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The Great Canadian Baking Show

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I think that was one of the best Bake Off shows I have ever seen. The appearance and the quality of the baking was superb. The tarts were so gorgeous and colorful and appetizing I thought they wouldn't be outdone but lo and behold, the cakes were even better! I hated seeing Larry sent home tonight and it's going to be just as hard to see anyone else go in future episodes, they are all so good.

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Although I liked the three challenges this week, I thought the way the botanical theme was used was kind of weak.

I love fruit tarts so I was excited about the signature challenge! Fruit + cream = yum!

Tanner's strawberry and clementine tarts with a thyme crust were so colorful.

Raufikat's peach, raspberry, and blackberry tarts with almond pastry cream and brown butter crust looked so pretty. I liked that even though the judges were a bit skeptical about her hand pressing the crust instead of rolling it out, she still got a nice even crust that was browned beautifully.

Mahathi's pineapple curd and guava cream tarts sounded so tropical. I loved the cute little coconuts made of chocolate and filled with coconut cream. It's too bad she had issues with her pastry.

Maggie's peach fruit tarts with lavender pastry cream and peach jelly looked very pretty. I liked that she did different designs with the peach slices on top.

Sheldon's pistachio tarts with white chocolate, goat cheese, and lime zest filling. sugared sage leaves, and tanghulu strawberries sounded so unique and interesting. I get why Kyla said it would have been easier to eat if the strawberries were smaller but in his defense, he didn't get to go to the store and choose how big his strawberries were. He used what he was given, and I can understand wanting to keep them whole for the tanghulu process.

Larry's dragon fruit, mango, and papaya tarts with orange pastry cream sounded very tropical. I loved how colorful they were. I liked that Bruno told him to fruit is usually glazed so they don't dry out. He was right earlier when he talked about the water content of the fruit. I think that's true for a lot of fruit, so Larry should have known better.

Although I'm not opposed to making dumplings for the technical, using spinach to color some of the dough seems like it BARELY qualified as botanical. I thought it was weird that the bakers were using foil and cutting boards to cover the pans so they could steam the dumplings. Production couldn't just give them lids for their pans?

Congratulations to Raufikat! Sheldon also did really well. I was surprised we didn't hear any comments about how nicely browned the bottoms were because he showed the camera how good they looked when he was assembling his plate. How on earth did Mahathi not have her stove on? She and Maggie definitely deserved to be in the bottom for having serving raw meat to the judges. Some of the bakers (Tanner, Larry) twisted the top of the dumplings without having any loose dough left to drape down, so they looked like garlic heads instead of cabbage.

A two tiered cake seemed kind of weak for the showstopper challenge, especially since the only requirements were one botanical flavor and floral decorations.

Sheldon's Hawaiian inspired pineapple and salted plum cake with shiso buttercream was so colorful and cheerful. I appreciated Bruno's feedback about how difficult it is to get a green leafy flavor into fatty buttercream, as well as his suggestion to put it with the pineapple compote instead. That is the kind of feedback I appreciate from the judges. I hate when Paul Hollywood just says, "It's too XYZ," and doesn't specify why it's that way or how to fix it.

Maggie's chamomile and buttermilk cake with caramelized mango chutney was very soft and feminine looking. I liked that she used three different techniques to make flowers.

I liked that Tanner's Australian Outback coconut cake with pineapple and hibiscus jelly and hibiscus buttercream was so colorful, but I thought Kyla's praise for the banksia flowers was a bit much since he just molded them and stacked them on top of each other. I mean, good for him for knowing the limitations of his piping skills and finding a way around that, because he made smart choices, but he got a lot of praise for something that required very little skill.

Larry's Mediterranean olive oil and thyme cake with Swiss meringue and lemon mascarpone looked purposefully spare but I agreed with Bruno that the back sides being completely bare made it seem unfinished. The tiny lemons and olives in the trees were cute.

Raufikat's lemon poppyseed cake with hibiscus raspberry jelly was so understated and elegant. I agree with Bruno - the color of the raspberry cake was pretty but that means it should taste like raspberry.

Mahathi's book cake was a different interpretation from the botanical theme but I liked it. The rice paper cover of the book was beautiful, and I liked the purples and yellows she used. I really loved that she used some less than usual flavors. I remember having chrysanthemum tea when I was little so I was very interested in her chrysanthemum cake. I also loved lychees as a kid so I was excited that Bruno said the rambutan filling was the star of her showstopper.

Everyone did pretty well in the showstopper so I wasn't sure if they were going to weight the failures in the technical more heavily to help them make a decision. I felt bad seeing Larry eliminated but he played it safe with his showstopper. It was botanical week and he made a cake with lemon mascarpone. On top of that, his decoration was simple and bordering on boring. Even if he had finished, it wouldn't have been very exciting. I feel bad saying that because he seems like a nice guy.  Congratulations to Raufikat for winning star baker this week! She had a great week. She was at the top of the pack in all tree challenges so she was the clear winner.

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5 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Technical challenge

garden chicken dumplings

Allright, who is up for a Previously TV dumpling challenge? 😄

If I get round to doing them, I'll post a picture.

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19 hours ago, Cetacean said:

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!

Poor Larry, but it’s so close the slightest error sends you home.  Raufikat seems to have gained steam and is focussing on good bakes.  Fingers crossed she makes to the final.

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S04.E06: Pastry Week

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The remaining five bakers must show their layers and excel with their pastry-making skills in three Pastry Week bakes.

