The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show – Week 10 – Finals

This year the finale episode had a theme: to raise awareness of our planet, so the bakers had to use sustainable, British ingredients as much as possible.

Signature: Six mini cakes, six vegetarian pies and six finger sandwiches – the sandwiches from a loaf of white bread they had to bake as well. That is 18 individual bakes and 1 loaf of bread in three hours!

This signature bake seemed like a showstopper challenge! When Matt Lucas announced “You have half an hour left until the judges crush your dreams” – no truer words have ever been spoken. Noel was out sick on day one – when Syabira banished him from the tent last week – he took that to heart.

Sandro is incorporating elements of his bakes that have been criticised in the past to show that he has learned from his mistakes and he is baking extra which just proves he has not learned from his mistakes at all.

Abdul and Sandro received a few negatives regarding their irregular sizes in their individual bakes, pastry undercooked or fillings not completely set. Syabira received lovely comments as her bakes were uniform and flavorful.

Darcie’s $0.02: At the rate GBBO keeps ramping up the challenges, the next signature will be like “make 24 filled rolls, cater a banquet, and make three wedding cakes.” Despite an already daunting time crunch, Sandro hoped to complete two additional bakes on top of the 18 items the brief required. When is he going to learn that less is more? Sandro also tends to make ‘bite-size’ items quite large – his picnic treats were out of proportion. Everyone did well with flavors in this challenge, and I really hope Syabira writes some cookbooks because her combinations always sound delicious.

Technical: A summer pudding bombe with very limited instructions set by Paul in 2 hours.

Sandro was the only one who did not boil his vegetarian gelatin so his bombe was a flop. There were no instructions to boil the gelatin – it is as if they set them up for failure. He had me laughing with his comments “Anyone need help?” “I am clearly a pro.” It is good to be able to laugh at yourself.

Results: 3. Sandro. 2. Syabira. 1. Abdul.

Darcie’s $0.02: Clearly the Channel 4 folks have been watching too many American cooking competitions. This technical is full of “gotcha” elements – throwing bakers a curveball with the vegetarian gelatin, and squeezing the time too tight to properly set both the jelly and pâte à bombe. Despite all of the problems the bakers had, I noticed the judges did not make any comments about the size of the meringue kisses which varied wildly. Like Jenny, I appreciated Sandro’s self-deprecation; I would have probably gone to tears over the situation, but he handled it with humor and grace.

Showstopper: A large edible sculpture of the planet in 4 1/2 hours.

Noel is back in the tent for day two. The showstopper had to be a large edible sculpture with a cake base and utilizing three additional baking skills.

The whole day of baking had me stressed. While they made some lovely sculptures – I was too spent to even appreciate the results.

Darcie’s $0.02: I sometimes forget that the bakers have time to practice these bakes, but if they are anything like me they are never satisfied so I expect they make a lot of changes, which in essence means they have not made their showstoppers completely as they plan for the final.

Even though they have time to work on their bakes, the briefs are so complicated that there is almost no way to finish in time and make it look great. You would think the judges would like to eat items that the bakers were not rushing to kludge together and would rein in the challenges a little – there is still plenty to keep viewers engaged without adding so much stress to the mix. I know these bakers could do much more refined desserts if they didn’t have to make so many items in so little time.

As usually Syabira came through with creative flavors – I am a big fan of black pepper, so I appreciated her cake concept. Honey is also near the top of my list, so Abdul’s showstopper also appealed to me. All three bakers did well in the flavor department, although the finesse was lacking, but again the time constraints really prohibited them from doing a lot more.

At the end Syabira was crowned the winner.

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  • Foodycat  on  November 19, 2022

    I thought calling it “vegetarian gelatine” was a bit sneaky – I know to boil agar agar and carrageenan but I would think twice being confronted by something called vegetarian gelatine.

    I didn’t think any of the showstoppers were particularly wow-ing but as soon as Sandro said that he wasn’t timing any of his elements I knew he had no chance at all.

  • ldyndiuk  on  November 19, 2022

    That technical was ridiculous. Honestly, even the sample one looked disgusting to me – white bread soaked in raspberry purée? Gross. The fact that NONE of the contestants’ desserts set properly should tell them that they just weren’t given enough time.

  • HelenB  on  November 19, 2022

    I was disappointed by this episode. The first challenge as you said was indeed like a finale. The bread pudding was nasty. I also did not think any of the final showstoppers looked nice. I love this show and the contestants were, as always, lovely, but the season was not my favorite.

  • anya_sf  on  November 20, 2022

    I actually liked all the challenges, especially the first one, which inspired me to want to make my own picnic.

    To all of you summer pudding haters: don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I know it sounds kind of gross, but it’s actually delicious. Since no one nailed the technical, that to me means they weren’t given sufficient instructions and/or time. At least one finalist ought to have a successful result.

    I also wish they’d been given more time for the showstopper because I know Syabira at least could have done a better job decorating. I was glad to see her win as she’s been so strong throughout the competition. But all the finalists were really impressive overall, and also seemed like such nice people.

  • Indio32  on  November 20, 2022

    Hands up I dip in and out of GBBO and hear various people talking about it but I think that Scott Bryan’s review in The Guardian kinda sums it up for me.

  • Foodycat  on  November 20, 2022

    @anya_sf agreed! A good summer pudding is delicious. but this summer pudding bombe was something else entirely.

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