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S06.E09: Chocolate

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Week Nine, and that can only mean one thing - it's the semi-finals. The pressure is on as the remaining bakers must get to grips with the one of the most difficult ingredients - chocolate.

 

First up is the signature challenge, where the bakers must revisit their old friend pastry - only this time it has to be chocolate pastry for a chocolate tart. Mirror glazes, tempered chocolate and peanuts abound as Paul and Mary work their way through ganaches, mousse, caramel and the occasional fruit flavouring.

 

If the pressure of the semi-finals wasn't enough, Mary adds to it by setting a technical challenge that's so quick it needs a staggered start, which puts all the bakers on edge. Perplexed and confused, they find that matters get no better when they discover they have to make a chocolate souffle. As the tension mounts, who can keep a cool head and deliver a well-risen and beautifully light souffle?

 

Animals and architecture take centre stage as the bakers get artistic and create spectacular chocolate centrepieces for their showstopper. The judges want something that not only looks good, but tastes good too. With a place in the final at stake, there's no room for error. Who will make it through, and who will fall at the last hurdle?

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Cool! They haven't done soufflés for a Technical since Season 1 (and the judging wasn't as blind then). I had assumed that they abandoned them thereafter precisely because their split-second timing does indeed require a staggered start. And they'll have to do something clever with the judging, like seating Paul and Mary with their backs to the tent (that's what they did before), perhaps with a temporary barrier set up behind them so they can't see what's going on as they enter.

Edited by Rinaldo
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I have to say that I was quite surprised that Nadiya's Showstopper got such high marks from Paul and Mary. It looked attractive, but all that use of blue and green modeling chocolate is sort of a cheat in the context of the challenge, as it is considerably easier to work with than the traditional chocolates the other competitors used. For example, it doesn't need to be tempered like regular chocolate, and poor tempering was part of Flora's downfall. The other thing about modeling chocolate is that its taste is supposed to be markedly inferior to real chocolate, yet this point didn't come up in the critique. And a Rice Crispy treat head?

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I had assumed that they abandoned them thereafter precisely because their split-second timing does indeed require a staggered start.

 

Could you elaborate on this? I'm still not sure I understand the reason for the weird distribution of the technical.

 

The moment they said it was between Flora and Ian, I knew Flora was toast. No way was Super Ian losing out to a 19-year-old girl, even if she did heaps more work than him. My only consolation is that Nadiya has a more than a decent chance of taking it all and that is the only reason I'll bother watching the final.

Edited by Niuxita
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Souffles need to be served basically right out of the oven because they will start to fall - you saw how even Tamal's (which was the highest out of the oven) had fallen down to level with the dish. If everyone took theirs out of the oven at the same time, the last person to be judged would be at a big disadvantage since theirs would have had the most time to collapse before judging, whereas the first person's would be at its peak. Make sense? 

 

I am also annoyed at the judging of the showstopper this week. I love Nadiya, but I'm not sure I think she deserved to win. She made a rice krispie treat bird, with a modeling chocolate tail. As far as I remember, they didn't even taste the tail bits, only the rice krispie (I could be wrong on this). It seemed like a case of style over substance on that one. 

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Even if Flora was rightfully sent home this week (and I'm not sure that she was), it was a bit of let down in how predictable it was. In fact, this entire series has been one predictable elimination after another which, if I'm being honest, takes some of the fun out of it. I realize that some of that might be the fault of the editing and how telegraphed everything always seems to be (i.e. We hear Flora say, "The passionfruit layer might be a bit over baked," as she's working, and then later Mary and Paul say just that during judging), but I also think there's some bit of favoritism that plays into it as well. Like, there was no way Ian was going home over Flora this episode, unless Ian like, served Paul and Mary an actual plate of chocolate modeled to look like dog poop. And even then, I'm sure Paul and Mary would fall all over themselves to point out how meticulous and perfect a dog poop it was. 

 

I'll take solace in the fact that Nadiya was awarded Star Baker and is going onto the finals with Tamal, although I'm a little surprised at Nadiya's high marks this week. I thought her chocolate tart looked a bit sloppy, but Paul thought it deserved a handshake. Then I thought her peacock looked a little sloppy as well, and Mary and Paul seemed to love it. So, moral of the story? I don't know what I'm talking about. 

