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GBBO Round-Up: Who'll Make It To The Final?We’re into the penultimate week of cake-based televisual phenomenon, The Great British Bake Off, and with the semi-final looming, Tower HQ is buzzing with predictions on who will emerge victorious... Filled with more innuendo than your average Carry On film, last week’s patisserie-themed quarter final showed a few cracks beginning to appear in the façades of the formerly confident bakers. Every contestant seemed to falter slightly, with some of the frontrunners falling victim to the challenges posed by the notoriously difficult French baking style. The first challenge saw the bakers attempt cream horns. We saw a fall from grace for the tent’s ‘Mad Professor’ Ian, who attempted an experiment too far with his chocolate and vanilla pastry encased Black Forest offerings. As his pastry began to separate and his kirsch filling proved to be too boozy (even for Mary) his confidence of the past few weeks slipped away. Youngest baker Flora had another tumultuous week. She watched, head in hands, as her carefully crafted fillings leaked out of her cream horns and later, her choux pastry religieuse à l’ancienne (éclairs stacked to look like a nun, to you and me) with their promising lime and basil filling failed to impress. Her white chocolate and coconut éclairs didn’t fare much better leaving her convinced that she was to be the next baker hanging up her oven mitts. Dark horse of the series Tamal showcased his pastry engineering skills once again this week, with his religieuse à l’ancienne (which was practically the only one in the tent to remain intact). While his attempt at mokatines (nope, we’ve never heard of them either) saw him come forth out of the 5 bakers, his mango and passion fruit éclairs impressed Mary and Paul, making him a strong contender for the semi-finals. Nadiya aced it once again, coming top in both the cream horn challenge and the mokatine technical. She did go a little left-field with her flavour choices in the showstopper round though, opting to fill her half of her éclairs with a bubblegum flavoured cream and the other half with peppermint. While the judges weren’t exactly enamored with her inventive flavoring choices, her well-executed choux pastry and relatively sturdy construction saw her awarded ‘Star Baker’ for a second time this series. She’s our favourite to take the Bake Off crown but we’ll have to wait and see what chocolate week throws at the bakers next week! At the other end of the spectrum, this week was the last in the tent for Carmarthenshire prison guard Paul. Under-filled banana cream horns, which the judges said were lacking in flavour, and an almost raw genoise sponge in the technical, meant that things didn’t go well for Paul from the opening moments onwards. By the time the showstopper challenge arrived and we saw his carefully constructed choux tower begin to fall, it was clear that Paul would be the next one leaving the tent. Despite his disastrous final week though, his lion bread from week 3 has definitely secured him a place in the GBBO Hall of Fame. We’ll be back here at the same time next week when we’ll be sharing our favourite bakes and recipes from the series ahead of the final. If you can’t suppress the baking urge between now and then and want to try your hand at your very own signature bake, head over to our Food Preparation and Bakeware pages before you do and snap up some great appliances and cookware to help you make your own Bake Off-worthy creations.
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