With three weeks left to go on The Great British Bake Off, the competition is really heating up.
This week the judges are keeping the Bake Off contestants on their toes with a throwback to bakes that time forgot. There’s a sweet and savoury signature, a traditional technical tart, and a towering sponge Victorian showstopper.
It’s safe to say that we’ve never heard of any of these bakes, but after seeing the end result, we’re desperate to get our mitts on a couple. This week is definitely going to push the quarter-finalists to their limits…
The Great British Bake Off week 8 Signature challenge: Bedfordshire clanger
The signature bake isn’t the most well known of the pasties – a Bedfordshire clanger. A clanger is a farm worker’s take on a Cornish pasty, with a sweet filling at one end and a savoury one at the other, so that you get a main meal and a pudding in one handy pastry parcel. To stop the two sides merging there’s a crafty pastry wall in the middle.
Long and thin, it looks more like a sausage roll than a pasty. The bakers were out to impress with some weird and wonderful flavours being displayed this week, which overall made for a very happy Paul and Prue. However, with every challenge in the Bake Off tent there’s always some tension, and this week was all about time managements. While some got finished their clangers with a tiny bit of time to spare, others didn’t.
Robust was definitely the word of the challenge, and although the flavours might have been, we aren’t as sure about the pastry, where there were a few leakages.
The Great British Bake Off week 8 Technical challenge: Cumberland rum Nicky
Precision, precision, precision… the dreaded technical this week was a Cumberland rum Nicky, although we’d never heard of it before the technical challenge, we’re definitely going to give it a whirl in the kitchen.
At first we weren’t sure why this boozy tart had been forgotten in time, but then we saw the process involved in making the lattice top. It would seem that the ulterior motive behind this challenge was to make the bakers panic. With such a difficult technical Paul and Prue are really putting the bakers through the ringer, even using the word ‘disappointment’ to describe one of the bakes. Ouch.
The Great British Bake Off week 8 Showstopper challenge: Savoy cake
A close call between the bakers meant that everything was to bake for in the showstopper round. Named after one of London’s most iconic hotels, this showstopping cake centrepiece is made in something that looks a little like a bundt tin, to get plenty of detail, and it has to be served on a plinth baked out of sponge – let’s hope architecture is one of the baker’s strengths.
The smooth, light sponge with a thin crisp sugar layer, is the star of this cake with nowhere to hide. While some stuck to the traditional Victorian flavours, others tried to wow by bringing the flavours in this old fashioned cake into the present day.
Even with present day equipment, baking doesn’t always go to plan as one of the bakers clearly demonstrated. With some of the most intricate decoration we’ve seen all season, these bakers are putting their skills to the test and trying not to drop the final touches for their incredible showstoppers.
As Prue would say, they looked ‘worth the calories’ to us, but as the bakers were literally biting their nails waiting for Paul and Prue to decide their fate we can’t wait to see who’s safe…