The Great British Bake Off: Tudor Week
October 12, 2016 5:21 PM - Season 7, Episode 8 - Subscribe

This week we are stepping back in time for a Bake Off first - Tudor Week. Mary and Paul have set three new challenges that embrace a time when Henry VIII reigned and a time of flamboyant banquets and impressive centre pieces that were Tudor showstoppers.
posted by Diablevert (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Benjaminaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
posted by Diablevert at 5:21 PM on October 12, 2016


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by Sys Rq at 5:39 PM on October 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I love Selasi, but Benjamina was robbed. I guess her technical was slightly weaker and they really didn't like her Mexican pie.

And there was a small edit left in for Jane when she was making her pies that made me wince, where just after the judges have commented on how many moulds she'll have to make and she's explained she had to do them in batches because she only had a few moulds, she looks at her moulds and says quietly that she didn't want to push it by asking her husband to make more.

Quarter finals of the GBBO, and she can't get extra moulds for her pie recipe. While Andrew has his friends making elaborate stands and the other contestants are casually mentioning help they get practicing, she's worrying about asking for extra moulds. The way she apologises automatically for everything and holds herself so tightly is painfully familiar.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:43 PM on October 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


Also if you got last year's Ian and Andrew together, you could probably build a working solar-powered cake machine, I'm just saying. And it would be delicious and organic.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:44 PM on October 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I guess her technical was slightly weaker and they really didn't like her Mexican pie.

Her showstopper was pretty rough, too. All around not a great day for Benjamina.

Plus, Selasi did put in a lot of effort and homework and all that, and his stuff was pretty decent, even if he did have to cheat with a blowtorch.

On sober reflection, based on this one episode, Benjamina did indeed deserve to go. It sucks that it's not all based on a cumulative score for the whole series to date -- which could favour occasional brilliance over consistent mediocrity, and forgive the odd bungle -- but rules is rules. Maybe Channel 4 (or the BBC's inevitable Legally Different Baking Challenge with Mary, Mel, and Sue) will fix that.

Also worth fixing: Maybe they could be a bit more forgiving with the dang clock? Like, an hour of grace time for each challenge? We wouldn't even have to know! Strict time limits make sense on those other shows with a simulated restaurant environment, but ain't nobody buying any baked goods that fresh. It's a completely arbitrary constraint that only results in a lot of rushed sloppiness and raw dough.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:38 AM on October 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I will miss Benjamina, but I can't argue with the decision.

I thought it was VERY STRANGE that the judges and hosts did not mention that Candice made a peacock eerily similar to Nadiya's peacock from last year. They both even used rice krispies for the neck and head. So odd. Was this filmed before the last season was released or something?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-3835949/GBBO-fans-accuse-star-baker-Candice-STEALING-showstopper-year-s-winner.html
posted by bq at 1:48 PM on October 13, 2016


I apologize for linking to that article, which includes way too many twitter insults.
posted by bq at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2016


I thought it was VERY STRANGE that the judges and hosts did not mention that Candice made a peacock eerily similar to Nadiya's peacock from last year.

I don't see how it could possibly matter, really. They're being judged on executing a difficult design well with the material of the week. It doesn't matter what Candace made as long as it was difficult to do and used marzipan. If someone had made a lion for their show stopper this week, I wouldn't have said they were copying Paul's awesome bread lion. Since one would be bread and one not, and the two materials handle completely differently and require different skills. Ditto Nadia's peacock and this.


Maybe they could be a bit more forgiving with the dang clock?

I kind of feel for the show on this. It does seem like they're maybe being too strict this season. But basically I feel like everyone who gets on the show in the first place could execute something impressive if given enough time. The limit forces them to strategize how complicated a design they want to attempt, and results in the nailbiter footage we all love when things go pear shaped. And that's usually what ends up doing the winnowing --- trying to pull off too much and not being able to recover if it doesn't go perfectly.
posted by Diablevert at 3:18 PM on October 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Naughty oyster jokes, a good laugh line about Anne of Cleves, and then cracking up Selasi with her rosemary up the nose gag all within about 30 seconds... I'm going to miss Sue so much!

Andrew's gear pies were utterly gorgeous. What a beautiful presentation!

"Make ye biscuit dough," gave me a laugh, but I'm pretty sure it was all in Selasi's delivery. Also, the way to my heart is absolutely through Battle of Bosworth Field references.

Benjaminaaaaaaa! Nooooooooo!
posted by merriment at 7:17 PM on October 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


BENJAMINA :( :( :(

Andrew's cake gears were fucking incredible, and I could totally imagine them being trotted out to impress Henry. Mr. Machine and I are huge Wolf Hall fans, and we were joking that we could also just about imagine Cromwell teaching his cook how to make that. :D
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:59 PM on October 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Actually, Paul and Mary liked the taste of Benjamina's Mexican pies, but they looked messy. I think Benjamina just had a bad weekend, and in the show's logic, that's enough to get you kicked out -- look what happened to Tom, the week after he was star baker, he was gone.

Andrew's geared pies were marvelous, possibly the coolest use of pastry I've seen on the show.
posted by suelac at 10:23 PM on October 13, 2016


I found the mountain of foliage around Candice's peacock maddening, and having just watched all the early series*, I wish Mary would go back to insisting all decoration should be edible.

Benjamina, I really hoped she'd win and I'm devastated!

