Posted in: Lifestyle
GBBO Round-Up: Who’ll Make It To The Semi Finals?With the quarter finals only hours away, Bake Off fever at Tower HQ is palpable. With Patisserie Week on the cards for the bakers’ eighth week in the tent, we thought we’d recap last week’s historical jaunt through the recipe books when a new challenge was added to the much loved format - Victorian Week. Taking inspiration from the decade that inspired modern baking, the bakers saw themselves faced with some pretty full-on challenges from the age of Queen Vic. Packed with more gelatin than you can shake a wobbly stick at, the new challenge proved difficult to get to grips with for the remaining bakers as they tackled decorative pies, a never before seen Tennis Cake in the technical, and a time-consuming desert monolith in the form of Victorian favourite, the multi-layered Charlotte Russe. The first round saw experimental Ian create what he coined his ‘Roadkill Pie’, inspired largely by his passion for using animals he finds on the roadside in his cooking. Despite having won the coveted Star Baker title an unprecedented three times across the series, he failed to impress the judges with his simple bird-shaped offering. Our Paul managed to pull it back with his regal showstopper though, topping his Charlotte Russe with a 3D bejeweled sponge cake crown (though we’re still not sure whether we find all this experimentation impressive or just a bit smug!). Usually unflappable country girl Flora seemed to find this week particularly challenging as her overfilled pie struggled to cook, forcing her to whack the oven up to the maximum (as the other bakers watched on in horror!). Despite its slightly burnt exterior, her pie still impressed thanks to the filling but her overbaked second round fruit cake and the controversial use of pomegranates in her jelly filled showstopper, have put her on shaky ground moving into next week. Has this marked the beginning of the end for the teen prodigy? As Tamal finally won Star Baker, with his Middle Eastern flavoured game pie impressing Mary and his ambitious, jelly based Charlotte Russe proving to be a delicious feat of engineering, the curse of the Star Baker struck again. London Fire Fighter Mat went home after winning the accolade just last week as a result of an under-baked fruit cake and an attempt at sugar paste that looked more like green poster paint (should have given it a go with the Tower 1200W Die Cast Stand Mixer!) The final straw was his Strawberry Charlotte Russe that left a lot to be desired making him the latest baker to hang up his apron. Prison guard Paul impressed with his intricate fruit carvings, but they failed to detract from his unset jelly lake that sat on top of his showstopper. Elsewhere, Nadiya - our favourite for the Bake Off title - impressed the formidable judges with her immaculately presented Tennis Cake and a lighter than air Bavarois cream inspired by her Home Economics teacher. We think her attention to detail is going to make her a strong contender during the notoriously fiddly patisserie week, whilst Paul could fall at the choux pastry hurdles and be the next baker to leave the tent. We’ll be back here at the same time next week for another recap as the competition heats up and we head into the semi-finals. 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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