The Great British Bake Off: Spice Week
September 26, 2018 7:30 AM - Season 9, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Say you'll be there for the halfway mark, which features the return of Terry and too much spice. This week's signature had the bakers spicing up a classic ginger cake, while the technical was a Middle Eastern pastry, Ma'amoul. Finally, we said goodbye to two bakers this week after a showstoppper challenge that involved a hanging biscuit chandelier.
posted by PearlRose (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I was glad to see Kim-Joy get Star Baker. Her signature and showstopper were both beautiful.

Also, I really liked Ruby’s glasses.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 7:45 AM on September 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


KimJoy won me over with space turtles last week. I was also glad to see her get Star Baker!
posted by cat potato at 11:18 AM on September 26, 2018


I really appreciated Dan's comment regarding the increased absurdity of the Showstopper challenges. You don't find anything online for a biscuit chandelier! I mean, I get it, nine seasons and all, but now they're just making stuff up.

Kim-Joy had a wonderful night -- I'm really proud of her. That display of biscuits was marvelous. She often has very wonderful, totally original ideas, and I'm glad to see that she's getting better at executing them.

Terry and Karen leaving are not surprises, necessarily, but I'm sad anyway. They both seemed like likable people, but it's clear the time management and other issues were getting the better of them. Seeing them both get so teary at the end was a bit rough.

Otherwise, another question from a non-UK baker to the UK bakers out there: what exactly IS stem ginger? It's not something that's terribly easy to find here (I think I mail ordered the correct jar of something approximating stem ginger but I have yet to try it to determine if it is exactly that), and I was wondering just what it was and how it works in things like ginger cakes and biscuits.
posted by PearlRose at 11:21 AM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Otherwise, another question from a non-UK baker to the UK bakers out there: what exactly IS stem ginger?

I asked this of British friends a year or so ago because of this show and they sent me a lovely jar of ginger root in syrup, which tones down the spiciness just a little bit and is great baked into gingerbread and ginger cakes. I get it on Amazon now.
posted by xingcat at 11:33 AM on September 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


Bye Terry. I have no idea how you even qualified to be on this show.
Rahul needs to get a grip. He always looks like he’s being told his puppy died no matter how nice the judges are being. I’m sorry that he clearly has anxiety issues but for a light hearted competition show I’m just exasperated with watching him.

Loved Kim Joy’s signature and showstopper. I was on the fence about her but her whimsical personality is shining through her bakes and they’re so fun to look at! Star baker well deserved.
I thought the butterfly chandelier by Dan was super cute and sweet. I’m glad he did well after a disastrous signature bake.
I also love Manon’s tidy baking. Tres chic.
posted by like_neon at 12:12 PM on September 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I occasionally make my own stem ginger (mostly when the veg box provides a glut) and I use this recipe But it is basically preserved ginger in syrup.

I was pleased with all the decisions in this episode vis a vis star baker and who was going home.
posted by halcyonday at 1:59 PM on September 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Stem ginger works much better in ginger cakes and puddings than crystallised, I find. The leftover syrup is great in hot tea or in cocktails, too.

I'm kind of shocked that biscuit chandeliers (or at least biscuit mobiles) aren't a thing on the internet already? It really seems like something that should have been a fad on Pinterest and at excessively-whimsically-decorated childrens' parties circa 2013 or 2015 at the latest. Pinterest, I am disappoint. Dan, however, is not at all disappointing.

Kim-Joy's chandelier was utterly delightful, but her signature bake is the one I truly loved. SHE NESTLED A MINIATURE GINGERBREAD HOUSE IN AN ENCHANTED FOREST OF POACHED PEARS. OF COURSE SHE DID.

I know my complaining about Terry was unseemly, but darn it, now that he's been kicked off I'm sad about it? I was much fonder of Karen, but she seems much more resilient. I hope her caravan trip is magnificent. Also, I really want to eat some walnut ma'amoul now.
posted by halation at 2:24 PM on September 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Terry and Karen leaving are not surprises, necessarily, but I'm sad anyway. They both seemed like likable people, but it's clear the time management and other issues were getting the better of them. Seeing them both get so teary at the end was a bit rough.

Yeah, I think that's what sets Ruby apart from them - she had a rough couple of weeks initially until she figured out how to bake on camera and to time but she turned a corner in the 3rd or 4th week and now she's turning out perfectly middle of the road competent bakes. Terry and Karen both sorta struggled getting their footings, and it showed.

Kim-Joy's chandelier was utterly delightful, but her signature bake is the one I truly loved. SHE NESTLED A MINIATURE GINGERBREAD HOUSE IN AN ENCHANTED FOREST OF POACHED PEARS. OF COURSE SHE DID.

Right? I found her to be just a bit too precious early on, but I'll be damned if she's isn't managing both the flavor and style portions of the bakes. I'm still not ruling out a durian flavored flameout though.

I don't think I've quite so clearly noticed the transition week where the show stylists started having enough time with the bakers before, but woof.

Also, I damn near hurt myself laughing this week. Yes, Noel and Sandi, but it's always sort of nice when the competition thins out enough that there's a bit of air for the bakers' personalities to come through, and boy they're a lively bunch this year, aren't they.
posted by Kyol at 7:07 PM on September 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I've been curious about the mastic and mahlab at my local Middle Eastern grocer but I hadn't looked up what I can do it it. These ma'amouls sound divine and are now on my to bake list.

