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Week One – Cake Week

Warning: there are spoilers in this blog - who won star baker, who left the show, who received a handshake from Paul, what necklace was Prue wearing, things along those lines.

I can’t believe that the last time I reviewed the GBBO was two years ago! It was back on our TVs last night, kicking off with Cake Week; let’s do this!

The new series kicked off with the GBBO Band and their interpretation of Achy Breaky Heart with lyrics such as:

“But don’t bake my tart, my flaky pastry tart…. You’ll overbake my tart, and that will break my heart and then you’ll never get to shake my hand.”

I love this Tweet by Specsavers:

Signature Dish : 12 Decorative Mini Rolls

Flavours, sponge and filling entirely up to bakers with a two hour time limit.

A highlight for me whilst the bakers were creating their mini rolls was Matt Lucas’s rendition to Jürgen of The Flintstones in German, especially the ending shouting, “Wilhomena!”

There were comments made by Paul about the similarities between Prue and Maggie, I think it’s the glasses! 🤣

George forgot to close the oven door, putting him behind with his bake, so he earned the first BLEEP of the season, plus Lizzie was also behind time, stating she was just a slow person.

Chigs put us all to shame during lockdown, he learned how to bake, played the guitar, did rock climbing, decorated his house and cooked with his mum…

Maggie’s “Knit & Natter” Mini Rolls:
Rough and ready chocolate, nice swirl, excellent sponge, lovely texture, great flavour, but couldn’t eat a lot as it is very rich.

Jairzeno’s Lime & Passion Fruit Mini Rolls:
More like a fold than a swirl, passion fruit flavour delicious, worth the calories!

Amanda’s “Cherry Solider” Mini Rolls:
Uneven, not a swirl but a blob, cherry flavour not strong enough, Prue liked the booze!

Tom’s Black Forest Mini Rolls:
Not really a mini roll, a bit of a swirl, texture of the cake lovely, not enough cherry coming through.

Crystelle’s “Chai and Chai Again” Mini Rolls:
Neat, not much of a swirl, delicious, great blend of the spices, touch too much jaggery.

George’s Chocolate & Hazelnut Mini Rolls:
Tasted like pudding, still warm and so it’s collapsed.

Rochica’s Colin Rolls:
Fairly good swirl, lovely flavours, a little stodgy, overmixed.

Jürgen’s Schwarzwald Mini Rolls:
Nice swirl, over-sweetened the filling, very, very good comment.

Freya’s Vegan Lemon & Raspberry Mini Rolls:
Nice tart flavour of raspberries, cake is a bit hefty.

Chigs’ Strawberry & Cream Mini Rolls:
Lovely swirl, fresh strawberries delicious.

Lizzie’s Zoo Mini Rolls:
Not the best looking mini rolls, flavours all wrong.

Giuseppe’s Easter Mini Rolls:
As neat as a pin, beautiful, elegant, perfect swirl, delicate and well balanced flavours, a triumph.

Technical Challenge set by Prue – The Malt Loaf

Words of advice from Prue: “This is a really old fashioned recipe and those of you who are under 35 may never have heard of it, don’t panic, just read the recipe.”

First two rounds in a nutshell!

One of the easier technical challenges, perhaps it’s because it’s the first episode, but nice to see all the bakers not having too much of a disaster!

Position in Technical Challenge:

1st – Maggie
2nd – Freya
3rd – George
4th – Lizzie
5th – Tom
6th – Jürgen
7th- Rochica
8th – Crystelle
9th – Jairzeno
10th – Guiseppe
11th – Chigs
12th – Amanda

That moment when Paul said to Prue, “You’ll have to take your teeth out and clean them later.”

Those in trouble before going into the Showstopper round:

Those in line for Star Baker:

Showstopper – Anti-gravity Illusion Cake

Must be appear to defy gravity and in a way that represents a precious memory.

Every week….

The mug fell off the cake in front of the judges, good layers, delicious, beautifully moist.

George’s Greek Table:
Could be neater, nice flavours, concentrate on finesse.

Magggie’s Ice Cream Cornet:
Looks more like a plant pot than an ice cream, Victoria sandwich delicious, but not much flavour in it.

Jairzeno’s “Kick the Can” Cake:
Didn’t look like what was envisioned, perfect sponge, flavourful.

Amanda’s Elderflower & Lemon Surf Explosion:
Lovely dolphins, lovely colour and concept, not sure if gravity defying as that part is the rice crispy part, slightly overbaked sponge, touch too much liquor. The cake collapses on the bench. (Not sure if that’s to do with Paul cutting the cake where he did?)

