The Great British Bake Off: Dairy Week
September 20, 2019 5:12 PM - Season 10, Episode 4 - Subscribe

In the first ever Dairy week, the bakers face challenges that include a historical pastry and Indian milk sweets.

A cake crumble, a dessert meltdown and a universally disappointing technical challenge, Maids of Honor. Henry the VIII would NOT be pleased.
posted by miss-lapin (37 comments total)
Phil?! I didn't expect him to make it until the end, but I was surprised it was him this week.
posted by schroedinger at 5:51 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]

Yeah I was pissed about 1 the phil elimination-this seems to be more going towards "drama building" then legit judging by ruffling the contestants 2 again pushing the 2 eliminations narrative-I do think two bakers could have legitimately gone this home week-but pushing that EVERY WEEK to artificially raise the stakes is bs. This is the second week in a row the judges have mentioned this possibility.

HOWEVER, one big thing is something with rose in it was actually applauded by the judges! Huzzah! I was concerned because it was used so often this week.

As much as I love Michael, why would you do something that only works 1/2 the time? Just seems like a terrible choice.

With the Maids of Honor, I missed the historical section because there is a TON of history for that dish which could easily have fit in the show. Or a segment on Indian milk sweets for viewers outside of the UK. If anyone has some serious wisdom about them, I would love to learn more.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:25 PM on September 20 [4 favorites]

As much as I love Michael, why would you do something that only works 1/2 the time? Just seems like a terrible choice.

I was watching with captions on and he said it worked out one out of ten times, which is infinitely worse, strategically. Hopefully this is a lesson to simplify or change a recipe if it's not working in practice.

I understand why Phil and others were shocked by this result, but the judges didn't like the flavors of his Signature and seemed to actively hate the flavors of his Showstopper. Paul liked the flavors of Michael's disastrous Signature, and both Michael and Priya were praised for the flavors of their Showstoppers. I don't think the judging is always great or consistent, but they often claim that the most important factor is that the bakes have to taste good, and I think you could make a case for Phil leaving based on that.

That said, I felt really bad for him, and turned to Mr. creepygirl and asked, "Couldn't they just kick Jamie off again?"
posted by creepygirl at 8:38 PM on September 20 [7 favorites]

Yeah I can see that, but for me Michael's poor planning seems more bootworthy. Don't get me wrong, I really like Michael. But I do think he should have been booted and I think keeping him on was for more of a dramatic arc possibly (potential underdog) than actual reasons.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:06 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]

I was bummed by the technical. In my opinion, if no one does a good job in the technical, it’s Paul & Prue’s fault. They give the recipe and set the time, so if no one can pull it off, I’d blame the recipe and/or the time, not an entire tent full of bakers.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:35 PM on September 20 [19 favorites]

I hear that, sleeping bear, but it was clear they were all under sizing their pastry from before the blind bake. And how on earth do you get on that show, and develop all your recipes for it, without ever making rough puff? Or lemon curd?
posted by janell at 12:43 AM on September 21 [8 favorites]

Michael's poor planning seems more bootworthy.

I dunno, I think that when it comes to a crunch the judges tend to consider someone's overall pattern and someone who's maybe made one huge mistake can survive if they've had a pattern of big success in the past, whereas someone who's been more consistently "....meh...." is the one who gets the boot. It can be a demonstration that "okay, this big mistake may have been just a one-time thing, but that guy may have just hit a plateau and will never rise above this level."

They didn't only dislike the flavors of Phil's showstopper, they also thought it looked a little blah. The gnome was the best bit, but the actual sweets were on the simplistic side.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:21 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]

For the pro-Michael column, his signature bake looked a mess, but tasted very good. Phil's also looked a mess, but I think got slightly less glowing reviews for taste.

For the pro-Priya column, yes, she did terrible in the technical, but so did everyone else. (Were hers really that much worse than Helen's shortcrust versions?) I'm guessing the technical would've gone better with (1) instructions for the size of the rounds to cut out --everyone was clearly envisioning tartlets-- and (2) slightly more time for the pastry turns. (And a picture of a tutor rose, apparently.)

Phil was clearly running in the Norman (Series 5; the one that popped up first on Netflix) track: solid baker, but not the most creative. Norman got the boot in episode 5, but no one went home in episode 4; that was Diana's post-bin gate illness that forced her to withdraw. I think the judges realized he had peaked, are betting that Priya and Michael hadn't, and decided accordingly.

