The Great British Bake Off: Caramel Week
September 20, 2017 9:21 AM - Season 8, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Things get sticky in the tent as the bakers attempt to impress Pru and Paul with perfect millionaire's shortbread, crisp stroopwafels, and beautifully decorated caramel cakes.
posted by merriment (10 comments total)
 
I'm trying to remember the last time the entire tent melted down this badly over a technical challenge. Was it the flaounas?

Loved Noel and Sandi's dueling adorable print shirts, but felt like the historical segment was kind of excruciating. I'd rather have none at all than that awkward bit of business.

I couldn't tell if poor Liam was getting some kind of unflattering edit, or if he really was that transparently disappointed about not getting Star Baker. Hopefully he'll keep up the good work and get the nod soon.
posted by merriment at 9:36 AM on September 20


Yeah, I kind of stalled out on rewatching the previously unavailable in the US seasons after a few episodes of S1 with all the historical faffery. Reading the reviews from last night, you mean that sort of thing kept going on further into the show? I mean, I love Sue and Mel as much as the next guy but ugh, I want to see the stars of the show, not some rando historian explaining how back in the day they made cakes with beet sugar, isn't that fascinating.

I'm really happy with Liam though - he doesn't feel like someone who's done quasi-commercial work, he isn't an old hat, he's just trying new things and making it work. I think he's going to get killed in an unfamiliar technical down the way, but until then he's a nice change of pace.

It was also nice to see a technical that broadsided everyone in the tent.

The showstoppers sort of ended up feeling like.. Well. Cakes. I dunno. I think the hazard is that sugar work _never_ works in the tent (which is what makes it so attractive for the producers, I'm sure), and caramel as a flavoring doesn't telegraph very well, unlike chocolate.
posted by Kyol at 6:21 PM on September 20


I want to see the stars of the show, not some rando historian explaining how back in the day they made cakes with beet sugar, isn't that fascinating.

I... don't even understand how you and I are both the same species. How can you not want to know about historical cake sugars?! That's the best part. For the rest of you like me, I can recommend the Victorian Baker series (available on YouTube). I wish there were more just like that, from every time period and all around the world.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 6:26 PM on September 20 [12 favorites]


Ha, yeah. I loved the historical segments, but only when Mel and Sue did them. They were genuinely interested and loose and funny with the clearly not ready for prime time folks, rather than Noel, who just lampshaded how vicariously embarrassing these segments could be.

Since my charmingly naive question of this morning, I've done a deeper dive into mortifying technicals and realized that I'd blocked out the ile flottantes and the dampfnudel. Oh God.
posted by merriment at 6:52 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]


I like living history shows, I like "hey this how history killed us" shows, Industrial Revelations was great fun while Mr. Weasley told us all about Muggle technological development, I'm down with all that normally. It just took me out of the tent, which seemed like a loss for the show. Now I'm wondering if it got trimmed in the Netflix seasons or if it was less common than suggested.
posted by Kyol at 6:22 PM on September 21


I noticed that all the non-working caramel in the stroopwafels was made with brown sugar. Why? Brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added; why not make caramel out of white sugar, which they know they can do, and add molasses afterward?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:36 PM on September 23


I spent the entire technical yelling "stroopwafel" at the tv -- it's pronounced with the vowel from "mope," not "strewth." Noel even went to a Goudse stroopwafel guy and could have heard the pronounciation and then he comes back still saying strewp. Would have been nice if *someone's* caramel had worked, though. After making the things, the bakers deserved stroopwafels.

(Tip for those stateside: real stroopwafels can be found at Trader Joe's, a little sack called Caramel Mini-Bites or something similar. They're worth the trip.)

Also, was it just me or did James dress to match his KitchenAid? Noel's presence has stepped the show's sartorial game up, I feel.

Too bad about Tom, but raw cake... oh sweetie. Never wear new shoes on race day. He was a good sport on Extra Slice though. (Honestly, they all are.)
posted by sldownard at 12:04 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


I spent the entire technical yelling "stroopwafel" at the tv -- it's pronounced with the vowel from "mope," not "strewth." Noel even went to a Goudse stroopwafel guy and could have heard the pronounciation and then he comes back still saying strewp.

The BBC have a Pronunciation Unit - staffed by - I like to think to think - scholarly ,irascible polyglots who could be relied upon to call up the set of Bake-Off and yell "LIKE 'MOPE'"! at any offender. Channel 4 - not so much.

But that is OK because in Britain it seems food names are given a special dispensation to be mispronounced for the about the first 50 years that we discover it while on holiday. See "paella" for example.
posted by rongorongo at 7:54 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


Or churros from a previous season, in which not only is the pronunciation odd, the s on the word remains whether you have one or several churros.
posted by LionIndex at 3:05 PM on September 27 [2 favorites]


I was shocked they did so well on the waffles and completely pantsed the caramel. The waffles seemed like the tricky bit, what with the yeast and the timing and the slicing.

I really love all the contestants this year, but I had a soft spot for Tom, though perhaps now that he's no longer on TV he can give me his hair.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:06 PM on October 4


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