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S05.E10: The Final

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It's the final... From thousands of applicants just twelve bakers made it to the tent and now only three remain. Having fought their way through 27 baking challenges and proved they can master every baking discipline known to man, the remaining three bakers have just one more weekend of baking to tackle. Just three challenges lie between them and the trophy.

 

And what a trio of challenges they are. A signature challenge that requires the mastery of a classic pastry technique that normally takes a day - in just three hours; a technical challenge that tests them beyond everything they have tackled in the previous nine weeks by requiring them to master the basics - with no recipe; and a final showstopper challenge that demands delivery of perfect sponge, caramel, choux pastry and petit four in their final five hours in the Bake Off tent. 

 

Each one is worthy, but who will be crowned winner of the Great British Bake Off?

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Ha, I love that they chose a fancy term (viennoiserie) that covers a wide range of baked stuff for the signature bake. According to wikipedia:

 

Viennoiseries (French etymological sense: 'things of Vienna') are baked goods made from a yeast-leavened dough in a manner similar to bread, or from puff pastry, but with added ingredients (particularly eggs, butter, milk, cream and sugar) giving them a richer, sweeter character, approaching that of pastry. The dough is often laminated. Viennoiseries are typically eaten at breakfast or as snacks.

 

Examples include: croissants; Vienna bread and its French equivalent, pain viennois, often shaped into baguettes; brioche; pain au chocolat; pain au lait; pain aux raisins; chouquettes; Danish pastries; bugnes; and chausson aux pommes, the French name for an apple turnover.

 

I like that choosing such a broad category allowed the finalists a lot of freedom in choosing what to bake for their last signature bake.

 

Luis' apple, walnut, raisin and cheshire cheese choussons looked very nice. His pain au (white) chocolat with raspberries and cream cheese sounded SO good! I was so sad that Paul said the raspberries made the inside of the pastry soggy and the cream cheese was chalky.

 

Nancy's apple filled lemon kites were so pretty. I loved the visible apple slices and the flavor combination sounded great. I'm not crazy about freeze dried raspberries so I wasn't sure if I would like the raspberry almond croissants. The dusting of sugar on top was a nice touch. Too bad she didn't proof them properly.

 

Richard's pain au lait worried me. Don't go the Norman route in the finale, Richard! But I felt bad for Richard when Paul warned him that it might be too simple. At this point, it's too late for Richard to do anything about it. I doubt he could go to production and ask for more ingredients to make it fancier. The pear pain au chocolat sounded like a good flavor combination, but you can't not have layers!

 

On a shallow note, I hated Mary's floral blazer this week.

 

Two hours to make 12 mini Victoria sandwiches, 12 mini tarte au citron, and 12 mini scones was a crazy technical challenge. Ha, I laughed at Richard reading the directions: "Make 12 scones."

 

Kind of strange that the tarte au citron was what determined who scored well in the technical challenge. Poor Richard - tarte au colon!

 

Damn, they were not messing around with the pièce montée showstopper. Cake, sugar work, choux, and petits fours!

 

Awwww, young Richard was adorable. Loved watching his kids decorate the cake with gumdrops. So cute! And oh, young Luis! They look so different with hair!

 

Of the three showstoppers, Luis' looked the most impressive, but the spinning windmill on Nancy's was great! I thought Richard had a chance at winning because Paul loved the flavors so much. I would have been fine with any of the three finalists winning. I loved how supportive Richard and Luis were after Nancy was announced the winner.

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Viennoiserie is fairly commonly used in France. I like using it too since it is a great catch all term for "pastry that you would find in a French bakery". Gosh, I love it! It was a great challenge.

 

I think the technical challenge scared me more than most of the other challenges on this show. Two hours is not a lot of time. I know they push it with the time limits, but 2 hours doing those three things didn't seem enjoyable to me at all.

 

I saw Nancy winning after her consistency the first day. I do love UK cooking competitions because you can tell who wins just by their consistency or skill. Bob the Builder is still my favourite, but I'm glad he had a good Showstopper at least. I'm glad for Luis too since he had some nice bakes. While I don't like him as much as the others, he is clearly talented too.

 

Another great series! 

