The Great British Bake Off: The Final
November 24, 2021 2:15 AM - Season 12, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The last remaining bakers make a classic carrot cake and create a grand Mad Hatter's tea party banquet. Who will be crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2021?
posted by ellieBOA (49 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Really couldn’t call it between Giuseppe and Chigs!
Assorted thoughts:
I only just realised the robin likely is prefilmed and doesn’t show up every week 😂
Making a Belgian bun without a recipe is torture!
Chigs refusing to share his football team as it’s not Leicester!!
Shame Pru had to wear such a spidery necklace!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:15 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]


I was heartbroken for Crystelle and her focaccia. They were all so evenly matched the past few weeks. Chigs is amazing for someone who has only been baking for 18 months. And Giuseppe's message from his father made me weepy through the entire episode. It was a good group of bakers all the way through the competition. But Paul became too much for me this season. I haven't ever been particularly fond of him but something about this series made me really detest him. Ah well, back to the Canadian and Kiwi varieties and congrats to the winner!
posted by ceejaytee at 6:19 AM on November 24 [6 favorites]


It really was on a knife-edge and I liked all the finalists so much that I'd have been delighted for any of them to win. But Giuseppe was my favourite and I, too, was very moved by the message from his father which made his win extra-poignant.

I agree Paul has been a complete cock this season, but Noel has more than made up for it by all the little digs he's made at him over the weeks. Noel is fast replacing Monty Don as my TV husband.
posted by essexjan at 6:37 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


Very happy for Giuseppe, but -- where did his kids disappear to? At first the videos all showed his children (blurred) and then suddenly it was all his parents. Also laughed that he won GBBO then immediately moved to Italy.

That was a good ending. I have no idea what happened with Crystelle's focaccia, but as soon as they said it was raw I knew she was doomed. Didn't like the technical, really, but then I'd never heard of a Belgian bun. I thought that there was far too little colour in the showstopper for the theme, but I really loved the idea of the theme. A clear theme with lots of room for originality.
posted by jeather at 7:30 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]


  • I thought Crystelle had it in the bag--and then that focaccia! And it was over for her!
  • After that though I thought it was Chigs. He did better in the Technical and I thought he did a better job in the Signature and Showstopper too.
  • Really, really liked the Showstopper theme. It allowed the bakers a chance to be really creative and off-the-wall. I hope they do more like that in the future.
  • The Technical was bullshit. Making a Victorian sandwich cake without a recipe (as they did with a finale Technical in the past) is one thing. It seems like that's a baking staple in the UK. Making something nobody had heard of before? That's just crap. That said: I felt they did a good job given the lack of information.
  • I was never a big Noel fan but I think he's gotten worse. He's just not supportive of the bakers and pushes on them and annoys them when it's clear even to the viewers that they want him to go away. Matt, Sandi, Mel, and Sue all knew when it was time to be gentle, when it was time to be silly, and when it was time to back off entirely. Noel seems more interested in the camera than the bakers.
  • Prue needs more weight given to her judgement or a handshake equivalent because this is starting to become The Paul Show and I'm over it.
Also: I don't know if it's gotten any attention but there's a woodworking Gentle British Reality Competition called Handmade that's been coming out on Thursdays and the finale of the six-episode series is tomorrow. It's hosted by Mel and I've really enjoyed it. Something else to add to the list on top of pottery, sewing, baking, railroad models, and jewelry (though not sure if railroad models and jewelry are coming back . . .).
posted by schroedinger at 8:01 AM on November 24 [8 favorites]


I thought for sure it was Chigs but Giuseppe and his dad’s storyline really got to me 🥲

Good finale; I’d like to see what Jürgen would have done with the first two but I think he would have come up short in the showstopper compared with the three that were there.

I was slightly aghast at the technical but realized there’s not much else it could have been— it’s an enriched dough bun in a swirl with a filling and icing. Even without knowing the name “Belgian bun”, most home bakers at that level are going to know what that looks like. (I very much enjoyed the quip about Belgium, even though I loved it when I visited. I miss traveling 😞)

I feel like I should rewatch to see if there’s a hint at what happened with the focaccia that I missed.
posted by supercres at 8:23 AM on November 24


Railroad models? Now I'm curious.

