The Great British Bake Off: Patisserie Week
October 25, 2019 5:22 PM - Season 10, Episode 9 - Subscribe

So pastry and patisserie are different now.

For the signature challenge, bakers are tasked with making eight identically decorated domed tarts. For the technical challenge, construct a Gâteau Saint Honoré. For the showstopper challenge, make sugar glass cabinets.
posted by miss-lapin (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The bakers AND Sandy wore ties.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:23 PM on October 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I loved the ties!!!! I was especially touched that Sandy wore one.

I think Rosie's elimination was fair but it was super sad, especially when she did so surprisingly well in the technical!
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:06 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

David's signature looked like little breasts and when Prue said she'd never seen anything like it, I literally laughed out loud. Where were the crass jokes on that bake?

Sad for Rosie, but not surprised. The edit make it seem like Steph would be star baker, which was odd bc Alice's confessionals made it clear she got lots of positive feedback that wasn't really shown. I don't really understand why they would make that editing decision?

Also maybe I'm just sensitive to it because it's been mentioned here before, but more weird Neil/Alice interactions, and I don't think Rosie was kidding when she said she didn't like Neil anymore. He's starting to come across to me as aggressively unfunny & it sort of feels like he's just making jokes at the expense of bakers to make up for it which booooo
posted by likeatoaster at 6:30 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Attention, British bakers. The 80s called, and it wants its white chocolate back.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:08 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I didn't think most of the domed tartlets looked very good. And I was so impressed that Rosie tossed two sets of choux pastry and her puff pastry and still finished, much less won the technical! Go Rosie!

But her showstopper just didn't look as good as anyone else's, the content aside. David's glass case was a thing of beauty.

I do miss seeing more of the bakers' lives, though. Where are the extraneous bits that flesh out these characters? Or the history of the gateaux St. Honore?
posted by suelac at 8:27 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yet another Sandy in the sack joke.

posted by miss-lapin at 8:53 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

What crawled up Paul's butt this week?
posted by miss-lapin at 9:04 PM on October 25, 2019

Prue's comments at the end about Rosie felt unnecessarily harsh. I know I'm a sensitive snowflake, but... Usually, when someone gets cut, they go way less hard on them, talking about their talent and that they just had a really bad weekend or something.

I also found myself really pissed at Noel's shitty comments to Rosie about not believing she'd made it that far, and then going "I'm joooking" when she called him out. I loathe belitting "jokes" like that. She didn't deserve it.

If I'd been carrying or holding something when they let that snake in a can thing pop so loud, I'd have been so startled I'd have dropped it. Seems like a really weird thing to do around stressed-out, anxious bakers who could break things or burn themselves.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:06 PM on October 25, 2019 [10 favorites]

I'm wondering if that's editing. At the end of the technical, there was an almost drop from Rosie that made me so panic. I'm sure in previous seasons there were similar moments, but they didn't show them
posted by miss-lapin at 10:19 PM on October 25, 2019

I'm annoyed that the judges set a showstopper that has nothing to do with patisserie and then complain about the results have nothing to do with patisserie and the sugar work really isn't important.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:42 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Random thoughts:

I went in thinking Rosie had no chance at making it into the final because she’d gone something like 4 straight weeks of being ‘in trouble” but not eliminated. Even though I expected it, it still was pretty painful to watch her rally in a very stressful technical and then have a disappointing showstopper.

I don’t know if this has happened before, but the technical results were the mirror opposite of the overall results.

1. Rosie
2. David
3. Steph
4. Alice

1. Alice
2. Steph
3. David
4. Rosie

The suspense for me was whether Steph would tie Richard for most Star Baker wins.

David is the first finalist without a Star Baker win since Mary-Anne Boermans (one of my favorite bakers ever) way back in Series 2.