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The trouble I had with the viennoiserie challenge is that the amount of time to execute it was really not enough, and it's not a question of working quickly and precisely like the technical challenge, it's the time to let the dough chill several times and then properly rise. It's almost like setting them up to fail, rather than letting them do their best in the final.

That said, I knew putting raspberries in the dough was a mistake.

Richard crashed and burned, didn't he. While I said last week that I wouldn't mind seeing someone else win, he was my favorite and the best over the whole series and I do feel bad that he couldn't win the whole thing.

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I kept waiting for the judges to find some way to give it to Richard at the end, because he'd won so many before, but they didn't! It's sad that he just crashed during the most important episode, but he was in good spirits the whole time, and Nancy just crushed the other two today. Good for her! She really was very consistent the entire show, only really wobbling badly the episode when Chetna left. That windmill was amazing...it even turned, even after one of the blades broke off and she had to reattach it! Just terrific.

 

I adore this show and the Great British Sewing Bee as well. It's like attending summer camp with a terrific group of friends.

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What does the winner get, besides the honor and the cake stand? Is there a monetary award?

I really thought Richard would take it, but he flubbed everything from the start on.

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What does the winner get, besides the honor and the cake stand? Is there a monetary award?

 

Perhaps, but it's probably nominal. What does inevitably end up happening is they get a book deal, press, and lots of connections. Most of the winners and finalists have changed careers and/or ended up doing books and teaching baking.

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Well done, Nancy!! Her creations each round looked delicious. She really crushed it!!

The English love their raspberries, don't they? Has there been a week where less than two people used them? I feel like passion fruit has also been used quite a bit this season, too. Not that I'm complaining! One of my favorite flavors!

Altogether beautiful work from everyone. So impressive what they do in a few short hours!

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Thanks for posting those links, zahdii. I ended up finding it on YouTube.

It was a great finale. I enjoyed watching the entire season and these 3 really deserved to go to the end.

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So the extra half hour was for PBS fund raising. bleh, I would rather have commercials.

 

I was surprised it was Nancy, I thought for sure Richard would win, but I'm OK with it.

 

When does next season start? :-)

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So the extra half hour was for PBS fund raising.

 

I was so thrilled that PBS aired this show so I could watch it that I actually sent them a donation with a thank you note.  :0

 

I was surprised to hear Paul say that the winner is determined solely by the final bakes rather than the body of work over the whole season.  Based upon that, Nancy deserved to win.  I was hoping for Richard or Luis though.  I hope good things come to all of them.

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I was surprised to hear Paul say that the winner is determined solely by the final bakes rather than the body of work over the whole season.  Based upon that, Nancy deserved to win.  I was hoping for Richard or Luis though.  I hope good things come to all of them.

 

They judge by the week and have always done so. There was one time in a previous season where they had to judge two people and used their previous weeks to determine things. It became that difficult for Paul and Mary. Most of the time, they figure out the people going forward/being eliminated based on that weekend. I don't love Nancy, but she really rose on top when it mattered.

 

Richard's written a book and I'll be most interested check his and Chetna's out.

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Bewildered that PBS affiliates treat the finale with such contempt! Stupid pledge drives with 'zany' presenters who clearly do not chime with the show's lofi  vibe - come back Mel and Su, all is forgiven.

 

I was really moved by the finale. There was a lovely simplicity to having family and previous contestants for a picnic celebration. Everything appeared homespun. It’s all intentional of course, but I dont mind calculated production if it's good! Each of the family clips were so sweet. I loved Richard's quip about liking gingers. I want  Nancy's grandchildren to read me all the dialect parts of  Wuthering Heights and BOOM for the win  Luis plays the ukulele in a backstreet pub.

 

In the Show Stoppers, Nancy drew on her experience - she chose things that she could do well. It didn't stun me - but it was competent, and if I had ordered it from a confectioner, I would have thought it worth the money - I didn’t expect Richard to not only stumble, but self-immolate? I would have asked for my money back.

 

I couldn't really get behind a cookie crumb coal mine Luis, although I imagine it's the kind of thing a Mayor in the  Coal Belt would happily stand behind for a photo in the local newspaper, together with the world's largest rooster etc.

