Hello and welcome to the penultimate episode of this season’s GBBO! I can’t believe how quickly this season’s Bake Off is flying on by!
Tonight is the semi-final of this year’s series, and I predict that Beca will do home, leaving us with Frances, Kimberley and Ruby for a fantastic final next week. Let’s tune in…
First up, the contestants are given two and a half hours to produce three sets of deliciously scrumptious and of course, identical and evenly sized canapes. As ever, Ruby is doing something a little bit risky, Beca is doing something welsh, Frances is doing something creative, and Kimberley is pairing interesting international flavours with her dim sum inspired canapes.
Kimberley is up first for judging and Paul and Mary don’t so much judge her efforts as just chomp their way through them while going ‘Mmm’ and ‘Scrummy’ – very high praise again for Kimberley – I don’t think there’s any doubt she’ll be in the final and may even win…
Next to be judged is Ruby, who’s quail eggs have caused a bit of an issue – overall, her presentation isn’t quite on point but her canapes are very tasty (Sue certainly seems to be enjoying them).
Beca is third, and all three of her efforts come in for some fairly robust constructive criticism… poor Beca! She wants it so much.
Finally, Frances! She receives even more effusive praise than Kimberley and almost bursts into tears on the spot (Paul is so impressed he even shakes her hand!).
Time for the penultimate ‘challenge technique’ – this week’s is a Bezza special – a Charlotte Royale, which Sue helpfully advises the contestants looks just like a brain! I love seeing how the different contestants react to a bit of unexpected stress – Kimberley is always so laid back about everything – she really would be great as a professional chef.
Charlotte Royale – a making, and Ruby’s winging it seems to be actually backfiring for once… her jam runs out of the swiss roll and her mousse mixture looks … interesting.
Mel and Sue’s commentary is so hilarious, I hope they’re getting a big fat pay rise with the move to BBC1!
The morning after, and our contestants turn out their lovely Charlotte’s onto serving platters, Kimberley’s looks FAB, Frances’s Beca’s and Ruby’s less so (Ruby’s really less so).
The showstopping challenge this week is an Opera Cake – and I fear that Ruby’s wonderful luck up till this point in the series in definitely wearing off… Paul is questioning her idea of putting saffron into her opera cake…
All of the contestants are doing their own unique spin on an opera cake, Frances is doing hers with white chocolate and lavender, Beca is doing a banoffee version, and Kimberley is doing a lime chocolate version which sounds very extravagant and delicious… and if it pans out, truly showstopping.
Time for this week’s educational interlude, and Mel heads off to see a French patisserie chef to learn about the history of the Opera Cake, and attempt to pipe ‘Opera’ on a cake which turns out adorably wonky. Piping is difficult business!
It’s here – the Opera Cake day of judgement. Frances is up first for judging, and her cake is very well presented and looks great, but the flavours are a little lacking. Kimberley’s passion fruit and lime cake is next, with her chocolate ganache flavour overwhelming the fruit for an overall slightly disappointing cake.
Ruby’s attempt is up nect, and her opera cake is experiencing some landslip on one edge and is a bit untidy. The flavour however, is good.
Finally, Beca’s turn with her Banoffee Cake. She looks so nervous bless her! Sadly her Opera Cake is a bit clunky looking and doesn’t taste fantastic either. There’s no doubt who’s going home this week!
Kimberley is crowned star baker, and Beca goes home. Even though it’s the least surprising result yet, it must be so gutting to get this far and then go home right before the final.