We’ve now reached week 8 of 2021’s Great British Bake Off, and this week the bakers were asked to make a range of free from recipes.
The first signature challenge saw the contestants asked to create dairy free ice cream sandwich biscuits. Lizzie’s were aptly named ‘The Best Thing About Walks’ and appeared rather similar to a giant oreo crossed with a dog biscuit. Guiseppes ginger and orange flavoured ice cream creations looked exquisite and perfect as always, though how he managed to make tofu edible is anybody’s guess.
The technical this week was to produce a vegan sausage roll, accompanied with a spicy onion chutney. Unluckily for Crystelle, she overdid the chilli and Paul insisted she taste her own mistake, which ultimately left her at the bottom of the group.
But most sadly of all, was the showstopper final round. The bakers were asked to create a gluten free celebration cake and Lizzie produced what, in my opinion, was the best looking bake, and the most poignant, of the series so far. It was her Extraordinary cake, designed as a result of her experience of being dyslexic, dyspraxic and different to everyone else. Yet it still wasn’t enough to retain her place in the competition and so she had to leave the tent. Tears all around, mixed with elation from the remaining four for reaching the semi-final.
Week 9 was patisserie week, and the bakers were asked to make very shi-shi 8 layered patisserie slices. WHAT A FAFF (as Freya would have surely said). Matt Lucas joked with Chigs, saying that one layer of his filling looked like “pooey porridge”. Then on completion of her scrumptious looking yuzu, coconut and black sesame slices, Crystelle announced to the camera, “Oh God, I feel like I’ve given birth.” However, all her hard effort paid off when Paul professed them to be “faultless’ and three of the four bakers, clearly all stunned, received Paul Hollywood Handshakes, excluding the poor dejected Jurgenmeister.
However, skip to the next technical challenge which was a Sable Breton Tart and Jurgen was back on top form, coming first.
The final challenge of the semi final was a “themed banquet display” which translated into language we can all understand, means the most stressy thing you could ever imagine baking with bells on. I honestly don’t think I breathed for the entire duration, and by the end of the show I’m sure I was equally as exhausted as the bakers.
The final moments of the program saw Crystelle, incredulously accepting the Star Baker award, with the full realisation that it confirmed she wouldn’t be evicted (she was one of those tipped for eviction), and had won a place in the final. Then this was followed by the shock announcement that “the baker to leave the tent is Jurgen”.
Twitter was on fire with indignant Jurgenmeister disciples, within seconds of the show’s finish, and I received my most interacted with tweet ever, when congratulating him on his cool, calm demeanour, throughout his 9 week ‘GBBO journey’.
Next week it’s the final, and with Chigs, Crystelle and Guiseppe, it really is anyone’s guess who will take this year’s crown (but if I were forced, my money’s on Crystelle – you go girl!!)