Weeks 6 & 7 of GBBO 2015, have come and gone in a fold of puff pastry. With 2 new star bakers couronned and two more bakers out of the tent, the race to be hailed Britain’s best amateur baker is gathering pace.
Pastry week is usually my favourite week, but I felt that the challenges weren’t challenging enough for the bakers. A frangipane tart is an ok signature challenge, but I thought that the showstopper was a simplified version of our puff pastry showstopper of two years ago. Anyway, it was great seeing a new baker starred in the shape of a tall London firefighter, but I was sad to see Alvin leave. He’s a talented baker and still can’t get over the amount of bread he baked during bread week!
Last night saw a slight change to the usual challenge format, with the welcome introduction of Victorian challenges set to test the bakers. From game pie using hot water crust pastry via a tennis cake, to the crowning Charlotte Russe of a showstopper.
I worried for Flora lots during the show, and although she didn’t have a great week, there were others who were having a worse week. Reaching this stage of the competition is as much about stamina as it is about baking skills and creativity. All those who reached this point should be very proud of their achievements. And yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that it’s just cake – but believe me it’s so much more than that.
Nadiya is definitely coming into her own and is showing real skill and personality as well as sharing who her influences were growing up and learning to bake. I loved hearing about her cookery teacher telling her to use Italian meringue to make her bavarois. The result was a light and delicious mousse filling to her fabulous showstopper.
And Tamal is going from strength to strength, showing skill, stamina and scrummy flavour combinations. If he’s not in the final 3, then something seriously wrong is going to happen over the next few weeks.
A very fond farewell was bid to lovely Matt the firefighter and a huge “at last!” to Tamal when he was finally recognised for his services to baking, and received his SBBE (star baker of the British empire).
Next week it’s the quarter finals, and I believe a return to normal Bake Off service with what looks like an eclair tower showstopper…..I love a baked structure drizzled in chocolate!