Great British Bake Off episode 8 review: Dropped clangers in Forgotten Bakes week
Bakes were dropped, an oven was broken and Prue and Paul received a modern food education from Liam
There were just five remaining bakers in the tent, and this week’s theme was “Forgotten Bakes” - cue a joke from Sandi about Noel leaving cakes in the oven too long. Predictable but no less brilliant. The presenting duo are really hitting their stride and stepping into Mel and Sue's shoes.
The first challenge - the signature - was to make four Bedfordshire clangers. Nope, I hadn’t a clue either.
Similar to a pasty, it’s a very efficient pastry that is filled with savoury at one end and sweet at the other. Genius.
But who would drop a clanger?
It was when the judges went to talk to Liam about his pizza-inspired clangers that it became abundantly clear neither Prue nor Paul has ever had a Domino’s takeaway on a Friday night.
When Liam, the young scamp of the group, explained he’d be serving his clangers with dipping sauces, Prue exclaimed: “Who has dipping sauce with a pizza?” and Paul was equally perplexed by the remark.
We know, Liam. We know. We’re all about that garlic and herb dip for the crusts.
Time was of the essence, with most of the bakers only just getting their clangers in the oven in time. Poor Stacey was particularly pushed for time, and when things got stressful, she reacted as many of us do when times are tough: “Let’s eat camembert.”
Despite the fact that it was the quarter-final and things were getting serious, the friendly spirit of Bake Off was evident in full force - Stephen helped Kate with getting the right oven temperature, and he even offered his oven to Stacey when she had a mishap of epic proportions later on (but we’ll get to that in time).
Sadly for the bakers, there were a lot of leaky clangers. And yes, with that, a lot of scope for innuendo: “I’ve got a huge clanger,” Stephen remarked.
(His innuendo game was particularly on point, later remarking: “You don’t want a hot nut in your face, do you?”)
And in a scene that must have had the producers cheering, Kate literally dropped a clanger. Straight from the oven on to the floor. She dropped a literal clanger.
Unfortunately, Kate’s clangers - like most of the bakers’ - received mixed reviews, but Stacey’s earned her the highest praise a Bake Off competitor can receive: the Paul Hollywood handshake.
And by the end of the judging, I think we’d all decided that clangers need to make a comeback. A whole meal in one, wrapped in pastry. Amazing.
The next forgotten bake to be rediscovered in the technical challenge was the rum Nicky - a large sweet tart hailing from Cumberland.
Usually when it comes to the technical, there are a few bakers familiar with the bake, and others who’ve never eaten, seen or even heard of it. But it’s safe to say this week, all the bakers were equally in the dark.
And the judges - or producers - were making things especially hard: there was no measuring jug so the bakers had to guess what 50ml of rum looked like, and they were given no more than a bowl and a wooden spoon to make their rum butter.
But miraculously, all the bakers managed to serve something resembling a rum Nicky - well, a boozy tart filled with dried fruit - to the judges, and Stephen took the top spot.
As we went into the showstopper bake of the quarter-final, Paul revealed that he thought Liam, Sophie and Kate all needed to prove themselves.
And the way they were going to do that was by making an old Victorian treat, a Savoy cake - a light, delicate sponge baked in an elaborate mould. With a hard sugar coating. Served on a plinth. Made of sponge. A plinth made of sponge!
A fat-less cake (suspicious) with no raising agent, this was going to be a tricky bake. While Stephen carefully folded his whipped egg whites into the cake batter to preserve the air, Stacey went full throttle to save time. But which of the two front-runners would come out best?
All the bakers were pulling out all the stops this week, with huge, extravagantly-shaped cakes decorated to within an inch of their lives with further baked goods - Stephen adorned his Savoy cake with croquembouche whereas Sophie made choux buns and Stacey went further than everyone with macarons, madeleines and meringues (which Paul would later call “slightly OTT”).
With his so-called “cheeky plan” and hilarious dance upon successfully turning his cake out of the tin, Liam started to emerge as the people’s favourite. The man educated Prue and Paul about the joys of pizza with dipping sauce, after all. You’ve got to love him.
The drama went up a notch when Stacey somehow managed to break her oven - in a scene of what must have been sugar-fuelled strength, she actually pulled the door right off.
Sophie didn’t quite finish her Savoy cake in time, but Liam actually finished early, meaning his spun sugar started to melt. But whose Victorian centrepiece would go down best with Prue and Paul?
We collectively cried “Nooooooo” when Prue said Liam “didn’t quite pull off” his idea, and we cheered when Paul said he loved Sophie’s whole cake.
But it really wasn’t clear who was going to win Star Baker and who’d be going home.
Sadly, it was Liam who wasn’t to make it through to the semi-finals.
And this week, Star Baker was awarded to Stacey.
It was emotional, it was dramatic and I think we all finished the episode craving carbs.