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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Scott Bryan

The Great British Bake Off: episode five – as it happened

Noel Fielding, Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood and Saku in The Great British Bake Off series 14.
Noel Fielding, Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood and Saku in The Great British Bake Off series 14.
Photograph: Mark Bourdillon

Aaaaand it’s Botanical Week next week, something we haven’t seen on Bake Off (I believe) since 2010.

Poor Abbi. She would have loved this week.

Thanks so much for reading and for all the lovely comments. And thank you all to the newbies who have joined in the last couple of episodes.

I’ll be back on Tuesday at 8pm. I’ll be off pouring a wee drink for Nicky and Rowan.

Rowan and Nicky are leaving the tent this week.

It’s gutting, but it felt like the right time for both of them.

Rowan will be remembered for a lot of things. My personal highlight was the time he baked a cottage loaf inspired by a trip to Amalfi and followed it up with “It is a place I would never go back to.” Also when he revealed that there is nothing more wholesome than inviting friends over for a wine and a cheeseboard. He’s a University student.

Then there is of course his use of innuendo, like when he said “this one is going to be a top. This one is going to be a bottom,” in regards to his custard creams and “I managed to get it up and keep it up,” in regards to his freestanding bread tree.

And … ahhhh wee Nicky. I’ll never forget her positivity, the fact that she once baked a highland cow called Angus and the hundreds of times that her glasses fogged up every time she took something out of the oven. Deary me. I’ll miss her.

Star Baker is… Cristy.

So delightful to see. Cristy has been undermining her own ability for the past couple of weeks. It appeared that imposter syndrome, something that many of us experience, had been starting to kick in. Hopefully this Star Baker will remind her that she is very capable and deserving of being in the tent each week.

As we’re approaching the series’s halfway point, let’s recap: Tasha has won Star Baker twice, whilst Dan, Matty and Cristy have won Star Baker once each. It’s all to play for.

Wish they would lay off Rowan a bit. It wasn’t THAT bad.

Nicky’s apple pie is deemed too dry, as the moisture evaporated.

And there’s a wee bit of custard for good measure.

If this is Rowan leaving the tent this week, at least he’s leaving on a high.

Saku’s bake is also a bit raw (ouch)

Josh gets a more positive review. Prue says she can’t fault it.

I think we know who our Star Baker is this week.

Matty’s topping is a bit raw.

Sounds painful.

Dan’s flavours are a bit lost, but I think he’s through.

And Dana’s is also a bit rich and too sweet, but aren’t we all?


Tasha’s bake needed a glaze, looks a bit “rough and ready,” and a bit wet inside (ahem), but I think she’s through.

And now it is the showstopper judging.

We start with Cristy’s “beautiful” display. Her bakes all receive compliments – and not a single criticism.

If Nicky does go, never forget x

Nicky and Rowan are now hugging each other. I think they both know it is over.

Oh god Rowan’s pastry has split underneath in the mould, so he’s going to have to serve it in the tin. Unless his flavours are perfect, I think we know the second baker leaving the tent this week.

Dana is in immediate giggles when something goes wrong for her. Does anything ever knock her confidence?

It is also seeping from the sides for Rowan. Prayers for him.

“This is genuinely traumatising,” he says.

So great to see BSL being incorporated into her bake.

Meanwhile, here’s Paul to Matty: “How are you using your plums?”

This is two weeks after he said to Matty: “Tell me about the proportion of your ball size.”

Important: Saku is baking a pie and calling it “Pie Chart.”

Thought you should know.

Dana: “I’m making a honey baklava pie with an almond frangipane on top.”

Alison: “You had me at marzipan.”

Dana: “I didn’t say marzipan.”

Another golden Alison moment, there.

Bless Josh for dedicating his bake to his late grandmother Frida, bringing a framed photo of her on his workstation.

And Nicky is also bringing fruit from her grandmother’s garden.

During the next adbreaks, I recommend watching the time Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders tried Bake Off for charity. It’s peak Bake Off, the best it’s ever been.

The episode ended with Joanna Lumley saying “I have done many things in my life, including giving birth to a child. I have never done anything, anything, that comes near this.”

Rowan’s bake will contain a drawing of Eddie and Patsy on the top.

How absolutely fabulous.

Prue: “It is perfectly legitimate to die.”

