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The Great Canadian Baking Show

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17 hours ago, hula-la said:

CBC just started airing a new season of GBBO. I don’t know if it’s the same season that’s airing on Netflix in the US, or a previous season that’s new to us. You should hopefully also be able to see it on CBC Gem. 

I'm not in Canada so I don't know which season CBC is airing, but this is a list of which contestants were on each season:

UK S1 (2010)
Annetha, David, Edd, Jasminder, Jonathan, Lea, Louise, Mark, Miranda, Ruth

UK S2 (2011)
Ben, Holly, Ian, Janet, Jason, Jo, Keith, Mary-Anne, Robert, Simon, Urvashi, Yasmin

UK S3 (2012) = US PBS S5 (2018) = US Netflix "The Beginnings" collection 1
Brendan, Cathryn, Danny (Daniele), James, John, Manisha, Natasha, Peter, Ryan, Sarah-Jane, Stuart, Victoria

UK S4 (2013) = US PBS S2 (2015) = US Netflix collection 2
Ali, Beca, Christine, Deborah, Frances, Glenn, Howard, Kimberley, Lucy, Mark, Robert, Rudy, Toby

UK S5 (2014) = US PBS S1 (2015) = US Netflix collection 1
Chetna, Claire, Diana, Enwezor, Iain, Jordan, Kate, Luis, Martha, Nancy, Norman, Richard

UK S6 (2015) = US PBS S3 (2016) = US Netflix collection 3
Alvin, Dorret, Flora, Ian, Marie, Mat, Nadiya, Paul, Sandy, Stu, Tamal, Ugnė

UK S7 (2016) = US PBS S4 (2017) = US Netflix collection 4
Andrew, Benjamina, Candice, Jane, Kate, Lee, Louise, Michael, Rav, Selasi, Tom, Val

UK S8 (2017) = US Netflix collection 5
Chris, Flo, James, Julia, Kate, Liam, Peter, Sophie, Stacey, Steven, Tom, Yan

UK S9 (2018) = US Netflix collection 6
Antony, Briony, Dan, Imelda, Jon, Karen, Kim-Joy, Luke, Manon, Rahul, Ruby, Terry

UK S10 (2019) = US Netflix collection 7
Alice, Amelia, Dan, David, Helena, Henry, Jamie, Michael, Michelle, Phil, Priya, Rose, Steph

UK S11 (2020) = US Netflix collection 8
Dave, Hermine, Laura, Linda, Loriea, Lottie, Makbul, Marc, Mark, Peter, Rowan, Sura

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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CBC is airing season 10. It's in a 1.5 hour timeslot, so I guess they aren't editing out the technical from the broadcast anymore (the full episode was always available on demand on on CBC gem).

They've put the entire season on Gem already, so you you have the choice of binge watching it too.

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On 1/4/2021 at 12:20 PM, hula-la said:

The ads keep saying "this winter", but Season 4 premieres Feb 14. That's a great Valentine's gift to all of the fans of the show! https://premieredate.news/tv-series/4525-the-great-canadian-baking-show.html

Thanks for posting the start date.  I'm in Seattle, WA and lucky enough to get CBUT.  Stupid Comcast keeps telling me the show doesn't exist.   Now, I'll set myself a reminder.

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5 hours ago, Mrs Huffnagle said:

Thanks for posting the start date.  I'm in Seattle, WA and lucky enough to get CBUT.  Stupid Comcast keeps telling me the show doesn't exist.   Now, I'll set myself a reminder.

“Waves from Vancouver”. Glad you get to watch it!

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14 hours ago, Mrs Huffnagle said:

Thanks for posting the start date.  I'm in Seattle, WA and lucky enough to get CBUT.  Stupid Comcast keeps telling me the show doesn't exist.   Now, I'll set myself a reminder.

Also in the Seattle area.  I've watched previous series of this, so I'm hoping my DVR picks it up again.  I didn't even know the show existed until I visited Vancouver and saw an ad for it on the side of a bus!  

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Meet the S4 bakers!

Anjali Helferty, 36
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Recent PhD Grad

Anjali, a baker with a PhD in social activism, confesses that she has a serious procrasti-baking habit. She is a self-professed superfan, earning a spot in the baking tent after having auditioned since Season 1. She is also a highly skilled and fearless baker who often takes on the most difficult technical bakes just for fun. When she's not studying or baking, Anjali rounds out her time playing the cello and volunteering as a doula.

anjali.jpg.6e03583622cceb089ce55f774466879c.jpg

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Bertie Diaz, 54
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Corporate travel agent

