The Great British Bake Off / Baking Show Recap Episode 10 – The Final

Jane, Darcie, and I are back for another recap of what happened under the tent during the finals. Just a note that on Dec 3rd Netflix will be streaming two special holiday episodes (most likely those that were seen in the UK last year.) More baking!!

The final always tugs at my heart and this was no exception, especially when Chigs and Giuseppe were talking about their fathers. I love that we get a peek inside their lives and why baking means so much to them. To think Chigs has only been baking 18 months still blows my mind.

Signature: A really special carrot cake in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

I think that they are sometimes set up for failure. Having to bake a cake and get it cooled in time so that it doesn’t turn into a cream cheese “mud” slide is difficult.

Darcie: Carrot cake is one of my favorites, but I agree with Jenny: only allowing 2 hours 15 minutes is a recipe for disaster, and we saw a lot of sliding and melting icing on these cakes. I think Giuseppe would have been much better off had he baked separate layers; I’m not sure he thought that through.


Technical Challenge: Set by Paul Hollywood. 12 Belgian buns filled with sultanas and lemon curd in 2 1/2 hours.

How can these bakers create a recipe with two lines of instructions? There are some dishes that I make repeatedly (usually not bakes) for which I don’t need to look at a written recipe, but baking like that is just crazy.

Darcie: This is like the last technical which also drove me nuts. How is someone supposed to intuit what a particular bun should look like? Test them on their ability to judge when it’s done (Giuseppe failed in that regard), or on whether they make a good lemon curd, but quit with the absurd challenges that do not measure actual baking ability but instead reward good guesses or blind luck. I wonder if there had been a bit more instruction would Chigs would have come out on top in this challenge?


Judging: Last Giuseppe, Chigs in the middle and Crystelle took first.

Showstopper Challenge: A Mad Hatter tea party creation with both sweet and savory tea treats utilizing at least 4 baking disciplines in 4 1/2 hours.

The bakers truly outdid themselves. I felt horrible for Crystelle’s raw foccacia – I wonder if that bake was just as wonderful as her others if the winner would have been different. I am thrilled to learn that Giuseppe and his father will be working on a cookbook together, that should be amazing.

Darcie: I loved the theme for this showstopper. It’s amazing to me that the bakers could churn out that many decorated treats in so little time. I made two fairly uncomplicated pies today and it took me nearly as long! I felt bad for Giuseppe when his oven didn’t preheat because the door wasn’t closed properly. Despite this, he was able to keep it together and push on. The pressure must be tremendous – how many times have we heard the bakers say “My hands are shaking” as they are putting the final touches on their masterpieces. Kudos to all of them, this looks like a difficult final to judge because each baker had triumphs and things that did not quite go to plan. I agree with Jenny, had Crystelle’s foccacia been a success it might have shifted the outcome.

Darcie: I also wonder how much the bakers are annoyed by Noel and Matt interrupting them while they are madly rushing around. It can be difficult to judge because of course 4 1/2 hours are edited down to just a few minutes, although it does seem like sometimes it throws the contestants off their stride. I am happy just watching them bake without the commentary – save the bits for the time calls. That said, this has been one of the best seasons for the quality and character of GBBO contestants and although I am sad to be at the end so soon, I am already looking forward to next year.

Jane: I heard very little that needed translating this week. When Paul suggested the showstopper would be a marathon and Matt quipped “Or Snickers as they are now” that is because the nutty chocolate bar was called Marathon in the UK until 1990.


The win goes to Giuseppe.

All photos from The Great British Bake Off

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  • Indio32  on  November 28, 2021

    They’ll always be a Marathon to me.

    Yup, Noel and Matt are hugely annoying!

  • pitterpat4  on  November 29, 2021

    I agree with you about the technical, the time limits, and Noel and Matt.
    It was such a great group of bakers.

  • jennyams  on  November 29, 2021

    I loved Crystelle as a contestant, but you could tell from the beginning that the focaccia was not going to be a good one, and especially by the time she put it in the oven. I was surprised that she didn’t notice.

  • Foodycat  on  November 30, 2021

    I made a focaccia as bad as Crystelle’s last year and have sworn off trying to make it again.

  • CapeCodCook  on  November 30, 2021

    I thought this was the most satisfying season in GBBO yet. The contestants were diverse and hugely talented—and very kind to each other. The “Mad Hatters Tea Party” finale produced the most impressive and creative showstoppers I’ve ever seen. I find Noel and Matt alternately irritating and funny. Matt in particular does hilarious accents and impressions which add a moment of humor amidst all the time-stress.

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