The Great British Bake Off – Semi Final

The Great British Bake Off

So we kicked off with Selasi saying if he made it into the final, he’d wear a dress.  PLEASE LET SELASI MAKE IT INTO THE FINAL.  A very funny arthouse homage to French cinema (patisserie week, innit) from Mel and Sue, and then the bakers were up their elbows in palmiers.    Palmiers are easy peasy to bake, folks.  They are also a delicious party snack, the kind that you can cram into your mouth one after the other in vast quantities before realising that everybody is looking at you, and not in a good way.  Just me, then?  Oh please yourselves.

Selasi admitted he’d never made palmiers before, and Mary said “laaaaairs” several times.   There was an interesting spat between Jane and Candice, when it seemed that Jane was carefully watching Candice’s every move – for hints? tips? straightforward copying? – and Candice hissed “I CAN HEAR YOU WHISPERING” in a hey-I’m-only-joshing-I’m-not-really tone.   Selasi finished Sue’s sentences for her and then gave everyone a time check.  “Don’t take this away from me!” laughed Sue.  “Time checks with puns is all I have!”  Selasi grinned, and then went over to Andrew’s bench to help him because Andrew was having a complete ‘mare.  I love Selasi.  Candice wasn’t wearing any lipstick so Mel decided to apply some for her because “you, without lipstick, just isn’t right”.  I also love Mel.

Tasting time.  Jane had turned the same colour as her cerise T-shirt, so the only way to know where her face ended was by the bristling squirrel located about 12 inches above her neck.  Oh Jane.  Why the terrible haircut? In fact, why do women of a certain age choose this haircut? It’s one of life’s mysteries.

Jane: underdone and oily (sounds like an Italian bloke I once dated).  Candice, beautiful flavour, didn’t look like palmiers.  S elasi – okay, Andrew, okay.  Candice is looking good for the winner, but who knows?

Next up, the technical challenge.  A Savarin, which is sort of yeast and booze, basically.   Don’t bother, folks.  Have a sandwich and a beer instead.  Yet again, Selasi had never made one.   Nobody knew what they were doing and everyone tried different methods: Selasi didn’t beat anything, Jane used a dough hook, Candice melted butter, Andrew hurled it all in one bowl.  This is Mary’s doing – who bakes crap from the 1970s apart from Bezza, eh? Someone needs to drag her into the 21st century, pronto.  “How is it everybody can make caramel and I can’t?” wailed Jane, now a shapeless fuschia blob topped by a welcome mat.

Paul didn’t hold back in his criticism. “Overcooked and under-prooved.” He could have been referring to the latest ITV Agatha Christie adaptation, but was actually being rude about Candice’s effort.  “The membrane is off the orange, which is nice,” said Mary of Andrew’s bake.  Innuendo central.  Selasi’s was declared to be the wrong colour, and, horror of horror, he’d left the membrane on his orange.  Ahem. Jane’s caramel had crystallised.  And yet she won.  Selasi looked despondent.  Noooooooo.

The showstopper.  36 fondant fancies, of two types. Genoese sponge, buttercream and glossy fondant.  Argh.  They are SO difficult to get right.  “Time really is important,” said Andrew, glumly.  “I want to see SHOP STANDARD FANCIES,” glowered Paul.  You do? Then buy them from a bloody shop, mate.

Everyone came up with inventive ideas for their fancies.  “I never sieve my flour,” confessed Selasi.  Mary looked as though he’d just done a poo on her kitchen table, stuck a candle in it and wished her Happy Birthday.  “BUT YOU MUST SIEVE!” she corrected, in a horrified tone. “Er, okay,” said Selasi, with a “calm down you loon” look on his face.

Candice’s fancies looked  “Could do with tidying up,” said Paul. Oh shut up. “Textures are spot on though.” As you were, Paul.  “You’ve made two cracking fondant fancies,’ added Mary.  Candice to win, anyone?

Selasi’s weren’t all that.  “The white chocolate isn’t coming through,” said Mary.  “There’s very little sponge, but then the  lime IS really coming through.” DRINK, everyone. Jane had made a bollocks of hers, and looked close to tears.  She’d iced hers in the same colour as her face, ie fuschia pink.  “So sad you didn’t put anything on the outside of them,” sympathised Mary.  “They’re very lumpy. But the lemon’s coming through.” Anyone playing the GBBO drinking game (copyright, my daughter) would be in an alcoholic coma by this stage.  Andrew’s were too buttery.  “The mocha’s coming through.” Christ, enough with the coming through, judges!  When this programme moves to Channel 4 (pah) the new judges need to think of something else to say.

It was goodbye to Selasi.  Everyone was genuinely sad to see him go.  “No-one’s more sad than me to see him go,” said Mary.  “What a character, what a baker.”  Goodbye, Selasi.  Jane said she was crying that he had gone.  Andrew, however, was made of sterner stuff. “I’m in the final. YESSSSS!”  Nobody likes a show-off, Andrew.

Until next week, folks. Can’t wait. Also, Candice for the win.





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