GBBO exploring flavours from beyond the UK and Central Europe was a pleasant surprise; I hope they build upon this and introduce desserts from around the world, including places where desserts aren't historically typically baked. I do hope the judges improve their reactions to foreign-to-them flavours though; it was a couple episodes ago that Kim Joy introduced them to pandan and for a couple of professionals, Paul and Prue display how narrow their palates are in their reactions sometimes. Actually, I still remember that episode from a couple seasons ago when Paul and Mary were taken aback by a baker's plan to combine lemon and lavender. (A bit off topic now, but is lemon and lavender that unusual of a flavour combo in the UK?)
posted by mayurasana at 7:08 PM on September 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Okay, just watched this. I love how much Rahul and Kim-Joy are kind of quiet oddballs, and the show celebrates them for it. Kim-Joy is 1000% herself and she just does strange little things that give her happiness, and it works! And Rahul proves that being good at something doesn't mean you have to necessarily be boastful or even too confident about it. I like this season a lot.
posted by xingcat at 9:22 PM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, Terry's show-stopper. Oh dear. Oh man. I feel bad because he's been ill. But wow.

Kim-joy totally deserved the Star. Her detail work is really good. We were talking about she could easily open a custom-cake business with really detailed cake-top designs. I still think Rahul will win but Kim-Joy seems to be going from strength to strength.

You don't find anything online for a biscuit chandelier!

I feel like there's always (or at least often) a structural-gingerbread challenge, so it can't have been that unexpected.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:53 AM on September 27, 2018


I feel like there's always (or at least often) a structural-gingerbread challenge, so it can't have been that unexpected.

And half the time it's a complete shitshow. On the other hand that's how we got James' rundown shambles gingerbread barn in series 3 which was well received, so you never really know. The impression I always get out of the judges is that at the root of it it needs to be a good (whatever) and the structural part of it is more for determining who can bake well _and_ put together a magical monarch centerpiece.
posted by Kyol at 6:26 AM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am sorry to see Terry and his mustache go, but both him and Karen had both been scraping by for a few weeks. Maybe it was the way the early episodes were edited but KimJoy irritated me greatly at first as a walking cliché (oh, her partner owns a comic book shop? Of course he does). However she has really shown herself to be a strong contender and her stuff looks great.

Rahul is clearly the one to beat but he stumbled slightly in the final challenge. I fear he might flame out by trying too much again.
posted by AndrewStephens at 5:12 PM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Poor Terry sounds very lonely; it seems like GBBO was giving him a project to distract him from his grief. I wonder how recently he lost his wife?
posted by ocherdraco at 9:35 PM on September 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


like_neon: Bye Terry. I have no idea how you even qualified to be on this show.

RIGHT?!
posted by tzikeh at 1:13 PM on October 1, 2018


On total lack of preview, I should have read all of the comments before commenting; my incredulous reaction to Terry ever getting anywhere near the tent is extremely insensitive coming directly after a comment about his being a widower and lonely. Of course I feel for him personally.

But from the very first episode I was like "Wait, Terry is not going home?" every time they sent someone else.
posted by tzikeh at 1:23 PM on October 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Rahul needs to get a grip. He always looks like he’s being told his puppy died no matter how nice the judges are being. I’m sorry that he clearly has anxiety issues but for a light hearted competition show I’m just exasperated with watching him.

Yeah this. I have anxiety and his anxiety makes me anxious watching a show that usually just makes me happy and entertained (and teaches me new stuff, this show makes me want to bake). Yes, I get that these are real people and I definitely don't mean to be all "entertain me", but he stresses me out. He gives the impression that nothing he's ever done has ever been good enough. Maybe he has monstrous parents. If he doesn't, they must feel terrible.

Terry deserved to go, but I got quite verklempt when he teared up talking about his wife.

Karen also deserved to go, although I didn't think Paul and Pru gave her melting showstopper last week anything like the praise it was due. Hers was lovely. But overall she really struggled.

I love Ruby with her funny snarky comments about her own bakes and how she has started gently teasing Rahul to make him feel better. It's really not fair that she's THAT smart AND talented AND ridiculously gorgeous AND ALSO NICE.

And yes, Kim-Joy is slowly winning me over, and her biscuit chandelier truly was a masterpiece, it was in an entirely different class than anyone else's other than perhaps Rahul's. Her attention to detail is really paying off, her ginger cake with the tiny gingerbread house was just perfect and the tiny winter scenes on her chandelier biscuits...gorgeous. She's still weaponized levels of twee though.

In my house we are thinking that this round of bakers seem quite a lot better overall than previous seasons. Paul is doling out handshakes left and right! (Also I really like that Paul, whose TV persona of barely-controlled smoldering sarcasm-rage is well-done, has been obviously a bit distressed over how stressed out Rahul is, and is being very kind to him both in person and in the wrap-ups, Paul is a nice guy).

ALSO I WANT ALL THE GINGER CAKE! ESPECIALLY THE BOOZY ONES!
posted by biscotti at 3:57 AM on October 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


Maybe he has monstrous parents. If he doesn't, they must feel terrible.

That was our impression as well. As a fellow anxiety-haver I do have a lot of sympathy for him, but I also feel like he needs to do some work on not allowing his anxiety to become other people's problem. I can't imagine trying to give even the most constructive criticism to someone who looks like I am going to haul off and punch them any second. Be well, Rahul.

Poor Terry sounds very lonely; it seems like GBBO was giving him a project to distract him from his grief. I wonder how recently he lost his wife?

Yeah, those final comments made it seem very recent indeed, to the point that I thought, for a moment, "Was that why he was 'feeling poorly' last week?"

Also, I can't imagine having the thought "I'll make every single item mentioned in The Twelve Days of Christmas!" without immediately following it up with, "No that's way too much work, especially in a timed event."
posted by Rock Steady at 11:05 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Probably my favorite part of Kim Joy’s win was how every time the camera checked in on her, she was just chill af, icing away. I like her more and more each week.

Speaking of narrow palates, it was only last season that Paul was weirded out by the exotic combination of peanut butter and jelly.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2018


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