Vicki Notaro on Great British Bake Off: Return of the soggy bottoms for Pastry Week
It’s Pastry Week!
It’s the week every contestant dreads, because there’s one thing you don’t want on the Great British Bake Off and it’s a soggy bottom. This occurs when the underneath of the pastry doesn’t cook properly, and is slightly damp. Not ideal.
This week the bakers faced three challenges – a sweet shortcrust frangipane tart in the signature, Cypriot flaounes in the technical, and no holds barred, er, vol au vents for their showstopper.
“How do you fan your plums Alvin?”
Adorable Alvin is often the target for the host and judges most directly risque innuendo because innocence radiates from him. He answered Mel’s question with the straightest face, bless him. Paul went on to tell him that his plums were undercooked, while he apologised profusely. Does anyone else just want to hold Alvin?
Every week I will Alvin to do well. I just can't bear the thought of him being sad. #GBBO— Sarah Doran (@sarahisnothere) September 9, 2015
Contestant Paul said the C word, multiple times
No, not that C word. Christmas! It’s barely September, but Contestant Paul had the audacity to use festive flavours in his tart, and even made icing Christmas trees. Could you not before Halloween, Contestant Paul?
Tamal is still a heartbreaker
Mulled wine is the way to a woman’s heart, especially our Mary Berry’s. Yes, yes, Tamal’s tart (a title many would welcome for themselves) is festive too, but we’ll forgive him because he could just be embracing an autumn/winter theme, and let’s be honest, he’s so darn dreamy.
The awkward moment when Paul makes eye contact with you and tells you your plums aren't cooked #Gbbo— Jonathan Hughes (@heeereeesjonny) September 9, 2015
Ian reached peak posh
Not content with having an air of country squire off him, Ian used guinea fowl eggs to make his pastry. Not just any guinea fowl, mind - ONES HE RAISED HIMSELF. Three adults and a little chick, who he may or may not name after Mary. Later in the show, he said he’d be “jolly happy”, and he was totally serious.
Soggy bottoms struck!
Nadiya was first to fall foul of the dreaded soggy bottom in the signature, but she was by no means alone. If looks could kill though, hers would have flattened Paul Hollywood.
Mulled wine... Mary's eyes light up
Judge Paul was a meanie
Mary was disgusted when Paul set a very difficult technical challenge that even she’d never heard of. The Cypriot Flaouna is a yeast-y, bread-y pastry with cheese, sultanas and something that stinks of pine. The contestants were floored, with Tamal even declaring “I hate you, I hate all of you.” Do his bad boy antics make the girls of Twitter love him even more?
It turned out Flaounes were fancy Jambons…
You’re fooling nobody, Judge Paul. Although sultanas are an unnecessary addition, can’t we just stick with basic beige things?
Alvin’s having a total ‘mare
His dad is a general in the army, so he says he’ll never throw in the towel and has always had a strong work ethic. However hearts broke at the sight of his little face when Judge Paul compared his flaouna to a pizza. #PrayForAlvin
The 80s are back
Two different kinds of vol au vents for the showstopper? Have we woken up in 1985? The contestants had to make their own puff pastry, a notoriously difficult challenge, and then up the ante with fabulous fillings.
Ian out-poshed himself AGAIN
Scallop, squid ink, bacon and Vermouth vol au vents?! “Jet black food is a little bit risqué”, he says. We thought his porcini and pancetta ones were fancy, FFS. However everyone’s sounded impressive – cod and clementine from Nadiya, tiger prawn and risotto from Contestant Paul, and Tamal’s sandwich inspired pulled pork vol au vents. We thought chicken and white sauce was the extent of them, to be honest.
“It’s a bit like a cellulite-y thigh”
Mel’s description of Ian’s lumpy, buttery pastry was spot on, but he wasn’t best pleased. Nadiya’s also went haywire, but brave woman that she is, she started a brand new batch.
The other bakers also had trouble, with Tamal saying it was hard to pick which ones to show because “they’re all so hideously deformed”.
We don’t do spoilers here, so that’s where we’ll leave it for pastry week. Except to say that GBBO won’t be the same again next week…. SOB.
Oh God, Alvin's in 6th place. His showstopper is going to have to be a baby elephant bursting out of a red velvet cake to let him stay #GBBO— Mazzy K (@MazzyK) September 9, 2015
I love vol au vents! When did they go out of style? Nobody told me :-( #GBBO— Nicola Timmins (@tikkin) September 9, 2015
Those drippy eggs make me want to vol au vom... #GBBO— Siobhan Devoy (@siobhandevoy) September 9, 2015