 

Richard’s looked a mess - all his caramel sails wilted in minutes, his impotent looking croquembouche wasn’t especially tall, and the GRREEEEEEEEN buttercream piped over the two sponges to make a hill was straight from  soccer mom’s playbook, theres no problem with that, but for a spectacular piece montée ???. The only thing that looked suitable for the finale were the fabulous meringue mushrooms. I think he was out of ideas and energy. He practiced so hard all week, every week. I got the feeling Nancy didn’t push herself to that extent.

 

The technical played completely into her hands - it was a very Mary Berry day - and Nancy baked those English favorites for decades. She's one of those people (mostly women) who make preserves  to perfection without a recipe (cough Richard), who survive huge numbers of guests for the holidays  and NOT curdle milk and eggs through years of putting food  on the table.

 

One last thing to mention, the incidental music is always so nice. I would buy it from itunes.

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She's one of those people (mostly women) who make preserves  to perfection without a recipe (cough Richard), who survive huge numbers of guests for the holidays  and NOT curdle milk and eggs through years of putting food  on the table.

I appreciate this show and the Great British Sewing Bee for allowing winners to use this kind of experience. I remember watching the first season of Sewing Bee and thinking that there was no way that quiet, competent, sewing-for-decades Ann was going to be allowed to win, because I'm so tarnished by American reality television that I figured some twist would give us a more "exciting" winner. Same here...I figured Richard's downfall in the first two challenges in this episode would just be the lead-up to his fantastic recovery with a windmill (surely he and Nancy couldn't have BOTH chosen windmills by chance, could they, thought I) that makes us realize that, OF COURSE! a builder was going to be able to make a gorgeous piece montée!!

 

I'm so glad it didn't happen that way, and the low-key picnic where Nancy got her cake plate just made me appreciate the show even more.

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Looks like I was lucky - I watched it on WETA UK which doesn't have pledge drives.

 

Aw, their families were so cute.  And, everyone seemed so happy for Nancy.  Its just nice watching a show with nice people. 

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What does the winner get, besides the honor and the cake stand? Is there a monetary award?

Perhaps, but it's probably nominal. What does inevitably end up happening is they get a book deal, press, and lots of connections. Most of the winners and finalists have changed careers and/or ended up doing books and teaching baking.

 

I didn't even think about what the prize was until the end.  How nice to watch a show where the trophy is awarded for best result rather than for best back-story.  I also felt a twinge of envy looking at Nancy's home kitchen.  I don't watch an excessive amount of English television but up until now all I'd seen are Dickensian hovels or Downton Abbey without much in between.

 

Aren't they lucky the rain cleared up in time for the awards picnic.?

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Glad I wasn't the only one irritated by the fundraiser during the show. Not so much because they were fundraising, but the two buffoons on my PBS affiliate were, at times, calling the show, "The British Baking Show" and "The British Bake Off." They were also shilling Paul Hollywood's book and one of the clowns kept saying he was forbidden to eat sugar so he couldn't eat any of the recipes anyway.

 

Moving on, hooray for Nancy who was awesome but I really adored Luis' showstopper and thought he could have easily won as as well. Nancy's was nice but just kinda "eh" for me. Richard totally bobbled it but I adore him regardless and know there'll be good things in his future (which, according to his Twitter, is a cookbook coming out soon).

 

Can't wait for the next season!

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I didn't have a pledge drive, but I did notice that PBS cut some of the episode out. I watched it on youtube and there were "since the show was taped" summaries for every contestant, but on the version I saw on PBS it was cut down so that you only saw the summaries for the most recent 5 or so people. 

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Oh man, I didn't get any of the "since the show was taped" info on ANY of the contestants!

 

I will miss this lovely show so much. The tone, the visuals, the people - what a brilliant show.

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I get why PBS has to have pledge drives but there has got to be a better way to do them than having two doofuses who seem to know nothing about the show (I had a man and woman in my area who had apparently never even seen an episode by the way they were talking) carrying on and on.

 

I wish Richard had won, but I understand why he didn't. Nancy was actually my last pick of the three to win, but they were all so wonderful I was okay with her win.

 

Just a charming, utterly delightful show. Take note, US shows.

