Bake Off’s Eggsilarating Semi-Final
Clemence Smith reviews the penultimate week of the GBBO!
As four of the UK’s best bakers fought for a place in the Bake Off final, drama was bound to unfold, and this year’s semi-final didn’t disappoint.
Patisserie week proved to be just as intimidating as it sounds. The contestants baked twelve pâte à savarin for their signature; the stakes were high as Prue and Paul were especially nit-picky. Prue called Peter’s strawberry and elderflower babas “mouth-watering”, moments before he received a highly coveted Hollywood handshake.
The Danish cornucopias tested the bakers’ patience in the technical, as they tried to decode Paul’s instructions. Viewers were on the edge of their seats as they watched the bakers struggle to construct their cornucopias. Despite Hermine’s successful recreation of the cornucopia’s look, Peter came first. Laura was last, a surprising result as she had won the previous week’s technical.
For their showstopper challenge, the bakers produced twenty-five mini cube-shaped cakes, and the judges wanted nothing short of perfection. As usual, heat was not on the bakers’ side, further complicating their plans. Laura fell victim to the weather, as her cakes’ appearance let her down, despite their delicious taste. Hermine’s last-minute recipe also put her in the danger zone. Unsurprisingly, Peter excelled and was crowned Star Baker.
The judges, then, had to eliminate either Hermine or Laura. Many were surprised, myself included, when Noel called out Hermine’s name. As expected, this decision triggered an uproar on social media, as internet trolls flooded Laura’s mentions with abusive messages. The key to Bake Off’s success is also what causes such behaviour: as we grow attached to the bakers, it is difficult to focus on each week individually. It’s worth reminding ourselves that Bake Off is, after all, just a light-hearted television show. The contestants deserve to be treated with respect as they are, ultimately, not much different from the average viewer.