Oh wait she hasn’t finished.

Prue: “Your pastries.”

Got it. Thanks Prue.

Ominous from Tasha, who said that her test bake took six hours to put together when in this challenge she only has four.

But the question is of course, who will Cristy dedicate her Showstopper this week?

And now it is time for the showstopper … a decorative sweet pie display.

It needs to contain three ornate pies and contain a rich sweet pastry case.

Is this the right time to remind everyone of Bake Off 2016 and the time Andrew baked a working pie cog machine? I think it is.

Prue: “You have forgotten that we’re sending home two bakers this week.”

We haven’t. You’re literally mentioning it every 30 seconds.

Is … every advert going to be for a phone network?

It feels inevitable that Nicky is going to go home after the Showstopper, unless it is a knockout. But the second contestant is a bit up in the air.

Who do you reckon is in danger? Saku? Josh? Heaven forbid.

Here’s the ranking after the technical: 9. Nicky (oh no.) 8. Josh (that is surprising!). 7. Matty. 6. Saku. 5. Cristy. 4. Rowan 3. Tasha. 2. Dana. 1. Dan

That’s quite an achievement for Dan considering he had to start all over again because he got blood all over his pastry. It’s also quite a turnaround from two weeks ago.

Here’s a review of the other bakers: Josh’s needs to have a stronger colour. Saku’s needed longer in the oven. Dan’s pastry is not bad. Nicky’s is a bit flat and underbaked and the potatoes needed longer in the oven. Tasha’s is raw and a bit rough. Matty’s has a lovely colour and good height, but contains raw potato. Cristy’s is not a pithivier at all. And Rowan’s is a bit uneven, but works well with the cheese.

Now it is time for the technical challenge judging.

We start with Dana, who seems to come out with flying colours.

Fears for Nicky. If she does poorly in this challenge, with two bakers leaving, there’s really a huge uphill climb for her.

And the bakers all seem to have made a variety of whoopee cushions.

They now have to “knock up” the pastry. Filth.

Oh god, Dan grated his finger with the cheese grater, and as there’s a bit of blood in his pastry he’s had to make them all over again.

God bless Dana for making dauphinoise in the last challenge without having any idea what it was, only to be baking it again in the technical.

Prue: “This is carbs on carbs served with cream.”

Sorry, where’s the problem?

The technical challenge is … dauphinoise pithivier.

No, I didn’t have to Google the spelling. I swear. Let me live.

At least they have Paul Hollywood’s advice that it has to be perfect to cling onto.

But things are much, much better for Cristy, who receives a Hollywood Handshake for her “beautifully moist and crispy” leek and mushroom pastries.

What a turnaround. She admits that she experiences imposter syndrome and that this can be reflected in how she thinks that challenge went. What we tell ourselves in our own head sometimes really doesn’t match up to reality.

A near catastrophe for Nicky, whose pastry is a bit thick and undercooked.

“It’s a disaster,” she says, before Paul agrees “it’s not your best.”

Oh and Josh’s sausage has shrunk.

What a joy to be writing this in The Guardian.

Dan’s is a bit ripped, but not in an Instagram way. And Dana’s roof and sides are a bit thick on one side, but thin on the other.

And Rowan … he’s done it again. You think that he’s messed it up royally because of how it looks, only for his perfect flavour to receive way more compliments than you expect.

He could make it through this week, you know.

Tasha’s are deemed to look golden and are filled beautifully. The mustard was clearly there in the end, as Prue says that her mustard bottom was perfect.

The pure panic on Saku’s face when he mentions that hers has a soggy bottom.

The signature bakes are being judged, starting with Matty’s spanakopita.

The pastry is deemed to be a bit messy, and his pastry lid a bit too thick.

Also, all of this tension is exceptionally British.

Meanwhile Rowan’s bake has a soggy bottom and got stuck in the tin. With two bakers going home this week, I already fear for Rowan and Cristy.

Rowan added a hole at the top, only for the filling to come out. He can’t win.

Things are worse though for Cristy, who thinks her pies are overfilled.

And DING DING DING Nicky’s glasses have fogged up again. Contact lenses! Stat!

Thoughts and prayers to Tasha who has so far this challenge forgotten to add in her mustard and brush it with egg wash.

