Great British Bake Off/Baking Show – Recap: Semi-Finals – Patisserie Week 9

Four bakers, one tent. Semi-finals.

For a breakdown of what has happened in the big white tent, please see my earlier recaps Weeks 1 and 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7, Week 8.

It is the semi-finals kids. And while I’ll never stop watching The Great British Bake Off (I just can’t quit it), each week it loses more charm. It’s gone from Prince Charming to Mr. That’ll Do. It seems to me that the show I loved has transformed into a hectic reality type hour. Amateur bakers are expected to create elaborate works in awful conditions under unfair time constraints. All the while Noel is tossing Sandi about in a burlap sack and asking questions about animal castration. Please, someone, get a chum bucket and lure the shark out of the tent.

Ties for Henry for seconds: This week the bakers all wore ties in memory of Henry who left the prior week. They wore the ties for at least a few moments and then discarded them “due to the heat”. When the bakers wore the Hawaiian shirts for Jon last year they were on for the entire day. At least I think they were on the entire show, last season is but a fond memory that I will have to revisit.

Signature bake: Domed tartlets

Sandi, now out of the sack and extracted from that tiny little car that was a part of the opening bit, seemed overly excited about the domed tarts.

Rosie’s filled sablée pastry shells looked nice but her crème pâtissière hadn’t set and was too soft. David’s hazelnut biscuit bottomed aperitif spritz tartlet with roasted rhubarb was praised for flavor but trashed for looks. Apparently, his nuts were too big. Steph’s tartlets tasted like lemon meringue pies. They were not very neat and again suffered from softness. Alice’s bigger sized tartlets were delicious but her piping judged as messy. I thought all the tartlets looked amazing but I’m easy.

Technical challenge: Prue Leith’s Saint Honoré gâteau

Paul upset the universe by describing the dessert as “diabetes on a plate”. Someone get Paul a shovel to dig himself out of yet another mess.

Rosie had me in a state. She seemed to have to make everything twice and with everything against her including presenting her choux buns upside down – she managed to be ranked first place in technical. How she did this surrounded by a graveyard of choux is mind-blowing. David was second (always a bridesmaid never a bride), Steph third and Alice came in last.

Showstopper challenge: A sugar glass display case, filled with an edible depiction of something they held precious (thank goodness Noel didn’t put Sandi into one of them)

Alice’s Save our Oceans Lemon, White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake was a triumph as was Steph’s opera cake. David’s beetroot and parsnip cake wasn’t very pretty to look at but his glass box was perfection. Rosie delivered a tiny little display filled with dry cakes. The moral of this challenge: cakes in glass houses, shouldn’t be dry.

This week’s star baker was Alice and Rosie was sent home. I’m exhausted and need to get plenty of rest before watching the final next week. I am hoping for a Steph win, she deserves it.

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  • darcie_b  on  October 27, 2019

    I am disappointed that Rosie was cut. While she didn’t do particularly well on the showstopper, at least she didn’t play it safe. I thought David’s cake looked dreadful. I guess the moral of the story is don’t take any chances. All in all, a disappointing week.

  • veronicafrance  on  October 27, 2019

    A hundred percent agree with your first paragraph. The supposed “banter” between Noel and Sandi is forced and tiresome, and they aren’t as supportive of the bakers as Mel and Sue were. Noel especially badgers them when they are under pressure.

  • Shelmar  on  October 27, 2019

    I also miss Mel and Sue.

  • Jane  on  October 27, 2019

    I’ve never liked Noel and he is getting increasingly annoying. The constant jokes about Sandi’s height are really tedious. He’s just not funny either. I really miss Mel and Sue.

  • jhallen  on  October 30, 2019

    Also love the show but totally agree that something about this season has fallen flat

  • bevie19  on  November 1, 2019

    Hi all, someone asked a few blogs back about the French version of GBBO.

    Here’s a link.

    You have to create an account but you can watch the shows. Now, if I only understood French well enough to understand what they are saying…

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