Sue of Sue and Mel is going to host a snowman making show. I've been enjoying Handmade but, like the pottery one, season 1 is a bit of a mess and has a weird combination of amateurs and professionals (the last pottery season, though, has really found its way with the judges and Sister Michael from Derry Girls hosting). I've also been slowly going through the CBC sandcastle making competition (though that one drives me nuts because they keep talking about how they have 6 hours from high tide to high tide and they don't! that's not how tides work!). And there's a Christmas special for Blown Away, also. The jewelry show was renewed for season 2.
posted by jeather at 8:24 AM on November 24


Could the focaccia have suffered from too much olive oil?
posted by ellieBOA at 8:52 AM on November 24 [5 favorites]


The focaccia looked *so* flat that I wondered if she forgot to put in any yeast.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 9:05 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


I've eaten many Belgian buns, mostly from high street supermarkets, but with that thick icing on the top, I don't think I'd ever realised that what lay beneath was curled up like a Chelsea bun. Also hadn't realised the lemony flavour came from lemon curd. I feel very unobservant now, although in my defence they are delicious and therefore get wolfed without much in the way of inspection.

I was surprised none of the bakers seemed to have heard of them.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:50 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


re: the focaccia
Maybe it was just under-baked? I think she said "10 minutes" when she put it in the oven? Didn't seem like enough time to me.
posted by ButteryMales at 10:13 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


Count me as another person who thought Chigs would win, but I'm equally happy Giuseppe did. I do wish the technical was about technical skills and not a guessing game. I am happy that the Showstopper was something they were all able to (mostly) succeed at.

I'm sure Crystelle must have known her foccacia wasn't right- interesting that any final views or discussion of it after it came out and before judging were edited out.

Overall a good series, though I'm ready for the Hollywood Handshake to go the way of the dodo.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:15 AM on November 24


It wasn't raw raw, the outside had started to set. With the toppings she must have just not noticed. Agreed 10 minutes isn't enough, probably double that. Or the oven could have been low from previous openings and closings-- it should be fairly high. Not quite pizza high but definitely up there-- like 450ºF/225ºC
posted by supercres at 11:22 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]


Making something nobody had heard of before? That's just crap.

I disagree nobody has ever heard of a Belgian Bun before - it's one of Greggs' best sellers, and is sold in every single large supermarket chain in the UK. I will give Giuseppe a pass for not having heard of them, but anyone who's grown up in the UK will (or should) know what a Belgian Bun is.
posted by essexjan at 1:53 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


anyone who's grown up in the UK will (or should) know what a Belgian Bun is.

I didn’t.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:12 PM on November 24


The shots of the focaccia while it was -- in theory -- rising didn't look like it was really getting any bigger, so it wasn't totally surprising to see it come out so flat. Though usually that kind of thing is noticed by the baker and telegraphed by the announcer, so it was a bit surprising in that sense. Crystelle was my pick to win it late in the season, but you could certainly tell from the start that Giuseppe was going to make the final.

Count me among those who were surprised they didn't just let four people through to the final. Seems like they could have without losing much.

At any rate, I'm sure it's lovely to win but on some practical level, it seems like you can wring the same benefits out of being in or close to the finals -- the book deal(s), the appearances, the cachet.
posted by veggieboy at 9:34 AM on November 25


Watched it last night, have been thinking about Giuseppe's win and smiling to myself all day. But my god, the pure angst coming off of Giuseppe during some of the tenser moments was hard to witness. The technical was dumb dumb dumb. I probably would have made something like a hot cross bun and slapped some curd inside post-baking.
posted by Rora at 4:39 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]


The best part was when Crystelle had an apparently precognitive dream about her focaccia not proving—AND THEN IT DIDN’T PROVE. I’d like to see more supernatural moments on Bake Off, like Ectoplasm Week or a poltergeist knocking someone’s blancmange into the bin
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:34 AM on November 26 [14 favorites]


Also: my friend's husband, who runs a bakery, reckons the yeast was either killed off (possibly by hot water) or simply wasn't added. The edit includes a shot of Paul Hollywood frowning at Crystelle's focaccia dough that makes me wonder if he noticed its omission.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:38 AM on November 26




Loved this set of bakers, any one of them could have won this one, but was glad Giuseppe won it. I wondered if they might when the editors decided to play up a little the struggles he was having.