But it is not as bad as Dan, who forgot to turn the oven on. Dan you’re supposed to forget to do that in Week One!

In case you are wondering…

Dan has a little tool in his pocket.

And Rowan is avoiding a little hole but will be adding a little prick.

Look, I am just typing out what is happening on the screen.

Dan was really backing his own pastry there: “It’s a bit greasy.”

Reach for the stars, Dan.

Big fan of Rowan saying that cumberland sausage is from “a very reputable shop.”

A rival to the sponsor that yells at us “is it cake?’ every ten minutes.

What an international feel the bakers are taking. Matty is baking Greek Spanapotika, Dana is making French dauphinoise and Tasha is experiencing Stockholm Syndrome, which of course is Swedish.

It is so lovely to see Tasha back on the screen again after being ill last week. Although, I am not looking forward to hearing about two bakers leaving this week every five minutes for the rest of the episode.

I will also be keeping a tab on how many times Nicky’s glasses fog up when she is dealing with hot liquids. It’s a busy evening.

Matty: “I know I need get off with a rapid start.”

Rowan: “Oh, I love a sausage.”

We are ten seconds in.

The signature challenge is 12 individual savoury picnic pies.

It must be made with hot water crust pastry. And I’m getting the sense that this will be an innuendo fest so I will be keeping a tab on the most ridiculous ones.

Nicky: “I actually like pastry” she says to the camera, implying that nobody else actually likes pastry.

Rowan: “I never feel confident about anything in my life and pastry is no exception.”

Rowan! Stop putting yourself down!

Narrator: On this week’s Bake Off.


Narrator: “On last week’s Bake Off.”


I wonder what GCSE drama skit they will come up with this week.


Actually, I retract that. I think that comment is a bit too snarky about GCSE drama.

Anyone finding it weird that we’re back on a Tuesday at 8pm again? Only me?

As always, let’s start with a quick look at how all of the bakers did last week – Chocolate Week.

Cristy, 33: She didn’t have the best episode, so here’s hoping tonight turns it around. At least she continued a Bake Off tradition by dedicating another bake to one of her loved ones, though.

Dan, 42: He accidentally put his chocolate torte on an uneven wiring rack resulting in it having A TILT. You don’t get this sort of tension elsewhere on television.

Dana, 25: Her constant optimism is such an inspiration. Last week she couldn’t get her chocolate horses to come out of their moulds, so she presented them without any legs. When this was pointed out in the judging, she just said: “they’re all sitting down.”

Josh, 27: Decided to pipe Alison Hammond on the side of his bake for some reason. I can’t exactly remember why, but it happened and I think you should be reminded of it.

Matty, 28: STAR BAKER. Such a thrill, because he’s been improving each and every week – until he baked a mousse, a praline, a glaze and a chocolate cremeux at the same time. Onwards and upwards.

Nicky, 52: Said “the proof is in the pudding” – whilst presenting a pudding. Nothing more to add.

Rowan, 21: He shocked Paul Hollywood by saying that he hadn’t practised baking that week’s Showstopper, before following it up by pointing out that he had just finished University that week and some things are more important than baking. Wonderful.

Saku, 50: Gosh, where to start. The fact that she called her chocolate torte “Saku’s Saku Torte.” The fact that she sounded like someone from The Wizard Of Oz whilst saying “ittt’ssss meeelllttting” as she moved her bake to the front of the tent. And the fact that at the end of Chocolate Week she said to the camera: “I’m done with chocolate. No more chocolate. In my life. Ever.” Icon.

Tasha, 27: She had to withdraw from the tent midway through a challenge and did not return for the following day’s Showstopper. But she’s back.

Hello babes and welcome back to the Bake Off Guardian liveblog.

It’s Pastry Week, which means that we’re naturally on soggy bottom watch. Last week, if you recall, Tasha became ill halfway through the episode and had to withdraw, so no baker left the tent.

Tasha is back in the tent this week, but as a result two bakers will be leaving at the end of this episode. Prayers for Rowan! Prayers for Saku! Prayers for wee Nicky!

I know that there’s no easy way around this, but double dumpings are not really in the spirit of Bake Off. It feels like something you would see in a more traditional reality show. But at least they have said that two bakers are leaving this specific week, rather than have Paul and Prue threatening in every episode that tonight could be the point where two bakers leave.

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