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While there's something about Ian's personality that bugs me, I did appreciate that he told Flora that he deserved to go rather than him.  (I'm probably paraphrasing it wrong, but that was the sentiment.)  I'm quite tired of Flora focusing on things she does over and over again when she should be doing something for the brief.  How many times has she made biscuits to add onto cakes, tarts, everything else?  I don't want to call her manipulative, but it seems like a subconscious way to distract from the shortcomings of what they're actually tasked to do.

 

I do think Flora is talented and hope that she is able to keep up a public presence as a baker.  I just don't think she allowed herself to show a broad range of abilities.  

 

But then again, sage caramel sounds disgusting and I would have been perfectly happy with Ian going instead.

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I knew Flora would be going when they said her chocolate creation didn't taste good.  I thought it actually *looked* OK though, although the macaroons were ungainly and Too.Flora.Much.

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I was surprised that Nadiya won star baker, given that she came in last in the technical, her signature looked sloppy and unsophisticated/unrefined, and her showstopper was more an art installation rather than something that looked very tasty -- sorry, I know the judges said otherwise, but I find it hard to believe that a rice krispy head covered in modeling chocolate and a tail made entirely of modeling chocolate would taste very good -- I guess those must've been some really good biscuit eggs. I don't think she showed much skill with chocolate in her showstopper -- very little to no tempering, just mostly molding finicky little feathers out of modeling chocolate (which as someone else pointed out, is far inferior to real chocolate which is what all the others used) and constructing an art piece. I found it weird that the judges criticized Ian for not showing enough skill and work with chocolate when IMO Nadiya showed even less. Well, I guess I'm not really too surprised since she seems like the judges' favorite, just as much so as Ian, maybe even more so IMO.

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Even if Flora was rightfully sent home this week (and I'm not sure that she was), it was a bit of let down in how predictable it was. In fact, this entire series has been one predictable elimination after another which, if I'm being honest, takes some of the fun out of it. 

 

I guess I disagree with that last point; to me, one of the most appealing and gratifying aspects of the series is the honesty of the depiction, the candor of the pre-elimination discussions. When Paul and Mary say who's in danger of elimination, it will indeed be one of those two (or three) people who gets eliminated, with no contrived surprise choice at the last moment such we've become so accustomed to in American competition TV. The eliminations should (in my opinion) be predictable after we've seen the three challenges; that's a sign that the right choice was made.

 

That said, this was one of the rare times that I take issue with one of the judges' decisions -- specifically, Nadiya as Star Baker. I question whether two excellent prepared results (I have to take their word on the taste) cancel out being at the bottom on the technical. I can recall a case from another year where something similar happened (Star Baker was awarded, by their admission, solely on the basis of a mind-blowing Showstopper, after indifferent work on the other two challenges), and Paul & Mary admitted that it "broke all the rules," but the Showstopper was just that unbelievably good. They didn't go to that length this time, and I think Star Baker should have gone elsewhere -- Tamal, probably.

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I liked the concepts that Flora and Ian had for their showstoppers but I can see why they were in the bottom this week. While Ian's well was a cool idea, the finished product seemed a bit lacking. Flora's carousel was a good idea but one of the judges insist upon (and rightly so) is that the actual food needs to taste good. Since they could taste the raising agent and there wasn't enough chocolate flavor, she would have had to wow them with the presentation and that wasn't going to happen with her rickety messy showstopper. I'm not saying you need to whip out a ruler when assembling these things but it shouldn't look like it was slapped together either.

 

This week I finally figured out what has bothered me about Flora all season - most of the time she looks either stressed, pleading, or about to cry. Her facial expressions always have that anxious look (it's mostly the eyebrows and the eyes but also the way she covers her face with her hands).

 

I'm glad that Tamal and Nadiya are going to the finals but I am not at all surprised that Ian is too. He has been the baking equivalent of the teachers' pet from the beginning. There was no way that he wasn't going to make the finals.

