So first up it’s a challenge involving some steamed bready bun with a filling-type challenge, and they can choose whether it’s a sweet or savoury.
As ever, The Great British Bake Off does a fantastic job of taking one of the most relaxing pastimes and making it seem horrifically stress-filled.
But hey, maybe this week it’ll different. Maybe just once we’ll get to see people just enjoying themselves while doing what they love.
Nope, of course not, this is bake-off, so instead we’ve got to show them all being wound up tighter than Noel’s jeans.
So cue lots of close-up shots of hands frantically flailing over unfolded dough as they desperately try to mash the bread-in-waiting around their messy fillings. Ooooh, the pressure!
Mark made his bun a burger-themed affair, but Paul stepped in and protested over the use of gerkins – Mark willingly relents and bows to the pressure of the twinkle-eyed presenter, making one without gerkins.
This is wrong! If Hollywood was any sort of baker, chef , or cook worth his salt, he’d be able to rise above his own preferences and appreciate the effort Mark had gone to.
I know a guy who used to work at a cheese factory. Part of his job involved tasting various types of cottage cheese multiple times throughout the day. He despised cottage cheese with a passion, but he just got on with it. And I’ll guarantee he won’t be getting paid half as much as Paul Hollywood.
Luckily, Mark’s burger impressed, but needed more ketchup apparently. Again, just a preference, Paul, give the man a break!
Then we saw Edinburgh’s own Peter Sawkins. His Lamb Steamed Buns came out adorably, little sheep – but heartless Hollywood literally ripped them apart, complaining about the texture. I can’t even remember if I saw him eat one . . .
Up next is the technical challenge: Make a 12 crepe matcha cake with SUPER-thin pancakes.
Noel’s constant goading of poor Peter while he’s trying to work is basically an attempt at sabotage. But nonetheless Peter has the Eye Of The Tiger – he rises up and conquers the challenge with ease, knocking out the other contenders like Rocky Balboa himself. He’s ranked 1st with his thin strawberry slices and has Pru describing it as “model”.
The showstopper challenge is a Kawaii Cake – basically as cute as you can make it.
As ever, each contestant wheels out a needlessly complicated design which in real life would actually be so fiddly and decorative that you probably be too scared to eat it.
Marc’s cake is supposed to resemble his dog’s face, but looking at the diagram it really could be either end of the dog.
Badminton-daft Peter opts for Dizzy the Shuttlecock – it’s an interesting choice, but gets a mixed-to-lukewarm response.
As is often the case, we have a contestant crying – poor Laura is reduced to tears. With all the pressure put on these people, I’d completely understand if they just stopped baking entirely once they’re out of the show. You’re supposed to enjoy this . . .
So now we pass judgement. And it wouldn’t be the same without a sequence of sweaty, frustrated contestants who look like they’ve just spent a night in the cells.
Lottie is named star baker, and after more sweaty mugshots Mark finally gets his marching orders. There’s a swell of emotional piano music as Mark talks about his amazing journey which ended with such deadly-criticism. “inedible” indeed. Mark, you should have put more gerkins in there just to stick it to Hollywood.
We’ll do this whole formulaic dance next week, when apparently it’ll be “80s Week”. So I don’t know, maybe they’ll be using ingredients that are 40 years out of date or something.