The Great British Bake Off: 80s week
November 4, 2020 4:13 PM - Season 11, Episode 7 - Subscribe

It's 1980s Week and the bakers put their twist on the quiche in the signature and tackle a retro treat in the technical. And can they keep their cool with an ice cream showstopper?
posted by jeather (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It would be nice if the results didn't depend entirely on the showstopper every time. And Paul is so wrong about brownies not belonging in ice cream or ice cream cake. I'm also not clear why he thinks an ice cream cake normally is surrounded by cake (other than a swiss roll style, which is different). All the cakes seemed fine, as ice cream cake is always delicious, even if they're melty and ugly.

Not sure why ice cream cake is 80s, or those odd doughnuts; quiche does feel a bit 80s but it has long been back in fashion.
posted by jeather at 5:19 PM on November 4


Nooooooooooooo!

Honestly I'm always sort of annoyed that there are so many weeks that are kind of fucked by filming in what, August? Like, couldn't they start filming earlier? Or maybe just front load the thermally sensitive weeks so it's not happening when the tent is > 30C? Or if the weather is a sudden surprise, have the production team go on a dry ice raid so the freezers are _frozen_ and not just slightly chilly.

Those whinges aside though, 4 of the showstoppers ended up more or less fine, or at least good tasting, and two of them suffered from meltdowns, so it _was_ possible, I guess, just barely.

...siiiiigh.

And yeah, now I want a quiche.
posted by Kyol at 6:07 PM on November 4


Honestly I'm always sort of annoyed that there are so many weeks that are kind of fucked by filming in what, August? Like, couldn't they start filming earlier? Or maybe just front load the thermally sensitive weeks so it's not happening when the tent is > 30C?

I've never understood why they don't use a climate-controlled tent. They're used all over the place for outdoor events.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:35 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


The answer to “why do they do it this way” is assuredly not “because the producers just didn’t think to do it differently.” It’s deliberate, of course.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:59 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


I don't think "can you make ice cream cake in an un air conditioned tent on a very hot summer day without much melting" is a particularly interesting challenge. I'd like to see what they can do in normal conditions (since they keep pretending this is all "home baker" stuff, no blast chillers).
posted by jeather at 9:18 AM on November 5 [6 favorites]


brownies not belonging in ice cream or ice cream cake

I've been staring at these words on and off since yesterday and they're still hilarious

and so appetizing
posted by trig at 10:01 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


And Paul is so wrong about brownies not belonging in ice cream or ice cream cake

hard (no pun intended) disagree. Freezer-cold brownies qua brownies are not edible. Anything edible when freezer cold isn't a brownie, it's brownie-flavored (aka chocolate) cake.
posted by supercres at 2:10 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


They don't use climate control because of the background noise. Apparently it is difficult enough editing the sound as is. When they try adding A/C it's just too loud.
posted by schroedinger at 4:37 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Hermine’s mango ice cream on a buttery shortbread base needs me to be eating it, ASAP. So pretty. The ice cream cakes that worked actually all looked pretty nice, surprisingly so given the hotness.

I was sure they would keep Lottie and ditch Laura to save the TV-friendly cool-girl vibes so I was pleasantly surprised.

But: Finger donuts? Is/was that really a thing, UK people? I am in favor of ‘more fluffy goodness’ but it also seems like a crime against donuts.
posted by janell at 10:00 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Finger donuts? Is/was that really a thing, UK people?
It is. Commonly available in supermarkets, though universally poor quality, which is a shame, as I don't see any reason why it *couldn't* work.
posted by chill at 4:54 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Yes, finger donuts are definitely a thing. Until it closed earlier this year, the Percy Ingle chain of bakeries in East London and Essex sold ones that looked exactly like Paul Hollywood's.

I was glad to see Lottie go. Although she was funny and snarky, that hair falling all over the place, and lots of shots where she'd touch her hair, touch the food, touch her hair, touch the food ... made me feel ill every week.