Lizzie’s Nana’s Peaches & Cream:
Simplistic, a bit messy, nice flavour,.

Freya’s “Flower Potty”:
Incredible flowers, lovely, very boozy, delicious, nice kick from the alcohol, great job.

Crystelle’s “Bouq-cake” of Flowers:
Elegant, beautiful pipework, beautifully flavoured, lovely, remarkable.

Rochica’s Apple Cake:
More detail, lovely flavours, more honed skills.

Tom’s Classically Spectacular Showstopper:
Disappointing gravity defying element.

Giuseppe’s “Jack and The Beanstalk”:
Beautiful, sponge a little dry, good flavour, maybe do three layers instead of two.

Jürgen’s “Night Time Reading”:
Elegant, clean and simple and beautifully done, well engineered, rose flavour absolutely right, perfect bake.

My favourite showstopper was Crystelle’s Bouq-cake of Flowers!

Star Baker and Who is Going Home…

Poor old Jürgen tried to phone his family, but no-one answered his phone….


I’m not really sure if the right decision was made for Tom to leave the show, I thought that it might have been Jairzeno as his showstopper was terrible. I think the favourites at the moment are Jürgen and Guiseppe with Maggie and Crystelle also in the running. But this is Bake Off, all it takes is a disastrous week and you are phoning for an Uber!

Week 10 – The Final

This blog contains spoiler of who won the Great British Bake Off 2019. 

So this is it, the final of the Great British Bake Off. The odds on favourite must be Steph (won Star Baker four times), followed by Alice (won Star Baker twice) and lastly David (not a recipient of the Star Baker award).

Signature Dish

The final Signature Dish was the “Ultimate Chocolate Cake,” something that my husband was invested in as he loves chocolate cake, me, I don’t like it at all. I do like chocolate mousse and chocolate bars, but not chocolate cake nor chocolate ice cream, I know, weird, right?

Steph’s Black Forest Gateau

David’s cake has a lovely mirror shine, but it’s too boozy, the Armagnac flavour overpowers it.

Alice’s cake looks wobbly and clumsy and Paul says that the cake lacks the full chocolate flavour.

Steph’s Black Forest Gateau has a 70’s feel, according to Prue, but it is “a very nice cake,” although slightly overbaked.

Technical Challenge

This final challenge was set by Paul and it was six twice baked Stilton souffles with a biscuit on the side. This is where “the baking fairies” seemed to desert Steph as she makes an error with her baine-marie, using cold water instead of boiling resulting in souffles which collapsed as they hit the baking tray.  Alice doesn’t know how to make a roux, much to Sandi’s surprise and David carries on in his normal calm manner.

Technical Positions

3rd – Steph (Egg whites beaten to death, biscuits too thick).

2nd – Alice (Bit raw, uneven, pale biscuits)

1st – David (Not a bad effort, thin biscuits).


It’s all down to the Showstopper and this week it’s illusion baking, you know, when a cake looks like a pie, but tastes like a cake! Mind blowing!

To start off with, Alice has received some bad news, her mum and dad might not be able to make it as their flight from Ireland has been cancelled, so she starts her showstopper a little teary eyed.

Once again, Steph has problems, each of her elements for the illusion picnic basket isn’t going well, even the electric whisk decides to attack her. “I’ve saved the worst ’til last, maybe it was a week too many,” she says despondantly.  Perhaps she should have taken a time out and had a go on the helter skelter!

Baker’s Illusion Picnics

Alice’s End-of-the-School Year Celebration picnic was “A good effort,” and the scotch eggs were a highlight.

David’s picnic illusion was a hit, with Paul calling it “Exceptional,” and Prue giving him a “Bravo.”

From Steph’s picnic basket made out of nougat to her lemon cake, everything had an issue, so much so that Paul went over and gave her a hug saying, “Never mind, Steph.”

My final tweet of the week is from Richard Osman:


And the Winner of The Great British Bake Off is….


So we come to the result, all the past contestants and families have congregated to hear the verdict and we learn that this year’s winner is ……  DAVID!

davidI think David thoroughly deserved this, he was always consistent, being second in the Technicals for an number of times and he is no longer the bridesmaid…

Well done David! And I will point out that he was one of my picks as the winner from the start!

(And by the way, Alice’s parents made it!)