(Also I'm now very pro-Michael and Priya, for both the "I like your T-shirt" and "I haven't got time to cry!" exchange. And Phil has made too many "Har har the missus!" jokes for me. So...I'm not gutted he's gone.)
posted by damayanti at 6:54 AM on September 21 [8 favorites]

I was fucking delighted to see Phil go, because in the preceding episodes, it seemed like every single time he was on camera, he managed to work in some comment or another about how very, very masculine he is, which was tedious where it wasn't offensive. Like, dude, if it's that threatening to your masculinity to appear on a baking show with some women and gay dudes, maybe don't apply to be on the show?
posted by Spathe Cadet at 7:15 AM on September 21 [10 favorites]

I also really disliked Maids of Honor as a technical challenge,and the judging of something NO ONE had ever seen or heard of was overly harsh. Everyone deserved congratulations for getting something edible out. Maids of Honor were a good choice to highlight the history of English baking and make the contestants' lives unnecessarily difficult. They could have picked tres leches cake, panna cotta, or any European cheese pie if they'd wanted some contestants to succeed.

I don't see that much likeness in Phil to Norman, who baked very, very plain and simple things (not too much coffee-brandy syrup in the tiramisu! vanilla cake and ice cream and a bit of fresh strawberries for the baked Alaska showstopper). Phil was more adventurous with his flavors. Phil's misogyny was grating, and shocking to me for a show that succeeds at showing the variety of people who make up Great Britain.

how on earth do you get on that show, and develop all your recipes for it, without ever making rough puff? Or lemon curd?

In bread week, Henry said he'd only learned that week: "You can learn a lot in four days." That made me wonder if the recruiters avoid people who have prepped to be on the show, or if they survey contestants on what they've made and deliberately pick things most people haven't made.

I REALLY want to know all the secrets. Who eats all that food, especially the first few weeks? Who cleans the benches between time's up and presentation? Can people bring their own things, and how much can they bring? Why is everyone using that same bundt pan this year?
posted by JawnBigboote at 8:02 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]

Regarding Phil, I do wonder if the production team selected footage to over-emphasise aspects of his personality. I'm in an online discussion group which includes someone who knows someone who knows Phil, and - supposedly - he doesn't come across like that in person. Or perhaps this friend-of-a-friend just hasn't seen that side of him.

Now normally I'd take the second explanation, because so many middle-aged white men are like that. But I have it on good authority that the GBBO production team do tend to select footage that creates a narrative about each baker, and I accept this might not be entirely representative of them as a person.

Mind you, the partner of one of my colleagues was at veterinary school with Rosie and apparently she is exactly like what we see on the show.

Anyway, on to the baking. I entirely agree with all the criticism of the Maids of Honour technical challenge; if everyone makes a mess of it, the problem doesn't lie with the bakers. Even with the full recipe I found this far from straightforward, and I had the luxury of being able to do my rough puff pastry separately in advance rather than alternate chilling and rolling with trying to do both the lemon curd and the filling and cut out a fiddly stencil. Mine at least rose properly although the pastry came out a bit singed (I must remember that our oven can run a little hot) and I'm sure Paul would have slated me for uneven results. They tasted fantastic though.
posted by Major Clanger at 2:11 PM on September 21 [16 favorites]

I'm putting money on Major Clanger to reach the finals
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:26 PM on September 21 [12 favorites]

Apparently they have something like 6 weeks notice to get all the briefs before filming starts. It doesn’t say when they have to turn in their recipes, though.
posted by janell at 3:13 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]

Paul and Prue were definitely more jokey and cheery after Rosie's limoncello aperitifs
posted by Xere at 6:56 PM on September 21

Hmm, I’m surprised to hear this characterization of Phil as a horrible man-monster. I found him pretty inoffensive and forgettable, except for that extended soul patch thingy.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:17 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]

Also, my family is watching GBBO while also watching Survivor. It’s an . . . interesting pairing. Maybe my sense of things is off, as a result.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:45 PM on September 21

Oooh, I always wondered if the concept art of the bakes was done before they are baked, based on the intended design, or after the bake based on what it was supposed to look like.
“I receive a pack of photos of the finished bakes from the set after each episode has been filmed that I use for reference,” he told the BBC. “I sketch out all the bakes quickly in pencil to get the details, form and shape I am after."
Interesting because often the concept art barely resembles the finished piece, so I suppose there's some artistic licence there.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:16 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]

Seeing all those cakes baked in ring-shaped cake tins for the signature made me wonder how detailed the briefs are for the bakers. Obviously they have to lay out explicitly what the theme is and what the judges are looking for, but I wonder how much they get in terms of examples recipes and whatnot.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 7:36 AM on September 22

the GBBO production team do tend to select footage that creates a narrative about each baker
Yeah, it's still reality teevee. I know Stu, the sacrifical hipster from season 6, and he's a sweetheart.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:05 AM on September 22

the GBBO production team do tend to select footage that creates a narrative about each baker

