Last week gave us quite a shocking elimination, as we reached the end of Freya’s vegan bakes. The tent suddenly smells of bacon. Strange.
Week 6 of the Bake-Off brings us pastry, in my opinion one of the more difficult weeks on the show. Pastry is very finicky, as it relies on butter in various states of matter – solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.
Giuseppe looks somehow wetter each week; perhaps he broke open a new container of jheri curl. He shares he has to keep buying more shirts because he didn’t think he’d be here this long. Hopefully there’s a Primark nearby.
Chouxnuts, “the devil’s doughnut,” are the first challenge of the day; one filled, one unfilled. A chouxnut is made with choux pastry, but is deep-fried like a donut. Lizzie takes a tropical route, filling one of her ‘nuts with hibiscus and raspberry liqueur. I cannot imagine what that would taste like, but I do not think I would like it. Poor Lizzie is terrified the fryer will get her and she’ll behhhhhhn. Stay safe, Lizzie.
Hairy Arms George, looking somehow hairier than usual, decides this week is the week to “focus on his flavors.” Not sure what he’s been doing up until now.
Krystelle is baking outside of the box by creating a miso caramel for one of her pastries, while Jürgen, striking his action stance, takes a trip to Japan with ube, yuzu, and sake. His dough is a delightful shade of Grimace.
George spends a few minutes struggling to open a pair of tongs. Bless him. Somehow he manages to create some good looking pastries on the plate. However, his filled chouxnut, missing its filling, leads Prue to offer her top tips for squirting, and her need for two holes. Filth.
Giuseppe’s almond praline chouxnuts are beautiful and provide a lovely texture contrast, but the boozy limoncello filling in his second pastry slightly misses the mark.
A public service announcement for all bakers: STOP. PUTTING. ROSE. IN. FOOD. I just do not think that there’s ever a need to put that flavor in food. It is like licking an old lady. That is all.
Time to put these ‘nuts in Paul Hollywood’s mouth. Filth. Lizzie’s terror ‘nuts and Chigs’s’s offerings earn high praise from the judges
Heading into the technical, Krystelle and Amanda are in a bit of trouble. I’m not sure if anyone will really do well in this challenge: the bakers are told to make baklava, using from-scratch phyllo pastry. Making phyllo is just not something bakers ever do: in the words of Giuseppe, it’s a massive
asshole hassle. I half expect Nicole Byer to pop from around a corner for a surprise crossover episode of Nailed It!
Noel throws some shade around the tent, asking Krystelle if she’s going to mess things up like this morning. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t RuPaul’s Best Friend Race.
Once the pastries are built, the bakers must then cut them into a faffy star design, then cover the top with pistachio crumbs and rose petals.
Krystelle manages a decent baklava, succeeding in lamination and flavor, while Amanda’s anemic bake is underdone and leaves the judges wanting.
Lizzie tries her best to hide her pattern with an avalanche of green pistachisnow, earning her the bottom spot. George’s higgledy-piggledy bake puts him at the penultimate bottom as well.
Jürgen makes a picture perfect baklava, placing him back at the top of the heap, with Krystelle dragging herself out of the hole she baked herself into with a runner-up placement.
The Showstopper challenge of pastry week is a French terrine pie with a hidden pattern inside. Will we have another Secret Squirrel? Or possibly an actual squirrel in a pie? You can never tell with British cuisine.
Lizzie hopes to save herself by creating a pie with adorable fish made out of potatoes, while Giuseppe’s bake is a love letter to his wife with a beautiful owl pie. Not a pie made of owls, an owl-shaped pie. Again, I feel I must clarify.
“George’s giant sausage.” FILTH. I’d wager the BBC’s censorship director’s eyebrows are in orbit after this episode. Somehow the main portion of George’s pie was “forgotten” in the freezer, and he spends much of time catching up making what appears to be a crime against baking. No amount of dancing can save the top crust as his pie falls apart in the oven.
Amanda joins George in the danger zone, as neither baker will have a cooled pie to turn out for judging. A hot pie may be delicious in most cases, but a hot meat pie (my nickname in college) is not ideal here.
As the other bakers begin untinning their bakes, leaks and cracks abound. George finally bites the bullet and unmolds, and with the biggest boo-boo face I think I’ve ever seen, looks at the cameraman and says, “Soggy bottom.” He is fully resigned to his fate.
Somehow appearing even worse, Amanda manages to fully rip the top off her terrine. The entire tent ceases working to stare in slack-jawed, abject horror as the slow-motion-car-crash unfolds.
Pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs! Amanda and Chigs try desperately to throw pigs at the crumbling pie, but to no avail.
The pies are plated; let the judging commence.
As expected, Lizzie’s fish-not-fish pie shows an adorable cross-section. Flavors are remarkable, but the pastry is just a bit too thick.
Giuseppe’s design is beautiful and tastes amazing, a testament to his love for his wife. Jürgen’s bake looks stunning, but came out a bit dry.
Oh, Amanda. The pie is somehow wet enough to leak, but too dry to eat – a culinary enigma. Visually it looks ok minus the breakage.
The judge’s scrape and struggle to provide a compliment to George’s pie. Not only is it hideous, it is apparently also somehow not done. I will be outraged if he does not finally meet his maker this episode.
Out of nowhere, Krystelle surges to the front of the pack with her chicken curry terrine. We didn’t get a Secret Squirrel, but we did get a Secret Handshake. Paul, tricking Krystelle into looking closely at her bake, offers his meaty claw in an exceedingly rare Showstopper handshake.
In line for star baker, Krystelle’s curry gets top marks, but Giuseppe’s meat is on Paul’s lips. It’s an exceedingly close one, but in the end, Krystelle earns her first star baker placement of the season.
ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?
ARE YOU LEGITIMATELY, REALLY, TRUUUULY SERIOUS?
Does this man have plot armor?
Was his dad a founding member of the British Broadcasting Company?
Is he the illegitimate grandchild of Queen Elizabeth herself?
In yet another week of absolute batshittery, George is somehow saved once again, and Amanda is sent home. He served the judges a meat pie that not only fell apart, they also shared concern that they didn’t believe it to be fully cooked. I don’t mind George as a person – I’m sure he’s perfectly lovely. But Curtis doesn’t suffer fools gladly. His incompetence is what bothers me, and now two more-talented bakers have gone home while he’s still here.
Amanda brought a lot of heart to her bakes, and she had some really bright spots throughout her time on the show. I definitely don’t think she would have made it to the final 3, but I certainly expected her to outlast George.