I like Bake Off, but the format is becoming very transparent these days. The technical feels like an utter waste of time; it's extremely rare that it determines the outcome of a show; clearly the producers are hoping someone goes completely wrong to add drama. Similarly, the decision to make signature time far too short leads repeatedly to all the contestants having cakes which look poor because the cake couldn't cool. So the judges have to kind of ignore it. It doesn't add much for me anymore.

I've been watching Blown Away recently, and the advantages of streaming there really stick out to me; they can make a much tighter, well paced show, where it's all about people who are very good at something doing it well. The Bake Off is just flabby, and I'd love to see a refresh of the format.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:58 AM on November 26 [2 favorites]


Was I the only one looking at the focaccia drowning in oil during proofing thinking “what are you thinking?” Oh Crystelle, been so good up until now it was hard to watch that mistake play out knowing what was going to happen (still getting over Jürgen baking one cake and cutting layers in … that was also hard to watch.)

I liked each of the finalists and would’ve been happy for anyone of them to win it. Though I was really chuffed it was Giuseppe.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 4:56 AM on November 26 [2 favorites]


I didn't have a preference on the final three going in, but then they showed that video of Giuseppe's father and I was all in for him.

I did think the other two showstopper displays looked quite a bit better than his, so I was sort of expecting Chigs to take it after poor Crystelle's focaccia failed. I adored Chigs doing his Cheshire Cat in Leicester City colors and refusing to state who he actually supports on camera.

Noel trying to joke about the oven turning off really fell flat, read the room, sheesh.

I do think it's hilarious that Giuseppe won the Great British Bake Off and then promptly moved back to Italy. Makes me love him slightly more. And Lizzie and Freya having a roadtrip and visiting the other contestants was delightful as well.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:35 AM on November 26 [5 favorites]


I do think it's hilarious that Giuseppe won the Great British Bake Off and then promptly moved back to Italy. Makes me love him slightly more. And Lizzie and Freya having a roadtrip and visiting the other contestants was delightful as well.

Yes to all of that! And I'd add the trombones too.

Would it kill the judges to explain their decisions? Or the editors to make things clearer? This episode and last, the results felt incredibly random (though I was rooting for Giuseppe!)

I’d like to see more supernatural moments on Bake Off, like Ectoplasm Week or a poltergeist knocking someone’s blancmange into the bin

There was that spatula...

I'm glad Giuseppe's family got this very meaningful thing.
posted by trig at 9:31 AM on November 26 [2 favorites]


For any bakers out there: in the first challenge Giuseppe decided to bake one cake and then slice it instead of baking the layers separately, which would have saved him both baking and cooling time and caused him a lot of stress. What advantages does the single-bake/slice method have over the separate layer one that would make it a reasonable choice even when you're pressed for time?
posted by trig at 9:38 AM on November 26 [3 favorites]


I found the finale very moving. Was slightly rooting for Chigs, but not unhappy at all at how he did. My question: When Chigs kept kissing his necklace, what's on the necklace?
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:46 PM on November 26


The way they threw themselves into each other's arms as soon as time was called was the thing I watch this show for, and the way Chigs and Crystelle immediately shrieked with joy when Giuseppe's win was announced made me feel all the feels. All of the rest of the crap that they saddle the show with is just so much chaff to wave away, and I dislike it intensely, but that joy and friendship is why I can't seem to quit this. So much has become almost intolerable for me, but I'm so happy for all three of them and it just about makes that worth it.