Born in Cuba and raised in Chicago, Bertie is no stranger to the flavours of the world. Prior to the pandemic, Bertie worked in the travel sector and had travelled to over 200 countries. Unfortunately, he recently found himself unemployed (like many others in the travel industry). During the extended time at home, Bertie picked up baking, a former hobby from over a decade ago. A huge Broadway fan, he's hoping to wow the judges with a Broadway-themed showstopper! 

bertie.jpg.7c400714aaff2a2aa10922066c3eddcc.jpg

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Dominike Audet, 42
Hometown: Québec, Que.
Occupation: Radio host and novelist

Dominike is a vivacious Québecoise who dabbles in a broad range of baking, from cakes to pastry to macarons. She is a natural host, both at home and on the airwaves, sharing her infectious energy with Québec radio listeners and sharing her decadent desserts with guests at her dinner parties. When she's not writing or perfecting her signature bomboloni, she enjoys jogging through the scenic streets of Québec and snowboarding the slopes in winter. 

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Larry Harris, 53 
Hometown: Edmonton, Alta.
Occupation: Business Operations Manager

Larry is an enthusiastic baker who has been tackling Great Canadian Baking Show bake-alongs season after season. He loves to challenge himself by regularly trying new techniques while also perfecting his signature sourdough. Larry is a proud husband and father with a never-ending string of dad jokes that are sure to bring some giggles (or groans) to the baking tent. 

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Maggie Frith, 42
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom/former lawyer

After years of practicing law, Maggie calls herself a "recovered lawyer." She left the legal profession behind to focus on her family and baking. As a mother of three, her days revolve around her kids but she manages to make a habit of baking every day! Aside from baking, Maggie also enjoys photography, getting competitive playing board games, practicing yoga and making pastries, from pies to pop-tarts.

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Mahathi Mundluru, 24
Hometown: Markham, Ont.
Occupation: Business analyst

Mahathi is a bold, multi-talented baker who loves to infuse the flavours of her Indian heritage into her creations. She has the incredible advantage of having a fruit importer as a father, so she is able to take advantage of exotic fruit for her bakes. Outside of baking, she is skilled in flute, guitar, classical Indian dancing and henna artistry. 

mahathi.thumb.jpg.1cb8e295ea18f668b06096f4a70feec8.jpg

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Oyaks Airende, 28  
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
Occupation: Project scheduler and engineer

Originally from Nigeria, Oyaks has called Calgary home for several years and he has a huge group of friends who are big fans of his baking experiments. Oyaks' baking is inspired by his earliest food memory: his mom and sister making him a special cake for his fourth birthday. He's taken that memory and turned it into a passion for baking and cooking. As an engineer and IT worker, Oyaks has a scientific mind to go with his artistic eye. When he's not perfecting his signature red velvet cake, Oyaks plays tennis and enjoys fashion and landscape photography.

oyaks.jpg.2956355ae7fa89752d853f0aae08e784.jpg

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Raufikat Oyawoye, 35
Hometown: Milton, Ont.
Occupation: IT support engineer

Raufikat is a naturally talented baker whose flavours are inspired by her mother's kitchen back home in Nigeria. She is a proud mother of two who genuinely loves baking creations for her family. Her work in engineering gives her a scientific precision, infused with the flavours and techniques from her home country. 

raufikat.jpg.d4161e8089dce44fdac5abfea0476aeb.jpg

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Sheldon Lynn, 25 
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Occupation: Software Developer

Baking is one of Sheldon's many creative outlets. He's fascinated by baking's technical details and loves the challenge of blending the flavours of his ancestral province of Szechuan with traditional western recipes. When not working on his bread recipes, he has channelled his artistic talents into perfecting the look of his drag alter-ego, Pangolin, a member of an all-Asian drag family.

sheldon.thumb.jpg.6cb225581002f6aa7583e599a730c4e3.jpg

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Tanner Davies, 28
Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
Occupation: Marketing consultant

Tanner has been obsessed with The Great British Baking Show since discovering it four years ago. He has become a true craftsman who spends hours perfecting a wide range of baking techniques. After recently leaving a career as a professional violinist, he's maintained the discipline and work ethic of a trained musician when it comes to his baking.

tanner.jpg.26d65b2ffd9f5c7941a2e87ad3e7c179.jpg

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How the show was cast during lockdown

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Explain the remote audition process. How was it designed?

We created a multi-staged audition/screening process that would allow us to get a well-rounded understanding of the bakers' skill, ambition, creativity and technique. 

The first step was to fine-tune the application form. Our casting team used this document to identify people who wrote passionately, eloquently, funnily, charmingly or smartly about their love of baking. 

From there, interesting candidates were selected for a video call and bake presentation. This was a five-to-ten minute chat and the bakers were asked to show us some of their own baking. It didn't need to be fancy, just something they'd recently made. Keep in mind that we were doing this during the national lockdown, so everyone was home and baking regularly. 

