Tag Archives: The Great British Bake Off

Bake Off 2017 winner Sophie Faldo flanked by Prue Leith (left) and Paul Hollywood

The Great British Bake Off final took place on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

Of all the episodes to have a giant Ah FFS ahead of it.

While I was fortunate to un-folly all Bake-Off updates and news after oven-door gate I managed to keep meself ignorant of Prue Leith’s yeah-right accidental spoiler.

So when the GBBO’17 winner was announced I was still hoping for Kate. Yet when t’was Sophie that got the engraved Cake Stand my immediate response was that it was a boring decision by Paul and Prue. There was a distinct fed-up’ness about it.

They went with Steady as She went, rather than the plucky last burst from the outsider, and explained themselves off by saying Sophie wasn’t as experienced as the other two and had achieved so much over the 10 weeks.

But it was just too plain and easy a decision for me. Maybe if we’d known her fella was Irish I might be more exited. Or may t’was just the Honey in her Showstopper. I curdle on the mention of the stuff.

There there was Steven, who was nowhere near that finish line so maybe the Hollywood just wasn’t arsed giving it too much attention in the end. Christ he was over and back to that freezer like they were cooling rods he was checking in case of a meltdown.

Either way, I’m more interested in the Final Show and how Bake Off got on overall following its move to C4 rather than the winner.

The 1st Final back then in 2010 required a Full Tea Party that had the bakers produce everything from bread to fancies, slices, sangwiches and of course presentation, so it was a solid and thorough all-round test to separate those very first Finalists, but all three from Signature to Showstopper in the last night’s final, was collectively the best full two-day finalist trials of any Bake-Off season we’ve had.

The Mini-Loaves in the Signature were genius, and Kate well won that round. Her Curry Buns  get a fancy name of Chala Breads but the skill level is set to Easy. How could you not try and give’em a lash and get Jaggery  with it?

And Stephen’s Fancy Knot ones, are totally up my street because they have Cinnamon, but I definitely would need full diagrams and plenty goes to get that knot thing right; so it’s no surprise that that the skill level par is Challenging. But fair dues to him they did look the business.

The Technical was all about Confectioners Craft. It was brilliant to watch and fair play to all three. If only Kate had’a finished them all … She pretty much forfeited that round to the other two. Fine icing and finishing is a skill that I never got a chance to get any handle on. But maybe when I collect my 6-figure pension and since I‘ll still be young enough …. Ha! I’m as likely to start appearing in Porno flicks.

That Showstopper, an Entremet, was just the best final showdown for all us home-bakers, simply because we can all try one out at home ourselves, regardless of skill level and to our own recipes and tastes; you might even include all the family and guests in the different layers and finishes.

Merange, Sponge, Moouse, Jelly, Ganache Bavarois – which could easily translate as shop bought sponges, Eaton Mess, Instant Whip, jelly and custard. Seriously tho’, it could well go on and be my Christmas Day afters centrepiece using some Christmassy bakes already done anyway. (Probably not this year but definitely next year if I’m still about.)

My final thoughts go to the Season overall and its move to Channel 4. OK last night’s final didn’t reach the BBC’s 15 million the year Nadiya wiped them all out.

But two things that must be considered along with that value. Prue’s big trap, and the spread of streaming and Netflix/ Amazon etc onto the Domestic Television viewing landscapes and all our front rooms.

But give Channel 4 their due, their Great Big Gamble paid off. The only thing that really changed was the line-up, the format remained intact and didn’t even suffer from the ad-breaks. We really did get our full 60 minutes each episode.

I can’t see them changing anything about the line up, but I would love to see guest judges in on some of the segments, particularly former Bake Off finalists.

Two final thoughts for the Final Final Frill-Bake:

My tip for future success is Bread Week Champion Julia Chernogorova  And I’m going to miss those singing cakes.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter @frillykeane

Stacey Hart was voted off last night’s bake off

The Great British Bake Off reached the semi final stage on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

It might have been the Semi-Final but it was all a bit Craic’a’ lacking for me by the time the tea-cloth was lifted off the Technical.

We’ve gotten to know that Patisserie week is all about precision and finesse and posh cake, and to be fair most home bakers do manage Choux buns and Meringues anyway, so it was always going to be about the finishing touches, but it was still all to too annoyingly predictable, even samie once the Craquelin Signature was over. As for Craquelin (or crackling) I would no more be arsed than going beyond Google to get the correct spelling.

The producers egged on Stacey’s chances a bit, and I know that’s television, but they were fooling no-one. Even the Hollywood was embarrassing himself looking for a way to make it more of a tense finish. I’d say Stacey had her stuff already packed in the boot before he even said they’d have to do a “Look Back” to separate them into who was staying, and who was going to be last seen with Jo Brand.

