Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Great British Bake Off Final is Here! And I'm celebrating my top moments of Series 4!

So, here we are 10 captivating episodes & over 30 bakes in, we've arrived at another final of the Great British Bake-Off. If you're one of the very few people not to have caught the bug for Great British Bake-off (lovingly known by thousands as GBBO), then look away now. But if, like me, you've been there for every soggy-bottom & uneven crumb, then join me for my highlights of Series 4!

This year's runners & riders!

(WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS 
for Great British Bake-Off, Series 4)

..and the Award for Bizarre Bake goes to:

We've all become so used to Frances' insanity quirky baking, it's easy to forget that the award for Bizarre Bake of the series truly belongs in the arms of another.
I can't have been the only one doing a double take in week 2, when Rob announced his showstopper 'decoratively shaped loaf' challenge, can I? I can't have been the only one wondering if, perhaps in a bid to put an end to Dad's incessant baking, Rob's kids had been dusting his Croissants with something other than icing sugar. I can't have been the only one in open mouthed wonder as he announced with glee that he was going to resurrect, in bread form, the one and only Paul the Psychic Octopus.

On paper it was a thing of pure wonder. 
Sadly on paper is where it should have stayed. 
The great Mrs Berry branded him 'just a tasteless white loaf'.

R.I.P. Paul (again)


Deborah realises the error of her ways - The unflappable Howard looks on suspiciously.

If you didn't catch it, there were two custards in the fridge, Howard's thick & unctious nectar & Deborah's watery yellow soup. Deb took the wrong one, only realising after having added it to her trifle. Devestated, she owned up to Howard, who responded in his usual, droll, unflappable but intriguingly adorable way. Culminating in a simple swap. 

Apart from being a GBBO first & perfectly demonstrating Howard's gentile & gracious Yorkshire soul, the great Custard Theft of week 3 was always bound to be Mel & Sue heaven. Sparking probably the most memorable M&S quip of the series, when Mel suggested Deb be taken into 'Custardy'! Mel & Sue, comedy genius.

It all proved too much for devestated Deborah who spiralled into a nervous mess: 'Custard gate' proving to be her downfall.

The Great Macaron v. Macaroon debate

Last season they were Macaroons.
This season they're Macarons.

I simply thought 'Macaron' was the French word for those delicious chewy, nutty, meringue pieces of heaven. I just thought we called them Macaroons here in the UK.

So, when Bake-off suddenly started the 'Macaron' thingy I was hellish confused. So much so I took to my own facebook - sparking responses from people I didn't even realise I'd ever been friends & the most comments since I announced Mr Peach and I were engaged. Forget nuclear arms...this debate is HOT!

Apparently the gist is that we must now wipe all previous pronunciation, reserving the word 'Macaroon' only for those (horrible) over-sweet lumps of baked coconut, often topped with a glace cherry.

Henceforth thou shalt refer to the following only as the 'Macaron' 

(who cares....they're not around long enough to call them anything in my house...yum!)

Are Mel & Sue fixing the bake-off?

If it's not Sue poking her elbow into Howard's perfectly molded muffins. 

then it's Mel encouraging Frances to stack an already precarious looking tower of assorted 'hat-box' biscuits just that little bit higher...then gazing on as they toppled over (I'm sure I saw her hop a little to judder the ground).

Of course I'm 100% joking - we know our Mel & Sue would never do that.
Would they?

Frances' Oddness.

Look, I'll admit, I'm not Frances' biggest fan. I find her insistence on straying from the actual task at hand inexplicably annoying.

But I can't deny that her quirkiness has been one of the more memorable things this series....all-be-it crudely shoe-horned in....she just won't leave it alone will she?

My favourite of her odd-bakes & the only one I really want?

It's this:

Yes, they're actually giant, chocolate tipped, sweet bread sticks.
I'll hand it to your Frances - that's clever!

Other notable moments - 
  • Howard baking with Hemp & Mary pretending not to have a clue (yeh right Mary, we know you're a rebel....nobody visits Pascha in Ibiza and remains that innocent!). 
  • Teacher Glenn's penchant for enormous bakes and a jovial smile.
  • Loveable grandma Christine and TV Grandma Mary's weekly W.I. off. In all honestly we were all wondering when the face to face judging would degrade into a Grannie fight weren't we? There was mutual respect but I never quite felt that Christine was fully taking in Mary's critique, not without a sarcastic air anyway. 
  • Thankfully 'The Hollywood' has toned it down this season - probably not enough energy after his Summer's escapades in the U.S. (*rolls eyes*). But I still loved flirtatious Beca's visible melting like a hormonal schoolgirl during the face-to-face critiques, bless her.

So, who will be our winner?

Will it be nutty Frances?....

....with her endless mission to turn the pure joy of baking into some weird modern art gimmick, despite the words 'style over substance' surely having been permanently etched on her mind by now. We've even had Soap Opera Cake (erghhh - ask yourself Frances, who wants soapy cake?). But you have to hand it to the girl for tenacity. My choice for runner up.

Will it be over-dramatic Ruby?...

...who has sadly come to be the target of the Great British public's universal wicked tongue. With one voice, we've unanimously screamed at out screens and winced as she escaped unscathed week after week, thanks to that ever present glint in the silver haired ladies man's eye. At times it seemed our message might be intercepting the laws of space and time, transmitted through our TV screens to Mel who yelled: 'pull yourself together' .Look I don't like the girl either but, though it often feels like more, it is only baking and not worth ruining a life over. Still, we all know she should have gone last week. 

Or, will it be unflappable, baking machine Kimberley?

She doesn't say much, but what she does say tend to be words of pure baking wisdom. It's hard not to find our Kimberley a wee bit smug, but nobody can deny that she knows her stuff. Personally, I'm team Kimberley all the way.

If you're watching tonight enjoy every moment of 

gluten stretching, 
soggy bottomed, 
clafoutis clenching,
baking wonder.

May the best girl win!

1 comment:

  1. As you know from twitter, I am also Team Kimberely. I find Ruby incredibly iritating. I don't think her modesty comes across as genuine and she always claims to "never have made so and so" before. Just admit it girl- you've been practicing in your kitchen all week! It's nothing to be ashamed of- everyone else admits it!

    I loved Custard Gate. But I have an ENORMOUS crush on Sue Perkins. Frances is crazy but you need to check out her blog- she's designed some even more extravagant things and posted them there. Maybe it's style over taste but goodness, she creates some cake art! x


I love to hear from you so please comment away. I'll try to reply as much as possible.
Vous pouvez laisser vos commentaires sur mes posts en Francais. Sil vous plait corriger mes erreurs, mais souyez gentils, parce que je ne cherche.

Sarah x

(No Nasty comments or Spam please. They will, of course, be removed.)