The Great British Bake Off: Cake Week
August 29, 2019 4:45 AM - Season 10, Episode 1 - Subscribe

This series kicks off with cake week, with challenges including a retro classic technical that demands precision and intricate decoration, and a showstopper birthday cake, taking the baker's dozen back to their childhoods.
posted by kanata (43 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
haven't seen it yet, but super excited for the new season, they're releasing it on Netflix tomorrow for US viewers. I ran through all nine seasons over a few months last winter after randomly trying an episode over the holidays last year, love it, but Sue Perkins forever. :(
posted by skewed at 7:25 AM on August 29 [5 favorites]


It's too early to pick out favorites but I'll admit to some partiality for the goth with the moth brooch.
posted by rewil at 11:03 AM on August 29 [4 favorites]


I was going to post about this but if it's showing in the US on Fridays perhaps we should wait until Saturdays before discussing each new episode?
posted by Major Clanger at 12:15 PM on August 29


As long as you all keep spoilers out of the episode descriptions, I think it's fine to post the episodes as soon as they're released. I think it's nice to let the home audience have a chance to discuss the episodes while they're fresh.
posted by skewed at 2:27 PM on August 29 [15 favorites]


I debated it as well but then figured the only reason I was holding back was because of Americans and well be the change you wish about the site being less US focused. I just took the episode description from the website and assume it is ok to discuss it in the comments what happened. If people don't want it posted then I'll stop.
posted by kanata at 11:19 PM on August 29 [11 favorites]


I hope they teach finger-chop guy some knife skills before next week, that was far too stressful.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:55 AM on August 30 [9 favorites]


kanata thanks for posting and giving this GBBS fanatic the heads up that a new season was becoming available!

I checked Netflix at just after midnight on the 30th but nope. By 4 am the first episode of what is deemed "Season 7 Episode 1" here in the US was available. I guess they are going to portion it out one episode per week? I remember watching one season at a time, but. .. things change.

I am pretty much homebound so I take my pleasures as they come. In fact, I was re-watching Season 6 earlier today!

Again, many thanks to you!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 2:04 AM on August 30 [3 favorites]


alwayson, your comment reminded me of something I'd wondered about. When watching in the US, do the judges/hosts/contestants refer to the show as the "Bake Off" or as the "Baking Show"? Are there voiceovers saying things like "Last week, on the Great British Baking Show..."?
posted by trig at 2:34 AM on August 30


Hi, trig I just pulled up an early episode to check. It started with Sue and Mel saying: "Welcome to Cake Week." Then the theme played with the montage of home kitchen scenes, and next everyone was in the tent with the hosts saying: "Welcome back, bakers. It's your second weekend in the tent." They don't mention the name of the show, but right after the theme, a placard shows GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW.

If something unusual happens (eg, 2 bakers have gone home, or someone was ill but rejoined the group) the hosts will say "Last week... " and remind the viewers.
Again the name of the show isn't mentioned but it doesn't seem like an edit.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 3:41 AM on August 30


The first episode always becomes a blur with the contestants. I only really have favorites once they narrow down but I just realised on GBBO everyone is a favorite. (Unlike top chef where I have opinions).
posted by kanata at 5:58 AM on August 30 [4 favorites]


It would be strange if US Netflix put it all out before Channel 4 did, this is a good compromise. Especially since now I can do rewatches on a proper TV instead of on the laptop.

(Calling it GBBS is weird, I ignore it when PBS does it and no one that I talk to says Baking Show.)
posted by rewil at 12:49 PM on August 30


They definitely called it "Great British Baking SHOW" a couple of times on the Netflix episode tonight, but it felt like maybe they had filmed separate takes for those. I don't think I've ever seen/heard the hosts specifically call it that on camera.

I was surprised that people had so much trouble with what seemed like a relatively straightforward technical round, but really none of them came out all that great.
posted by briank at 6:55 PM on August 30


Aw, I liked the guy who had to go home this week.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


Thanks alwayson!
I'm watching the current episode right now (UK version) and they've said the name of the show so many times just in the opening minutes before the intro sequence. A few examples:

I have a feeling I'm not on the Bake Off anymore
Welcome to the Great British Bake Off (catchphrase)
The winner of the Great British Bake Off...
I baked along with Bake Off last year (said by a contestant)
This year the Bake Off has gone one better
He's doing the Bake Off thing! (contestant)
Who will be crowned the winner of the Great British Bake Off?