From approximately 2,000 applicants, we did about 200 video calls. 

After the video calls, we did a third round of internal screening to get to our final stage: the invitation-only video bake-along. 

Fewer than 40 bakers were invited to this stage. It was very competitive. Bakers were assigned a brief and had to follow the instructions provided. They had to bring a prepared bake and also bake live with one of our casting associates, myself and culinary producer Melanie on the call observing their baking skills and technique. 

 

Quote

How can you tell if the bakes tasted good?

Watching someone bake is actually more revealing than you would think. Their skill level is pretty easy to see as they get into their baking techniques. 

Our culinary producer was invaluable in extrapolating from ingredients, recipes and technique to gain an understanding of how a bake tastes. The bakers themselves tended to be quite critical of their own bakes. 

 

Quote

What was the most surprising thing from this process?

In some ways not being able to travel allowed us to audition people who we may not have met otherwise. The Zoom calls didn't disadvantage anyone who didn't have the time or money to travel. For the first time, we have bakers from Winnipeg and Quebec City, both are cities where we haven't held in-person auditions before.

 

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Pretty heavy presence from Ontario.  I wonder if a lot of those wanting to audition and lived far from Toronto did not do so because they would have to travel for the show. I do love it that, in the past, multiple provinces were represented especially when the bakers did some regional dishes.

But, well, pandemic.  Sigh.

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11 minutes ago, Cetacean said:

Pretty heavy presence from Ontario.  I wonder if a lot of those wanting to audition and lived far from Toronto did not do so because they would have to travel for the show. I do love it that, in the past, multiple provinces were represented especially when the bakers did some regional dishes.

Coincidentally, the show asked the S4 contestants to name their favourite hometown bakeries

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S4.E1: Cake Week

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Ten of the country's best bakers arrive at the iconic "Great Canadian Baking Show" tent to meet new faces and complete three Cake Week challenges.

Original air date: 2/14/21

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The guys from the Cooling Rack podcast just did a rundown of the contestants and an interview with the new hosts. 

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I’m going to say, love this show due to the diversity of bakes.  Even more than GBBO.  However, I want the best baker to win on their bakes.  Nothing else.

Edited by Bunnyette
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Starting them off with a guglhupf cake was quite enjoyable. Of course there were some flavour combinations that we see year in, year out on the different Bake Off incarnations, but we also got a couple of interesting new things like the fermented rice and the avocado cake. Perfect signature challenge.

Loved the ricepaper flowers and chocolate(?) balloons. Oyaks' mirror glaze cake was stunning - a well deserved star baker.

Ruby chocolate in a technical challenge!

As for the new hosts: bfffff. I like Alan because he has a calm vibe and pleasant voice.  Ann is the complete opposite and I doubt she will grow on me.

I felt for Bertie burning the sugar, thats the worst thing you can do to an oven.

 

 

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Good to have the show back again. I surprisingly liked all the bakers - usually there's one or two that annoy the hell out of me but none did so far this year so I have no one to root against. I even liked the two new hosts! What am I going to bitch about this year. lol

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I like all of the bakers as well but then I normally do with the Canadian bunch.  So far I love the personality of Raufikat the best, she seems like a person I would like as a friend.  I have no issues with the two new hosts, neither is over the top or obnoxious especially compared to that disaster of a team on GBBS.

Yikes, those mirror glazes were just works of art!

Off so search for a way to watch season three which somehow snuck by me.

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I liked that the show had a list of some of the COVID precautions that were in effect to keep everyone safe. In constrast, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team had a short card at the end of each episode that said that complied with the regulations that were in effect at that time (which is a lie because several people involved in the production said that masks were only worn for show and that as soon as the cameras were off, they were told to take their masks off). It's good to know that some shows are making a real effort to comply with safety regulations, not just performative bull shit.

I noticed that each of the bakers had a plastic tub near their work station for them to dump used bowls and utensils. I don't remember seeing that in past seasons so I wonder if that was due to COVID (maybe to help make cleanup easier and faster?).

Bundt cakes always worry me a little bit because I'm afraid that some of the cake will stick to the mold, so I loved that the show made sure to let us see everyone successfully unmolding their cakes. I loved seeing Oyaks triumphantly fist pumping in the background after Larry unmolded his cake.

Hahaha, I had to laugh when Maggie said her kids refer to bundt cakes as butt cakes. Her lemon blueberry bundt cake sounded delicious. I loved the buttercream flowers and the stripes of blueberry glaze. I loved that Bruno pointed out the even distribution of the blueberries inside the cake, which I totally appreciate. I hate when there is some kind of fruit or filling inside and it all sinks to the bottom.

Mahathi's gulab jamun bundt cake with rosewater glaze looked beautiful with that huge lotus flower on top.