 

this entire series has been one predictable elimination after another which, if I'm being honest, takes some of the fun out of it. I realize that some of that might be the fault of the editing and how telegraphed everything always seems to be (i.e. We hear Flora say, "The passionfruit layer might be a bit over baked," as she's working, and then later Mary and Paul say just that during judging)

I actually don't mind this at all because it shows when the bakers are aware of the mistakes they've made (as opposed to some of the delusional designers on Project Runway sending poorly sewn ugly designs down the runway and then proudly telling the judges, "I love it and I stand by this piece"). And I like that it's honest editing rather than manipulative editing where they try to trick us into thinking one person is doing well and then gets eliminated (or vice versa).

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As if Paul would ever choose to let Flora stay over his darling Ian. Again this week, we had Paul and Mary expressing bemused and distressed disappointment that Ian's chocolate tart wasn't glorious. And again, he stuffs up the first two challenges, and then is seemingly saved on the strength of his showstopper. Which wasn't even that good, this time around. It looked good, and was a fun little gadget, but it was just a load of moulded chocolate and some white chocolate goop.

 

Hell, there was so much Paul pettiness towards Flora in this one. His glee at finding her macarons were too dry, his sneering 'did you buy that?' about the horse mould, and then immediately shifting to, 'what is it, a dog?' when he learned she'd made it herself. Dick.

 

I genuinely think that this was a foregone conclusion as soon as it came down to Ian vs Flora. Even though Flora did the best with the technical (having been put under the most pressure by being thrown in there on her own at the beginning, which I think was a deliberate ploy to create drama by having her freak out) and did better than Ian on the signature. But it already seemed like she'd have to win every challenge clearly to stand a chance of staying.

 

Nadiya's showstopper looked nice, but I can't believe it was that great to eat, when it was mostly rice krispies and 'blue chocolate candy'. And on the back of her souffle being the worst one there, I can't see how they justify giving her star baker. It should have been Tamal, who was the only one who was steady across all three challenges

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I'm okay with Nadiya getting star baker though it was somewhat by default. Although Tamal did better than Nadiya in the technical he didn't come first either. He had a steady week but didn't stand out whilst Nadiya excelled in two out of three. That said, I was surprised she won the show-stopper for the reasons other posters have mentioned. Her peacock was very creative, but did it show chocolate skills? They loved the biscuits and the nest though... All the show-stoppers were flawed, so again, perhaps it was a little bit by default.

I would have liked Flora to make it through but she was on borrowed time with her attention to the wrong things. I'll miss her, but doubt it's the last we'll see of her - she's very telegenic.

Happy to see my Tamal and Nadiya in the final and I was touched by Ian's fallibility (and flappability!) this week, so I can't begrudge him his place.

On a side note, I was surprised they were all quite so thrown by the soufflé challenge. Had they really never made any kind of soufflé before (..or did they just mean chocolate soufflé??).

Soufflé stress: https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCFood/status/649306235012050944

Interview with Flora prior to the semi-final: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-09-30/bake-offs-flora-on-being-seen-as-posh-coping-with-fame-and-receiving-marriage-proposals

Edited by ceebee
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I'm okay with Nadiya getting star baker though it was somewhat by default.

 

Agreed. I mean, if we have to watch dudes on this show get Star Baker solely for existing (see also: Ian, Richard), then why can't the same happen to the ladies for once. 

 

Re: the comments upthread about her being last in the technical not counting apparently, I suspect it had the same amount of weight as Flora's first place, so at least they were consistent. *eyeroll* Has a contestant who came first in the Technical ever been eliminated before? Granted this is the semifinal, so there were much fewer contestants to choose from, but still, I figured that would give Flora at least a bit of a cushion in case her Showstopper wasn't as good as it needed to be.

 

Hell, there was so much Paul pettiness towards Flora in this one. His glee at finding her macarons were too dry, his sneering 'did you buy that?' about the horse mould, and then immediately shifting to, 'what is it, a dog?' when he learned she'd made it herself. Dick.

 

I hadn't thought about that until you mentioned it, but you're absolutely right. His comments about her mold were completely unnecessary. Like, shit, this girl isn't even 20 years old and she MADE that mold from scratch and the only thing you can say about that is criticize that it doesn't look like the animal is supposed to look? Fuck off, Paul.