I think one of these days I'm going to have to watch the two versions side-by-side just to see what edits they've been doing (there's nothing like that great feeling you get when being productive...)
posted by trig at 7:17 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


I always enjoy the Guardian As-It-Happened's. I liked Dan, but to quote the linked article, "The hipster always goes week 1". (Also, yes, Michelle does look like Fleabag's sister.)

Also kind of surprised at the weakness in the technical, since the actual baking (not decoration/construction/etc.) seemed strong for everyone in both the Signature and Showstoppers--for the most part (poor Dan), the critiques were on flavor or very mild slightly over done/underdone type things. I was wondering about use of electric mixers vs. whisks in the initial heating-of-the-egg stage (the electric mixer ones looked lighter/fluffier), but didn't keep track of who had success with which method in the end.
posted by damayanti at 7:45 AM on August 31


Yeah, I sort of enjoy the early season most for the "oh geez, how did you get selected?" failures before the second half of the season turns into baking finesse under pressure. I don't really get to the "everybody's a winner, I'm cheering them all on" until at least halfway through the season? Before then it's sort of clear there are some bakers who just can't quite translate their home baking skill into a timed televised process, for better or worse.

And I sort of wished it was more clear who failed the technical versus who tried to hand-whip the eggs. Like, was it a straight up technique fault, or did some people manage to crash the bubbles while folding the flour into the eggs?

Thankfully I didn't notice any new inedible pretty instagram shit creeping into the show, although I still cast a bit of side-eye at all the damned fondant floor tile they were draping their showstoppers with. The instagram bakery shit just bugs me. I want GBBO's output to be more or less what a competent home baker could produce using ingredients from a well stocked grocers baking aisle, not specialty tomfoolery from a cake supply house that doesn't contribute anything to the taste.

I'm a traditionalist, I guess. And it's a fine line between creative uses of sugar and royal frosting and an airbrushed monstrosity.
posted by Kyol at 10:03 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


HOW ON EARTH could GBBO feature a cake celebrating the moon landing without mentioning that Sandi was in the Houston control room at the time?

Wikipedia: As an eleven-year-old, Toksvig was present with her father, a leading Danish foreign affairs journalist, at NASA Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas during the first moon landing. In an appearance on BBC 1 show The TV That Made Me, she stated she held the hand of Neil Armstrong's nervous secretary to calm the woman down during the final moments.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:25 PM on August 31 [50 favorites]


sorry, that airtime was devoted to showing the guy diligently rubbing the capsule, up and down, to uh smooth the fondant or whatever
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:47 PM on August 31 [30 favorites]


I've now done the Angel Cake technical challenge; my effort can be seen here. Bear in mind that I didn't have the time constraints or stress the bakers were under, and also the recipe posted on the GBBO website is usually more comprehensive than the one the bakers are given, plus I knew what I was meant to achieve!

Jamie was incredibly lucky not to go; I doubt that the judges would have taken much blame if they'd just decided to get the double-elimination (due to having 13 bakers) out of the way now by dropping both him and Dan. My suspicion is that Jamie was assessed as having a bad case of first-week nerves that he might recover from, whereas Dan was a competent baker who was just overshadowed by the rest of the tent.

I was watching the show whilst keeping tabs on the #GBBO tag on Twitter and the, ahem, rocket-rubbing scene got turned into a GIF very quickly. I was also in a group chat with some other nerdy friends and yes, we are all sure that Helena the Goth knows exactly what a Furry is (when Paul misheard 'Fairy Garden' as 'Furry Garden').
posted by Major Clanger at 6:36 AM on September 1 [15 favorites]


By the way, if you try that recipe, I'd do step 4 before steps 2 and 3 - get everything for the mixture prepared in triplicate first, and then do the time and temperature-sensitive stuff. Also, it's the only time I've been glad I have 3 rubber spatulas, I didn't even want to be taking time to clean one between doing each layer mixture.
posted by Major Clanger at 6:41 AM on September 1


I thought a...different reference was being made wrt “furry garden.”
posted by PussKillian at 8:17 AM on September 1 [24 favorites]


I've now done the Angel Cake technical challenge; my effort can be seen here.

