“They’re not going to look like real unicorns!”
As we all mourn the loss of Liam’s departure (for me and many others, GBBO finished last week…), the final four bakers returned for Patisserie Week! The four best bakers in the UK and one of them is Stacey, the breaker of oven doors and serial flapper. Without Liam to perhaps hog the limelight, Sophie stepped up with a number of humorous quips and stayed cool calm and collected. She even through a scientific fact in there, something that has been missing since Yan left a couple of weeks ago.
My dislike towards Stacey grew in this episode even further, not only did she win Star Baker last week when Liam was the one booted out, she continued to flap and panic throughout which is now just getting a little tedious.
Signature: Choux Buns, half with icing and half with craquelin
So craquelin – I had to look that one up because I really had no clue how to spell it – not the first time this has happened in this series of the Bake Off. Stacey’s were messy, Steven’s were messy but “bloody gorgeous”, Kate’s were delicious and Sophie’s didn’t have a great rise and left the judges disappointed. The real highlight for me was that Kate stepped up after being a ‘mid-tabler’ every week so far. A choux bun bellini is a winner in my eyes! Would you believe there have been more searches for prosecco flavouring since her creation last night? But looking back – it’s only flavouring and no booze…..
Technical: Les Misérables Slices
Although Sophie’s choux buns fell a little short, her Les Misérable slices left the judges wanting more. She nailed this one (helping her to her first Star Baker crown). How Stacey managed to muster up in second, I will never know! Although they were the messiest there, Pru and Paul decided that they were better than Kate’s and Steven’s.
First of all, I just want to say – Liam’s meringue wouldn’t have cracked!
A meringue centre piece – a time consuming task given that you technically should dry meringues out rather than bake them. My perfect meringues are left for hours in the oven on a really low temperature – preferably at 60˚C overnight! This also avoids the colour changing to a golden hue when baking. Creating a showstopper with two or more types of meringue and dessert elements is definitely as hard as it looks though.
Sandi described the showstopper at the ‘gayest’ bake the tent has ever seen with flamingos, a hot air balloon, a tutu and a rainbow with pots of gold. Even though Sophie’s tutu practically split in half – she still managed to be crowned Star Baker (I think the most likely to win has still got to be Steven though). Kate was close behind even though Paul struggled to get his head around all of the colours, Pru LOVED it. Her ingenious idea of flavouring each of the rainbow colours with a different flavour won me over, and the judges.
Steven’s hot air balloon did not go to plan, and for a second I was worried that he had fallen at the final hurdle. The heat melted his hot air balloon basket so that it was totally collapsed by the time he made it to the judges – do they not have air conditioning in that tent (Channel 4 – perhaps an investment for next year)? My heart was in my mouth as I watched his final layer of his hot air balloon crack in the middle and slowly the crack grew and grew. I was surprised to see it make it to the judges in one piece – just about! However, the flavours were totally on point. Maybe he was just worried of getting another ‘style over substance’ comment.
The thing that let Stacey down was really the simplicity of the creation – there wasn’t much building work required and her desserts were just in between her meringues in little meringue pots. Impressive for a dinner party but not for the semi-final of Bake Off.
Now apparently, the decision to send Stacey home was the hardest decision that Paul has ever had to make on eight series of The Great British Bake Off. So he found it easy to send Liam home, but then when it came to flappy Stacey he could hardly bring himself to do it. Steven had dropped the ball slightly, but he had also won Star Baker three times and Stacey was often left towards the bottom of the pack so the right decision in my eyes was made.
To next week’s final. Who will be crowned the winner and be shot to cookery stardom? I would love Sophie to win after this week, but I also love Steven and think he may beat the girls to the crown.
Star Baker: Sophie
Left the Bake Off Tent: Stacey