I laughed when Paul said that this was a great group of finaliists and could be one of the best finals ever, because it came shortly after some post-results crititicism of David’s work. If you want to sell me on how great a finalist David is, it would probably help if you didn’t include the part about “if Rosie had done better in the showstopper, David would have gone home.”
posted by creepygirl at 11:56 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Bearing in mind that the GBBS (as we call it where I live in the States) used to help me de-stress and kept me nominally sane for the past several years, I am quite unhappy.

Not only did I enjoy watching it and paid close attention, but in stressful times I would let it run as background noise while I read or did other things around the apartment. Soothing voices. Nice chatter. The soundtrack is my phone's ringtone and waking alarm.

I even baked!

Fuhgedaboutit!! Noel has been let out of his cage, and we see less and less actual BAKING! What is required of the bakers is not food, something one would care to eat and share, but a Dali nightmare.

And so little time is given to getting to know the background of the bakers, that I can only say this series had a vet, a geography teacher and a student who wore ties. I used to get to know these people!

Someone should get the sack, (or, put Noel in it and tighten the cord). The man is out of his element and struggling.

The show is now a case in how to ruin a good thing and irritate an avid audience.

I shall have to find another means of de-stressing as is evident from this post. (sigh)
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 2:06 AM on October 26, 2019 [10 favorites]

This episode makes it clear that the problem with the show this season is inconsistency in tone, editing, etc. Last week, for example, Noel wasn't too bad, this week he's back to Mr. Annoying.

At its core, the formula still works though. I still find myself invested in the bakers. I'm for sure on Team Alice now, maybe because her brand of disorganization (that somehow comes out good) reminds me of my own style in the kitchen. I mean look at the difference between her dome mold and David's! Lol.
posted by jeremias at 5:25 AM on October 26, 2019 [2 favorites] doesn't work for me. I love the baketestants, but after this season I'm officially done.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:42 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Haven't seen anything after the intro yet but THE TIES! This is what we love about GBBO.
posted by JawnBigboote at 11:37 AM on October 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

kanata, I feel kind of like a shill because I keep recommending them but if you can get your hands on the other BBC-run Great British shows (Sewing Bee, Pottery Throwdown) you might well get the same feeling from them.

I actually feel like Bake Off has always been somewhat stressful (I couldn't get through the first few episodes I tried to watch years ago, for that reason, and couldn't understand all the reviews that described it as relaxing television). It also has been driving me crazy for years how mean the judges often are at the end of the show when explaining why the latest person "had to" leave. But it has been feeling a little harsher. I think part of it is the editing, part of it is the lack of Mary Berry staring at people with that look of fond humor (I actually mostly like Prue, but she'd be a better balance for Mary than for the doughball of fragile egotism that is Paul), and part of it is something that some other comments mentioned - that it doesn't quite feel like the hosts are completely on the side of the bakers rather than on the side of the production and the ratings. Neither of them really gives off that feeling of warmth and caring that Mel and Sue did. And both of them seem like they're trying so hard to be quirky, as if they don't trust the contestants and the competition to be enough. With Mel and Sue it felt more like they saw the contestants, and the whole idea of this hobby and competition that people put their hearts into, as the stars of the show. It was easy to overlook how much they brought to the show because they didn't generally center themselves.

Also, you'd think there would be more time in each episode to show either more of the baking/judging processes or more about who the contestants are, given that the history segments are gone. I can't tell what they've been doing with that extra time, which isn't great.
posted by trig at 2:13 PM on October 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also, you'd think there would be more time in each episode to show either more of the baking/judging processes or more about who the contestants are, given that the history segments are gone. I can't tell what they've been doing with that extra time, which isn't great.