Sheldon's fermented sweet rice and red bean bundt cake was beautiful. His sugar dragon was so dramatic. I was curious about the chrysanthemum glaze because I remember having chrysanthemum tea so I was hoping the judges would comment on the flavor of the glaze. I was just glad he had a cake for the judges. I couldn't believe he made the batter without any sugar!

Bertie's chocolate avocado bundt cake with candied hazelnuts and dulce de leche looked too simple and unfinished. It was obvious that he was rushed for time. I liked the dulce de leche surprise inside.

Dominike's maple bundt cake with candied walnuts and maple liqueur glaze looked so Canadian with all those sugar maple leaves on top!

Larry's square shaped apricot bundt cake with chocolate covered figs looked a bit underwhelming.

Oyaks' chai bundt cake with orange liqueur glaze was beautiful. That big purple abstract crown was so dramatic and fancy! The black pepper was a risk so I'm glad it turned out well.

Tanner's grapefruit bundt cake with elderflower glaze sounded delicious. I don't know why Kyla sounded so skeptical about the flavor combination because elderflower is often combined with lemon, which is also very citrusy. I loved the simple but elegant gum paste flowers.

Anjali's lemon bundt cake with bourbon glaze was so bright with the marzipan fruit and orchids.

Raufikat's coconut lime bundt cake sounded good. I liked that the candied limes were a simple decoration that added color and extra lime flavor. Ha, but I'm with Kyla - more glaze so that everyone gets some!

The Valentine's Day cake was an interesting technical challenge. I'm all for a rolled cake, but red velvet ake without cream cheese frosting? QUELLE HORREUR! One thing I liked about this challenge was that the bakers were giving the freedom to decorate the cake with ruby chocolate hearts in any way they pleased (unlike on GBBO when the bakers are somehow expected to know exactly how Paul Hollywood wants each technical challenge garnished and decorated).

I really liked the way Raufikat used the swiss meringue buttercream to decorate her cake. The swirls going up the side of the cake looked very elegant. I burst out laughing when I saw the naked top of Tanner's cake. I felt bad for doing it but I still did it. Ha, I know Kyla said that Maggie's cake had too much buttercream but I'm here for that so PUT IT ON MY PLATE! I loved that Oyaks had a zillion hearts on his cake. I don't know why Larry didn't slice the top of his cake so it wouldn't be so crooked. I liked the way Anjali lined up her hearts in size order but the U shape of her cake layers (instead of the straight vertical lines) was a really noticeable issue. Sheldon's cake looked so clean. Dominike's polka dot cake looked a bit inconsistent with the layers. I cringed for Bertie when Bruno pointed out that the ruby chocolate wasn't tempered at all. Mahathi's chocolate, on the other hand, was beautifully tempered. She was so close to winning. Congratulations to Raufikat!

I'm ambivalent about mirror glaze cakes. Sometimes they're really beautiful but too often they just look messy to me.

Raufikat's chocolate hazelnut cake was veering into messy looking for me. I liked the marbled look she was going for but the way that the random blobs of gold were dropped on looked like bird poop. I liked the sugar bowl on top.

I liked the vibrant color of Mahathi's banana and passionfruit waterfall cake, but I didn't like that I could see that the texture of the cake underneath was not smooth.

Dominike's pink red velvet cake was pretty but a bit generic. My favorite aspect were the beautiful flowers she added.

Tanner chose the perfect shades of green and blue for his honey pistachio water lilies cake. And another issue with banana cake. Are people not taking into account the extra moisture from bananas?

Maggie's lemon curd cake was beautiful. I loved the vibrant blue of the cake and the pink and blue balloons going up the side.

I wish Bertie had been able to finish his Broadway cake because without the decorations, it just looked a little sad. I really felt for him when he burned his sugar. Ann definitely won points from me when she comforted him. I was rooting for his strawberry and champagne flavor combination. And I loved his story about getting to go to the Tonys for his birthday. What a great gift!

Larry's cake was so vibrant. The cake could have looked like a mess with all of those colors but he did a good job applying them. Bonus points for his unique flavor combinations. His dog has great taste - peanut butter and bacon! I wasn't personally as interested in the maple and coconut but I liked that it was different from the usual flavor combinations.

Anjali's green ginger cake with peppercorn frosting was not my favorite visually, but I did like her explanation that revolution sometimes looks messy.

Sheldon's Georgia O'Keefe cake was not my favorite visually. I liked the big flower on the tope but there was something about the texture of the petals on the side of the cake combined with the orange and yellow glaze that didn't appeal to me. I liked the contrast of colors but I wish the glaze hadn't looked so much like he dumped yellow on the cake and then dumped orange on the cake. I would love to try his elderflower jelly though! I was also hoping they would talk about his buttercream. He said he used 18 sticks of butter so was it delicious?