Major Clanger, you are star baker of this thread.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:49 AM on September 1 [6 favorites]


Dan! Have you never watched this show? Changing your recipe at the last minute with no testing. Dangit. I hate for anyone to go.

Holy cow they got Paul Hollywood into a Tin Man outfit. Prue was a good sport, too.
posted by Glinn at 9:59 AM on September 1 [5 favorites]


PussKillian: I thought a...different reference was being made wrt “furry garden.”
Same. Also why everyone was having a hard time stifling their laughter at, "So, how big is your furry garden?"
posted by Superplin at 1:53 PM on September 1 [3 favorites]


I wish they’d give them a little more time. I’d rather see everyone put forth their best effort rather than have the time limit drama. I felt like last season several of the challenges ended up with no one’s thing turning out very well, especially the finale.
I was also kinda sad that Dan (?) left —I thought Jamie was irritating and was hoping they’d send him home. Oh well, maybe next week!
posted by exceptinsects at 10:53 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Jamie came out of a 90s boy band so henceforth his nickname is Bakestreet
posted by Mikey-San at 11:23 PM on September 2 [15 favorites]


He's doing the Bake Off thing! (contestant)

On the Netflix/American version they definitely edited this to be just "He's doing the thing!"

Yeah, the "furry garden" was definitely referring to, er, intimate hair styling.

I found the fruit cake a weird challenge to do in summer. Like, the idea of an Easter fruit cake is very weird to me as an American. Do Brits eat fruit cake at holidays other than Christmas?
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:22 PM on September 3


Do Brits eat fruit cake at holidays other than Christmas?

Yup! We have a particular kind of fruitcake at Christmas, which we call Christmas cake and is very densely dark and fruity and covered in marzipan and royal icing; but various kinds of fruitcakes are also just part of the normal repertoire year-round, including regional specialties like Bara Brith. Wedding cakes always used to be dark fruitcakes as well, but I think that has gone out of fashion a bit. And Simnel Cake is a particular fruitcake made for Easter (traditionally, although again not especially common any more).
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:38 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


When watching in the US, do the judges/hosts/contestants refer to the show as the "Bake Off" or as the "Baking Show"? Are there voiceovers saying things like "Last week, on the Great British Baking Show..."?

In British English, a "show" is normally a term for an event which commands an in-person audience: flower show, horse show, Muppet show even - but much less as a catch all synonym for any TV programme. If you tell a Brit "I've been watching this great show" then they will probably understand you mean on TV - but it is not a certainty. In the US, I believe that the expression "bake-off" is associated with the Pillsbury Company - which is unknown to Brits - except those who watched Ghostbusters. Could that be why the US edition changed the name?
posted by rongorongo at 5:15 AM on September 4


the Pillsbury Company - which is unknown to Brits - except those who watched Ghostbusters

(Can you elaborate? My initial thought was that you might have mixed up the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with the Pillsbury Doughboy, but now I'm hoping it wasn't a mix-up and that in the British cut of the film it actually is a giant Pillsbury Doughboy terrorizing Manhattan.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:17 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


> briank: They definitely called it "Great British Baking SHOW" a couple of times on the Netflix episode tonight, but it felt like maybe they had filmed separate takes for those. I don't think I've ever seen/heard the hosts specifically call it that on camera.

It was fairly clear in the intro that as they said "Welcome to the Great British Baking Show" that their lip movements weren't synced up with the last two words. They must have done some ADR takes for the US cut.

> rongorongo: Could that be why the US edition changed the name?

Yes, it's a trademark issue (or at least a potential trademark issue they are choosing to avoid).
posted by Rock Steady at 10:14 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I have a GBBO question and I'm sorry if it has been answered previously.

Why do they wear the same clothes all weekend? They make it clear that it is a 2 day event; it's not like that part is being covered up. And then they talk about the heat in the tent all the time. And they all have to show up on day 2 in those nasty clothes?!