Sophie and Steven were always going to be in the Final, sur’ we knew that before Bread week. And despite her rankings within the Bake-Off tins, Kate was always my dark horse.

Although I do appreciate Steven’s tip for Choux (the peak kinda flops over and take it easy with the egg) the only thing else to remark about the Signature was Kate’s not so very coy anti-Brexit theme with flavours from all over the EU being piped in.

When it got to the Technical I had to admit that I was more interested in Noel’s chest hair. But that could be just me, I don’t do Pistachio anything; in fact, nuts are bar snacks as far as I’m concerned and shouldn’t have an’ting to do with cake. But with respect to our hosts over there in the Tent, I’ll remain polite and tip my hat to the Almond and the Hazelnut on their respective roles in confectionary matters. But Jesus green cakes lads… yuck.

The Show-Stopper wasn’t very grand and French Patisserie at all, I’m not even sure I’d eat any of them. My teeth are actually quivering at the thought of all that sugar. But it was funny to watch Steven’s basket melt wasn’t it?

So now it’s all about the three bakers left in the Tent.

Kate herself seems to have caught the Hollywood off guard, and I’m beginning to wonder if he only ever saw her as his pet Scouse, like last night he admitted to being “freaked out” by her flavours, and it was always Prue that was more in awe of her. Like with the Apple Cake  (remember Prue saying it was the best cake she ever tasted) and she wouldn’t shurr’up about the colours and flavours of the Rainbow centre piece Kate put in front of them.

Sophie hasn’t put a foot wrong yet. All through the series she was never even threatened with the risk of leaving before the final. Like, last night the only dodge comments she got was about “thick ganache” – as if that’s a bad thing; and pickie Hollywood saying there should be 7 layers in her Opera Cake tutu filler.

So now Steven. There was no way the Hollywood wasn’t going to put him into the final. I’d say the Hollywood’s tan faded into a pasty soggy bottom at the thought of not having Steven in the last 3.

So all the Frill-bakes will end next week and the GBBO Season 8 Final. I predict the biggest Channel 4 viewing audience ever, and since I mentioned Brexit earlier, I reuse it before it goes off; Unlike the other Brexit Katie, this one will be welcome into my gaff anytime Hon’Kate!

I bet there’ll be more ructions as the Brits split themselves down the middle over this one too.

Frilly can be followed on @frillykeane

The Great British Bake Off continued on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

I promised Historical Bake week would be worthwhile, and I think I was right.

It’s certainly been the best show of the series for me, so far, even the In-Tent’sity there at the end; and fair play to Stacey.

So first things first; let me take back my foccicia’out’ve it from last week’s Frill-Bake  (although I still think in Week 6 v Julia, when she left the parchment in the Showstopper, Julia should’a won out).

But give the pukka’girl her due, she fought to end, even when the oven door came out against her. When her leaky clanger got The Hollywood Handshake, the 1st one in two weeks btw, there was a huge cheer from our front room. Although it could well have been the look of disgust from the semi-pro Steven that drove it,

Genuine Bake Offers in their thousands must’ve been rooting for her in the end ‘cause I know I was. But in one way it was a long wait as the producers had trailered the oven door coming away earlier in the day; and I was left pretty much on edge waiting for it to happen.

But as I type this, I am reminded of the time there was a Coronation Street rape storyline being promo’ed, and I felt uncomfortable waiting for it to happen so I stopped watching it, and the other soaps too as a consequence.

I kinda feel like that now that we have only the Semi and Final left. So I’ve stopped following Bake Off, C4 and all the other Bake Off accounts on twitter. Except Paul Hollywood of course.

A quick mention about the bakes last night, the Signature namely. Clangers. I’d never heard of them before, but they’re a great idea, aren’t they? Now ye know me and suet; even the thought of it makes me queasy.

Stacey’s recipe is great and it does allow for Vegetable Suet. But the boss here thinks they’d be great teenager sleep-over party food, so wants to try Chicken Curry on one end of the Clanger, and Mango something at the other end. (Sweet Potato, Goats Cheese & Spinach/ Chocolate & Marshmallow being the other one mentioned.)

I’ll be honest, they’d be great Freezer stock as well. Liam’s one is the same, and like Stacey’s most of the stuff can be easily got in the Aldi/ Lidl.

Two things about the Technical that pissed me off was that they should have all known that the pastry goes to the edge; since there was no wastage at all when this Tart was as mainstream in the Kitchen as an Apple Tart is today.

Basic cop on would have answered all their chewing lips. The other thing, the Lattice work. I was delighted at first since I never managed to master it meself. Well I never properly tried since I use the wheel yoke that Steven had last night. So, I was hoping to pick up a few tips. But nah.

