Welcome back to the Great British Bake Off, where we're already in the season finale, wooo! Join me as we navigate our way through a series of lovely bakes, guaranteed to make us oooooh in delight. Rolling into GBBO S9:E10 Final after the break!
We've just about done this season, with final three Ruby Bhogal, Kim-Joy Hewlett and Rahul Mandal ready to bake whatever judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith throw at them.
We get a montage whittling the original dozen season 9 bakers down to our current three, I'd forgotten half of them! An overview of our gang: Rahul, the unsure scientist who has received the most handshakes vs. Kim-Joy and her whimsical creations, often brought low by technical challenges vs Ruby of the flashes of brilliance surrounded by falling cakes.
Hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding get us all wound up, we're into the final with two batches of iced doughnuts ahead of us. 6 must be filled, 6 will be rings.
Paul goes on about doughnuts and instead of sharing that with you, I shall share my history, which is pretty much the same thing. I started baking on my own fairly early, say around 5 or 6, which is also when I cooked my way through a Julia Child cookbook. Around the time I was 12, I was obsessed with making doughnuts and got very, very good at it. I still think of those early doughnuts every time I smell nutmeg, because those were the only type I ever made. I had limited supplies (baking at a friend's house because my mother believed that politics should inform baking; whole wheat flour only and no salt - forget you, Big Salt!) and what's a thermometer? I learned how to tell when the oil was ready and when the doughnuts needed to be flipped and exactly how much cinnamon sugar to sprinkle all over after. Many, many batches of test doughnuts were consumed before perfection was attained. I will be looking for nutmeg-infused ring doughnuts, bakers!
Rahul is at a disadvantage because he's never eaten a doughnut before he researched this challenge, but maybe that will free him from the shackles of expectation based on other people's doughnuts!
When Rahul says he's using buttercream, the judges are nonplussed. Buttercream. On a doughnut. Has he got a glaze around he could throw on there instead?
Kim-Joy's only making one dough, but look how adorable they're all going to look??
Ruby's doing two doughs, both will result in weird looking fare.
We meet her family, who are all gorgeous, by the way, not to objectify anyone but wow. Ruby herself is a smokeshow who runs marathons for kicks, I swear her sister must be a model. Ruby's been practicing non-stop surrounded by affirmations, and while I dig a well-prepared baker I feel with her it's going to come down to the circumstances of this.day. She's always been consistently inconsistent.
Oh no, I saw Kim-Joy add almond liqueur to her filling and that is a recipe for disaster! It will make it taste fake! Ahhhhh!
Sandi interviews Rahul about whose coming to watch him compete; his family couldn't make it but David and Liz will be supporting him. Dave is the guy who talked him into applying for GBBO, that's a good pick! We meet David and Liz, who are an older couple that Rahul met through work 8 years previously.
Rahul is suuuuuuper shy, Liz suggested that it was even David who got our young Indian into baking in the first place. Why did we all cry when he said his life was much richer for meeting Rahul? Buncha saps we are.
I feel like a moron, did you know Kim-Joy is of Asian descent? She is so adorable in her little kiddo pics. I mean, there's being culturally colour-blind and then there's being completely oblivious to someone's heritage. This is a conversation I have all the time with my kids: is it racist or prejudiced to acknowledge that someone has different skin or characteristics from us? I say it's fine as long as we're not making larger assumptions about someone based on those observations, but the main reason I talk about differences is Malcolm Gladwell.
If you think about it, Malcolm Gladwell has a lot to answer for in general.
In this case, I read a book wherein he put forth the argument that, statistically speaking, children of white parents are considered racist by their children because they never talk about race unless they talk about race if you know what I mean. Parents of colour talk about race with their kids, but Malcolm referenced a study that showed that white parents who consider themselves "colour-blind" were actually giving the perception to their children that they disliked or didn't consider other races. So now when my kids ask why someone has different skin or other physical differences from us, we talk about it, what it could mean to other people, what it actually means (little, for the most part, because we're in a quietly racist area) and how boring it would be if we all looked the same blah blah blah. Unless we all had red hair, which would be AWESOME.
What's even more interesting about Kim-Joy is her beautiful decorations, even insects are enthralled!
It's frying time! Three thermometers hit the oil and the dough is sizzling!
Frying is very fraught, don't let my insouciance above fool you.
We're filling now, which GBBO somehow makes equally tense with their music and camerawork. Rahul puts too much pressure on his piping head and bursts a seam on his piping bag. I don't believe this is the first time we've seen him do something similar, sometimes you need more finesse and slightly less Conan.
One minute left!
And we're into judging with Kim-Joy up first.