Oyaks' piña colada cake was so shiny! I was not surprised that he won star baker. I was also not at all surprised that Bertie was eliminated. I don't know if he just had a bad week or if he couldn't handle the time limits, but he clearly didn't do as well as the others (last in the technical and didn't finish his signature or show stopper).

I really hope that someone asks Raufikat and Oyaks how to pronounce their names so that I can hear it from their mouths. Alan pronounced the last syllable of Raufikat as "cot" but Kyla kept pronouncing it as "cat." Oyaks' name has been pronounced as oh-yox (Bruno), oh-yax (Kyla & Alan), and oy-yax (Alan).

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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What I loved was how all the bakers were kind to each other.  I also saw Raufikat helping & comforting Bertie.  Yes please keep those 2 hosts.  No stupid lines and no interference with the bakers.

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3 hours ago, Cetacean said:

I like all of the bakers as well but then I normally do with the Canadian bunch.  So far I love the personality of Raufikat the best, she seems like a person I would like as a friend.  I have no issues with the two new hosts, neither is over the top or obnoxious especially compared to that disaster of a team on GBBS.

Yikes, those mirror glazes were just works of art!

Off so search for a way to watch season three which somehow snuck by me.

If you’re Canadian, you can watch it on CBC Gem. If you’re from the US, I don’t think the app is available there. But then, you have Target, so it seems like an even trade. 

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14 minutes ago, hula-la said:

If you’re from the US, I don’t think the app is available there. But then, you have Target, so it seems like an even trade. 

Yep I am in the US.  Maybe I can find them on YouTube or something. I don't know why CBC doesn't allow ousiders in.

Sorry about Target.  For what it's worth, the nearest one to me is more than an hour away; they stay out of rural areas.  Instead we get stuck with Walmart.

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 S4.E2: Bread Week

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It's Bread Week once again and the nine remaining bakers must prove they can rise to the occasion.

Original air date: 2/21/21

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Gotta love a guy who makes his own brie.  Such a lovely show, everyone is so nice to each other and I like the low key hosts as well.  My feel good hour of week.

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Time for my annual thank you to the show for having the bakers' names on their aprons in a huge font. Everyone looks familiar to me but I still don't have all their names down yet. It's so nice to see their names each time they're on the screen (on GBBO and other iterations, the editors don't always put chyrons on the screen each time one of the bakers does an interview).

I've never had tarte Tropézienne before but broiche + pastry cream? Sounds good to me!

Dominike's tarte Tropézienne with crème mousseline, chocolate ganache, orange zest, and orange liqueur looked fine with the chocolate chips. I don't know why the judge said chocolate curls would have give it more flair like Dominike's personality.

Sheldon's tarte Tropézienne with blueberry compote, corn kernels, and tangzhong brioche sounded perfectly summery. Oh, Kyla. She was SO NERVOUS about spilling Sheldon's tarte down her shirt that she tied a napkin on like a child's bib. Just hold a plate or your hand under your fork to catch any possible spills like a normal person. No need to be so fucking dramatic about it!

Larry's pastel tarte Tropézienne with lemon syrup, candied lemon zest, lavender cream, raspberry cream, and lemon cream looked so gorgeous with the three different colors of cream peeking through. Like Bruno, I'm cautious about lavender desserts because it can be overwhelming so props to Larry for using just the right amount.

Maggie's chai latte tarte Tropézienne with chai pastry cream and toffee bits was pretty with the big sugar topper.

Tanner's caramel macchiato tarte Tropézienne with espresso cream looked really nice. And mmm, caramel.

Mahathi's pomegranate tarte Tropézienne looked so sad with the flat melted pastry cream oozing out.

Oyaks' lemon and thyme tarte Tropézienne was pretty with the flowers and gold.

Anjali's tarte Tropézienne with pandan syrup, basil pastry cream, blackberries, and candied pistachios sounded fine but I agreed with Bruno that the shade of green that her basil cream turned out wasn't quite right. Anjali called it soapy but I thought it looked like mint.

Raufikat's tarte Tropézienne with maple diplomat cream, candied walnuts, and orange brioche sounded very warm and wintery. But when I saw her cutting the brioche open and there was still steam coming out of it, I knew there was no way that the pastry cream would survive until judging.

I've never tried making pretzels so the technical challenge was fun to watch. Yay for Larry! Sheldon and Mahathi did pretty well too. I was happy that Mahathi redeemed herself after her melted pastry cream in the signature challenge.

My favorite thing about watching the bakers make the showstopper challenge this week was getting to see them braid, cut, and design the intricate bread shapes.

Raufikat's bread centerpiece with chocolate coconut bread, spelt bread, and Nigerian curried beef looked nice.

