The Great British Bake Off: Patisserie Week
November 17, 2020 5:00 PM - Season 11, Episode 9 - Subscribe

It's the semi-final and the bakers' patisserie skills are tested in a booze-soaked signature, a tricky technical and a delicate showstopper showcasing their finesse and precision
posted by jeather (28 comments total)
Four whole flavours in the savarin, I am shocked that Prue and Paul actually liked that.
posted by jeather at 5:01 PM on November 17, 2020

Aww jeez, I was really hoping for Hermine to win. But that last cake was pretty inexcusable.

In other news, that preview seemed to show A LOT of people standing very close together at the final announcement! Hope that’s the crew and not everybody’s families!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:29 PM on November 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

There seemed to be a lot of controversy on British Twitter about the result last night but Hermine had a shocker, clearly. A real shame. I kind of feel like the finalists are there because every week someone has a shocker and had to go, rather than there being any outstanding bakers. Peter is very good for his age mind you.
posted by chill at 1:55 AM on November 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

Hermine noooooooooo
Totally fair for her to go home, I can't argue about that, but I'm still gutted. Laura scrapes through once again, but her first bake was better than Hermine's and the messy showstopper still tasted really good.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:00 AM on November 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

Sadly, internet idiots are trolling Laura as a result.

Hermine's farewell letter.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:10 AM on November 18, 2020

I like Laura, and every single week, although her finishing leaves a lot to be desired, the judges rave about her flavours and the deliciousness of her bakes. Hermine had an absolute 'mare this week and the rubber cubes n that last cake were inexcusable.

I have a horrible suspicion Dave might win. But I agree, there hasn't been a standout baker this year, a bit like the year when Nancy won. This year the 'least worst' bakers have survived, rather than the best.
posted by essexjan at 4:56 AM on November 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think calling any of them the "least worst" is pretty unfair. They are all good bakers. Laura is maybe the weakest just because of her finishing.

This was supposed to be Hermine's week! Really sad and surprised to see her go.
posted by Anonymous at 2:58 PM on November 18, 2020

During the Cube Cake showstopper I actually screamed when the bakers started cutting their moulds to get their cube cakes free. I've got one of those very nice Silikomart moulds and they are not cheap.

OK, I can understand why, under ludicrous time pressure and with the added problem of mousses not setting well in the heat, they went 'sod it, I'm sacrificing the mould' but as someone who loves my extensive and growing collection of silicone moulds that hurt to watch!
posted by Major Clanger at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

Least worst baker feels really harsh. The bakers this year are at a ridiculous standard. Dave or Peter would be crushing it most years. Hermine would have really shone. I feel that it is the high standard of competition with them all living on site that is pushing people into mistakes. In a normal year where they have a week at home to decompress and practice, there is no way Hermine is doing her showstopper with a new unpracticed recipe.
posted by DoveBrown at 12:37 AM on November 19, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yeah I did wonder if the unusual schedule was to blame for Hermine deciding to change her plan at the last minute(!) to make an untested(!) recipe in the semi-final(!).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:56 AM on November 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

Argh why was this ep dropped so early in the UK but not in the US? I am going nuts not seeing how Hermine failed!
posted by miss-lapin at 2:36 AM on November 19, 2020

It's on at the same time each week in the UK, miss-lapin, 8pm on a Tuesday.
posted by essexjan at 3:13 AM on November 19, 2020 [5 favorites]

Then the posters have been kind.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:34 AM on November 19, 2020

That was a real shocker. Hermine did not have a good week at all, although she was the only one to shape her cornucopia correctly. I think Laura definitely had the better signature and showstopper and she deserved to stay. Hermine had to come to Laura's defense on social media because people were really horrible to her. It was heartwarming to see so many of the past bakers turn up on Hermine's and Laura's instagrams to post encouraging replies.

Peter and Dave were great this week and Peter had a particularly good week. I was not too keen on Dave at the beginning but he's really come into his own. And I found it endearing when he couldn't find the words to express how happy he was at the end of the episode. What a surreal time in the bubble this must have been for all of them.
posted by ceejaytee at 10:52 AM on November 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

For the UKers among us - are cornucopias, aka horns of plenty, an unfamiliar image in the UK? I was surprised at how many people didn't know what shape a cornucopia was supposed to be. I'm not even vaguely familiar with the bake from this episode, but the object - a horn-shaped basket, usually shown with fruit and vegetables spilling out - is a very familiar image to me as an American. It's something you see a lot in association with Thanksgiving, and it's also on my state seal.

But it's also possible that the bakers might have seen such things before as well, and just didn't make the connection to the bake.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:39 AM on November 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh man I finally saw it. I feel so badly for Hermine. I was particularly annoyed by the comedy bits this time. Also they definitely ramped up the drama of the elimination which I found crappy.

I want more classic GBBO, learning about different bakes, getting to know extremely talented amateur bakers, and mocking Paul Hollywood for being smug.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:04 AM on November 20, 2020 [8 favorites]

For the UKers among us - are cornucopias, aka horns of plenty, an unfamiliar image in the UK?