Edited by Niuxita
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Re: the comments upthread about her being last in the technical not counting apparently, I suspect it had the same amount of weight as Flora's first place, so at least they were consistent. *eyeroll* Has a contestant who came first in the Technical ever been eliminated before? Granted this is the semifinal, so there were much fewer contestants to choose from, but still, I figured that would give Flora at least a bit of a cushion in case her Showstopper wasn't as good as it needed to be.

 

In S02x06 (six contestants left), Yasmin was eliminated after placing second in the technical, but Flora is the first to be eliminated when achieving the first in technical. While looking at the stats, it does seem like that the technical is less prominent in the judging considerations. I think Paul and Mary get more about the overall weekend bakes and flavours more than anything.

 

I like Flora more as a person than I do Ian, but I feel Ian really is the better overall baker. Also, it irks me whenever a contestant is told a critique and then still keeps doing it when they can easily stop it. Flora was told time and time again to hold back on the extra stuff and focus on the actual bake. During her signature, she even noted that she'll just do it like she always does and make too many extras. She could have cut elements out or pared it down for the weekend. I don't think there are rules against it. I admire her trying to be authentic, but if she knew she'd be pressed, it's not strategic for winning to keep piling things on. I don't think Paul was biased against her at all, but she has consistently stumbled on extraneous aspects of her bakes.

 

I'd like either Tamal or Nadiya to win. They were my favourites early on and I think both of them would be ecstatic. I think Tamal is more of an underdog at the moment so I'd be extra bit pleased if he got it. Aside from finding Ian a bit smug, I don't think he's a better flavour baker than Nadiya or Tamal.

 

I like the predictive nature of this show and other UK shows so I'm not at all surprised we got to this point.

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Poor Flora - a taste of baking powder always makes Mary have the 'no wire hangers' moment from Mommie Dearest. So I knew she was gone.

 

Mary and Paul have a rather populist esthetic. Ian's Philippe Starckesque well was lost on them. Now, if he had covered that clear tube with sticky rice krispie treats, and piped green buttercream on top into the shape of a hillock to stick a pretty wishing well on top, different story.

 

I thought Mary in particular was hard on Tamal - his bell tower looked fancy to me - with lots of intricate  work, 

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I thought Mary in particular was hard on Tamal - his bell tower looked fancy to me - with lots of intricate  work, 

Tamal's my favorite, has been from the beginning, but I had to concede that that intricate work was sometimes rather wobbly in detail -- piped lines that should have been straight had a sketchy freehand look. So I thought Mary was correct, amid overall praise for Tamal's work here, to point out what wasn't so hot.

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I want to point out the precision necessary in Nadiya's feathers.  If she hadn't made them uniform, the tail would have looked especially wonky.  She had a lot of small detail work built into them.  And the feathers' bases weren't modeling chocolate (I'm assuming...they weren't dyed).  I'm not sure if I can just pull out the pictures easily, but this article (which I haven't read...oops) has some good shots of the peacock for reference: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3255279/A-blue-peacock-paper-clips-souffl-worse-childbirth-Chocolate-Week-went-way-brownies-semi-final-Great-British-Bake-Jim-Shelley.html

 

Ian's well was interesting, but I don't think it was simply an aesthetic critique.  He made some molds and poured some chocolate into them.  The crank was spiffy until Paul broke it, but in general, there wasn't much to it.  His linework was shoddy as well.

 

I thought Paul's question about Flora's mold was because the rules stated they couldn't use store-bought molds.  Sure, he was a bit mean with the comment that it looked more like a dog, but I thought he brought it up more to confirm she wasn't bending the rules.

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I love this show so much I was disappointed that there was no preview for the finals.

 

I like Flora more as a person than I do Ian, but I feel Ian really is the better overall baker. Also, it irks me whenever a contestant is told a critique and then still keeps doing it when they can easily stop it. Flora was told time and time again to hold back on the extra stuff and focus on the actual bake. During her signature, she even noted that she'll just do it like she always does and make too many extras. She could have cut elements out or pared it down for the weekend. I don't think there are rules against it. I admire her trying to be authentic, but if she knew she'd be pressed, it's not strategic for winning to keep piling things on. I don't think Paul was biased against her at all, but she has consistently stumbled on extraneous aspects of her bakes.

