Food News

Great British Bake Off: Semi-final Recap

Can you believe we’re already at the semi-final stage of GBBO? This year’s series seems to have whizzed by and we’re already at Week Nine and, some good news: it’s chocolate week! If you missed the action, here’s what went down in the Bake Off tent…

This week’s signature bake challenged the bakers to make a chocolate tart, with any sort of pastry and any sort of filling (as long as both revolved around chocolate). This sounded like a dream challenge. Who doesn’t love a chocolate tart? Flora and Tamal lost brownie points from me for putting fruit in their filling, Ian lost brownie points for being smug about using his homemade bay leaves, and Nadiya lost brownie points from Kyle for using peanut powder!

Ian was berated for getting his flavours slightly wrong (yay) and it was Nadiya who got the biggest round of compliments from Paul and Mary.

The technical challenged the bakers to make a chocolate souffle. Flora managed a good rise on hers, with nice flavours. It was lovely to see Ian fail to get height on his effort, whilst Nadiya had huge lumps of meringue running through hers. As for Tamal, his souffle had split but the height was impressive. Ultimately, Nadiya came in fourth place, followed by Ian (yay), with Tamal in second and Flora coming out on top.

And so on to the showstopper with Ian in the weakest position after discussion from Paul and Mary, despite Nadiya crying to the camera convinced she’d be going home this week. The bakers were asked to create a 3D chocolate centrepiece, using biscuit and white chocolate.

Ian, of course, was planning on making a working chocolate well, which would actually collect liquid white chocolate. He’d apparently spent four days making the moulds for the well, so expectations were high. Flora, meanwhile, was planning on making a carousel with some horses that looked like dogs. Nadiya’s creation also sounded amazing: a peacock complete with chocolate tail feathers.

When it came to the judging, we were over the moon to see Ian lambasted for not doing enough in the time allowed, despite his working well impressing Paul and Mary. Nadiya’s peacock, however, was stunning, her chocolate work on the tail feathers putting her in prime position to win Star Baker despite her earlier fears. Flora left question marks hanging over her chocolate skill, with the construction of her carousel not quite ticking all the boxes.

Sadly, it was Flora and not Ian who departed the tent, despite Ian having another miserable week of baking action. Nadiya was named Star Baker and will surely now start next week’s final as the favourite to win this year’s title.

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