Yeah, like how in the last two episodes they've deliberately shown a zoomed-in shot of Michael holding hands with (I think) Priya, when he is clearly gay.
posted by Automocar at 11:11 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Major Clanger, you should know that there is a household in Florida (mine) which now awaits the results of your technical with great anticipation! Your Maids of Honor inspired much mouth-watering this week.
posted by youarenothere at 11:17 AM on September 22

youarenothere, thank you very much!
posted by Major Clanger at 5:14 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]

> the GBBO production team do tend to select footage that creates a narrative about each baker

Yeah, like how in the last two episodes they've deliberately shown a zoomed-in shot of Michael holding hands with (I think) Priya, when he is clearly gay.

I don't think the holding-hands-during-the-judging stuff is meant to be any kind of "oh they're in luuuuuv" narrative, I think it's more of an "oh they're all nervous and they're reassuring each other because all the bakers are friends and they lean on each other when they're nervous" kind of narrative.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:38 AM on September 23 [15 favorites]

I dunno... I don't recall zoomed-in shots of the same two hands before, in multiple episodes. I think the producers are changing the show in subtle ways to create more drama.
posted by Automocar at 6:44 AM on September 23

Alice and Henry are dating, so it's not like romance can't occur.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:45 AM on September 23

I was speaking more towards whether "shot of two bakers holding hands" was ipso facto intended to represent "these two people are dating" as opposed to representing "these two people are afraid they're getting kicked out of the tent".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:50 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Alice and Henry are dating, so it's not like romance can't occur.

Apparently a day later, that isn't the case (too bad, I thought it would be cute).

(Props to this article for calling out Noel's shirt, which did give me motion sickness--although I have a tetchy equilibrium so many things give me motion sickness.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:46 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]

I'm not normally susceptible to these things and that shirt made me queasy, too. I do feel like they are amping up the drama a bit since earlier seasons--Noel's narration often seems especially obnoxious in that respect.
posted by chaiminda at 12:52 PM on September 23

Noel's comments to the bakers are often obnoxious. He is my least favorite part of the show.

I really just miss Mel and Sue. It's clear they were a kind and grounding influence on the show.
posted by Automocar at 9:50 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]

This certainly made me want to go out and find mishti to try, they looked interesting! Otherwise agreed that a botched technical like this is totally on the judges. I was yelling at Paul when he said oh they're not high enough, how are they supposed to know that? That's entirely on you there buddy.
posted by Carillon at 11:45 AM on September 24 [3 favorites]

I’m enjoying this season a bit less than before. I think it’s coinciding with the new crew settling in more. Noel and Sandy are fine but not endearing, and Prue is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
posted by hijinx at 5:36 PM on September 24 [1 favorite]

I like Prue just fine - she doesn't remind me of my grandmother the way Mary did, and that's a good news/bad news thing honestly - and I want to be friends with Sandi, but I am very over Noel. He just... pings my radar a little bit. Not in a good way.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:10 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]

I love Noel, but I'm a Mighty Boosh fan. Despite that, I continue to miss Mel and Sue.

I was honestly surprised it was Phil, though a tasteless Showstopper is a big deal breaker.
posted by Julnyes at 10:57 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]

I wish Prue and Paul had just said, "Look, you will all fail the technical and that's the point. We want to see HOW you fail."
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:10 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]

I must know more about the mold Michael used to shape his mishti! Anyone have any ideas?
posted by Rora at 5:19 PM on September 28

I must know more about the mold Michael used to shape his mishti! Anyone have any ideas?

That is a modak mold! Used traditionally to make modak, which are used to celebrate the god Ganesha, which Michael actually talks about when he's showing the mold. Modak are actually made with a rice flour outer layer filled with coconut and jaggery (I made some recently!) so it's not traditional to use them to shape milk sweets.

Actually as someone who grew up with these kinds of sweets it was really fascinating to see the creative imagination of the bakers at work on these traditional sweets. And props to the producers - the pronunciations and explanations of things (what little they provided anyway) was spot on. They could have provided more explanation though - while these kinds of sweets are common across India, calling them mishti is specific to Bengal.
posted by peacheater at 6:37 PM on October 3 [7 favorites]

Thank you, peacheater! I've been trying to learn more about Asian desserts and I love all the wonderful molds that are used in their creation.
posted by Rora at 5:28 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]

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