 

Agree completely. The judges told her over and over again what they'd like to see from her, and she never changed it up and it resulted in repeating similar mistakes. And I do think that the judges take the overall performance in the competition in mind when deciding who to eliminate, and I think overall Ian has been more consistent.

 

I was perfectly fine with Nadiya winning Star Baker. The body of the bird may not have been that great, but the tail was amazing and required a lot of freehand work and precision (while Ian just poured chocolate into molds and Flora and Tamal ended up a little sloppy because they didn't have time for precision). And her tart, while not the prettiest, looked fine and looked like it tasted amazing.

 

At this point, I would be truly stunned if Ian won. I feel that in order to do so he would have to pull off something truly amazing in the finale. He started the season off strong, but he's been getting shakier as they go along while I feel that over all Nadiya and Tamal have gotten better/more confident. I'd be perfectly fine with either Nadiya or Tamal as the winner (leaning more towards Nadiya, but mostly because she's hilarious and pulls the best facial expressions. They are both equally adorable).

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I was really sad for Flora. Although it bugs me that she kept adding non necessary stuff to her creations, I think Ian should have left. Why the hell would he mix bayleaf with caramel and chocolate?

I usually like Nadiya's creations and I wouldn't mind her winning, but I think Tamal deserved to be starbaker this week. She came up last in the technical, her creme pat was horrendous. And I wasn't thrilled about her peacock either. I know the tail had lot of parts that took time to prepare, but they aren't really complicate to make. I don't think she showed much of a chocolate work. P&M criticized Tamal for not being precise enough, but also I think Nadiya's showstopper was actually pretty simple. Her signature looked really good though.

Tamal's signature looked so scrumptious, I wish i could jump in the TV to eat it. I wonder how much chocolate did he use for preparing it.

Edited by annah
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Some of you might enjoy this blog/episode summary. If nothing else, there are some great screen caps!

https://monkseal.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/great-british-bake-off-6-chocolate/

 

Thanks CeeBee, I have read monkseal before but had forgotten all about the blog this season, and I love the arch britishness of the commentary, the breezy vaudeville innuendo and his polite rants about Paul Hollywood, and the crime of snapping Ian's crank (gasp):

 

"I know Paul Hollywood does *have* fans, but I still cannot fathom why for the life of me"

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to me, one of the most appealing and gratifying aspects of the series is the honesty of the depiction, the candor of the pre-elimination discussions. When Paul and Mary say who's in danger of elimination, it will indeed be one of those two (or three) people who gets eliminated, with no contrived surprise choice at the last moment such we've become so accustomed to in American competition TV.
Yes! It's still annoying that they do the loooooooooong pause before announcing who's leaving but at least there's a minimum of manipulative editing and contrivance.

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his polite rants about Paul Hollywood, and the crime of snapping Ian's crank (gasp):

 

"I know Paul Hollywood does *have* fans, but I still cannot fathom why for the life of me"

Ha! Yes - made me snigger!

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Just got around to watching this. For those complaining about Nadiya's use of rice krispie treats, Flora used them as well to form her carousel dome. I also assumed that Nadiya must have made the modeling chocolate herself, just as the others made their molds in advance... but since it was never addressed I have no idea if that's right.

 

Since the showstopper brief was "chocolate centerpiece," I was a bit dubious about Ian's entry. It seemed weird to me that it was just all out there, like a chocolate fountain with the mechanics showing. He could have done a little cake to go around the outside, like a hill that the well sat on top of. It just seemed unfinished to me as a centerpiece.

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I was a bit dubious about Ian's entry. It seemed weird to me that it was just all out there, like a chocolate fountain with the mechanics showing. He could have done a little cake to go around the outside, like a hill that the well sat on top of. It just seemed unfinished to me as a centerpiece.

I had the same reaction (and had thought I might be the only one, as I hadn't seen anyone else mention this). What was the well, a plastic cylinder? It seemed contrary to the brief of baking the whole centerpiece, impressive as the mechanics were.

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Even if it wouldn't be "realistic," I was thinking if he had done some modeling chocolate vines/flowers up the cylinder and up onto the well, it could have been pretty, show off some more chocolate skills, but still keep the cylinder visible.