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these reviews and am amazed at how many views they have received.  Don’t forget I am still doing reviews for Strictly, but if you have any suggestions for new programmes that I could review, please let me know by commenting.

See you next year – Keep Baking!


Week 9 – Patisserie Week – SEMI FINAL

This blog contains spoilers of who has left, who won Star Baker, who received a Hollywood Handshake and what necklace Prue was wearing…

gbbo-tieFirstly can I pay tribute to the bakers and Sandi wearing ties in memory of Henry who left last week…. but the bakers didn’t wear them for very long as it was too hot in the tent.

Joke Alert: Two silk worms got in a fight, it ended in a tie.

Signature Dish

As this week is the semi-final, you can be sure that Paul and Prue haven’t set easy baking challenges this week, and you’d be right, the Signature Dish this week is eight domed tartlettes.

David makes an Italian Spritz tart which Prue thinks is lovely. Paul suggests that the nuts that are around the bottom should be smaller.

Rosie’s tartlettes are gin, lemon and raspberry which the judges remark are a lovely colour and the perfect size but the creme pat is too soft, it should have been cooked longer.

boobsSteph chooses lemon, raspberry and white chocolate, Paul says that the tartlettes aren’t up to her usual standards as they’re not very neat. She is a bit despondent saying that her’s look like boobs…

Alice’s ingredients are mocha, orange and hazelnut and Paul tells her that he loves hazelnuts and chocolate, has he never heard of Nutella? The only thing that lets Alice’s tartlettes down is her piping, but she’ll take that, as she says later.

Technical Challenge

This week set by Prue and it’s called, gateau St-Honore, who happens to be the French patron saint of bakers. So no pressure then.

Rosie has the nightmare of all nightmares, and it’s not even Halloween yet, she redoes three of the five elements and after muttering, “I’m going home,” yet again, she manages to pick herself up and somehow, even if she did place her choux buns on upside down, manages to win this challenge!

Technical Challenge Positions

4th – Alice (burnt caramel); 3rd – Steph (untidy, too much caramel); 2nd – David (not bad, chantilly cream is like scrambled eggs); 1st – Rosie (perfect, although choux buns upside down).

jamieDuring the advert break, we discover that there is soon going to be a Junior Bake Off competiton, would Jamie be eligible to enter for this I wonder?


This Showstopper seems like a monstrous task, make a sugar glass display case with an edible depiction of something they hold dear…

There was a lot of fuss on social media about Alice and her chocolate starfish, but I think i’ll just leave it there…

Steph’s Night At The Opera – The glass was pretty clear, the Opera Cake under the glass was neat and pretty, “Very Steph, a good job,” was Paul’s verdict.

David’s Greenhouse – Neat, clear glass, but the cake wasn’t very delicate and wasn’t level.

Rosie’s Time With The Family – Paul described it as a simplistic concept and the cakes were very dry and boring.

Alice’s Save Our Oceans – the glass wasn’t completely clear, but the cake had lovely flavours.

I am always amazed at how much the bakers get done when the last minute is called,  I think this Tweet from Meanwhile, Darren sums it up:


So the nail biting results are here, but first Star Baker, which this weeks goes to Alice, perhaps she’s timing her run to the final to perfection? And the person who leaves is Rosie.


I will miss the conversations between Rosie and Noel, but look forward to their new spin-off show called The Baking Vets….

So this is it, next week is THE FINAL, my choice David is still there, but who will win?

See you next week for the final time…

WEEK 8 – Pastry Week

This blog contains spoilers of who has left, who won Star Baker, who received a Hollywood Handshake and what necklace Prue was wearing…

Signature Dish

This week we have the Tarte Tatin (named after the hotel which first served it as its signature dish created in 1989) which is usually a fruit based dish, but our bakers have to make a savoury version.

soggy-bottom-no-oneSo for this dish, it’s “All about the lamination,” as David put it and we also have a soggy bottom alert!

Henry reinforces this saying that, “No-one wants a soggy tart.”

Henry does a crab tarte tatin, which Paul says needs more caramelization, but it did have a nice colour and good lamination.

Steph decides on the more traditional pairing of cheese and shallots. Paul didn’t like the fact that the cheese was just plonked on top of the tarte tatin, but it was agreed that it had a nice flavour.

Alice uses leeks with an apple, but Paul suggests that the leeks needed more caramelisation and it was too wet, but it tasted delicious.

David is using carrots for his tarte tatin, his layers were excellent but it was a bit dry and not very attractivet to look at.