Ugh, I hate the trend of making black food with charcoal. People just throw charcoal in like it's no big deal, but it is an adsorbent which means that if you have any charcoal within a few hours of taking medication, your meds will not have the intended effect. It's as if you didn't take your medication. If you just want to make black food, then use food coloring!

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can talk about Tanner's sunflower centerpiece with chorizo, manchego, red pepper butter, and saffron. It looked pretty with the knotted bread in the middle.

Dominike's chocolate pistachio babka with whisky and bacon was definitely very shiny. Good use of the egg wash.

Maggie's Mad Hatter chocolate hazelnut babka with sesame seeds and zatar challah was so fun.

Sheldon's char siu centerpiece with scallion and pork floss brioche sounded AMAZING.

Oyaks' challah centerpiece with duck breast already sounded good and then he said he was making apple and brie pull apart bread! I don't know why Bruno was complaining that it was monochromatic. IT'S BREAD. Did you expect him to dust it with gold and add sparkles? I loved the big bow.

Larry's brioche buns with homemade brie and caramelized onions sounded so good. And of course he made the wooden board that his showstopper was on!

Anjali's eguzkilore centerpiece with pain d'epi, candied walnuts, and turmeric cinnamon bun was too flat to have a wow factor.

Mahathi's sea slug shaped olive tapenade potitza with figs and walnuts was so cute. I loved how the head was tucked in so sweetly. Kyla, a sea slug is not obscure. I learned about them in elementary school.

No surprise that Larry was star baker. He had such a great week. In contrast, Anjali had a bad week so farewell!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I might have to rewatch this episode because  I kept getting distracted by work. But OMG I need a slice of Tropézienne toute suite.

This, again, was a really good Signature challenge with no need to get all extra with decoration. Sheldon again with using an Asian twist in his brioche. I somewhat expect this type of enriched dough cake to make an appearance on other Bake Offs - either as Signature or Technical.

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15 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Mahathi's sea slug shaped olive tapenade potitza with figs and walnuts was so cute. I loved how the head was tucked in so sweetly. Kyla, a sea slug is not obscure. I learned about them in elementary school.

Just wanted to add that on this week's episode of The Great Pottery Throw Down (S4.E7: Garden Week), one of the contestants made a sea slug and none of the other contestants nor the judges/host thought it was obscure, weird, or otherwise unusual.

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If you feel like playing some Bingo whilst watching: 

 

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Regular Linzer cookies are nice, but when they do them for Christmas in Austria (where Christmas baking is is like a competitive sport) they usually make them a few weeks in advance to give them time to sit and develop a soft crumble. I used to work for an Austrian company and made sure to pack my stretchy pants every time we were summoned to meetings in Vienna before Christmas.

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3 hours ago, Aulty said:

Regular Linzer cookies are nice, but when they do them for Christmas in Austria (where Christmas baking is is like a competitive sport) they usually make them a few weeks in advance to give them time to sit and develop a soft crumble. I used to work for an Austrian company and made sure to pack my stretchy pants every time we were summoned to meetings in Vienna before Christmas.

My mom used to make Linzer cookies with cranberries every Christmas and we loved them but we didn't call them Linzer cookies, just cranberry cookies. I think they were part of our Scandinavian heritage. You're right that they get better with age.

I enjoyed tonight's show. There were a lot of very delicious looking cookies there and that melted spatula was hilarious! They keep talking about how talented this group is and so far, I have to agree with them.

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Yay, cookies!

I love any cookies with jam (Mr. EB loves those thumbprint cookies with a smear of jam on top) so I was here for those linzer cookies.

Larry's hazelnut, cinnamon, and nutmeg sugar cookies with orange cranberry jam looked very uniform. I know it can be difficult to get any filling all the way to the edges of a shape with sharp edges and angles, so I wasn't 100% with Kyla. I mean, I like jam filling as much as the next person but it's not like this was a round cookie and he was being stingy with the filling. He was trying to make sure it didn't ooze out of the sides and look messy.

Raufikat's chocolate and vanilla shortbread cookies with coffee ganache were so cute with the moon and the stars.

Dominike's with lemon poppyseed cookies with blackberry rum jam and vanilla linzer cookies with strawberry, orange, and coriander jam both sounded delicious.

Maggie's shortbread cookies with lemon curd and apricot lekvar were so uniform and brightly cheerful.

Oyaks' cinnamon spiced sugar cookies with mango and brandy jam. Awww, I loved seeing Maggie help Oyaks get all his cookies on his tray at the last minute. I had to agree with Bruno about these cookies not having enough jam. When he opened one cookie, there was barely any filling except for where the little window was.

