Great British Bake Blog: Episode eight

Ok, I’ll just come out and say it: the wrong person went home last night.

(Spoiler alert: do not read on if you have not yet watched last night’s show.)

As much as it pains me to say this, Rahul should have gone home. Yes, he is possibly the most adorable baker in the history of Bake Off (except for Norman) and he’s clearly very talented, but his performance in last night’s episode was terrible.

It was gut-wrenching to watch and not just because of Rahul. Pretty much every contestant cried during the first-ever Danish week. Yet they were so happy bounding into the tent, wearing Hawaiian shirts in honour of Jon who exited last week. “It’s like a Beach Boys convention,” joked Noel.

Smørrebrød – that’s an open sandwich on rye bread to non-Danes – was first on the menu, although some of the resultant loaves hardly looked like rye.

“You’ve made a French loaf,” Paul said to Manon during judging, claiming the rye flavour wasn’t strong enough and the toppings (which included goat’s cheese and strawberry) were too sweet.

Briony, who attempted to cut her loaf while it was still warm, brought new meaning to the term ‘doorstep sandwich’, serving up two hunks of bread topped with ‘dry mackerel’, albeit accompanied by a tomato swan. A rather impressive tomato swan I’d like to add.

Ruby’s, topped with tandoori chicken as well as avocado and chorizo, was declared a “celebration of rye” while Kim-Joy received compliments for the bread’s structure and flavour. The same could not be said of Rahul’s loaf which was “gluey, heavy” and just downright “awful”. Ouch.

On to the technical – creating 14 æbleskivers (yes, I did have to Google the spelling). They’re little spherical Danish pancakes with an apple and cinnamon filling, which is added during cooking. They looked like a right faff. Delicious, I’m sure, but not worth the effort. Between the special pan and the skewers required to turn them and, of course, not burning them, it all seemed a bit much.

It was definitely too much for poor Rahul who, by this point, was asking whether it would be Sandi or Noel announcing his name as he exited the tent at the end of the show.

His burnt æbleskivers landed him bottom in the technical, followed by Manon and then Ruby, who could not work out where to put the filling in.

“I could not understand what hole you were talking about so I was just ‘get it in there’,” she said to Paul. It was only going to get more X-rated from there. But more on that later.

Kim-Joy came second in the technical and Briony turned things around, securing the top spot.

Kagekone/kagemand was the task for the showstopper. For those not in the know, they are pastry portraits served at birthday parties, topped with sweets, jellies and delicate decorations. Oh, and everyone screams when their heads are chopped off.

Kim-Joy’s was stunning, although a rather harsh critique of her pastry by Paul made her cry. It was hard to watch. So were Rahul’s critiques. The pastry was burnt, the butter had leaked out and the whole thing was just a mess. Turns out he makes great sweets, though.

Manon, yet again, went too French for the judges’ tastes in Danish week as they accused her of making a pain au chocolat and not a Danish pastry. It didn’t help that the pastry was doughy on the inside, too dry on the outside and the overall baking was “pretty poor”.

Great pastry from Ruby secured her the coveted title of star baker but Manon, at least in the judges’ eyes, couldn’t recover and it was a tearful Noel who had to announce she was going home.

“She’s a really good French baker, just not a very good Danish one,” said Paul.

Here’s a few titbits from this week’s episode:

Most likely to win: Kim-Joy

Who should have gone home: Rahul

Most fun to watch: Noel: the contestants were just too sad this week

Quote of the week: “I’m not sure how proud she’ll be of this pearl necklace, but she’s getting it” - Briony

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