Tag Archives: Recipes

Week Six – Dessert Week

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

Before each episode begins, Alexa is asked, “Alexa, tell me a baking joke,” and Alexa replies, “I just entered a baking competition – the final was a piece of cake.”

piece-cakeThis always makes me smile because I used to have a small cake business called A Piece Of Cake and I would make celebration cakes. I stopped about two years ago, very occasionally making cakes for friends. Last year I was asked to make a wedding cake for one of my daughter’s best friends and this is happening in the next couple of days. Look out for my blog of how I got on…

Anway, this week was Dessert Week – not Desert as Noel got confused with… I did notice that Henry was wearing a spiderweb brooch and Michael had a bat pin, a tribute to Helena I think!

The Signature Bake

This week our Magnificent Seven (be prepared for more of these analogies over the coming weeks, Fab Four, Famous Five…) had to bake a layered meringue cake. As Paul and Prue went round the contestants Paul mentioned timing to Priya, does she have a problem with that? I hadn’t noticed!

Priya’s signature bake is criticised by Prue for being a horrible colour and an overbaked meringue, Henry’s was described as messy, Michael’s had too much chocolate, (not sure that could ever be true!) and Rosie’s chocolate was too thick (as was her ganache last week). Steph’s was described as neat and professional, but maybe too many nuts and David’s looked like a painting but wasn’t as tasty as it looked and Alice’s was charming but no big flavour.  So all in all, not a triumphant signature bake for anyone.

The Technical Challenge

Prue sets the Technical Challenge which is six verrines and we are told these are a layered dessert in a glass.  Perhaps the Knickerbockerglory is our English alternative to that?

This week we find out that it is Michael’s birthday (26), how cruel would it be to send him home on his birthday? Henry has started swearing a lot and the Bake Off guys have, “The least laddy’s lad club where we discuss gelatine.”

When the bakers carry their verrines to the judging table, it’s either in slow motion or this is the slowest walk ever!

Technical Challenge positions:

7th – Priya; 6th – Michael; 5th – Rosie; 4th – Henry; 3rd – Steph; 2nd – David and 1st – Alice.  David has come second in four of the technical challenges so far, the phrase, “Always the bridesmaid,” comes to mind.

The Showstopper

A Celebratory Bombe Dessert is this week’s Showstopper, “I feel like we’re saying a lot of bombes,” Sandi remarked, “Bom-diddly-bom-bom-bom-bom.”

Timing is very much a factor in this challenge, they need to make sure that the bombe has set but also leave themselves enough time for decoration.  Alice has a nightmare trying to get her bombe out of the tin, she is panicking, but eventually it comes out and looks great.

Steph’s Chocolate Bombe

Steph’s chocolate bombe is described by Paul as the best thing he has eaten for a long time. Rosie’s mousse is not smooth and it looks clumsy, David’s is pretty, elegant, Alice’s is beautiful with good layers, Priya’s is elegant and Henry’s is described as disappointing.

My favourite comparison was Paul’s when he judged Michael’s bombe, “It looks like it’s come from a 1970’s sweet trolley.” And it was also compared to the Queen Mother’s hat.

Which leads me nicely to the best Tweet from Amy Van Gar:


Steph is crowned Star Baker for a third time, is this a record, I’m not sure? And Priya has finally succumed to the fate of going home.


Next week is Festival Week – another new week, so I’m not quite sure what to expect!

Keep baking!



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 Two – Biscuit Week

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


Whilst watching the opening titles of the show this week, a couple of thoughts struck me…. number one – how old would the little girl in the opening titles be now? I would guess she’s in her mid-teens, I wonder if she does any cooking?

Number two was a random thought about the washing up, I’m sure the contestants don’t do their own. Is there a few dishwashers that are put to use? So I looked it up and lo and behold I found out that there is a lady who washes everything up – by hand. Apparently dishwashers are too noisy to use during filming so the tent has two enormous sinks where this lady can spend up to 16 hours a day washing dirty dishes.

Tom Hovey – Great British Bake Off sketcher

Whilst watching GBBO, I have always admired the sketches of the cakes, etc., that the contestants are making and this is the man who does that. He is a Welsh freelance animator has has sketched over 1000 of the bakes since the show began. He receives the pictures from the set after the show is filmed and if a bake has failed he uses his artistic licence to imagine what it should have looked like.

The first round in Biscuit Week is to make a decorated chocolate biscuit bar, a Penguin immediately comes to my mind, but no, the bakers are intent on something a bit more inventive than that! As usual, time runs out and the contestants rally to help Jamie and Priya finish theirs in time, thus showing that the spirit of support is always there in the tent.  Jamie struggles with his chocolate biscuit and I already feel the urge to shout, “Taxi for Jamie,” but not quite yet!

The technical is the fig role, apparently a favourite amongst the Hollywood family, we won’t go into the debate of it is a cake or a biscuit as highlighted by Noel, but this is the formal description of it:

“The fig roll or fig bar is a biscuit consisting of a sweet roll

filled with fig paste in the middle.”

Helena is last in this challenge, mistakenly making 11 instead of the required 12 fig rolls and Jamie is in 11th position, putting egg-wash on his biscuit, for some unknown reason! That taxi is warming up its engine in the taxi rank!  Alice wins this technical and with a favourable verdict on her signature chocolate biscuit, is in line for star baker this week.

Rosie’s quite remarkable chicken

Lastly we have the showstopper challenge, where Henry decides to make an organ, no, not a heart or lung or anything else that comes to mind, but a church organ! Unfortunately Jamie’s biscuits fall apart when he retrieves them from the oven and the taxi driver has engaged first gear, looking in his mirror and pulling out…

Rosie and David’s designs are hits with the judges, but Henry’s organ and Jamie’s guitar underwhelm the judges.  Time for the star baker award, which quite rightly went to Alice, the georgraphy teacher, while I’m afraid it is time for us to all shout out as one, “Taxi for Jamie,” as Jamie makes an almost Apprentice style departure from the tent.

So Jamie is gone – who will be next week?

I’m still sticking to my guns on who I think will be there in the final, Henry, David and Michelle, but with bread week next week, who knows?