 

Oooo or as I typed this, he could have had vines "above ground" and had a root system below.

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Just got around to watching this. For those complaining about Nadiya's use of rice krispie treats, Flora used them as well to form her carousel dome. I also assumed that Nadiya must have made the modeling chocolate herself, just as the others made their molds in advance... but since it was never addressed I have no idea if that's right.

 .

Modeling chocolate is an ingredient, just like regular chocolate or white chocolate. I think it pretty unlikely someone would make it at home. I'm not even sure how one would do it, since it's not just chocolate with color added.

Plus I think there is a quick shot in the episode that shows Nadiya's chocolate supply in the background, and it looks exactly like commercially made discs of colored chocolate.

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Do male peacocks sit near the nests to guard them or something?  I don't know much about peacocks admittedly, but I did wonder why Nadiya would have a nest of eggs next to a male peacock as I do know that only male peacocks have the tail plumage.  I love Nadiya, but I have to agree that her show stopper didn't show much in the way of chocolate work and that Tamal should probably have been awarded Star Baker this week.  I really think Nadiya has this in the bag though!    

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 it looks exactly like commercially made discs of colored chocolate.

 

Yep, I immediately thought candy melts when I saw the bag of blue 'buttons' - they can't really be compared to tempered chocolate. - even I can't go wrong melting them.  

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I was a bit dubious about Ian's entry. It seemed weird to me that it was just all out there, like a chocolate fountain with the mechanics showing. He could have done a little cake to go around the outside, like a hill that the well sat on top of. It just seemed unfinished to me as a centerpiece.
I had the same reaction (and had thought I might be the only one, as I hadn't seen anyone else mention this). What was the well, a plastic cylinder? It seemed contrary to the brief of baking the whole centerpiece, impressive as the mechanics were.

While I thought it was a clever idea, I agree that there was more to the concept than to the actual making. One of the guests on An Extra Slice brought up a similar point: was pouring the chocolate into those molds really considered baking? I know chocolate work is part of being a competent dessert chef, but when you compare Ian's to, say, Flora's, at least hers had more components and techniques since she made the cookie cutters and baked all the pieces for the horses and carousel roof. I know it's apples and oranges, but still.

 

I also liked that Flora said one of the reasons she always ended up putting twiddly bits on her bakes is that she wanted to keep busy while her pieces were baking in the oven. That makes a little more sense to me now than the "oh, Flora's wasting time on decorative stuff instead of concentrating on the actual assignment." I still think she sometimes went overboard and made more work for herself than necessary, but at least now I understand her reasons behind it.

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I would love to tasted Nadiya's chocolate/peanut butter tart. Sounds yummy!

Call me shallow, but I like Paul because he is hot and has a sexy accent! ;-p

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Haha, six months on and I'm still annoyed at Flora's elimination.

Tamal should've been star baker - he was a solid second in all three challenges, whilst Nadiya was too sporadic.

No way Flora should've gone home. Ian's showstopper wasn't so much about baking as it was modelling. He clearly went for the Frances-of-season-four "style over substance" thing. There was pretty much no baking in there whatsoever. Flora's had lots of it, but it was all kind of meh.

The judging does seem a bit inconsistent at times, if I do say so myself. They've said it's "all about that week", yet clearly Ian was the poorest baker that week. I think they rank the showstopper more highly among the three challenges, then the signature, then the technical. Usually the technical's just used as a decider. But if someone's good in the first two bakes and poor in the showstopper they won't be SB.

On another note, Flora is the first contestant to be eliminated despite having come first in the technical challenge, which totally sucks. She was my favourite *sigh*

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It was so adorable when Flora and Nadiya were holding hands at the announcement.  That is such a refreshingly supportive group!  

Sign me up for the chocolate tasting!  Gosh, those looked delicious.

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Oddly enough, I'm not surprised that Flora won the technical.  Because she had to follow the directions just to prepare the souffle properly and on time, it meant she didn't have time to add a bunch of unnecessary stuff to it, which is usually her downfall.  Had Flora followed that method that a few more times during the competition, she may not have gone home.

That said, Paul's remark to Flora about her horse mold was incredibly rude.  The contestants are nervous enough at this stage, throwing in a dig like that was just a dick move on his part.  Whether it's a dog or a horse, it's not like your ass created it, Paul.

