Food News

Great British Bake Off 2016: Episode Four Recap

First of all, two short notes!

Sadly, we missed last week’s show as we were enjoying the sun in Sicily. Don’t fear, we hadn’t already pre-emptively started a GBBO strike!

Secondly, as it is the key topic surrounding Bake Off at the moment, here are our thoughts. Simply put: it’s a terrible decision. Made surely for commercial reasons and to the detriment of viewers, the choice to move the show’s concept (as half the presenters have already quit we can’t call it the whole show being moved) to a channel that is unlikely to leave the format alone and one which would never have had an interest in it until the ratings came good, we think this is a bad move that will see the show become an irrelevance. Ads showing us that we can buy Aunt Bessies or similar during Batter Week aren’t exactly going to be quite what the regular audience is used to. In some ways, we just need to enjoy this current series as if it were the last…

Moving on, this week was indeed Batter Week!

This was a first for GBBO as the contestants, rather than Mary on the boozy puddings (!) had to get battered!

The signature was Yorkshire pudding! Val of course had to live up to great expectations as she was flying the flag for Yorkshire. However, she dumped chilli in the middle of hers, making it slightly less traditional than the usual fare we enjoy up north.

In terms of success, Andrew set a high standard, Solasi hit the mark (even getting a handshake!) and last week’s star baker Tom was as flat as a pancake! All still to play for though as lacy pancakes were announced as the technical challenge.

The pancakes were intricate and complicated to make, and had to be replicated (as a heart shape!) 12 times. This was now anyone’s to win – or lose! Suffice to say Tom wouldn’t have dreamed of this having already bombed in the signature round.

After some initial chaos in terms of what to do and how to make them uniform, only Benjamina seemed to be on the right road, with many of the others either burning, collapsing, or just plain failing! Of course, then the question had to be asked as to who were the tossers or flippers, perhaps just to make us realise how much we will miss Mel and Sue, while time ebbed away and the pancakes started to take on a whole range of very ‘not uniform’ shapes!

With Rav and Solasi hitting the bottom, and Tom in the middle, it was a clear win for Benjamina, who had shown that she was on the ball throughout this technical challenge.

As the competition was so close, naturally the judges took pity on them and gave them a nice easy challenge to round things off. Just kidding, they actually asked the bakers to make sweet churros, turning a simple street food into a winning showstopper.

Naturally, Tom pushed sweet to the limit by adding fennel while Kate, who was also in trouble, looked like a rabbit in headlights making her Easter bunny-inspired churros. While most bakers opted to go for the standard dipping churros, Solasi and Val opted for different styles (Solasi freezing his churro rings and Val stuffing hers!).

After what looked like an incredibly stressful bake (we doubt the contestants will ever look at churros the same way again!) the majority of bakers seemed to come out of the challenge well. Tom continued to put himself in trouble with his flavour not being sweet enough. Solasi’s freezer and twirl technique failed to work, leaving Paul to eat raw dough, whilst Rav also missed the mark.

Kate, though, looked the most beaten with her road kill bunny churros not even described as edible by Paul, leaving her close to tears after a tough week. Benjamina sailed through the challenge and surely nailed the Star Baker award after an excellent technical and showstopper.

Unsurprisingly, she was named Star Baker after some great baking but the batter got the better of Kate and her terrible week brought an end to her GBBO journey.

Next week brings pastry week and one of the toughest weeks there is! Bring it on.

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