The Great British Bake Off: The Final
November 28, 2023 10:15 PM - Season 14, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The bakers take on a pastry Signature and a sticky Technical, before making a showstopping celebration cake. Whose choux will see them through to be crowned the winner?
posted by ellieBOA (25 comments total)

I’m so happy it was Matty! He really improved every week, and his showstopper was fantastic! Plus he just seems like a really nice person!

Lol at Noel being put out he isn’t the favourite and then immediately going to take the piss out of Matty, “banter”.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:17 PM on November 28, 2023 [7 favorites]

I got a bit emotional when he won!

This season has really restored my faith in Bake Off, they made some great changes and I’m really pleased.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:27 PM on November 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

Josh had a face like a smacked arse when the winner was announced and it wasn't him. I'm glad he got called out by Hollywood for being boring. He's so unmemorable that I had a job to think of what he looks like before this week's episode.

I've been a big Matty fan for weeks, so of course I'm delighted with the result. Dan was toast after the signature bake, but what a lovely bloke he is.

Jack Seale at the Guardian had obviously eaten burned lardy cake before he wrote his review.
posted by essexjan at 6:20 AM on November 29, 2023

The Guardian’s culture desk who review films and TV are miserable bastards who underrate things constantly!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:42 AM on November 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

Contentious final, with everyone coming short in some tasks. Josh looked unbeatable after the first two challenges, and part of me wonders if the judges were deliberately talking down his showstopper cake in order to give themselves the option of not choosing him. We have only their word on flavour, after all...

Dan's white chocolate collars and macarons were his downfall-- I think there might have been time to do one of them well, but not both. A good lemon drizzle needs no apology, and certainly doesn't need to be sullied with white chocolate (the worst confection). Just a nice icing sugar glaze with some candied flowers and glacé lemon slices would have been fine.

So Dan eliminated himself, and the judges eliminated Josh. A Bake Off winner becomes a minor celebrity and needs star power, and of the three finalists, Matty had the most of that. The charming revelation that he didn't apply for the show but was put up by his partner was icing on the cake.

Overall, this series is a HUGE improvement on the last one. Alison is a great addition to the cast and I hope she stays. But... is it just me, or is the standard of actual baking not as good as in previous years?

I know they're deliberately messing with the time constraints so the bakers can't work to their best. But it seems to me that there's no real genius in the field this year, no real poetry.

However, I'd watch the hell out of a show where Matty goes around assisting professional bakers baking wedding cakes in order to gain the knowledge to make his own. Get on that, C4!
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:49 PM on November 29, 2023

I love that Matty won. He just kept improving week after week. I love it when they have a baker who does that. The ending shot was perfect--Matty laughing about getting in the way of Paul's on-camera commentary while he was taking a victory lap. It just sums up what a delightful person he seems to be.

I thought Josh was going to win and I was okay with it but not thrilled--he did it for his nan, and that was sweet--but he wasn't the most interesting of bakers. Dan probably had the most original ideas throughout the competition but he got in his own way so many times. I was yelling at the screen when I heard he was making white chocolate collars, and then when he said the macarons weren't great, I yelled at him not to put them on. He's shot himself in the foot more than once this series.

This was the best series in quite some time. After last series, I wasn't sure I was going to watch it anymore, but I heard that it was going to get back to more basics; kind of a course-correction. Alison was a joy, Noel looked happier than he has for some time, Paul spontaneously hugged Saku (and who wouldn't want to do that?), and Prue was a bit more assertive with Paul. And the bakers, as always, were a warm and loving group.
posted by ceejaytee at 1:03 PM on November 29, 2023 [8 favorites]

We have only their word on flavour, after all...

It wasn't just the lack of flavour that sunk Josh's showstopper, it was also that the weight of the cakes had compressed them and made them dense, whereas Matty's cakes remained, somehow, light and fluffy.
posted by essexjan at 3:11 AM on November 30, 2023 [2 favorites]

Jack Seale at the Guardian had obviously eaten burned lardy cake before he wrote his review.
The text of the review is actually quite positive - it just seems that in the final reflection it, like Josh's cake, was marked down. I do see this point: Bake-off has a familiar cosinnes that and the producers have worked hard to maintain and refine. But I didn't stay awake all through the final and was not particularly sad I hadn't; its OK, that's what cosy does. If it were my show I would ditch Paul and Pru for the next series and replace them with a couple of new judges - perhaps including a previous winner.
posted by rongorongo at 5:47 AM on November 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

But... is it just me, or is the standard of actual baking not as good as in previous years?

