Great British Bake Off Episode 9

The fabulous Grace Thiele is back with another Great British Bake Off recap. Spoilers abound! 

Hello bakers!! It is – can you believe it – THE SEMI-FINAL?!?! Sacré bleu, as they say in France. (Or at least, I think they do. My French is limited to song lyrics taken from Moulin Rouge that I wouldn’t necessarily use in real life…) 

Of course, in actual France, everyone looks like this.

They even come with their own closed captions. Especially when in patisseries – the delicacies of which our bakers were preparing this week!

Never fear, Andrew dear! First up were palmiers – a French pastry in a palm leaf shape or a butterfly shape (cheers Wikipedia.)

Everyone seemed to be flickering between Canon-camera-like focus and fizzling nerves – Selasi began waving around kitchen implements. The way he handles a fish slice… phew. Watch out, Christian Grey…

My mother taught me one thing – that pastry is the work of Satan. “It’s pure lard,” she insists. I’m sorry, Mummy Thiele – but if I hadn’t already rebelled against parental authority, these would do it. Sadly gin got there first – but James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause needed these palmiers!! 

Top marks go to Andrew for presentation, though. I actually have a similar chest of drawers at home – who needs bras, pants, and socks anyway?! A drastic re-interpretation of my bedroom furniture’s original purpose may be required immediately. 

The technical challenge this week was a savarin –a cake soaked in syrupy booze and covered in fruit. (God bless the French.)

Selasi certainly enjoyed the orange liqueur (coughCointreaucough).

And it had a very strong effect on Candice. Seriously, love! 

Now there was one small, crucial element of this bake that would’ve absolutely felled me – the label. This is basically a handwriting test – something I have failed at since primary school. If World War 3 breaks out, they won’t need codes. Just get me to write all the messages. Unless they kidnap my English teacher Mrs Chambers, nobody will ever know what they says! 

Once in a while, it’s nice to be reminded of the glory of baking. These cakes looked awesome coming out of their tins.

A caption for the below image seems deeply unnecessary. Never before has a jacket so perfectly captured the mood of the nation.

In the end, Jane came first in the technical, while Selasi came last – although even Paul admitted that the cream melting off these cakes was unavoidable in roasting heat!

Finally, the showstopper: fondant fancies! Was I the only one hoping the bakers would be inspired by Mr Kipling on this one?!

Andrew was determined to prove his strength in this round – apparently baking will be a new event in the next Olympics! LUUUUUNGE, ANDREW, LUNNNNNGE!!! 

Patisserie, to me, conjures images of absolute, pure perfection. On Bake Off Crème de la Crème, the judges actually use rulers. But Jane has destroyed all my illusions of precision. The people of Paris are surely marching on the streets as we speak at the unspeakable mess made of their cultural heritage.

Now, I won’t lie to you, dear readers. I wasn’t especially impressed by the presentation of these fancies! They were all a bit wobbly. Jane’s was, umm…


Having said that, on the inside they looked like something M&S would market under Percy Pig – which is certainly not to be sniffed at!


Having said that, on the inside they looked like something M&S would market under Percy Pig – which is certainly not to be sniffed at!

Now, sadly, we come to the end of the show. Whilst Andrew coming out (again!!) as Star Baker was no surprise, we were all dreading who would be going out. Benjamina last week was sad – but…



Words cannot express my devastation. My colleague suggested that today I wrote an ode to him, expressing my undying love for this motorbiking banking baker. I don’t think I could get through it without quantities  of gin that are generally frowned upon in a corporate environment. But I will always remember him like this

But next week’s THE FINAL!!! WHOOP WHOOP!! So he’ll be back for that anyway – preferably in a pair of swimming trunks.

Cheerio possums – see you next week!