It didn’t have any ads when it was on the BBC, so that’s one chunk of time that got lost with the switch to Channel 4.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 10:40 AM on October 27, 2019

That's what I thought at first, but without ads the Channel 4 episodes are still an hour long, like the BBC ones.
posted by trig at 12:30 PM on October 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’m definitely on team “figure it out Bake Off” but I don’t get the “we don’t know the bakers” criticism. I guess at this point in previous seasons we’d have seen a bit more about them, but we definitely got it earlier. Maybe it’s because it was all front-loaded this time?
posted by Automocar at 2:09 PM on October 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

What's the portrait artist of the year? I'm frankly bored with Bake Off. When the bakers are having their melt downs and they need support, that was when it used to be lovely to see someone go and rally them up, but neither Noel or Sandi seem as warm or supportive. And I remember we had better bios of the bakers - a montage of Rosie as a vet would have been really nice. I guess we'll see that next week, but I would have rather had it this week, before the big finale. I feel like I barely know the three contestants.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:15 PM on October 27, 2019

They need to bring Nailed It back. That's a very sweet natured show.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:39 PM on October 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm really sensitive that way too, Kanata. In fact, I found watching GBBO last season really unenjoyable because of Rahul's intense emotional response to everything.

Basically with Nailed It, failure is gauranteed, but that's the fun. Everyone laughs and has a good time while attempting to make crazy stuff. It reminds me a bit of when my mom and I try and put furniture together.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:40 AM on October 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

I feel that way, too, Kanata, and this season may be my last one. I disliked how rude Prue was to Ruby last season, that Paul's often described Rahul in diminutive terms, and while I've liked Sandi and Noel in other contexts, their choices in GBBO are making me actively dislike them. Why aren't they nicer?

Also, I've become slowly but increasingly impatient with how narrow Paul and Prue's palates are. This is no different really than Paul and Marry Berry's palates, mind. But 10 years with so little diversity in flavours, contestants, and cuisine, and the expected surprise and cautiousness toward any flavour Paul and Prue find nominally outside their comfort zone, is wearing thin. There are a ton of first and second generation British people--can their foods be featured more?

I miss the historical segments, and as of this season, I miss the family/bio clips for each contestant. GBBO has turned into just another reality show for me. Maybe I'm also looking for another medium where creative and unusual flavours are received with appreciation rather than suspicion.

After this week's finale (in which I hope David and his spicebox win), I guess I'll return to the Sewing Bee. (Pottery Throwdown was just lovely.)
posted by mayurasana at 9:14 PM on October 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

Mayurasana-I'm with you on everything. One thing that might help with the limited palates is something they've never done before, have guest judges. On some level it makes things more difficult for the bakers because you have a wild card in judging. But having other judges may offset Paul and Prue's limited palates.

Just a side note-apparently season 1 of Nailed It! France dropped. I tried it and yeah...don't go there. I made it through like 12 minutes and tapped out.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:00 PM on October 28, 2019

So this just popped up on my feed. Whether Michael and Henry are an actual couple or not, that photo of them together just made my whole week.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:44 PM on October 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

amazing, because Alice and Henry dating was also a rumor. Hilariously enough, both articles feature the same group shot.
posted by likeatoaster at 5:04 PM on October 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

ok I think we need a new tv show called Everybody Love Henry. And it's just Henry baking with various people and calling them darling.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:41 PM on October 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

Apparently Rosie has a very serious nut allergy, and the show was great about accommodating her.

I think it’s pretty cool that they just took the necessary steps to make things safe for her, and didn’t make a huge deal about it (or mention it all, as far as I can recall) on the broadcast.
posted by creepygirl at 12:07 PM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think I'm losing patience with the show for a number of reasons:

There's the increase in meanness among presenters / judges (which I've already discussed before).

There's the weird/misleading editing, apparently to make the judging results seem surprising (which I've also discussed before).

There's the increase in stunt-y challenges like "3-D biscuit selfie" or "tiered pies" which shifts the focus from "making stuff that looks and tastes good" (which I like) to "architecture with technically edible materials" (which I don't like).

There's the narrowness of the palates that mayurasana mentioned. I'm not sure the narrowness has gotten worse, but as the bakers try more and more new stuff that the judges hate, I become ever more aware of just how small the range of acceptable flavors is--FFS, chocolate and cream and raspberries are much closer to being a culinary cliche than some weird flavor combination Rosie made up for a challenge, but you'd never know that from Paul and Prue. And there's also visual narrowness--like I guess no one should ever mix fresh blueberries with anything white, because Prue hated the way Priya's blueberry meringue looked.

