Sunday 18 March 2018

It’s the GBBO Semi-Final! AND it’s CHOCOLATE WEEK!

Contestants on the Great British Bake Off
Contestants on the Great British Bake Off
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

There are only four contestants left – one time star baker and resident heartthrob Tamal, irritating Ian the three time star, constant improver and double star baker Nadiya and Flora, who has never quite reached the lofty heights of her fellow competitors but always goes that extra mile.

This week it’s chocolate week, so the contestants faced a chocolate tart in the signature, an incredibly difficult chocolate soufflé in the technical and a white chocolate centrepiece for the showstopper.

Who will reign supreme heading in to the final, and who will fall at the final hurdle?

There is no room for error

Paul on top scary form speaking about er, a chocolate tart. But Mary backs him up, saying that in the semi-final it has to be absolutely immaculate. How complicated can a chocolate tart be? Oh, very, it seems.

Nadiya truly upped her game

Making her own salted caramel, peanut butter and truffles, her chocolate tart looked absolutely mouthwatering, and she emerged as an early frontrunner for the final. Smug Ian made his own salted caramel, but it didn’t go down well with the judges.

Tamal held his own, but Nadiya totally smashed it. Perhaps it’s time to put money on her?

Flora overdid it, once again

She tried to do too much as usual, with a split passionfruit base, dry and overbaked maccarons and a ganache that wasn’t quite shiny enough for Mary Berry. Come on, Flora! Have you learned nothing?!

The Technical Challenge got weird

Mary said she picked this one because it’s really hard. In a new twist, the contestants had to make a chocolate soufflé in a staggered time frame. Flora was up first, and it’s fair to say she freaked out. “DON’T GO” she begged of the other contestants. When she saw she was making a soufflé, things got even worse.

Then we started to feel sorry for Ian

A soufflé meant the contestants had to make a crème patissiere and a meringue at the same time. Ian was next in to the tent, and was also horrified. “I can’t even remember how to make a crème pat,” he said, despite having made one last week.

The pressure was getting to him and meant he was drawing blanks. Then he covered his oven with a towel so he didn’t have to look at it. “There’s nothing good coming out of there this afternoon.”

Say no to soufflé

All of the contestants were flummoxed by the soufflé. Just like Goldilocks, Mary wanted the crème pat to be juuuuust right – neither too thick nor too thin.

Nadiya showed her fear when she saw paper clips were included in her pack. “Maybe it’s for filing my soufflé again in to the folder to NEVER BAKE AGAIN.” Gulp. Mary, you divil.

“I’d sooner have another baby. I really would.”

Wow. Souffles must be really tough to elicit that response from Nadiya. She came last in the technical - is her winning streak in jeopardy because of lumpy bits of meringue?

Everything was turned upside down

Flora came first in the technical! Maybe we were writing her baking obituary too soon? And Nadiya cried after coming last. THE STRESS! THE EMOTIONS!

Super Semi-final Showstopper

It was time for everyone to pull it out of the bag, and everyone was ambitious – perhaps too ambitious. Ian constructed a functioning chocolate well filled with chocolate, Nadiya made an entire peacock with individual feather decorations and Tamal constructed a biscuit bell tower. Flora had an absolute nightmare though as she ran out of time and broke her biscuit carousel. The stress was getting to everyone. 

Nadiya reigned supreme, having pulled it back in the showstopper and becoming Star Baker. Sadly, Flora was cut before the last episode. Mary said it was because she concentrated too much on the extras instead of the basics. Boo! Ian cried when he found out he was through to the final, while Tamal coasted through once again.

So next week, it’s the final – Nadiya V Ian V Tamal. Tune in on Wednesday at 8pm!

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