Mary and Paul had one of the toughest decisions in the history of Bake Off yet, having to choose between one to go in the best batch of bakers after facing Signature Savoury Parcels, a technical Kouign Amman (pronounced “Queen Amann”) and showstopping Eclairs.
My Elimination Prediction: Martha (see the rest of them here)
Star Baker: Richard (for the third time!)
Good: Luis, Nancy, Chetna
Best Bake: Richard’s Stair of Eclairs
This year, Bake Off has really been all about the things bakers bring in from home. We had Nancy’s cake guillotine and Norman’s cake de-tinner in week 1 and now in week 7, we have Richard’s Eclair Stairs. His eclairs used the infamously tricky flavours of rose and lavender, which saw Norman leave in week 5, but managed to balance them well to impress the judges. Not only that, Richard came first in a Technical Challenge which nobody had heard of before and impressed Paul and Mary with Lamb and Mint Pasties. Richard’s a clear favourite to win now thanks to being awarded Star Baker three times now.
Luis bowled the judges over with his combination of substance and style in his American inspired eclairs, mixing peanut butter and jam topped with a patriotically coloured fondant (whether it was shop-bought, we’ll never know). He had a slight dip at the start of the week with poorly fried empanadas and not following the recipe in the Technical. Luis had his first moment of danger this week and many at home will be hoping it doesn’t happen again as he is very very consistent.
Nancy is still flying through each week, not having a real disastrous week thus far. Her 2nd place finish in the Technical, Asian inspired duck pasties and savoury salmon and horseradish eclairs meant she came close to Star Baker. There’s a bit of a following for Nancy much in the same way Chetna has her fans, me included. Once again she wowed with flavour and finished her eclairs well, making Mary smile with her combination of chocolate and mango but she did come last in the Technical.
Martha had her first horror of a week, despite a 3rd place finish in the Technical and some amazingly made Mini Beef Wellingtons, but her eclairs weren’t good enough for the judges, with a poorly made pastry cream. Everyone really likes Martha because she is just so young and she managed to impress Mel with an 8,000 word coursework on some profiteroles. Martha still hasn’t been Star Baker yet and any finalist could struggle to win without the security of Star Baker behind their back.
Mel and Sue were at their best again and I assure that the show would not be the same without them.