Great British Bake Blog: Episode Eight

This episode should have contained a trigger warning. Seriously, it was harrowing to watch and I have been left emotionally scarred 75 minutes of television… as has pretty much everyone on Twitter.

Some may say I’m overreacting but they’d be wrong.

Liam, the loveable, cheeky, talented flavour master has been kicked out of The Great British Bake Off tent. And, to make matters worse, Stacey (who has had a VERY lucky escape these past two weeks) got star baker. Let’s just say it’s a good job I’m not allowed to swear in these blogs.

So what went so horribly wrong? First, the contestants were charged with creating a Bedfordshire Clanger, a suet-based pastry filled with sweet and savoury fillings. Prue described it as “like a Cornish pasty, except it’s long, thin and sausage-shaped”. So, not anything like a Cornish pasty then.

Personally, I didn’t even know there were other types of clanger, apart from the pink mice who live on the moon, and the bacon variety. I have childhood memories of seeing that tea towel-wrapped clanger, bacon not mice, bubbling away in a pan at my nan’s house – even if it did kind of weird me out.

The clangers in the tent actually looked quite delicious. Liam rubbed the judges up the wrong way with his comments about pizzas coming with dipping sauces (clearly Prue and Paul have never had the drool-inducing garlic & herb sauce from Domino’s). But Prue literally hit him with delight, exclaiming “you’re so good at flavours”, even if the pastry was a little delicate.

Kate failed to invoke the five- or even 10- second rule when one of hers fell on the floor. Regardless, her savoury burrito clanger was bland, but her rice pudding “properly good”. This was a common theme among the bakers. Sophie’s char sui was dominated by soy, and her pastry too thick, while Steven’s baklava was delicious. Stacey even got a Hollywood handshake for her camembert and onion, as well as apple, blueberry and custard clanger.

On to the technical and the bakers had to whip up a Cumberland Rum Nicky. It basically looks like a mince pie with a lattice on the top.

Liam had a mini meltdown over his pie, and watching Kate literally plonk her lattice on top was hilarious. Even Steven lost his cool. His lattice didn’t go on right, so he screwed it up, but then made another one. Somehow, he still managed to claim first place.

Liam, and his raw Rum Nicky, came fifth, followed by Sophie, Stacey and then Kate.

At this stage I was concerned for Liam, but felt the judges would never send him home.

The showstopper was to create a savoy cake.

Liam was relying on the “power of eggs” to get him through. Kate was as well, using 60, yes 60, eggs in her cake. Kate was jokingly declared star baker simply by telling Paul she was making the Liver building. Her finished piece was deemed simplistic and a bit “rough and ready”, placing her in the bottom two.

Liam’s was also haphazard and described as dense and a bit overmixed with no flavour. Ouch. That really was the final nail in the coffin, even if I and the rest of the nation were in denial. Despite literally pulling the door off her oven, Stacey’s flamboyant savoy cake with all its adornments was a triumph. Personally, I thought it looked a bit childish.

Sophie’s was the standout showstopper; it was stunning. Steven’s was also elegant with its icing roses on top. He also uttered the hilarious line “you don’t want a hot nut in your face”. Even I felt he should have won star baker, and that’s not easy for me to admit.

I can’t help but feel that, with Liam gone, the next two weeks’ Bake Off aren’t going to be nearly as exciting.

Here’s my thoughts based on this week’s episode:

Most likely to win: Steven

Who should have been sent home: Kate

Most fun to watch: Liam

Quote of the week: “If you drink enough rum you probably do end up knickerless” - Sandi

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