Hermine's showstopper looked amazing. I'm also warming to Marc but Dave is just odd. Beef and avocado quiche? Eeew.
posted by essexjan at 3:17 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Here's what I don't get. I'm assuming they aren't practicing in the tent. So if they are all in a "pod" why not let them back in a temp stabilized environment especially since they are working with the handicap of not being in their own environments? It normally seems obnoxious, but this just seems cruel.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:40 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Huh. I figured they -were- practicing in the tent as it seems clear that they are familiar with/have tasted each other’s practice bakes. And the tent is on the grounds of a fancy estate turned hotel and spa, no? So it would be wierd for it to have a non-commercial kitchen/ home exercise classroom for them all to practice in.

It does always seem odd they don’t lay in some dry ice. Or generally plan for blazing humid awfulness in the face of any ice cream or chocolate or sugar work challenge. I mean, have they -watched- the show?
posted by janell at 7:10 PM on November 6


Yeah, for ice cream mix-in you don't use actual cookies, cookie dough, brownies, brownie batter, etc. You do a modified version that does better when frozen. I think even chocolate chips you do slightly differently--melt the chocolate down, and add some oil in so it's kind of runny at room temperature but doesn't go chalky or break your teeth when you hit a frozen chunk in your bite of ice cream.

Jane from season 7 has also said (on the Bake Down podcast) that they don't do AC because of the noise. It would also feel really different if they ditched the tent and went inside. :/

It's really interesting that they've had all star bakers be different, but I'm so glad Hermine finally got one. She has been the most consistent, maybe closely tied with Peter, though he's gotten more attention for it up until now. It's interesting that she managed to take star baker on a week when she was worried she'd done something too simple. As soon as she said that I knew she'd have it in the bag, since more complication went poorly in the heat. Her cake looked beautiful and delicious. I'm reminded of the week they did the brownie signature--if one person had just done something straightforward, like walnuts and chopped cherries, they'd have been handshake-level.

Of the six today, Hermine and Peter have been great throughout, and Marc started rocky but has begun to really shine, so I'm guessing it'll be those three in the final. Lottie would have been fine if she hadn't decided to carve a whole cassette out of ice cream (???), Laura's been inconsistent, and it seems like either Dave is beginning to flag or he just really doesn't do well with heat. Beef avocado quiche just makes me laugh, and the fact that P&P had to begrudgingly eat some baked beans in Lottie's signature after the whole fuss with the gherkins last week.
posted by j.r at 10:17 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


even if they changed nothing else, they should have given the bakers extra time for freezing their ice cream cakes since the weather was so abominable.
posted by QuakerMel at 7:08 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


It does always seem odd they don’t lay in some dry ice. Or generally plan for blazing humid awfulness in the face of any ice cream or chocolate or sugar work challenge. I mean, have they -watched- the show?

Having the contestants fighting against heat with inadequate tools to do so is the plan and the story.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:11 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


Looking forward to other wacky weeks like Frozen Week, Junk Food Week, Stuff Paul Found in His Pockets Week, and of course, Matcha Week.
posted by hijinx at 7:40 AM on November 7 [7 favorites]


There just needs to be a Summer Bake Off and a Winter Bake Off, possibly alternating years, focusing on the sportsbakes most appropriate to those months.
posted by trig at 10:58 AM on November 7 [9 favorites]


Finger donuts are just long johns, right? Except split open on top like a New England hot dog bun instead of filled?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:34 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


In film school you learn quickly that air conditioners are easily picked up by mic and have to be turned off while shooting. Talk about a hot set.

On this week's first challenge the edit seemed to be favoring Hermine. By the second challenge it was clear she was on her way to Star Baker. She's starting to look like a winner.
posted by guiseroom at 12:53 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


I’m totally with, GCU ..., about the show wanting the drama from the heat. I’m asking about the contestants. Those freezers would do a hell of a lot better at freezing 6-10 high surface area, 1cm thick ice cream disks than trying to freeze two or three thick slabs.
posted by janell at 3:39 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


He asked me to give him a finger donut.

Gasp, no. Really?

Yes, really.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:11 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


Im certain that they reorder weeks based on forecast. They absolutely want the drama of melting cakes.

Sad to see lottie go, but i felt like she and laura have been finding it overwhelming. I think the situation for this year is so strange its going to produce pressure on the candidates that other series didnt have
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:52 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I’m totally with, GCU ..., about the show wanting the drama from the heat. I’m asking about the contestants.