I probably would have given Star Baker to Tamal as well, since his bakes overall were better than Nadiya's, and her souffle was a major bust.  I think the judges were really swayed by the prettiness of the peacock, although I agree that it was more art than chocolate.  I also think that Paul and Mary were a little put off by the simplicity of Tamal's chocolate tart earlier.  It was reliable, but they didn't want to say that they were expecting more oomph.  And since they wanted more for the showstopper, Tamal overdid it with his bell tower, but not that much.  It just wasn't enough to best Nadiya's.

I was really looking forward to Ian's chocolate well, tbh.  It sounded like a pretty innovative piece, so I was really disappointed by seeing that plastic cylinder.  I don't know how he could have disguised it, but it really took away from the look.  Also, the white chocolate was clearly too thick to fill the "bucket" but that was a pretty minor error.  He could have spent a bit more time on the chocolate itself, but he probably thought the well itself would be enough.  Knew he wasn't going home, no matter how "close" the judges said it was.  Like him or not, Paul is more consistent than Flora, so I can't blame the judges for keeping him.

Forgot to mention: Sue kept saying "Mmm" when she heard about one of the contestant's particular challenges, and it was cracking me up!  I think it was Flora's.  Also loved how she gave Flora a hand when the carousel was falling apart.

Edited by Amethyst
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Once again I think Tamal was robbed of Star Baker, he was more consistent. But maybe they thought Nadiya's signature and show stopper were by far better in comparison to the other signatures and show stoppers? Or at least the signature since that got her a handshake from Paul. Although at this point they probably just care that they made it to the finale.

I feel like Flora's elimination was a foregone conclusion. Of the people left, I think she was the fourth best baker, not that that's something to be ashamed of by any means. But when she knowingly does the thing that nearly got her eliminated the last time, she wasn't helping her cause.

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No surprise, Flora always paid more attention to looks than taste. I'm surprised she lasted this long. Was it Nancy who had the same problem last season? But she fixed it.

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I was okay with the results tonight and there were some commonalities in how both were chosen, I think.

Ian's showstopper may have been simple but they did like the combination of lemon white chocolate and shortbread to the extent that Mary wanted to keep eating them.  As she says over and over again, taste matters.  He could have done more work but I have to admit I am so impressed by the shine he got on both his signature and showstopper.  Flora's split passion fruit, rising agent taste and crumbly biscuit led to her demise. 

With Nadiya, Paul described her as dominating both the signature and showstopper.  If her signature looked a little sloppy, Tamal's looked a bit simple.  With Tamal, they had to think about whether or not they liked it. All three who tasted Nadiya's signature immediately loved it.  And it sounds great.  She thought of everything with the great chocolate and peanut butter combinations, the 'burst of salt' salted caramel given texture with peanuts.

When it comes to the technical, I thought Nadiya's reaction to coming in last made it more dramatic than it neeed to be.  She did have the most obvious mistake with the spotted egg whites but the flavor was good. 

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I do think Ian's triple win of Star Baker at the beginning has given him a few passes as though Paul keeps expecting him to rise back to the top. I think his well was just bizarre.  I thought those things were supposed to be something you'd have as a centerpiece?  That giant plastic tube just wouldn't be something I'd want as a decoration, Not that it wasn't clever but the instructions were for a showstopper, not a mechanical wonder.

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 I loved Sue helping Flora and I think I saw her sampling some of the chocolate bakes, I'd be doing the same thing if I was there. Speaking of which if their looking for extra judges....

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I am heartbroken that Flora left, I adored her, but I get it. Ian's may have been simple, but he did simple near perfect. That shine he got on both his pie and the well was amazing.

I kind of like that Flora is completely self aware that she puts way too much flash in her bakes but didn't change who she is just to win. She was gonna keep on Floraing and let the chips fall where they may.

Ian tearing up and Flora teasing him about it at the end really endeared me to him. I don't have the problem with him that many seem to and quite like him. I like all of the final three. I don't agree Tamal should have been star. As much as I love him, being middle of the pack does not a star baker make. I do think Show Stopper holds the most weight and since this was a centerpiece challenge, I think the visual of Nadiya's blew the rest away, and that it tasted good too made it a no brainer.