Rosie’s tarte tatin was accused of having too much garlic and it looked burnt and unfortunately it had a soggy bottom…

Technical Challenge

The challenge was set by Paul and it was a Morrocan Pie using Walker or Brick pastry; Henry had never heard of it and rather rashly said, “If anyone has heard of it, I will get naked,” cut to David, “I’ve actually heard of this, I’ve seen it on a travel programme.”

Adam Hills

The process of making this pastry reduced Steff to tears and saying, “This was my worst fear, not being able to present anything in a challenge,” but with a few comforting words from Noel, she managed to finish.

And for some reason, Adam Hills, Australian comedian appears in a link with Noel, where he mistakes Adam for Sandi???

Henry’s collapses, Rosie’s collapses and Steph’s collapses – not a good Technical for Henry and Steph, coming 5th and last, but Rosie makes it to second place.

Technical Challenge Positions

5th – Henry; 4th – Steph; 3rd – Alice; 2nd – Rosie; and 1st – David!!  At last, David’s won a technical!!  Channel 4’s Tweet summed it up perfectly.



As everybody has had mixed results this week, as Paul put it, “A lot rests on the Showstopper.” This week it is a Vertical Pie, three pies stacked on top of each other.

Alice makes a Pie Treehouse, David is doing a nautical open pie, which Paul struggles with the concept of, Steph is making a carousel, Rosie’s has a dragon and Henry is making an upside down chandelier.

Tweet of the Week goes to Sam Atkins:


Rosie’s pie creation is described as bitty and dry; Alice’s doens’t have enough sweetness; David’s is a good design but Paul doesn’t like the exposed vegetables; Steph’s carousel is neat and organised and delicious; Henry’s upside down chandelier is dry and as Paul said, “Not executed to the best of  his ability.”

So Steph is crowned Star Baker for the fourth time and the person who leaves is Henry. With David losing out again as Star Baker, will he be only the second person to win GBBO without having won this accolade?


So it is with a heavy heart that I cross out Henry from my contestant photo, I still have David in the running, but with the loss of Michael and Henry these past two weeks, the line-up seems quieter and more studious.

We head on to the semi-final, with next week being Patisserie Week, I wonder who’s going to make it to the final?

I will leave the last word with Henry…


Week Four – Dairy Week

Warning: there are spoilers in this blog – who won star baker, who left the show, who did Paul give a handshake to, what necklace was Prue wearing, things along those lines.

So to this week’s theme of Dairy Week – I wonder who will be the creme de la creme or who will be whey down the bottom? Will it be rice puddings? Porridge? Or even my all time favourite, Angel Delight?

No, we start off the Dairy Cake signature, where they must bake a cake containing a cultured dairy product, which means the moisture in the cake needs to be just right. Cue Michael, (last week’s Star Baker) who decides to use two types of dairy into his bake and then who pays dearly for that decision when his cake sticks to the mould. But, luckily for him, Prue and Paul say it tastes lovely.

Helena makes a ghost-shaped cake and Noel declares, “I love you,” to which Helena replies, “I’ve told my husband I’m divorcing him so we can marry on Halloween.” I love the chemistry between these two…

See the source image

David’s limoncello-glazed lemon and poppyseed yoghurt cake is a hit with the judges as is Steph’s banana-chocolate cake. Phil and Priya struggle with the flavours in their cakes.

Now onto the Technical, they are to make 12 Maids of Honor, apparently a favourite of Henry VIII. No, I haven’t heard of them either and neither has anyone in the tent it soggy-bottomseems. Paul and Prue discuss the bake and even manage to get in the “soggy bottom” joke – I bet Mary wishes she had trademarked that! Everybody struggles with this Technical and as Paul and Prue walk into the tent, they are tempted to walk straight back out again, obviously not very impressed at all. Priya is last, she spent far too long on the curd and so didn’t have time to finish the bake and just had a couple strewn across the plate.  First is Steph and second is David, which means that either one of them will probably be Star Baker this week. 

Onto the Showstopper: I have to say that Dairy Week hasn’t really set my cooking genes racing to the kitchen to try out the recipes like it does on other weeks, but maybe the Showstopper would? The bakers must produce an assortment of mishti, Indian milk-based sweets typically served at weddings. Nope, I think I’ll stick to my Angel Delight!

