Previews of this week’s episode showed Paul Hollywood standing nervously at the front of the tent, stating that this was the hardest decision he has ever made on the show, so who went?
With this unnerving information at the start of the episode, instantly favourites were thrown into jeopardy, would it be Steven? The favourite?
The theme this week was patisserie, basically baking but French, which means notoriously tricky and difficult to create.
The first task was choux buns, a classic, with the bakers setting about talking into the camera with instructions on how to perfect the classic pastry.
Stacey gave into her nerves yet again, awkwardly starting again and huffing and puffing away, whilst Sophie kept rather coy, stating repeatedly that patisserie was her ‘strong point’, a remark that seemingly came back to haunt her as she delivered a rather average collection of buns to Paul and Prue.
Steven’s choux buns were rather burnt, Stacey’s were unicorns and labelled by Prue as far too sickly and sweet.
The only person who perfected the buns was Kate, whose delicious sounding prosecco and Bellini buns were a hit with Prue and Paul.
The signature bake this week was a favourite of Prue’s, mainly because it was unbelievably difficult.
Known as Les Miserables cake, the technical consisted of multiple layers sandwiched with very French sounding fillings such as pistachio ganache.
As the bakers set about tempering their chocolate, anxieties were clearly showing, as Steven showed his frustration at tempering by questioning the whole process all together; ‘who would do this? Belgium people’.
Sophie’s Les Miserables cake was worthy of the top show stopper prize as she came first, whilst Prue revealed her rather picky side as she commented that Steven’s chocolate was too gold. Hmm.
The showstopper this week was an emotional whirlwind, with even Noel and Sandi cowering away and covering their eyes, with Noel commenting that it was all too painful to watch.
The task was for the bakers to make a meringue, preferably tiered and filled with a variety of fillings and toppings.
Paul and Prue insisted that they wanted intense flavour, a gooey centre and a hard outer shell, to ensure that the meringue would not collapse under the weight of the layer on top of it.
Stacey’s idea was called ‘Flamingos in Love’ and simply depicted two flamingos kissing next to a pond, Steven’s bake was based around a hot air balloon, Kate made a rainbow with pots of gold filled with small meringues, whilst Sophie delivered a ballerina tutu made from pink meringue.
The pressures of the bake off tent soon started to impact the proceedings as Steven’s chocolate basket began to melt substantially whilst Sophie’s corset suffered severe cracks.
Stacey’s clumsy actions were displayed perfectly as she decided that dropping her chocolate egg moulds from a height would release them, slamming them down onto the countertop and catching her flamingos, which nearly plummeted to the floor but escaped with a missing head.
These clumsy actions hark back to last week when she ripped the oven door off…
As for judging, Kate’s creation was deemed too bold for Paul, who commented that it freaked him out a little bit, whilst Prue loved it. Steven’s basket vanished in the heat and his meringue cracked substantially, Stacey’s flamingos were labelled as too sweet and rather simplistic by Paul and Sophie’s tutu cracked even more upon delivery.
So, no one really did a great job did they?
Nethertheless, Sophie received star baker for her bold design in the show stopper and coming first in the technical, whilst Stacey’s clumsy actions meant that she was dropped from the tent.
So, next week is the final, with the showdown between Steven, Kate and Sophie. What are your bets?
Bake off Final on next Tuesday, 8pm, Channel 4.