* If there is any better comfort viewing for resting a messily fractured wrist, I've yet to find it
posted by carbide at 3:43 AM on October 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


> way too many twitter insults

Yeah, the #gbbo tag gets pretty vicious while the episodes air. They do not like Candice.
posted by lucidium at 7:53 AM on October 14, 2016


I understand why the judges made their decision, but I am so sad to see Benjamina go :(

The minute Candice mentioned a peacock design, my brain did automatically go to Nadiya's creation. They looked similar enough, that Candice probably should have made a few more modifications to her design. At least she didn't include eggs and a nest.
posted by Julnyes at 10:48 AM on October 14, 2016


You could probably get an entire sociology dissertation out of why Candice is the subject of so much dislike. My take on it is that she's subject to some very odd and subtle British class prejudice that comes from both left and right.

To most Brits Candice will come across as upwardly-mobile working class - she has a very strong London/Essex working-class accent, has an almost stereotypical working-class upbringing (her parents ran a pub) that she talks about and has a lot of the social presentation markers of being working class in that her makeup and jewellery are flashy and bold. As such, many conservative middle-class viewers no doubt find Candice rather unrefined and brash. Further, she works in a middle-class job (phys ed teacher) that indicates she must be a qualified professional, which means her accent and looks will grate even more with such people; why, they will be muttering, isn't she presenting a bit more demurely and wholesomely if she's in a proper, respectable job?

At the same time, the proverbial Guardian-reading middle-class liberal will apply the label 'white working-class' to Candice and unconsciously associate her with all the things that phrase is too often a prefix to for the Trendy Left (such as 'narrow-minded parochial UKIP voter'). Such people probably look at her and can't help automatically imagining her down the pub badmouthing immigrants and moaning about why we aren't out of Europe yet, because in their minds that's how people who look and sound like Candice think.

Yes, this is very classist and sexist. But it's also very obvious in the way that Candice's attempts at innuendo are taken so very differently from the sexualised banter coming from Mel and Sue. Middle-class white Oxbridge graduates can make endless smutty remarks and have them taken as witty double entendres. But when a working-class woman with bright lipstick makes such remarks in her Estuary accent, they are viewed as 'lewd, 'coarse' and all the other things Candice is accused of being.

The unfortunate upshot of this is that Candice is getting up the noses of an unusually wide range of viewers, many of whom are very free with their views about her on Twitter.
posted by Major Clanger at 6:15 AM on October 15, 2016 [27 favorites]


That is super interesting Major Clanger. I've often wished that some British person would write an explainer about all the different accents you hear on the show. I'd gathered that Candice came from a working class upbringing, but I'm sure there's all kinds of subtext I must be missing.
posted by peacheater at 1:49 PM on October 15, 2016


The class thing's a good point. I'd sort of just assumed it was the industry standard "Woman Succeeds at Thing, Dares to Display Emotion" crap like Ruby Tandoh got a couple of seasons ago. I didn't delve too deep, but it seemed like a lot of the exact same complaints about pouting too much and shitty suggestions of special treatment again.
posted by lucidium at 4:04 PM on October 15, 2016


I enjoyed this episode, I thought there was some top notch banter. I wasn't crazy about the Tudor theme, it seemed completely arbitrary and stupid, and I really question how Tudory everything bar the technical was.

Was really impressed with the blueberries pouring out of the peacock - I do hate that rice crispy crap they do when it's all too difficult structurally, though. I thought Jane's show stopper was also gorgeous, but all the others looked.. kinda totally pissweak to me?? Where was the flipping decoration and excess? Selasi's was so muted it looked like bloody shortbread.

I'm really looking forward to pattiserie next week, yummo.
posted by smoke at 4:09 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Candice's peacock was one of the best things I've seen on GBBO.
posted by moons in june at 12:03 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: "Also worth fixing: Maybe they could be a bit more forgiving with the dang clock? Like, an hour of grace time for each challenge? We wouldn't even have to know! Strict time limits make sense on those other shows with a simulated restaurant environment, but ain't nobody buying any baked goods that fresh. It's a completely arbitrary constraint that only results in a lot of rushed sloppiness and raw dough."
I'm a week late to the party, but while watching this week's episode I came up with another way of doing time constraints. It probably doesn't make sense for all challenges, but it could be used occasionally for some variety:
  • There is no fixed time constraint on the bake.
  • When a baker is happy with their bake, they push a big red button on their worktop.
  • As of now, the baker who pushed the button may not touch their bake anymore. It will be presented as-is.
  • The other bakers have (e.g.) 10 minutes from the button is pushed to finish their bake. Whatever they have at the end of the 10 minutes must be presented to the judges.
It makes it a bit more game show-y, which I know is not everybody's liking, but after 7 seasons of basically the same format you might want to shake it up a bit.
posted by brokkr at 8:23 AM on October 21, 2016


It makes it a bit more game show-y, which I know is not everybody's liking, but after 7 seasons of basically the same format you might want to shake it up a bit.

I'm pretty sure that would destroy the thing that made GBBO so beloved. The vast majority of reality shows are deliberately engineered to encourage the contestants to undermine each other, so that a big part of the way you win is cleverly or at least viciously destroying other people, and the reason people find them compelling is that people are often genuinely angry, hurt, and humiliated when confronted with such behaviour, so you get lots of drama.

In GBBO the contestants support each other, the hosts support the contestants, and the judges are tough but fair and pretty much always eliminate the person who was furthest from meeting the brief. That's the thing that was so great about it --- it's man against himself, to put it in 8th grade English class terms. It was such a blessed relief to watch a show where people go out of their way to help each other.

Youre not wrong about this risk of staleness; maybe it was best for it to go out on top...
posted by Diablevert at 2:52 PM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


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