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I appreciate this show and the Great British Sewing Bee for allowing winners to use this kind of experience. I remember watching the first season of Sewing Bee and thinking that there was no way that quiet, competent, sewing-for-decades Ann was going to be allowed to win, because I'm so tarnished by American reality television that I figured some twist would give us a more "exciting" winner.

 

 

 

 

Wait wait wait - there's a sewing show, too? I wonder if our PBS will pick it up ... Oh, screw that. I wonder if we can catch the shows when they originally air on one of the BBC America channels. Between the 300 uVerse channels, Amazon Prime and Roku, maybe we can find it somewhere.

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Richard was just cruising along, it's a shame that he stumbled at the end. Nerves?

 

That being said, I liked all three finalists and am happy with the outcome.

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What a lovely finale!  Although I was cheering for Richard, I'm happy for Nancy, and would have been equally happy for Luis as well.  I think perhaps nerves got the best of Richard and perhaps Luis too, which is completely understandable, especially in the technical test where time was such a factor.  I loved the families gathered outside the tent having a picnic and cheering for their loved ones...that was delightful, and the weather was sunny after all the rainy days we've seen. 

 

I was lucky with the two commentators in my area for the fundraiser.  One of them was a professional chef and I missed hearing the profession of the other but he was very pleasant.  Both of them were familiar with the show and clearly enjoyed it.  I figure if it weren't for PBS's fundraising they'd have to do commercials (endless repetitions of men's erectile dysfunction, right? lol), and I enjoy some of their programming so much I always make a yearly donation, though I can't afford as much as I'd like.

 

The icing on the cake was the 'since the show was taped' bit at the end of the show.  I don't think I've ever seen that on a competition show before and it was fun.  Hoping this show will be back again!! 

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I wonder if we can catch the shows when they originally air on one of the BBC America channels.

This is one of the things that pisses me off about BBC America. They could easily air original British shows 24/7, but instead their programming is primarily  Top Gear, Dr. Who, and endless repeats of 25 year old Star Trek TNG, which - heads up, BBCA - ISN'T A BRITISH SHOW. /end of rant

 

I was disappointed in the finale as I've never warmed to Nancy, she seems to have the least personality to me, although she certainly seems to have accomplished a lot in her life. I knew Richard was writing a cookbook, and I fully expected that to mean that he won, so I was surprised at the implosion.  It must have been horrible trying to do all that precise baking in a tent on what was obviously a very, very wet weekend. And more fool me for thinking that a 90 minute finale would mean we'd get 90 minutes of show instead of a standard length show with 30 minutes of pledge drive folded in.

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I get why PBS has to have pledge drives but there has got to be a better way to do them than having two doofuses who seem to know nothing about the show (I had a man and woman in my area who had apparently never even seen an episode by the way they were talking) carrying on and on.

And, the extra time was allowed to start a half-hour early on my station - having no idea, that meant that I came in just at the end of the technical challenge.  What followed was 20 minutes of content and 40 minutes of pledge drive prattle.  I would have gladly given them money to have actually gotten to watch the entire show, but instead they made me hate them a little.  Especially the woman who was sure that the pledge gift book was awesome in spite of her never cooking herself.

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I watched it online this morning and was happy with the outcome. As otehrs have said, I would've been equally as happy if either of the other finalists had won. Richard and Luis were both so strong on presentation and design all along, while Nancy was not, but Nancy didn't cave under time pressure and, as they said, was consistent throughout.

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So the extra half hour was for PBS fund raising. bleh, I would rather have commercials.

 

I was surprised it was Nancy, I thought for sure Richard would win, but I'm OK with it.

 

When does next season start? :-)

 

Series 6 will start this summer in the UK, will be good if PBS decide to air it around the same time!

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This is one of the things that pisses me off about BBC America. They could easily air original British shows 24/7, but instead their programming is primarily  Top Gear, Dr. Who, and endless repeats of 25 year old Star Trek TNG, which - heads up, BBCA - ISN'T A BRITISH SHOW. /end of rant

 

 

I guess it's considered British enough because it stars Patrick Stewart :-)

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I actually surprised myself in the end, because I wanted Luis to win. I thought the "cookie-crumb coal mine" was kind of heartfelt and adorable, more so than Nancy's piece. It also says something about the quality of the competition that someone like Luis, who turned out consistently top-of-the-pack stuff, not only didn't win but also only got star baker--what--once? Or was it twice?

