‘The Great British Baking Show’ Season 11, Episode 7 Recap: “80s Week”

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There are spoilers about the episode in this article.

We are down to just six bakers left in The Great British Baking Show. This week is “80s Week,” which kicked off with a skit of E.T. to get us in the nostalgic mood. The bakers faced three challenges, which were judged by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith to compete for the star baker title and avoid being eliminated.

Image courtesy of ‘The Great British Baking Show’

Signature Challenge

For their signature challenge, the bakers were asked to make eight individual quiches in two hours. They had to have two different savory flavors and use shortcrust pastry.

The bakers were given a challenge with making the pastry on the hottest day of the year so far. The bakers faced the problem of needing to chill their pastry enough to shape it without their fat melting. They had to work very quickly to do this.

Peter made Thai crab and coconut curry quiches and salmon quiche with asparagus and capers. The judges thought his quiches were pretty and his pastry was perfectly cooked. They loved his salmon quiches but thought that the chili overwhelmed the crab in his curry quiche. However, Peter did succeed in making everyone feel old by saying that he was born in 2000 and joked that the 80s was history.

Image courtesy of ‘The Great British Baking Show’

Laura made pea quiches with mint, goat cheese, and asparagus and Calabrian sausage quiches with ‘Nduja paste. The judges liked both of her flavors but particularly the pea quiche with the delicate hint of mint. Unfortunately, her pastry was tough, and she had some leakage from her sausage quiches.

Marc made cod and Cornish blue cheese quiches and smoked haddock and cheddar quiches, inspired by Cornish flavors yet again. The judges loved both of his quiches and thought the flavors were beautiful. They also thought his pastry was lovely. They were slightly disappointed that the flavors were very similar in both quiches.

Hermine made spinach and shiitake mushroom quiches and salmon and leek quiches with Gruyere cheese and French mustard. It looked like Hermine was headed for disaster because she was very behind due to taking too long to cook her fillings. She left her pastry in the freezer for too long, meaning it was partially frozen and had to defrost in the sun before it could be shaped. This left her fretting that her pastry wouldn’t cook in time. She was still blind baking her pastry with just 30 minutes left to the challenge. It probably wouldn’t have cooked in time if Laura hadn’t come over and turned up Hermine’s oven temperature to help her. Her pastry was slightly undercooked in the middle. However, the texture still held well, plus it was buttery. The judges thought both of her quiches were absolutely delicious. Paul even took one for his lunch.

Dave made English breakfast quiches with scrambled eggs, sausage, and hash browns and pastry spiced to taste like Cumberland sausage. He also made unusual sirloin beef and avocado quiches. The judges thought he had included too much spice in his beef and avocado quiche so that it overwhelmed the other flavors. They also weren’t keen on his breakfast quiche as the scrambled egg and custard were too similar, so it seemed like scrambled custard. Although the judges liked the spiced pastry’s idea, they said it had ruined the quiche because, again, the spice was too strong.

Lottie also made English breakfast quiches, but this time with sausage, black pudding, and baked beans. She also made beetroot, walnut, and goat cheese quiches. The judges praised her quiches for being neat and the pastry being excellent. They liked her beetroot quiche, and although they quite liked her English breakfast quiches, it mainly tasted like black pudding. Prue had tried to put aside her prejudices as she hates baked beans, but the judges didn’t understand the baked beans’ inclusion because it added nothing to the flavor or texture.

Technical Challenge

The technical challenge asked the bakers to follow Paul’s recipe to make six custard and jam finger doughnuts. They had two hours and 45 minutes to make, deep fry, and fill their doughnuts.

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The temperature continued to soar in the tent, reaching 35ᵒc. The bakers struggled with the heat, resorting to cooling towels around their necks. Prue even removed her blazer. The heat did slightly work to their advantage because they didn’t need to use the proving drawer to increase their dough. Dave decided to use the drawer anyway, so his dough didn’t actually rise as much as the other bakers.

These were judged blindly, so the judges did not know which belonged to which baker, and they were ranked from worst to best.  Dave came in last place because he struggled with his doughnuts. He fried them at too high a temperature, so they looked and tasted burnt. His doughnuts were under proofed, and he also misunderstood the instructions and cut one of his doughnuts wrong.

Image courtesy of ‘The Great British Baking Show’

Lottie came in fifth as her doughnuts were also slightly overcooked. They weren’t very consistent and were a little tough. Laura came in fourth as hers were also a little overcooked, was slightly messy but tasted good.

Marc came in third because his doughnuts were consistent and tasted good. Peter was second as his were baked well and tasted good but slightly shorter than they should have been.

Hermine won the challenge as her doughnuts were the right color and were airy inside. The judges loved her cream, and her flavors were great.

Showstopper Challenge

The showstopper challenge asked the bakers to reimagine the classic 80s ice cream cake in four hours and 30 minutes. The flavors and style used were up to the bakers, but they had to include at least one baked element.