I'd say they were unfamiliar, but not unknown. We don't have any public logos/images with one on that I can think of. I suspect some of the mistakes in the bakes were down to not understanding the recipe instructions - this could be as much down to intentionally-obtuse writing (i.e. describing how to put the pieces together without explaining what overall shape it should be) as not knowing what a cornucopia looks like. And just because something is called a cornucopia, it doesn't mean it's shaped like one. Sussex Pond Pudding doesn't look like a pond, for example, and as for Spotted Dick...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:38 AM on November 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Awwww, I was so sad for Hermine, although it seemed like the right call. I got a bit of a chill when she said she was going with an untested bake for the showstopper, but I hoped she was going to pull it off. Just a bad week for her. :(

On the bright side, I don't have a favorite or least favorite of the bakers remaining, which is kind of nice as a viewer. May the baker who has the best final win!

As I complained about the hosts last week, I feel bound by fairness to compliment Matt's pep talk to Laura during the technical - more of that please, less of the skits. I do hope they pick a technical for the final that the bakers have a shot in hell at getting right. If I wanted to watch people flail uncomprehendingly at baking challenges, I'd turn on Nailed It.
posted by the primroses were over at 3:51 PM on November 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

This is pretty apt.
posted by rewil at 5:31 PM on November 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

Nooooooooo I'm so mad. I mean, the three that remain deserve their places and are lovely, but Hermine was my favorite. I'll miss her calm demeanor and wry humor in the final; I feel like Peter and Dave are wound so tight until they get good feedback, and Laura gets overly down on herself, although she can get some good jokes out sometimes.

Most of all I'm pissed at the editing. I'm so mad that the whole season all we've heard is that Hermine's specialty is patisserie, it's all the judges and hosts were saying to her at the start of the episode, and then that's the week she gets cut. RIGHT BEFORE THE FINAL. I do not watch GBBO to see pratfalls, and I lay the blame squarely on production for that. It's just mean. (Though good lord people; stop being mean to the bakers on social media. What the fuck.)

Plus the weird timings. They cut in footage of Hermine starting her savarins over, then show a countdown where it looks like she's hardly done, then suddenly she's holding a tray of 12 perfectly finished cakes. ?????? I would sooooo much rather see her skill at decorating get showcased, than have a pointless *omg will she finish in time* minute of suspense. I do not watch GBBO for suspense, and again I blame production.

Before I get my cranky all out I'll just note that Noel once again comes off weird in his interactions with the bakers; it always looks like he's bothering them at a bad time and poor Peter seemed uncomfortable. Special mention to Matt for immediately being on hand and giving a pep talk when Laura started crying; I loved to see that Laura also gave one to Hermine in the showstopper challenge and I don't think it's the first time she's cheered someone else up or gone to help.

I'm not making any more predictions for the final; I feel like as soon as I choose a favorite or shout someone out (Sura, Mark, Marc, Lottie, Hermine) they get cut so I'll just...see what happens.
posted by j.r at 8:20 PM on November 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm so sad to see Hermine go, but I can't fault the decision, really. I thought the challenges this week were pretty fair. And I really want to try Peter's cube cakes!

By the way, does anyone know where I can buy a cake dome like the one they "hilariously" pretended Noel was inside of? I thought it was so pretty!
posted by exceptinsects at 8:31 PM on November 20, 2020

Oh yeah, I thought of another positive thing. Ducklings!!
posted by j.r at 9:00 PM on November 20, 2020

What's been made abundantly clear for me this season is that the practice of "forgetting" the previous episodes is then a baker can narrowly miss being eliminated every week, basically come second to last, and still end up in the final. However if you're a brilliant baker that has one awful day, you're out. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Of the three bakers remaining I think Dave has shown the most improvement over the series. I like Laura quite a bit, but she seems to be the exact same baker she was at the beginning.

I agree that production has tried to make things more dramatic and that sucks. I don't enjoy Noel and Matt chiming in so much with the judges, because I don't think their role is to have an opinion but to be funny and supportive and fill empty time. I dunno, every year it seems viewers complain about the show becoming more and more of a spectacle but the creators don't seem to care.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:45 AM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Somewhat off topic, but Breaking Cat News is doing a spoof of GBBO.
posted by kathrynm at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

Regarding oneirodynia's comment above about having one bad day can eliminate an excellent contestant, that seems to happen in all reality show competitions that I know of. I know that annoyed me back when I used to watch Top Chef. What it leads to is consistent mediocre contestants sliding through to the finals. Is there any competitive reality show where contestants accumulate points for each episode, and the elimination is done not by who had the worst results on one episode, but who has done the worst over all episodes?
posted by ShooBoo at 1:05 PM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Well, Taskmaster is like that, ShooBoo, but it's a very silly competition overall.
posted by meese at 1:33 PM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

It also doesn't do eliminations, all the contestants are there til the end. (Just recently discovered Taskmaster and it is so goddamn fun! Why o why isn't it legally available here?)
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:35 PM on November 21, 2020

Taskmaster has their own youtube channel with whole episodes, bonuses, and was airing on the CW in the US, probably still having some free online.
posted by provoliminal at 4:12 AM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

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