry's 12 Days of Christmas!

He doesn't have time for all that!! Terry, you've had a rotten weekend so far, bake as fast as you can!

Oooh I like Ruby's!

and Briony's!

But Rahul is making one hundred and fifty biscuits.


Oh Terry's biccies are burnt and Rahul's not done and Kim-Joy's piping is exquisite, it's MADNESS!

Karen broke her top. My goodness. She's having a week.

Terry burns more biscuits.

Assembly! Breaking biscuits, soft cookies, so many last minute changes! We've lost a maid-a-milking! Maid Down!! I repeat: MAID DOWN!

It's judging time and the bakestestants have to walk their biscuit chandeliers up to the front. Jeebus wept.

Manon's design is great but not much spice

Same same for Dan, all the flavour comes from the beautiful (but synthetic-tasting) icing

No sandwiching, thanks to the hot ganache but lovely flavour

Rahul literally holds his mouth as Paul tastes, he loves it

C'mon Karen, this is your last shot!

You too, Briony! No real call on that one

Paul can't get over the piping, isn't it awesome?? Classic Christmas taste, very well thought through

Oh Terry. Black pepper in a cookie? Paul can't taste anything, no flavour.

A bit messy, yes? But it's hanging! I don't like my odds to make any of my biscuits hang for any length of time, let alone be walked across a hot tent.

Everyone sits and stares at their chandeliers, who's going home? It's all up to Paul himself, I have to say Karen is done but who will be going with her? Terry or Briony I would guess.

Sandi offers to help Paul reach his decision, he declines curtly hahaha.

Star Baker is: Kim-Joy! Yay! She does such beautiful work. She's all self-deprecation; she wasn't expecting it for spice week what with her flavours being a bit "hrm erm."

And going home are: Karen and Terry. Aw yes, we knew it was coming and to even get on this stage is fantastic. You guys did great!! Karen is awesome, she's off to not bake for awhile. Okay we all cry and it gets uglycrysnotbath when Terry talks about losing his wife. Baking is one of the things that filled that time, it helped him with the massive void and oh Terry. I wish you all the best in the world. He's just so gentle and now he's gone. Until next time, I'm having a cuppa with several tissues. Cheers