After a little feature about how excited the contestants all are to still be here in week six (the final is in sight!), we get down to business. First up is a sweet tea loaf, such as Welsh Bara Brith, which Beca is making. As the contestants wait nervously around for their breads to prove and then bake, Glenn rigs up his very own pannetone upside-down holder (that’s a thing) while Christine makes dire predictions about her tea loaf.
Judging time and Paul and Mary find fault with all of the contestants breads – the majority are underbaked, showing how easily it is to get bread wrong. Last weeks star baker Christine does especially poorly, with a tea bread so underbaked that Paul and Mary refuse to eat it. Frances is the one contestant whose Chai tea loaf is well-baked – well done Frances!
Next is this weeks technical challenge, and its another fiendishly difficult one (is it ever anything else?). This time, its one of Pauls – a complicated French Apricot Couronne.
Paul’s vague instructions flummox the contestants, who all just kind of improvise (some with Mel and Sue’s help!). Judging, and the contestants all do well on the whole with Paul and Mary impressed with our bakers! Howard comes last, followed by Beca, Glenn, Christine, and Kimberly, with Frances and Ruby taking up the top spots! I know we’re only halfway through, but its looking increasingly like an all-female final!
The final showstopping challenge is to make sweet European buns, such as brioche which the contestants will start and finish the next morning. Beca is making a lemon iced finger spiced with cardamon, which sounds absolutely delicious! I love iced buns too – so delicious! Christine is making schnecken (yum!) while Glenn’s cinnamon swirls with a caramel topping sounds absolutely great too.
Of course, Frances can’t make a normal cake, so she’s making a giant game of noughts and crosses (that hopefully will taste good too)! Time for a little history interval – can I interest you in a lesson about the Sally Lunn?
Nail biting down to the wire time for the contestants, and I fear that its Howards last week.. his schecken look a bit on the burned side while Glenn has some issues getting his buns out of the tins – they completely unravel with a bit of Kimberly’s ‘help’.
Christine is up first for the judging and her showstepping buns are indeed showstopping! Mary pronounces them ‘scrummy’ and Paul is ‘impressed’. Frances is up next and while her nought buns are delicious, the hot cross buns are overproved. Howard’s peach buns look fantastic – I LOVE his presentation in the tray, but the peach flavour has disappeared, and his schecken are dry. As he walks away from the judges there doesn’t seem to be any doubt in his mind that he’s going home.
Ruby is next to be judged, and she walks up to the judges with her customary warnings that her bakes are terrible, and as ever, Paul and Mary insist that they’re amazing. Kimberly does fairly poorly with underflavoured and underbaked buns, while Glenn’s flavours just do not work – its a pretty poor week for him, but I don’t think he’s in the danger zone – yet.
Beca is last to be judged, and the judges really like her brioche and iced buns – interesting that Beca has been doing consistently better than even Kimberly just at the moment…
So who is star baker and who goes home? Glenn seems fairly convinced that it will be his head on the chopping block, bless him. Ruby is crowned star baker – she is consistently excellent, but I just can’t work out if she really is as ‘aw shucks, this bake is terrible’ as she makes out. Mary politely tells her to shut her mouth in future.
As predicted, Howard goes home. He is so lovely! Someone give him his own tv show, immediately!
Next week, pastry! Suet, profiteroles, and canneloni. See you there!
This Weeks Great British Bake-Off Link Round-up
- I’m warming to Frances after finding out that she also went to Nottingham Trent Uni and graduated the same year as me (don’t use this information to calculate my age)! Check out her blog here.
- What would dinnertime be like if it was more like the Great British Bake Off?
- Mary Berry apparently and blessedly has never heard of One Direction. How wonderful her life must be.