The quarterfinal of the show did not disappoint with the bakers being tested with all manners of tricky enriched doughs. Chetna and Richard both had firsts ever on this week’s show and Nancy once again mesmerised with her use of technology. Find out my thoughts below.
My Elimination Prediction: Luis (see the rest of them here)
Star Baker: Richard (for an unprecedented, and record breaking, fourth time!)
Best Bake: Luis’s Black Forest Cherry Tree
Don’t get me wrong I like Richard but I thought he wasn’t the person for Star Baker tonight. Luis amazed with his Signature Fruit Loaf (see above) and came a respectable 2nd in the Technical. Mary loved his cocktail inspired doughnuts and this week he didn’t have real significant problems. Richard came 4th in the Technical (although he did copy Nancy!) and didn’t appear to have all that great a first day. Personally no matter how good your Showstopper is, you have to be consistent. Even so, he still did do well over the weekend and has made Bake Off history by being awarded Star Baker for the fourth time. Statistically he is a surefire finalist but baking never follows statistics.
This brings me onto Chetna: where was Chetna in the judge’s deliberations? Chetna has definitely been a quiet horse across the series; in weeks where I thought she did well, she wasn’t even considered for Star Baker. Her Date and Walnut Swirl Loaf was impressive, and although the flavours didn’t suit Paul, they both agreed that the design element was inspired, in fact so inspired that they even used her bake as the Technical challenge, just the proper version of it (prepare to see them in Marks & Spencers in a couple of weeks), and this it in question is a Povitica. Of course Chetna came first and her doughnuts weren’t all that bad so I don’t see why this didn’t warrant Star Baker.
Nancy daringly used the microwave to prove her Fruit Loaf, which is a technique that once somebody has perfected, will surely change the shape of the baking world. The only problem she encountered was a raw middle, caused by her bread being too big. A 3rd in the technical and playful doughnuts secured her place next week. Nancy has always done well, being her only bad week in the history of the show, which is quite something. She will have to really step up however if she is to meet the standards of Richard and Luis.
Oh Martha it was just one mistake too many this week really. Overproved doughnuts, a raw povitica and a dense Signature loaf meant that the tent’s youngest ever baker had to depart just weeks before the final. Everyone loves Martha and I think she has done so much hard work for the show and she is truly inspirational. Mary said it herself that we should be looking out for Martha in years to come, which is a view I also share. Martha Collison’s TV show will be out in 2020 (if it is, you heard it here first!)
The semi-final is a hard time for anyone to leave but if our bakers cannot rise to the challenge, they won’t be allowed in the final. A signature Baklava, with their own filo pastry, a Technically challenging Schichttorte (which is a cake cooked in a grill?!) and a selection of showstopping Entremets (yes I’ve never heard of them either) are all on the menu next week.