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14 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

Ian tearing up and Flora teasing him about it at the end really endeared me to him. I don't have the problem with him that many seem to and quite like him. I like all of the final three. I don't agree Tamal should have been star. As much as I love him, being middle of the pack does not a star baker make. I do think Show Stopper holds the most weight and since this was a centerpiece challenge, I think the visual of Nadiya's blew the rest away, and that it tasted good too made it a no brainer.

I too find Ian quite endearing, and he certainly seemed genuinely scared for his survival here; no assumptions of superiority that I could see.

As to Nadiya's winning Star Baker... on further thought, in addition to the good insights others have offered, I find myself thinking that though I don't think they routinely count the Technical less, they may make allowances for one that's an especially nasty challenge (as I think a chocolate soufflé was) that leaves little margin for error. Nadiya's effort wasn't a disaster, they just judged it to have a higher sum of faults (unmixed egg white, etc.) than the others did.

On that last point, by the way, I see a different focus from Paul & Mary in the making of "folded" creations like soufflés from the US cooking hosts I've watched (like Alton Brown), though i'm not going to take the step of calling it a national difference: the American advice usually seems to be "don't worry about incorporating those last flecks of white, it'll all cook out and it's more important not to deflate," where Mary & Paul are death on anything short of completely uniform mixing.

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It's very rare that I have an emotional response to a reality show, even when a contestant I really like does well and/or wins.  But I got very close to happy tears hearing Nadiya's children screaming with excitement that she'd done so well.

I don't have any problems with the judging.  I like Flora better as a human being, but she really fell down in the Signature and Showstopper.  I wouldn't have been disappointed if Ian had gone, because no matter how well-tempered his chocolate, there wasn't much baking going on with that thing.  But even though Paul and Mary generally try to only judge the bakes they've had before them on a particular weekend, at this stage in the game, they kind of have to look at the sum total of the work.  And even if Flora's done fairly well and just missed Star Baker a few times, it's hard to overlook Ian's three Star Bakers.

I also don't have a problem with them going with Nadiya over Tamal for Star Baker, either.  I love both peanut butter and salted caramel and hate raspberry and pecan (not "pe-CAAN," nor "pe-CAN," but "PE-can"), so my opinion of the Signature isn't unbiased.

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On ‎10‎/‎5‎/‎2015 at 2:50 AM, Rickster said:

Modeling chocolate is an ingredient, just like regular chocolate or white chocolate. I think it pretty unlikely someone would make it at home. I'm not even sure how one would do it, since it's not just chocolate with color added.

Plus I think there is a quick shot in the episode that shows Nadiya's chocolate supply in the background, and it looks exactly like commercially made discs of colored chocolate.

I will have to look for what Nadiya used.  Modelling chocolate can be made at home from a mixture of chocolate and corn syrup.  The ratio varies based on the type of chocolate. 

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First off, I only recently found this show and I'm happy I did since I haven't gotten to see many baking competition shows like this before! I'm really enjoying the format, the judges, and the contestants.

As sweet and talented as Flora seemed (I was really surprised to learn she's only 19!), I'm kind of relieved she was eliminated this episode. I was getting tired of seeing her in anguish every episode, and it was bugging me every time she clasped her face in her hands when she was worried about something. I'm kind of a stickler for hygiene in the kitchen and I kept thinking to myself, I hope she's washing her hands before she starts touching the food again!

I agree with others here that Nadiya's rice krispie and modeling chocolate peacock seemed overly-praised. It was pretty, but I didn't think much of it looked very tasty. I didn't think the egg biscuits looked much like eggs, and what was supporting the tail piece? Was it a piece of green plastic? Her soufflé batter looked terrible too. [ Side note: I can't believe that none (?) of them had ever made a soufflé before! Are soufflé's considered a passé dessert these days? ] I would've rather seen Tamal get Star Baker - he was a strong contender in each of the challenges in this episode, and I liked his chocolate show piece the best even though it was a little messy looking. If only his white chocolate lines had been piped straight! 

At this point, after the few episodes that I've seen, I'm rooting for Tamal to win!

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