The bakers definitely had a challenge to make ice cream in 35ᵒc heat. They were provided with ice cream makers to help. However, some of the bakers’ flavor impacted how long their ice cream took to freeze.

Peter kept cool under pressure and made a beautiful ice cream Christmas cake. He used brandy, and Christmas cake flavored ice creams and chocolate-covered brandy snaps, decorated with marzipan and Italian meringue. He faced the challenge of getting his ice cream to freeze in time because it took longer to freeze because of the brandy. He navigated this problem skillfully and had no issues. His cake looked great and was complimented for being very clever and delicious. The only criticism was that due to the amount of fruit he included in the Christmas cake, the judges said that his texture wasn’t quite right as the cake was too solid.

Image courtesy of ‘The Great British Baking Show’

Hermine created a cake using mango and coconut ice creams, raspberry coulis, and shortbread (Palet Breton). Although Hermine worried that her cake was too simple compared to the other bakers, her cake looked beautiful, and the judges thought her cake was simple but effective. They loved the well-balanced flavors of the mango and coconut.

Marc made a honey and hazelnut ice cream, butterscotch and pecan ice cream alongside blackberry mousse, surrounded by a black striped joconde sponge, designed to remind people of a retro ice cream parlor. Marc’s cake looked very impressive, and the judges loved both of his ice creams and the mousse. However, his honey and hazelnut ice cream hadn’t completely set because of the amount of honey in it. The judges thought his cake was complicated but done well.

Dave made a tiramisu inspired cake with almond liqueur soaked sponge, coffee and almond ice creams, and chocolate discs. He decided to take a risk and wanted to pipe the ice creams on top of his cake to decorate it, which was a bad idea in the temperature. The judges loved Dave’s flavors. His sponge was well baked and tasted just like tiramisu. Unfortunately, his ice cream piping on top looked messy (despite him trying to decorate it while in the freezer) because it was starting to melt. The judges thought it would have been better to deliver a simple but clean design.

Laura and Lottie seemed to have a competition to make the most melted ice cream cake. Laura made a “death by chocolate” ice cream cake with brownie ice cream, salted caramel praline ice cream, and a chocolate sponge decorated with meringue kisses. Laura had a nightmare making her ice cream because as the other bakers were taking their ice creams out of the churner to put them in the freezer, Laura’s was still liquid. She realized that she had forgotten to press the freeze button on the machine, so it had just been churning. She couldn’t assemble her cake until her ice cream had frozen. Her ice cream did not completely set in time, but she did what she could. Her ice cream was partially melted and meant her cake was leaning and messy. The judges could only compliment the meringue kisses for their appearance. Although her flavors were delicious, Paul criticized her brownie ice cream because the brownie had been put in the freezer. He said that the brownie was too hard in the ice cream, and the signature fudgy texture was lost.

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Lottie took a huge risk with her cassette tape ice cream cake. She made blackberry mousse, cherry jelly, and chocolate puffed rice cake, which she aimed to cover with her chocolate ice cream to shape it like tape. Most of the other bakers chose to cover their ice cream with the baked elements, which helped protect them from melting. Lottie’s ice cream was soft scoop so that she could pipe it, and it completely melted. She tried to make Laura feel better about her own disaster by pointing out that her cake was dripping everywhere. Her cassette tape underwhelmed the judges as the ice cream was not protected and just melted everywhere. They had tried to warn her at the beginning of the bake that it would not work, but she decided to take the risk anyway. They thought her layers inside were elegant, and her ice cream was delicious, but the layers within her cake lacked flavor other than the puffed rice cake.

Results

Both Hermine and Marc were in line for star baker this week. It was unsurprising that Hermine won the title, meaning that all of the remaining bakers have now won the title. She definitely stood out this week with her great flavors in the signature challenge, winning the technical and making a beautiful showstopper.

The judges thought that Dave had done enough in the showstopper to save himself, and so it was down to either Lottie or Laura to be eliminated. Laura also fought to save herself from elimination last week, and so she seemed destined to go. Everyone was stunned when it was Lottie that was eliminated. It seemed as though the judges decided to favor Laura for not pushing a button as opposed to Lottie, who ignored their advice in the showstopper. It was unusual to see past Lottie’s sarcastic shell to see her show so much emotion in her interview following her elimination. Her witty banter will definitely be missed in the tent.

Make sure to tune in next week for “Dessert Week,” and then check back here for the latest recap!

Lynette

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Lynette has been a lifelong nerd and over the last few years finally learned to let her freak flag fly. She likes to dip her toe into almost every fandom but is particularly passionate about Supernatural, Stranger Things, Marvel and Disney. When she isn’t binge watching programs, she loves to swim, sing and (true to her Ravenclaw nature) read. Lynette joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2019 and loves sharing her nerdy knowledge with the world.

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