They were all fairly useless, tbf Sophie’s was ok but since it wasn’t what The Hollywood was looking for it didn’t make it onto the screen for much of the segment. Anyway, if ye fancy it, and it might be nice complement to yere Christmas Day cheese board, Th

e Hollywood’s recipes are usually fool-proof, although I wouldn’t go with the sweet short crust meself; and I’d use my own mincemeat.

The Showstopper, was let’s be honest, fancy dolled up Trifle Sponges. A Savoy Cake on its own is about as interesting and appetising as Savoy Cabbage. But they did seem fun to do in fairness. I wouldn’t be arsed myself.

But I’ll be trying Sophie’s Apple Filled Profiterole balls  when I gather my strength for Choux again. Which I might as well tell ye now won’t be for another 6 months at least.

It was in the Showstopper where it became all about the Bakers. Liam was a goner when he finished early only to watch his spun sugar smelt into a blobby stickey mess.

Kate was rightly in the danger zone too, since her tribute to Liverpool looked like something I’d see at a sandcastle competition in Tramore.

Last night we were watching the quarterfinal. And like the seven previous seasons, there was no room for favourites or past performances either. But I’m glad Kate survived,

I never warmed to Liam the way most did, I found him cocky and giddy, and in a previous Frill-Bake I reflected that he came across as bit entitled to Star Baker and Handshakes.

Last night was a great week for the Bake-Off because this was the first one of this series where it was all down to the Bakes on the night. And the outcomes were spot on. Stacey was the best in show, and Liam was off to the Extra Slice.

Interestingly, I think next week might end up being a showdown between Stacey and Sophie for Star Baker. For two reasons, Sophie has shown she does finesse and elegance well, while Stacey has demonstrated she can manage numerous elements and bring them together when it matters, like her Showstopper last night – separate flavoured Sponges, Madeleines, Jelly, Macaroons, Curd and Jam.

Leaky Clangers will be forgotten about since its going to be all about dainty and posh looking. Ooh Laa Laa, Can Can and not the kinda stuff we’d try at home; which makes us love them more when we have to pay for them.

Frilly Keane can be followed on twitter at @frillykeane

The Great British Bake off Episode Six took place last night on Channel 4.

Frilly Keane was watching.

She writes:

As ye know me and Choux don’t get on, and usually I am always willing to work things out if I have a falling out, so there I was – all set up with me copy book n’all, but no Choux show up. We’ll just have to stay apart I suppose.

Pastry was the week but pies pies, foreign tarts and pies. And not a soggy bottoms between them.

Sur we all love a pie, and they can be big and tall, short and small, sweet, savoury, hot, cold, for brekkie, lunch, dinner and your afters, as well as everything else in between.

They can be seasonal, celebratory, or plain and simple. They can come in all shapes and sizes, even colours; so there is one for everyone. Even the vegans, the fussy eater and the celiac.

So, what’s not to love, learn and even experiment with a Pie.

I’m not going to arse ye around about shortcrust; everyone has a version, everyone has a different method; and I promise ye, every outcome will be different. So don’t bother getting too involved in the theory and the research; just buy it!

And use it to make Pies (remember to avoid the sweet dessert one for savoury fillings tho – use yere cop on a bit).  Jam. Stewed Apples, Cheese’ ham. Whatever is coming up to their sell by date.

Throw it into a pie. Even if is only meh; there’s always the toppings to come to the rescue; from beans to custard. There is no excuse for not ever trying to make a pie.

The most regular savoury pie in this kitchen is chicken but it’s a topped-off only pie; and its filo. Maybe one day I’ll get around to doing it for ye as it’s a great use of leftover chicken and the only thing you might not have to hand is the filo.

On that particular pastry; even Mary Berry buys in. So when ye see it next in the Supermarket pick it up and keep it in the freezer ‘till I get around to Chicken Frilly Pie. Whether it’s here or wherever. Or whenever. (Incidentally I also buy in me Puff – so there.)

Both the signature and showstopper last night were about covered savoury pies. Now I’ll admit to never trying Hot Water Pastry in a stand-up pie before but I’ll be trying it; although probably not any of the recipes last night.

However, let me talk about two of them for a bit because I like the ideas; Kate’s Curried Spud got the Hollywood like; and it looked great, she was even done before the last 60 second sweating last night. I’d be more inclined to take the different elements meself, like the filling on its own with samosa and fruity chutney most likely.

There was just too much spuddy starchy wadding filling about it for me for it to be mouth-watering; maybe it’s the scale of it in the high hand raised pie that I’m struggling with. Try it in smaller hand-held pies maybe? It’s worth a sticky anyway.

The other pie was also from the Showstopper; Steven’s Christmas Left-Overs one. What a great idea. And you don’t even have to do it on Stephen’s Day either. I would refresh the veg mind – or maybe use the left over stuffing and cranberry; but NO NO NO chance for the sprout.