Once again, Steph triumphs in this challenge with David still hot on her heels with his elderflower, pistachio and blueberry flavours. Those who don’t fare so well are Phil, Prue critiques his bake as “kindergarten Play-Doh,” and Henry who had a disaster with his raspberry kulfi ice cream, which simply would not set, leaving a puddle on the presentaton dish and declaring, “You’d eat it if you were a prisoner. Maybe.”

The award for best Tweet goes to Anastazia:


The Star Baker this week was Steph and the person who had to leave was Phil.  I can’t say that I entirely agreed with this decision, I mean, even though Priya redeemed herself in the Showstopper, Paul refused to taste her Technical dish.

Four down, nine to go – who will be next?

My three bakers are still in – Henry, David and Michelle. Next week is the Roaring 20s, some will get in a flap, but here’s hoping it’s a good one!


Week Three – Bread Week

Warning: there are spoliers in this blog – who won star baker, who left the show, did Paul give out a handshake, which necklace was Prue wearing, things along those lines….


So week three was the infamous Bread Week – one which seems to strike fear in the contestants, because as we all probably know, this is Paul Hollywood’s speciality.

My favourite response which was during Bread Week in 2016 was when Val was questioned where the second elephant was by Mel and Val replied,  “They’ve argued.”

When Val’s bake was criticised by Paul, she came out with the immortal line, “It is not a mess, it’s informal.”

So the signature round was to bake a tear and share bread and this was when the magic happened, Paul gave his first handshake to Michael for his Keralan Star Bread. He doesn’t seem so free and easy with these this series, as this time last year he had already given out four!

bapsNext on to the technical, which was a little bit different than the usual ones, to make a bap with a burger. Cue some double entendres about baps… Watching the bakers, it did seem a bit of a faff, especially when you can buy four at Sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are available) for 70p. The burgers were veggie burgers but apparently were only worth 10% of the score. Henry won the technical with Amelia’s small buns and oversized burgers coming last.

The showstopper had the bakers scoring their bread to create a design. My favourite was Rosie’s animals and David’s African masks. Amelia failed to impress and also Henry struggled with his showstopper.

The award for the best Tweet goes to Innocent Drinks:


So, with the threat of two bakers possibly going home this week, we find out that Michael is the Star Baker and that Amelia is going home, thus having the carrot dangling of maybe two leaving for next week.


Three down, ten to go – who will be next?

I’ve still got my three bakers in the running, I’m a little bit worried about Henry, even though he won the technical, he struggled in the other two rounds.

It’s Dairy Week next week, a new idea, much like Vegan Week last year, so who knows what’ll happen? Who will be the creme de la creme or who will be whey down the bottom?




Week One – Cake Week

Warning: there are spoilers in this blog – who won star baker, who left the show, who did Paul give a handshake to, what necklace was Prue wearing, things along those lines.

So last night saw the launch of The Great British Bake Off, series 10, with a twist straight in at the beginning – there is an extra contestant, making it their baker’s dozen of 13. It was explained that this didn’t mean an extra programme but that two people could go at any given time, but considering this was the first programme, I think we were safe that two weren’t going last night.

There was a lot of information to digest last night, with 13 contestants it was difficult to remember who was who and who did what for a living. but a few did stick in my head: Phil the lorry driver, Henry the student, Jamie another student and part-time waiter, Michael the theatre manager and Michelle the print shop administrator.

The signature challenge was a fruit cake – not the most exciting of cakes, but it was probably a good choice to settle their nerves, except for Michael, who managed to cut three of his fingers in the first ten minutes – not a great start for him!

Picture is from GBBO Twitter feed

The technical challenge was an angel cake which was shown to us by Prue as the example on the right and probably more realistic is the one on the right, made by,  I think, Jamie. I love the GBBO Twitter and Facebook posts, they are very clever.  Henry is first in this challenge and Jamie is last.


The final challenge is the legendary showstopper, a dream childhood birthday cake. The chance for them to show off their imagination and creativity.  Cue a joke with a mix up with “fairy garden” and “furry garden” and an innuendo or two…

The “Bakers Dozen” with Dan crossed out – who will be next?

Michelle’s cake, a carrot cake with orange cream frosting which was shaped like a fairy house was the judge’s favourite, though I thought the snake cake was the best and this secured Michelle’s title of Star Baker and controversially, Dan was the baker that left and judging by the comments on Twitter, I am not alone in thinking that Jamie should have gone instead.

My early thoughts on who will win this year: I’m going with Henry, followed by David and then Michelle.  But as we go forward into Biscuit Week, I will leave you with the words of James Ancaster….