It sucks because the show is kind of a unicorn for me. I hate artificially-created interpersonal drama and backstabbing, so that rules out American reality TV. I like the fact the bakes are judged on the way they taste (and not just the way they look), so shows about sewing or pottery or glassblowing are never going to do it for me. I don't like watching people being set up to fail, even if the show is generally good-natured, so Nailed It is never going to work for me.

Honestly, at this point, I would love to watch a show that was just former baketestants baking stuff together and talking about techniques and flavors. I don't need judges or hosts or even a competition.
posted by creepygirl at 7:33 PM on October 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

Honestly, at this point, I would love to watch a show that was just former baketestants baking stuff together

I forget which season, but one of them contestants really gelled and so after the finale they showed pictures of them getting together. It was very sweet. I would like entire show of that. And maybe even Sue and Mel could drop in.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:51 AM on October 31, 2019

I tried watching a few Bake Off versions from other countries a while back. I remember not liking the French or Australian ones, but the Irish episode I watched seemed pretty good and I remember reading something about major changes later taking place with the Australian version. So maybe worth checking out.

miss-lapin, that might have been season 7? (Your comment made me think of that picture with Selasi and Val)
posted by trig at 3:20 PM on October 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

Trig, Australian bake-off S1 was indeed a production disaster that I watched for the bakes only. But S2 onwards they seemed to get the vibe of GBBO down and I quite enjoyed it.
posted by Wulfhere at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I watched a random late season episode of The Great AustralianBake Off and it was fun!
posted by miss-lapin at 1:49 PM on November 4, 2019

Coming back very late to this thread to say that my husband and I have watched Seasons 2-4 of the Great Australian Bake Off and really, really liked them.

The Bakers: Generally the same sort of kind, helpful people that are on GBBO. If you want to watch a finalist offer significant help to their closest competitor in the final, Season 4 is for you. Seasons 2 and 3 skew young, Season 4 skews older. There generally aren't more than 1 or 2 retirees in a season, but I think that's true of GBBO too.

The Hosts: Mel and Claire are not quite as warm as Mel and Sue, but easily as warm or warmer than Noel/Sandy. There aren't as many examples of them comforting / giving pep talks to distraught bakers because there aren't as many distraught bakers, period.

The Challenges: Tend to be easier (like "one family-sized quiche" instead of "12 identical quiches of 2 different flavors"). They don't make stunty, difficult-for-the-sake-of-being-difficult challenges. This means that there are a lot fewer catastrophic failures.

Editing/Transparency of Judging: It's not always clear who's going to win the technical/be star baker/get sent home, because the judging comments will touch on a number of factors and it's not always clear which of those are most important. But nothing so far has seemed like the show was being deliberately misleading to create outrage/surprise for it's own sake like the last series of GBBO.

The Judges: Matt Moran and Maggie Beer are clearly cast as "A Paul Hollywood type and Mary Berry type" but are each significantly warmer. Maggie always finds something positive to say about even the worst bakes, and is very diplomatic in the way she phrases criticism. Matt is a bit more stern, but will often say after a difficult technical, "This was a very difficult challenge and you all did very well under the circumstances." I really like having that acknowledgment.

Narrowness/Broadness of Palates: This is where GABO blows GBBO out of the water. Both Matt and Maggie have more than a passing familiarity with non-European cuisines, and they are enthusiastic about trying new things. When a baker used pandan in a cake, the discussion was about how well-baked and decorated the cake was, not how gross the judges thought pandan is. That was the moment I was completely sold on the show. It's very relaxing to know that the bakers are being judged more fairly for bakes that incorporate more unusual ingredients. And that if someone does a matcha / red bean bake, the judges will rave about the flavor combination if the flavors are well-balanced. Honestly I'm not sure I want to go back and rewatch older seasons of GBBO, now that I see how different things can be on this front.
posted by creepygirl at 2:26 PM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

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