The Great British Bake Off: Cake Week
August 29, 2017 7:01 PM - Season 8, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever set in the first week of Bake Off: an illusion cake.

description via Channel 4
posted by everybody had matching towels (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
15 minutes in and I'm still WTFing at Noel Fielding. My brain just doesn't want to fit him into this shape.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:49 PM on August 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I dislike stunt cakes but I have to admit the top contestants did an amazing job. Noel was ok. And it's like there are two Paul Hollywoods now.
posted by GuyZero at 10:58 PM on August 29, 2017

Considering the level of doom everyone was predicting when Noel Fielding was announced, I thought everything was almost a little TOO normal.

From the beginning Mel and Sue had a lot of natural chemistry with one another from their comedic partnership, where I'm not sure yet if Sandy Toksvig even likes Noel Fielding. Paul and Prue seemed to click, but their interaction isn't as central to the action in the tent. Maybe as Noel and Sandy relax into it, they will seem less rehearsed with one another.

The winning showstopper was pretty great looking. Not what I normally associate with GGBO, but quite a showing for the first week.
posted by briank at 8:28 AM on August 30, 2017

Watched it after some hem and hawing and my husband finally going "Look, isn't maybe-not-as-good Bake Off better than no Bake Off?". The second Yan came on the screen I was basically "OK FINE this is acceptable".

It seems like they're trying to up the difficulty of the bakes--mini rolls for a first technical is a bit much. And, related, how on earth did Chris get on the show when he doesn't know how to whip up eggs whites and then fold them in?

I was kind of eh on the show stopper--there was a lot of messing around with fondant and such, and not so much, y'know, baking. I'm not surprised that the judges kept saying that
the cakes were dry: all of those shapes need structural support to stay up, so yeah, the sponge is going to suffer. Not to mention the weird "It all has to be the same flavor cake" restriction--maybe they didn't want people to go too crazy the first week? But then again, Yan's Bananaramen cake looked excellent, and apparently was tasty too.

In any case, we're going to keep watching--hopefully Noel and Sandy get into a better grove.
posted by damayanti at 9:59 AM on August 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

So every week Noel Fielding isn't going to dress in a skin-tight leotard made of fabric showing a giant photograph of an example of the week's theme food? What's even the point?
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:29 AM on August 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

I liked the crow shirt, though. Yay, corvids.
posted by rewil at 10:33 AM on August 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

As long as he's wearing a feather boa on Poultry Week, I'll take it even if it's just a coincidence.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:50 AM on August 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really miss Mel and Sue and Mary, but at the same time, I'm actually enjoying the new crew. They just need to find their individual roles and interplay rhythms a bit. (Also it helps that through my MAGICAL POWERS I just see the show -- no ads.
posted by tzikeh at 11:26 AM on August 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

So every week Noel Fielding isn't going to dress in a skin-tight leotard made of fabric showing a giant photograph of an example of the week's theme food? What's even the point?

I don't know... I'm kind of adoring this side of him? When I heard he'd been chosen as a host, I was like... why would you do that to GBBO. I like him fine, but it was a bad match of styles and tones and not what the show needed. And then surprise, he's warm, and sweet, and funny without being from outer space, which works! I would argue that Noel Fielding at 100% would severely unbalance this show and make it nigh-unwatchable.

Just because he's not playing up the things he's generally known for doesn't mean he's doing the job wrong. In fact I think he's doing the job really very nicely.
posted by tzikeh at 11:37 AM on August 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

Noel's voice over is much improved from when he interviewed Damien Hirst and sounded like a small boy being forced to read out loud. And I, too, have an interest in what else tastes like clown nose. Also, I think Sandy is reportedly quite fond of Noel and Julian is suppose to wrestle her for visitation rights. Mind wrestling, mind you.
posted by provoliminal at 2:04 PM on August 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's still in my queue, but as long as it doesn't turn into an American style baking show where they regularly seem to bake things that look beautiful, structural, a feat of architecture but 100% inedible, eh? That to me is some of the charm of GBBO that the end result, even from the later rounds, is something I look at and think "yeah, a talented amateur made that from food-like components, not 99% premade arts-and-crafts stuff stuck to a sub-par cake with inedible frosting", I'll probably manage to deal with cast changes.
posted by Kyol at 9:10 AM on September 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I felt guilty watching. No one can replace Mel and Sue and I hope they have more projects coming up. But it was mostly the old show. Ok, nobody can replace Mary either. But the bakers are a good bunch and it's still entertaining and sweet and a lovely break from world news.

And the first episode seemed to have a larger than usual array of very cool cakes! (Though I still said a couple times to someone being silly... have you never WATCHED this show?)
posted by Glinn at 4:13 PM on September 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I watched this on catch-up, so I couldn’t skip the ads, and lasted all the way through to the point where they were just about to announce who had to go… and yet another ad break started and I decided I just couldn’t be bothered. But I’ll record the second one and see how it goes.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 5:26 AM on September 5, 2017

I watched this wanting something light to relax last night, and I forgot how stressful it is!
posted by bq at 8:36 PM on September 16, 2017

So I'm reviving this thread because this episode has been released in the next Netflix 'collection' in the USA; I'm in the middle of the first episode, and I have a bad feeling about it.

The new hosts and judges are fine, but the contestants seem less competent (someone who didn't know to whip the egg whites for a sponge?!) and snarkier ("that's gorgeous," said an insincere-sounding contestant to a homely loaf, but maybe she did mean it, I dunno).

I am hopeful for improvement.
posted by batter_my_heart at 2:47 PM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

*waves* I'm also watching for the first time on US Netflix, so maybe we'll watch together.

I kinda feel like that every season, for the first couple episodes -- I think it just takes a while to get a sense of who the contestants are, and that means waiting until they've each gotten enough screen time for their personalities to fill in. (I already love Yan, though, after only 2 episodes.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:02 PM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I am also just watching on US Netflix, and I am pleasantly surprised at how OK it is with the new cast. Seems like Paul is dressing up as Good Cop?
I definitely approve of ‘everything on the plate should be edible’ so I hope they keep that going.
posted by janell at 10:25 PM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yay, I am glad to have co-watchers! My faith was restored in the showstopper challenge; my boyfriend was touched that the star baker called his mother with the good news. And yes, good on Paul for keeping on with insisting that showstopper cakes still taste good.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:42 PM on September 1, 2018

I am also just watching now! Let's see if I can get through this season season without googling one of the recipes and accidentally getting spoiled.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:05 PM on September 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm just watching this now too! I think I watched one episode of the Might Boosh, so wasn't sure what to expect, but I like Noel Fielding. He's warm and gently funny, and feels very real in a way I wasn't expecting.
posted by apricot at 7:27 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

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