 

I hope the popularity of the British show this season inspires someone to bring it back to the U.S. I recall hearing that the Jeff Foxworthy version was cancelled, but I loved it and I'd like to see it back on our side of the pond.

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Our PBS station did not include the "since the show was taped" portion. So, Martha passed her exams, Richard is writing a cookbook. Can anyone share what other updates were given? Our station cut straight to the fundraising after the winner was announced. Don't like the fundraising, but loved this show!

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Norman is writing his autobiography. Nancy still enjoyes teaching her grandchildren to bake. Those are the only others I remember.

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I was really rooting for Richard. It's a shame he fell apart in these last challenges - that "scrambled egg" tarte just broke my heart. As did the sagging windmill sail. I loved seeing his wife tear up with pride. The PTV review made me laugh when I read "Calm down man!" in response to Richard remarking "I've had times where I've been calmer." Luis, too, brought a designer's eye and unique flavors. I never really wanted to try anything Nancy baked and found her designs really lacking (including the final Moulin Rouge piece).

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Norman is writing his autobiography. Nancy still enjoyes teaching her grandchildren to bake. Those are the only others I remember.

Also - Iain is travelling the world looking for new flavors, Chetna is baking for charities, and Luis is still baking and dreaming of quitting his job to be a pastry chef. Luis also wants to teach baking. And Martha plans to go to bakery school.

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Kate bakes a ciabatta every week. There was more to hers, but that's all I recall.

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Thanks for sharing the updates. I don't know if my station ran it - I was so bored with the begathon that I turned it off.

Reading the directions for the technical bake was hilarious.

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Thanks for all of the updates everyone! I found everyone on the show to be so likable. It was a pleasure to watch them all. Can't wait for the next season.

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I thought Martha wanted to go to school for food science.

I got a kick out of Norman's biography being up to age 5 so far.

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I've just been catching up with Nancy's twitter conversation at #pbsbakingshow. She was gracious and kind. I wasn't at all surprised to learn she didn't enjoy that 20  layer German torte under the broiler. Also fun to know the washing up crew has a separate tent (were they the young women in green aprons at the finale picnic I wonder?). She even posted a photo of daughter's wedding cake, And her tip about using brie rinds for breadmaking I am totally going to try!

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Our station cut straight to the fundraising after the winner was announced. Don't like the fundraising, but loved this show!

 My station cut to fundraising briefly, but then showed the updates.  I knew to wait because the fundraising hosts said they would show the updates. 

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Is there anywhere online to watch the prior seasons? I tote adore this show! :-)

I don't know if the full seasons are there, but there are a lot of prior season episodes on Youtube.

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They said that Martha gets mobbed by folks that recognize her and that Chetna is prepping recipes for a pop up restaurant.  So I'm wondering if that has happened yet.

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They said that Martha gets mobbed by folks that recognize her and that Chetna is prepping recipes for a pop up restaurant.  So I'm wondering if that has happened yet.

 

Yes, she's actually done at least two pop-ups. You can check her website for recipes and updates.

 

The show films in late spring/early summer, but airs about two months later.

 

So I'll see you posters here for series 6 this summer. :)

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The past seasons are on YouTube. I'm up to season 3 . What's on YouTube has some wonky audio but if like me, you are hooked, you'll adapt. I found season 2 more enjoyable than season 1 . And season 2 has the squirrel shot in the final!

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that was just utterly charming. The whole show was charming and even though Nancy was my third favorite out of the three, I am so happy she won because she fully deserved it. She did beautifully on finale weekend.

 

I watched the show OnDemand on Comcast and they had the where are they now segment at the end, which I adored. I loved seeing everyone again both at the picnic and knowing what they are doing now. Yay on Martha for passing all her exams. lol

 

I loved seeing all their families and the whole picnic atmosphere at the end. And the total and utter lack of manufactured drama. The only drama was in bakes not going the way the bakers wanted. Poor Richard really did crash and burn, but he did get Star Baker a record number of times so he is definitely not a failure. And I love when Luis said the right person won, They all seemed to genuinely like and respect one another. It was a beautiful series and a perfect finale.

 

I am so glad I found this little show.

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