I kind of wondered if Giuseppe went back to Italy to take care of his folks. I once got a dream position for me and then I had to give things up so I could take care of my ailing mother. I am looking forward to his and his dad's book! What a great thing to do before his dad gets too ill to work on it.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:52 PM on November 26 [9 favorites]


I think very early on, Giuseppe mentioned that he wasn't telling his kids he was on Bake Off, and he was planning to sit down and turn it on and watch their delighted reactions when they realized he was on the screen! I still wonder how he explained a two-month absence to be in the bubble, but if he followed through with that plan I'm sure he got a great memory from it. So that explains the lack of video message from his kids (or not wanting their likenesses on TV, which is also a fair choice). And yeah, moving back to Italy to be near his aging parents sounds reasonable.

I loved all three of the finalists but wow I hate the editing. I think they're trying too hard not to telegraph the results early on, so it seemed like this whole final Giuseppe was making mistakes all over the place and Christelle was flawless--up to the focaccia. My cousins and I were all sure it was going to be Chigs and we all yelled "WHAT??" when they called Giuseppe's name. But my uncle was extremely excited about his panna cotta. I do love that it was a warm and lovely middle-aged man with decades of home baking experience who won. And that Lizzie and Freya were the road trip duo! Perfect.

Re: focaccia...I've never made it that way. I thought it was strange that the first prove was done in olive oil, and when she said more olive oil must be better while putting it in the oven I was very concerned. There's some olive oil in the dough that all gets mixed in, and you also put it in the pan and stretch it over that for the second prove. When it bakes it should soak it up and get a nice crispy bottom and sides (corner pieces are my favorite). But proving it in olive oil must be make it super heavy and the yeast can't work hard enough, right? Or maybe the yeast didn't go in at all. I wish they had spent more time talking about what could have gone wrong, although sometimes shit just happens.

Agree on being annoyed at both Paul and Noel. Noel's teasing style only works with the right personalities and at the right time--does he ever comfort the bakers in a moment of upset? I thought Sandi was extremely good at that, actually. And when the opening intro said that all three bakers had gotten two Hollywood handshakes I nearly sprained my eye-rolling muscles. Still, this season had the greatest top 5 I've ever seen and I wish they all could have stayed and done the last three weeks together. How awesome would Lizzie's mad hatter display have been?
posted by j.r at 5:02 PM on November 26 [6 favorites]


Oh yeah, and excellent points about the prophetic parts of this episode. Christelle had a dream about the focaccia, and Giuseppe was the only one to kiss the damn spatula. WTF!
posted by j.r at 5:09 PM on November 26 [5 favorites]


I did enjoy the brief, but glorious, view into an alternate universe where Bake Off was presented by the Chuckle Brothers.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:55 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


There's not enough eye rolling for me over Paul and Noel. I like Noel in other things I've seen him in but he never struck the right tone to me. There was an article recently saying Matt had overstayed his welcome I was like Matt? Have you seen Noel? He's very much not someone who's bringing the right energy here.
posted by Carillon at 8:58 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


Let’s have Matt and Sandy next year, and a Prue Salute (why not!) to balance out the HH. I like Noel but not in this context anymore. And Paul saying at the end that he knew Giuseppe was the winner at week one was maybe not a great look?

The oily focaccia was definitely the “uh oh” moment that seemed telegraphed a smidge by the editors… but I wasn’t expecting it to be raw! All three looked incredibly even prior to judging, and as a bonus I genuinely liked all three people.

Giuseppe’s story with his dad definitely got to me, and I have no qualms with him winning. He was quite great.
posted by hijinx at 9:21 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


I must have missed the part where Giuseppe said he was keeping it secret from his kids, that explains why we didn't see or hear from them (even blurred out, which was a sensible choice from the outset).
posted by jeather at 7:54 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]


For any bakers out there: in the first challenge Giuseppe decided to bake one cake and then slice it instead of baking the layers separately, which would have saved him both baking and cooling time and caused him a lot of stress. What advantages does the single-bake/slice method have over the separate layer one that would make it a reasonable choice even when you're pressed for time?
posted by trig at 5:38 PM on November 26


When he said he was making one cake, I thought he was going to do what I've seen lots of bakers do on American baking competition shows - bake one huge sheet cake, which takes less time in the oven and cools quicker, and then cut out the round layers from the single sheet pan. Making one big round cake didn't seem to make sense, given the time crunch they're all under.
posted by essexjan at 3:55 PM on November 27 [2 favorites]


