The Great British Bake Off – Episode 8: Quarter Final Review

The quarter final was incredibly tense with 5 women fighting it out for 4 places in the semi final. With the theme of unconventional bakes, the bakers had to take it to the next level.

Gingerbread Barn

Star Baker: Ruby (3 times to date)

Eliminated: Christine

Final Three: Ruby, Frances, Beca

Best showstopper bake of the week: Ruby’s Carrot Cake and Pistachio Garden Plot

The signature challenge was a loaf that did not use conventional wheat flour meaning spelt, tapioca, rice and potato flour were used this week. Christine was the only baker who took a risk using a mixture of three flours all of which were gluten free. Funnily enough, her loaf was one of the best despite needing Sue to help flip out her loaf. In the technical Hazelnut Dacquoise, she was last, not baking her meringues for long enough. Her showstopping Sweet Potato Guitar with Marshmallow Fondant looked amazing but her cake lacked depth. Unfortunately, she was eliminated by the judges this week as she made too many errors.

Frances was not let off this week, having only just scraped through. The “style over substance” card was played again and I think the judges were being a little bit too harsh. Her cake may have lacked flavour and was too dry but she showed skill by making everything from scratch. However it didn’t really fit the brief of the challenge being a 3D cake and not a surprise inside cake (seen in Series 3, Episode 1 Showstopper).

Beca amazed the judges with a technically challenge potato foccacia (which I wanted to eat so badly) but fell short on the showstopper with a poorly flavoured sponge. I didn’t think it warranted a place in the bottom as it took a lot of skill to make the cheese and mice. This week, Beca showed a glimpse of finalist potential impressing in a very tricky signature loaf. I believe she will go to the finals, despite being the only baker not to have won the accolade of Star Baker.

Kimberley showed great potential at the start of Bake Off, impressing in bread week and being Star Baker in Pies and Tarts. I feel she has drifted away slightly, with little errors preventing her from being at the very top. Taking a risk to do a couronne in the signature (with tricky spelt flour which needs longer proving) and a Super Mario-esque showstopper bake secured her place in the semi-final. I think she needs to have a flawless week next time for viewers to warm to her.

Ruby is this year’s most controversial contestant. She is loved by many for her great bakes and her consistency but mocked and loathed by many for her constant moaning, repeating of exams and pulling faces, which now have a Tumblr account. I do like Ruby because she is a good baker. Her showstopper is very reminiscent of James’ Gingerbread Barn from Series 3 (in the picture) but it was really very good. I agree with Paul that if there is something to be praised, you should praise it and Ruby needs to be praised for a very good Hazelnut Dacquoise, which did look better than Mary’s. If she gets her act together, she will make the finals.

Next week, it’s French Week and an Opera Cake will sort out the bakers.

See some of my recipes here:

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