Oh, I get it now. Yes, it's a little surprising that the contestants don't have a better plan to foil the dastardly Paul Hollywood and his evil minions.

I wonder if the producers somehow forbid it?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:17 AM on November 8


Having the contestants fighting against heat with inadequate tools to do so is the plan and the story.
To be fair, battling the effects of a heatwave from within old, poorly insulated buildings that are not designed for it - it pretty much a standard way of life in summer time England.
posted by rongorongo at 8:58 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I think that any contestants who watch the show should be aware of the possibility of hot weather: they inevitably end up doing chocolate week in 30-degree temps. Which means that janell is right: they need to plan for problems with freezing/setting elements. Thin layers freeze or set more quickly and don't bring up the temperature in the fridge as much either.

I am loving Hermine, and I was very happy to see her get Star Baker.

Dave, otoh, is losing his shine. He had been pretty competent and consistent but he really should know by now that Paul & Pru don't like spicy things, and don't like what they consider to be "weird" ingredients. Steak and avocado would be a lovely taco in my part of world, but definitely questionable in a quiche. (For one thing the steak would probably be too tough to chew compared with the rest of the quiche.)
posted by suelac at 9:26 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Did we know that the bakers have loved ones there? It was so nice to see Hermine and her son together right after she won.

Lottie had such a sly sense of humor and fun, and I am sad to see her go. I'm pretty delighted with Mark and Peter continuing to do well. I think either or both of them could be finalists.
posted by gladly at 6:13 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Did we know that the bakers have loved ones there?

We saw Marc's daughters a few episodes ago. I read somewhere, too, that family members (and pets, apparently, although I don't know whose) have been allowed to quarantine in the GBBO bubble.

On that note, I've been getting super-pissed at my Google news feed because it's been showing me British articles about the GBBO that spoil the results for Americans who are seeing the episodes a few days later than the British folks. Just in the headline and lede, for pete's sake, I don't even click through! But this week and last week I've known who was leaving before watching the episode and have had to damp down my mourning for my spouse's sake.

(essexjan, I so agree about Lottie and the hair; that's been driving me crazy, although I've liked her baking aesthetic.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:26 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


dlugoczaj, I had last season's finale spoiled by an overzealous Tumblr user that I don't even follow, who didn't include a spoiler tag. This season, someone spoiled Marc's elimination, although TBH I wasn't sure which Mark/c it was. Wish they'd just release it on the same day for everyone.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:56 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping that Hermine and Marc end up in the final. For the third I'll admit that I have a soft spot for Peter, though that's probably because he reminds me of one of my favorite contestants ever.

Also, remarkably little meringue so far this season. In earlier seasons it seemed like they couldn't go three weeks without a pavlova or some such.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:51 AM on November 9


Andrew was charming, for sure. Peter reminds me both of him and the other very earnest young guy who was Harry Potter to Andrew’s Ron.
posted by janell at 7:07 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Hermine said on Instagram that she and Marc were allowed to bring their kids because they're single parents.
posted by sgrass at 5:13 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


From the Guardian's live blog:
There goes Prue, shooting down my hopes for a baked bean and gherkin-flavoured matcha cake Showstopper for Bake Off 2021.
posted by ShooBoo at 7:32 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I mean, if you doused it with lemon or yuzu, Prue would probably give it a shot.
posted by mochapickle at 8:24 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I've found this season so hard to judge who was going to stick it out to the final. Every week I think I've figured out who's really good, then the good people mess up and the less good do really well. Not sure if this is a function of the weekly themes hitting peoples' strong or weak points, or the weird "filming in lockdown" being harder on the contestants making them less consistent. This week I was certain Lottie would get through. So glad Hermine got star baker though, she deserved it.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:56 AM on November 11


Lottie as the requisite "thin-snarky-sort-of-hot-too-much-eyeliner" Girl Of The Season went out right on time IMO.

My SO and I have developed an unassailable belief that Paul has a fling with said "Girl" each series, and we look for what we believe are their Signals and Codes each time there is interaction. (Yes, we're bored; it's quarantine.)
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:29 PM on November 14


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