You might get away with using left over gravy too, like I use the gravy for my Turkey Curry; which is one’a my own party pieces btw. Sur’ I’ll add that to the list of promised shares; Turkey Lurky Curry.

Even though it was less pastry and more pie last night, I enjoyed the show. And we had a first, what Social Media is now reporting as the Prue Pat, I’m calling the Christy Ring cup division of the Hollywood Handshake.

And wtf Yan. Nerd Pies and the equation for the perfect pie! Ara’ cop on a bit. The 13 year old here, who couldn’t tell ya where the dust-pan is kept, had one word for the fancy science and lab equipment; Ratios.

The result of this equation according to The Hollywood was “a mess” to which the 13 year old shouted at the telly “tell Paul you forgot to carry the 1!”

Best laugh of the night. Leaky cracks didn’t stand a chance after the signature. Not even Noel’s cardi.

And then there was Sandi’s crying at having to send Julia home, ah sur I nearly cried meself.

That Stacy should have gone after the state of that Showstopper; and she even left the grease-proof in it for them to make it even easier. Listen tho’ we haven’t heard the last from Julia; I predict a bread book.

I’m not sure about Liam as Star-Baker – I thought Sophie was in there; but curried goat must be a first in the tent and he is brave; which you can only admire.

As I said last week, it’s still all to play for although I think Yan or Stacy will be next to go.

Any thoughts on Italian week? I’m a bit iffy meself. I’m not one for Ricotta Cheese fillings and Canolli stuff; but if this year’s Bake Off has done anything, it has reminded us that there is always something worth trying out yourself. I expect there to be a Panettone to learn about anyway.

News on last years Nigella Christmas cake; it’s as lush and boozy as it would have been last December. But I’m still reluctant to recommend and it’s an expensive bake.

Goodpie everyone.

Pics; Channel 4

Bake Off’s Julia kneads her bread ‘snail’

Can you ever get enough of oven ready sexual  innuendo?

Episode three of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.

Reviewed by Frilly Keane, who writes:

The Season 8 Bread Week will be remembered for many things, and most of them nothing to do with Bread.

Bake Off always came with the ‘oo’er vicar’ innuendo; but we’ve gone well beyond that now. And it’s no longer Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith; its Prue’Paul. Thank you Sandi and Noel. If there is a doubter left among the Tent-Watchers, then they need their medications checked.

My moment of the night had nothing to do Prue interrogating the Hollywood on whether he flours the finger before inserting. It came when Julia admitted to not being able to make her snail without it looking “inappropriate”.

I dunno whether it was the Siberian demeanour combined with the Russian accent or the state the Bake-Off Tent leaves them in, but Christ a quality actor with a name that starts with Dame wouldn’t manage it. I’d say the camera and sound crew are still talking about it.

It fell apart for Steven in the Signature when his tea cakes flopped and spread like double DDs in a bad bikini, so nobody watching expected his Showstopper to take the Hollywood by such a surprise that he skitted with a swapping places thing; is that a GBBO first?

No handshakes last night that I remember (‘cept for Noel but that means nothing in Bake Off-life.) Besides I’m not that much of an anorak to go and check if the Hollywood is particularly stingy with the handshakes on Bread Week.

The Recipe of the week to try and follow up on is Kate’s Kraken Bread (the octopus in the Showstopper.)

[Interestingly, the signature was a good one for the home baker to give a go, but allow 24 hours, make the dough the night before or even 1st thing and let it prove away on its own for a good 5 hours. Enriched dough doesn’t need all your attention; just your respect.]

Over the last few episodes I mentioned how I would be watching how the Paul and Prue relationship proved.  I’m now confident enough to commit to an opinion on it.

Since, and undeniably, it’s the Hollywood that Bake Off principally relies upon to be viable, his Judging partner has to work. And how the Producers got is so right first time by casting Prue must surely be worthy of the kind of award that Graham Norton presents.

Mary Berry was like his much older sister who doted upon him, you know the family type – a surprise baby 10 years after the last kinda thing, and the whole house has him destroyed.

Whereas Prue is like one of the lads. The mature student he knocked around with in College. I know Prue has a few racy books, a bit like my own as it happens, out there, so I fully expect the innuendo’ing to escalate into Showstopper stuff as we continue, so ye have been warned.

And we now know like her predecessor she likes a drink, Christ she hammered that Vodka like I would have.

Finally, no dispute about Star Baker, and while Julia is definitely a contender, Kate is still my ‘Dahk Hoarse’

Next week is Caramel week. And my prediction is you’ll have a new Star baker again. Yan might come good, she is a scientist and caramel concoctions and heat and timing etc would be just the stuff to put her in her element.

Previously: Taking The Biscuit

And How Was It For You?