What advantages does the single-bake/slice method have over the separate layer one that would make it a reasonable choice even when you're pressed for time?
posted by trig at 5:38 PM on November 26


Fairly amateur baker, so more experienced bakers should weigh in — I assumed he did the thick cake to save on oven space since it looks like they have access to one home oven. Three single layer cakes would take up a bit more room, given that he also said that he had a lot of baked elements for that cake, and would let him put those in instead of waiting for all the cakes to be done.
posted by sincerely yours at 11:22 PM on November 27


Out of curiousity, as a US-based viewer, I noticed that the opening sketches often refer to the Great British Baking Show (as it's known over here, due to Pillsbury's trademark). Are these retaped or looped for the US market, or are they introducing it as the Baking Show in the UK now too?
posted by thecaddy at 1:35 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


No, in the rest of the world it's the Bake Off.
posted by trig at 1:58 PM on November 28


Right--so when they do the opening sketches, do they say "Welcome to the Great British Bake-Off" at the end or are they still saying "Welcome to the Great British Baking Show"? I can't imagine that they are shooting the sketches twice, but maybe they are? If they do say Bake-Off, they could also just re-loop the audio after the fact.

(Also, at least one year, the prize platter was displayed with the US logo--and I can't imagine they're spending money to CGI it, so are they doing multiple shots of that, too?)
posted by thecaddy at 7:40 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


I'm an American who watches the British original and they never call it anything but Bake Off.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:51 PM on November 28


when they do the opening sketches, do they say "Welcome to the Great British Bake-Off" at the end

Yeah (I just checked to make sure, but yes! Also, they use the real season numbers. I remember being very surprised when I watched the US version for the first time and realized they must do a lot of lines twice. And curious about what happens when contestants say the name of the show...)
posted by trig at 10:49 PM on November 28


(Also, at least one year, the prize platter was displayed with the US logo--and I can't imagine they're spending money to CGI it, so are they doing multiple shots of that, too?)

That would be incredible (and completely ridiculous) attention to detail!

There are a lot of shots in the UK version of Giuseppe celebrating with the platter when they announce him as winner and also talking to his parents over video, and if you look it always says "Bake Off". What does it say in the US version? I don't think most of those scenes could have been done twice - they look too spontaneous.
posted by trig at 10:56 PM on November 28


This was altogether a great season; the contestants really make the show, and this was the most fun and talented group in awhile.

I think the technical was totally fair, the finalists should all be expected to know how to do something basic like that off the top of their heads--and they all pretty much did! Now, the fact that winning or losing the technicals doesn't seem to matter much at all is a different story.

I still like the show quite a lot, but I am curious to go find the Canadian and Kiwi versions based on the recommendations in this thread.
posted by skewed at 7:35 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


skewed, the Canadian one is here (you'll need a VPN set to Canada) and Kiwi is here.
posted by ceejaytee at 8:19 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


I love the show and would have been happy with any of them winning. They were all really likeable and clearly talented. I am really over Paul/Noel/Matt. Paul is just ugh. The handshake is icky to me. Noel and Matt are very rarely funny. Noel seems kind of mean sometimes! I still miss the previous hosts.
posted by mokeydraws at 12:38 PM on November 29 [1 favorite]


The Great Canadian Baking Show is also on dailymotion.com (link is to S01E01).

The first episode is kinda rough (sound / editing / judge critiques), but it levels out by about the third or fourth episode.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 7:16 AM on November 30


Ugh. I can't stand Noel. Matt, I can tolerate if he's by himself. And I'm over Paul. I miss Sue and Mel and Mary Barry. I also wonder if the editing has gotten worse? Different? Maybe it's just the different vibes of the hosts. Sandy was ok.

I have to admit, I cried at the end of the final. I don't know why.
posted by kathrynm at 10:41 AM on November 30




Very interesting interview, Juergen comes off as slightly wistful but not at all bitter. As likable as ever, in a season filled with likable contestants.
posted by skewed at 10:32 AM on December 4


Fascinating that Juergen's take on Matt & Noel's interruptions is pretty significantly different than the take most viewers (including me) have.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:50 AM on December 4


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