Honestly, I've sort of felt like they've been getting a little too close to the sort of fancy-dan baking where things get covered in beautiful but inedible bullshit the past few years, so I'm sort of ok with them taking a step back from that?
posted by Kyol at 6:22 AM on November 30, 2023 [11 favorites]

That said, yeah, I kind of wish that the final showstopper could be a "ok everybody, you have 8 hours on Saturday to just absolutely do the best baking you're ever done in your life for the crowd of 100 people we'll have out here on Sunday" sort of arrangement so they didn't end up rushing for time? I mean, 4.5 hours of active baking is still a lot, but give them more time to let things chill and set and whatever.

On the other hand, the bakers would just add more stuff to their schedule anyways, so it's sort of self-reinforcing.
posted by Kyol at 7:40 AM on November 30, 2023 [2 favorites]

Matty winning was very sweet and it was great to end on that laugh of his. I'm happy for him for this and his engagement! His accomplishments remind me a bit of Nadiya's seasons where you could watch him get more confident each week. But I liked all three finalists, and I would have been happy no matter who won.

Alison made such a dramatic difference in the show. She really brought so much life back to the show. I doubt I would have watched this season, even with all these lovely bakers, if not for her.

This will be, however, the last season I'll be following on social media. Between the ableism over Tasha on reddit and the nastiness I've seen here towards Josh, I'm going back to how I originally enjoyed it-with friends with a cuppa and some cookies. Cheers.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:38 AM on December 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

I’m with ceejaytee. I really enjoyed this season. I liked all of the finalists - would have been happy with any of them winning. I also agree that Allison added a whole lot to the show.

I also love that this show ends with the “what they’ve been up to” montage. No American baking show ever does that.
posted by wittgenstein at 11:18 AM on December 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

Well, like so many of you, we got down to the ending thinking Dan was definitely out, and Josh would probably win but we'd prefer Matty. And then Matty did win. I do wonder if there's a percentage of "Matty is way better on camera and as an ambassador for the show" that came into play? No matter -- I truly do love that Matty improved heartily throughout the series.

And we also love the little updates. It's so sweet to see so many of them remaining friends!

Still...justice for Tasha!
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:53 PM on December 1, 2023 [3 favorites]

I would like to add as much like as I love Alison, this didn't address the issue of the show being Paul Hollywood's hot takes and some opinions by Prue. I think we need two equal judges with. more adventurous palates.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:32 PM on December 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

Hey, does anybody know why Tasha did her lamination last week with the butter on the outside? Google isn't giving me an answer.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:29 PM on December 1, 2023

Tasha was making inverted (or inverse) puff pastry last week. Various pieces on the internet say that it comes out tasting lighter or flakier than regular puff pastry, or richer, or that it holds its shape better when baked - but there is very little consensus on whether it's actually worth the extra time it takes to make it. I'm not sure whether Tasha chose it for a better end result or just an attempt to show off a more advanced technique.
posted by sigmagalator at 11:24 PM on December 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

I was glad it wasn't Dan -- he has talent, but I got so frustrated with how often they just ignored the really careless mistakes he made. I also had the impression that they were much, much more critical of Josh's showstopper than it warranted -- it was a beautiful cake, and the flavors sounded excellent. That said, I had guessed Matty would win, given how much he improved over the course of the season. And he's just so darn likeable that it was a joy to see.
posted by maryellenreads at 6:56 AM on December 2, 2023

The Great British Baking Show Season-Finale Recap: As Tiers Go By [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 1:43 PM on December 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

Sign names for all the bakers!
posted by ellieBOA at 6:37 PM on December 2, 2023 [9 favorites]

The Great British Baking Show Cracked the Co-Host Code [Vulture / Archive]

It’s time to admit Bake Off is feeling stale. As a former contestant, I know how to make it rise again [Guardian / Archive] (I don't agree with everything here)
posted by ellieBOA at 1:28 PM on December 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

I have to say that I completely do not understand the hate for Josh here.
posted by queensissy at 9:22 PM on December 3, 2023 [5 favorites]

I definitely don't hate Josh at all, but I did find him to be lightly bland.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:25 PM on December 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

I just loved that Matty pulled off the surprise win (i shouted happily when it was announced) because Josh was definitely the favorite going in and it felt like Dan and Matty both relaxed a little figuring they had nothing to lose. I'm glad it was about substance over style... a pretty cake that tastes meh shouldn't beat a delicious cake that's on the wonk (i love the Britishisms).
posted by kokaku at 6:34 AM on December 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

also that sign names video is so sweet!

Tash definitely should get her own baking show with funny guests
posted by kokaku at 6:35 AM on December 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

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