I think the blue looks genius, but the little honeycomb whatsits are the best. Paul calls her on her uneven frying, but the doughnuts are lovely and even the almond liqueur pulls through. A quarter of a teaspoon more and it would have been lights out, warns Prue. She's going to swing back around to finish the delicious filled doughnut.
On to Ruby and her pretty cakeywhatsits, I think her blue are even lovelier.
The doughnuts themselves are great, but the filled doughnuts are severely underfilled and kind of boring. I did wonder how she lost track of which ones she'd filled, the weight surely would have given that away, unless you only had a squirt in there.
Now I must have a Boston Creme doughnut and it's all your fault, GBBO.
See I'm kind of with the judges on Rahul's efforts, while I love buttercream, I don't want a face full of it while I'm eating a doughnut.
The judges do like his filled ones, they're like a little "mango bomb(s)."
Last Technical Challenge! It's Paul's recipe (brace yourselves!) and his only advice: make good use of your heat source. Hmmm.
Sandi and Noel fill us in; first off: no ovens. Oh, and no workstations, either. What? Are they campfire cooking? They are! Sandi tells us they'll be baking 6 pita breads with three dips in 90 minutes. 90!
Look at Paul sit around and cackle over the shite he just dumped his unsuspecting bakers into.
It's almost smoking hot outside. For the dips, they need to blacken the vegetables which is a problem for Rahul as his fire is still aflame. He asks for help; I couldn't love Sandi's deadpan answer any more.
Why is Sandi leaving? I just got over Mel and Sue going (I WILL NEVER GET OVER MARY BERRY BEING GONE) and now my new favourite will be gone. Why can't we have nice things?
Two bakers burn their garlic 🙁
Now they're trying to heat their stone slate bits to bake the pita bread on, but it has to be the right temperature and I'm sorry, this is stupid, Paul. Totally ridiculous.
In third place: Ruby
In second: Rahul
And the least worst of the day is: Kim-Joy
Kim-Joy won her first Technical Challenge!
Tomorrow is the FINAL final, are you ready??
For the last Showstopper Challenge of the season, the baketestants will be preparing a Landscape Dessert with three distinct elements. I don't know what that means, like grass and ponds and things?
Let's find out from Ruby.
Kim-Joy is using her winning Spice Week recipe in her Atlantis landscape.
Hmm, needs more chocolate thingies.
Rahul is paying homage to his emigration (can you call it that?) to the UK from India with a garden motif.
They only have four and a half hours but he has hundreds of elements in his design. Suddenly, one of his storage jar explodes in the heat and he is left starting over and everything that was on his station is now at risk of having glass shards inside.
Production comes out to help clear up the mess and that's when I realise that they aren't stopping the competition. He's still under the same timer as everyone else, massively handicapped by this event.
Oh good, Paul and Prue give Rahul and extra quarter hour, thank goodness. He's really far behind, but that's exactly as much time as he lost. He tries to calm himself and regroup.
I love seeing all the eggs, there must be a 100 kicking about on stations.
Oh no, Kim-Joy's using orange flavouring! Disaster!
So much going on! I can contribute nothing except that I am glad this is the last time I have to watch Rahul do anything. It's not that I dislike Rahul, it's that he's constantly running down his work, his baking, himself and he just spit on the area where he's going to be placing food for other people to eat. I'm sure it was meant to be blowing, but it was wetter than that. After today, if I have to see him cover his mouth and look shocked and somehow dismayed when one of his excellent bakes is called excellent, I may go mad.
Ruby and Kim-Joy finish and we all watch Rahul complete his decorating. Time's up, group hug!
There's a party going on outside the tent, a lone acrobat inexplicably swings in a hoop over the crowd that includes the rest of the season 9 bakers and all the families.
Final judging of season 9!
First up: Ruby. Her shortbread gets high praise, and so does most of her baking and beautiful sponges.
Now Rahul, the judges love how everything tastes, if Prue is concerned about the overall visual effect. I cannot watch him cover his face again, I canNOT.
I couldn't get a really clear shot of Kim-Joy's Atlantis, boooo. She gets called out for the use of orange extract, I done tole you! Extract never! She did use quite a bit of orange zest too, I don't know what happened. She does not get great feedback.
(I really want her to win)
Lots of former contestant chitchat and families rooting hard for their progeny and we have our winner of season 9 Great British Bake Off: Rahul Mandal!
Cheers, everyone, thank you so much for reading along, congratulations, Rahul! You can barely believe it! We know! He calls his mum and I'd LOVE subtitles, but to sum up: she's happy and proud of him. I didn't cry at all watching the montage of What They've Been Up To Since.
Until next time!