Sheldon's marbled tahini sugar cookies with apricot, rosewater, and crème de noyaux marmalde sounded so interesting. I loved that gorgeous Islamic geometry design that he had 3D printed.

Mahathi's musical themed chocolate sugar cookies with mulled wine jam were such a fun way to tie the Austrian history of the linzer cookie to the challenge and to her musical background. I liked that she made musical notes, treble clefs (those looked like the worst to cut out!), and even a piano. Definitely creative and more original than some of the other designs.

Tanner's crown shaped lime sugar cookies with strawberry jam sounded really good. I love how shiny and bright red his jam was. He definitely had some inconsistency in how light/dark the cookies were.

I looooove stroopwafels so I was excited to see how the bakers handled the technical challenge. I was cracking up at all the bakers talking about how good the caramel smelled. I can't imagine trying to slice those thin waffles in half.

I wasn't looking forward to the showstopper because usually this is not a wow factor presentation.

Sheldon's orange sugar cookies, honey chai cookies, and coconut macaroons was by far my favorite. His presentation showed so many different types of decorating skills. He had so much color, texture, and dimension. My eyes were going everywhere because there was so much. Loved that he included his mom's fanny pack. I was trying to figure out how he melted a pastry scraper in the oven with his cookies though!

Tanner's Niagara Falls display with peach sugar cookies, blueberry meringue, and ice wine glaze sounded so delicious, but the postcard concept meant he just had a flat rectangle.

Dominike's gingerbread and sparkling wine sablé presentation was very flat and one dimensional. She basically made one giant cookie and put a few smaller cookies on top of it.

Raufikat's chocolate black pepper shortbread house with coffee macaron roof tiles, orange spice shortbread people, and a meringue ghost was pretty bad, and not just because she didn't have time to finish. The proportions were so off. The sofa was towering over the people. And what she did get done didn't look great (like the big white splodge of frosting holding the two walls together which Kyla pointed out). The macarons looked great though.

Mahathi's Diwali with cashew shortbread, gingerbread, and tutti frutti was the most showstoppery of all the showstoppers. The only reason hers wasn't my favorite of the week was because the faces on the people were too simple and not very good, and the heads of all the people were freakishly tiny compared to their bodies. I loved the way she decorated the the temple, and the fireworks were pretty.

Larry's shortbread portraits with gingerbread chairs was too simple looking. On top of that, the faces were pretty terrible. Giving all the people cookies two holes for nostrils did not help matters. I wish they had shown his bird which looked colorful.

Maggie's gingerbread holiday farmhouse with orange cardamom sugar cookies had lovely details in the decorations, especially the different sweaters and clothing. But I didn't like that she had one rectangle with six heads painted on. I know they had a time limit but that pale board of faces was nothing compared to the four people she cut out and decorated. I wish she had just left that out and used the four people she had time to make. The farmhouse and the background with the fireplace were both great. In my opinion, that rectangle of heads really detracted from the overall look.

Oyaks' orange chai shortbread and vanilla sugar cookie books didn't really seem to fulfill the challenge requirements. It was three books with one portrait. The books were very messy looking and the dough wasn't baked. The silhouette portrait of him with his dad was so good though. I really loved that.

I understand why the judges chose Mahathi as star baker, but Sheldon was right up there with her.

As for who was eliminated, I can see why Oyaks was chosen but Raufikat was hanging on by the skin of her teeth with that unfinished showstopper. I was really surprised because I thought Oyaks was going to make it all the way to the finale. He is so talented and he has great skills.

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Sadly raw bakes send you home almost every time.  Oyaks presentation was not much better than Raufikat’s.  But the difference was raw dough even though many enjoy eating it.   And Raifikats macarons saved her.

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15 hours ago, Bunnyette said:

Sadly raw bakes send you home almost every time.  Oyaks presentation was not much better than Raufikat’s.  But the difference was raw dough even though many enjoy eating it.   And Raifikats macarons saved her.

And Oyaks had a bad day all the way around.  None of the three bakes were successful.

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S4.E4: Italian Week

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Italian Week's challenges transport the bakers across the pond to try their hand at timeless Italian treats.

Original air date: 3/7/21

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Ok Anne & Alan are the best hosts ever.  Better than the other 4 who tried to make it about them.   Please keep them CBC.

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I want to see blueprints for Sheldon's tower - that was incredible!

 

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21 hours ago, Bunnyette said:

Ok Anne & Alan are the best hosts ever.  Better than the other 4 who tried to make it about them.   Please keep them CBC.

I almost loved your comment, except I think that Dan and Julia were also fabulous hosts. But I agree, Anne and Alan are such a breath of fresh air and the (tied for with Dan and Julia) best hosts ever!

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On 3/8/2021 at 2:13 AM, Bunnyette said:

Ok Anne & Alan are the best hosts ever.  Better than the other 4 who tried to make it about them.   Please keep them CBC.