I used to be a baker and I went home covered in flour every single day... I wasn't even working with sugary icing very often. I would not rewear those clothes!
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:28 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I remember reading that it was for continuity reasons. Like maybe they shoot the segment at the end talking about reaction to Day 1 events on Day 2 in actuality. Or if there was some kind of error in taping on Day 1 they can redo on Day 2.
posted by peacheater at 7:45 PM on September 4 [6 favorites]


I don't know the specific reason for it in this show, but some people (definitely me) are not good at remembering people's faces and if they switched clothes from day one to day two I'd have trouble remembering who did what. This is especially helpful for me during the first few episodes, before individual personalities and tendencies have emerged.
posted by skewed at 6:49 AM on September 5 [6 favorites]


Holy cow, I never knew until I saw Major Clanger's comment above that they post some of the recipes! I've just been browsing and I now have a serious need to make flapjacks this weekend.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:13 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Yes - one of the first things I do after the show is look at the recipe page to see what's been posted. As well as the week's Technical Challenge they usually post a few of the bakers' recipes for people to try.

I also recommend following some of the previous series' bakers on Instagram, as they regularly post recipes:

Briony
Manon
Kim-Joy
Ruby

(Note that some of them post recipes on the 'story' part of their Instagram, not the main feed - look for the link from their profile page.)
posted by Major Clanger at 7:38 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


KIM-JOY AND MANON AND RUBY AND BRIONY YAY THANK YOU

Heh; for those who maybe missed it; in December, Noel Fielding was on the years-end panel quiz show "Big Fat Quiz Of The Year" for 2018, and they had Kim-Joy as one of the surprise question-askers (It's a thing they do) and Noel was visibly overjoyed to see her. She had a tray of little meringue kisses, one for each contestant, and each one decorated with a meticulously painted picture of their face. Noel asked her a couple of advanced-level questions about the meringues, and after they had a tiny conversation about them, he looked out at the befuddled audience and said, "that's right, I'm on Bake-off, motherfuckers!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 AM on September 5 [17 favorites]


Phil's rocket cake was described as sherbet flavored. What exactly is a sherbet-flavored cake? I would think it would be a cake with frozen sherbet (that is, a type of fruit flavored ice cream), but it's clearly not here.
posted by ShooBoo at 12:21 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Sherbet (powder)

I was actually curious about that because I’m not sure sherbet has that much of a flavour beyond sugar and chemical sourness. The fizziness is going to be lost in a cake, after all.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:30 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


1. You shouldn't step through that tent opening without having baked a genoise sponge!
2. Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed Michelle's resemblance to Fleabag's sister
3. But did anyone notice how much Steph (of the massive bangs) looked like Posh Spice?
posted by Julnyes at 12:36 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


You shouldn't step through that tent opening without having baked a genoise sponge!

Just watched this episode with Mr. creepygirl and that was our reaction too!

(Though the worst “have you ever WATCHED this show to see what basic skills they test” moment was Stacy in Season 8. She was wealthy enough to spend a YEAR practicing baking 8 hours a day, and yet had never tempered chocolate.)

Michael’s comment “Don’t worry, it’s just your childhood dreams on the line” made him an instant favorite for me.

I liked that the showstopper was more open-ended in terms of technical requirements than some (like last year’s cake showstopper that required a collar around two tiers of cake). There was a lot of variation in the way things looked (loved the delightfully weird snake cake).
posted by creepygirl at 10:13 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I'm so thrilled it's weekly just because I can pop over here to discuss it one episode at a time.

As for baking the cake I would have wanted as a child: my mom's friend's Mississippi mud cake (no recipe, might need to make that an ask) with chocolate frosting. That's it! No decorations! I would have failed that challenge.
posted by JawnBigboote at 9:52 AM on September 12


As for baking the cake I would have wanted as a child: my mom's friend's Mississippi mud cake (no recipe, might need to make that an ask) with chocolate frosting. That's it! No decorations! I would have failed that challenge.

I struggled with that too! I sometimes think about "what would I do if I were a contestant" and for that one, I would have been screwed because for me it was all about what the cake tasted like, not how it looked. (I'd probably flail and do something like, "uh, a Snoopy-shaped cake?")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:07 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


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