 

11 hours ago, hula-la said:

I almost loved your comment, except I think that Dan and Julia were also fabulous hosts. But I agree, Anne and Alan are such a breath of fresh air and the (tied for with Dan and Julia) best hosts ever!

Even though I liked Dan and Julia more, mostly because they ate and tried so many of the bakes, and wasn't that keen on Anne and Alan after the first episode, I have to admit that they are growing on me.

On 3/8/2021 at 3:01 AM, Cetacean said:

I want to see blueprints for Sheldon's tower - that was incredible!

They are called tensegrity tables if you want to google them - there are various designs around.

That was a banging idea from Sheldon!

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I'm not a huge fan of biscotti so I wasn't super excited about the signature challenge.

Dominike's PB&C biscotti with cherry powder and chocolate drizzle sounded pretty good.

Sheldon's s'mores biscotti sounded good. I was okay with his granola biscotti with oats and nuts until he mentioned the fir needles. I had such high hopes for his biscotti so I was disappointed when they said the granola one was too soft.

Maggie's chocolate pistachio biscotti and pecan praline biscotti looked great but I may have been biased by all the chocolate. When Bruno said the chocolate biscotti were overcooked, all I could hear was Paul Hollywood asking every baker on GBBO ever, "How will you know when it's done since it's already dark?"

Larry's pistachio biscotti with white chocolate drizzle and cherry almond biscotti looked nice. I liked that each looked distinctly different but that they still looked similar. I enjoyed Bruno and Larry discussing using a chef's knife vs. a serrate knife to cut biscotti.

Raufikat's lemon cranberry biscotti and whole wheat biscotti with nuts and chocolate looked nice. As Kyla pointed out, drizzling chocolate on only one half of each piece gives an easy place to hold it without it melting all over your fingers. I loved that Raufikat said she baked them for five minute sessions so she could check the doneness and make sure they didn't go too far.

Tanner's dark chocolate orange biscotti and spiced cranberry white chocolate biscotti sounded very Christmas-y which I'm actually not a huge fan of. They looked nice though.

Mahathi's sorrel biscotti and mango jerk biscotti both sounded interesting. I liked the colorful pinwheel she made. I want to hear more about the six years she lived in Jamaica!

I've never had cannoncini before but they had me at mascarpone. Sheldon and Mahathi both did really well. And there wasn't too much powdered sugar, judges!

I wasn't sure what to expect from the showstopper towers, but I loved that Sheldon went WAY outside the box with his tensegrity tower.

I liked that Larry went above and beyond to make the shelves of his tower out of pastry as well.

Maggie's wedding tower was so colorful and pretty. I felt bad that she didn't have enough meringues to finish the top of the tower but she made the right decision not to put the burnt ones on.

Tanner's tower looked very basic and spare, but I did like the way he put the spears at an angle to create a slightly more interesting structure.

I thought Kyla penalized Mahathi's dress tower for not looking like what she had imagined. I wish the bodice had been bigger or more colorful or a bit more dramatic or something.

Dominike's tower looked fine with the flags but apparently Bruno thought it was just TOO MUCH. I agreed with Kyla that using a whole maraschino on each cookie was a bit much. I thought her suggestion to cut it down to a quarter was going too far. If Dominike had used half then she would still get the same shape and visual impact and I think the sugar level would have been fine.

Raufikat's showstopper looked like a tower of huge donuts and that's not a complaint. YUM! The non donut elements looked perfect too.

Dominike had a bad week (and she definitely jinxed herself when she said that she makes laminated dough every week - I was not surprised when she ended up last in the technical). Congratulations to Sheldon! His showstopper was the only one that I thought really qualified as a showstopper visually.

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S4.E5: Botanical Week

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Six remaining bakers face the first ever Botanical Week; three bakes that pay homage to all that's garden-grown.

Original air date: 3/14/21

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Gosh, this is getting so hard to watch because I like them all SO much.  I want them all to win!  Raufikat really hit it out of the park tonight - she even did best on the technical without ever having seen or made one before!

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I need to try making that technical! I agree with @Cetacean, all that bakers are fabulous. I have shouted “no!!” more than once this season when a baker was sent home. 

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I want to make the technical too but I am hopeless with dumplig dough. They looked soooooo delicious.

I liked Hugo's little comment, during Sheldon's critique, that it is very difficult to infuse buttercream with green, leafy flavors. Those nuggets of professional knowledge make the judging so much more interesting. On series 2 of GBBO Mary Berry told Mary-Anne that using brown sugar will always give a softer merengue, which I found very interesting and helpful. Paul Hollywood is quite good at judging bread, but I don't find his comments that interesting on some other techniques.

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