Original air date: 3/21/21

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Sheldon really?  While he struggled this week, Maggie was worse with a raw bakewell tart!!  Mathani wasn’t much better.  😞 

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Sorry to see Sheldon go, although he did have a so-so week; microwaving the vegetables instead of roasting them was certainly a dubious choice. I am not sure I would have eaten his showstopper after the measuring cup explosion. I think he should at least had scraped away the upper layer of the filling, as a precaution.

He will be remembered as providing the most memorable showstopper seen on the show, his tower based on Buckminster Fuller's tensegrity structural principle. I love it when contestants with a technical or scientific background find a way to apply their particular knowledge to the competition.

From a very strong field this year, perhaps the strongest of all four seasons, we are now down to four. I see Tanner as a quiet force that may surprise everyone in the end. Maggie may be next to be chopped, unless she gets a hold of herself and finds her way back to being more confident.

I am always amused when Kyla the judge daintily holds the sample she is tasting because she appears to fear drips on her pretty dresses.

As for the hosts, the best I can say about them is that they are a tad less annoying than the two Von Sketch ones from the previous season. I wish CBC would bring back the first two, although Dan Levy may be still basking in his Emmy wins and trying to capitalise on them.

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I think the microwaved veggies were Sheldon's undoing.  I honestly didn't even know they HAD a microwave in the tent.

I really like every one of the contestants which makes each dismissal tough.  I had to chuckle at how truly surpised Julian seemed to be when someohe said he was scary or tough or whatever it was.  Compared to that evil-eyed Paul Hollywood, Julian is a sweetheart.  I like both judges, they are never harsh with their criticism.  And I like the hosts as well, they are not intrusive at all.

I will be sad to see the end!

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13 minutes ago, Florinaldo said:

Sorry to see Sheldon go, although he did have a so-so week; microwaving the vegetables instead of roasting them was certainly a dubious choice. I am not sure I would have eaten his showstopper after the measuring cup explosion. I think he should at least had scraped away the upper layer of the filling, as a precaution.

I am pretty sure he had to make a new batch. Health and safety would never allow him to use the original one. A few years back on GBBO, a jar explode on Rahul's (?) workbench because it was so hot in the tent and he had to wait until the whole area was cleared and was given time to restart his whole bake.

I was surprised they chose Sheldon out of the bunch of weak bakers this week. His strudel filling sounded pretty interesting, even though I question the point of filling strudel pastry with rice.
Why nobody goes for a good old, traditional, apple strudel in those challenges is beyond me. They are the best strudels.

I already let Mr. Aulty know that there will be strudel on the weekend.

Edited by Aulty
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I think you could make an argument for several of them to go home with things so close but the moment that I think sealed it for Sheldon was the judges pointing out that he made a relatively small and simple tart shape-wise and microwaved the vegetables with all his time. Mahathi and Maggie both struggled in different ways but they used all of their time in a way that the judges could see, smell and taste. What was Sheldon doing with all his time?

I'm happy for Tanner's win. He had an idea visually and pulled it off. Plus, it seems his flavors were there. He hasn't been the standout so far but this is the right time to get hot so he might have some good momentum for the last couple of weeks.

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1 hour ago, Aulty said:

I am pretty sure he had to make a new batch.

You are correct. I thought I had heard him say it was okay and he would just proceed, but I just checked the episode on the CBC site and he does say he will have to start again, and then adds "but that's okay".

  

1 hour ago, Aulty said:

I was surprised they chose Sheldon out of the bunch of weak bakers this week.

Maggie was pretty close to leaving also, but like others I agree that the microwaving was his undoing. I thought he could have tried to roast them a little under the broil or sauteed them for a short time, which always add taste and texture, but that might have altered the colour pattern which he wished to preserve.

Edited by Florinaldo
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Tanner's showstopper would be great for a Superb Owl party...for those of you who watch What We Do In The Shadows.

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I think this is the first time I've posted here this season.  I love watching baking, but I'm not very good at it myself, and could never master any of what's required on the show.

I ended up watched 3 episodes in a row, so they've kind of blurred together, but I was surprised when Maggie made it through another elimination, however reading above comments, agree Sheldon didn't put that much effort into his final tart.

I liked all the bakers, and have been sorry to see each one leave.  

Something that's been bugging me though, is how Maggie completely ties her hair back, but Mahathi just puts hers in a ponytail, so that it still all falls back over her shoulders, and possibly the food she's preparing. As someone who gags if I find a hair in my food, that grosses me out.

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2 minutes ago, buffynut said:

Something that's been bugging me though, is how Maggie completely ties her hair back, but Mahathi just puts hers in a ponytail, so that it still all falls back over her shoulders, and possibly the food she's preparing.

That has bothered me on ALL of the baking contest shows.  There seems to be no concern about it and I recall one episode of the Great British Bakeoff where there was clearly a long hair in the dish when they were cutting it. Lots of horrified comments on that one!

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7 hours ago, Cetacean said:

That has bothered me on ALL of the baking contest shows.  There seems to be no concern about it and I recall one episode of the Great British Bakeoff where there was clearly a long hair in the dish when they were cutting it. Lots of horrified comments on that one!

Yuck. That must have been disgusting for everyone!

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14 minutes ago, buffynut said:

Yuck. That must have been disgusting for everyone!

Actually, the angle of the camera made it really apparent to viewers but I don't think Paul and Mary saw it.  As I recall it was something kind of gooey like a pie and when they lifted the slice you could see it.  Because they do such a close up, it was really apparent. 

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S4.E7 Fancy Desserts Week 

Quote

Four bakers remain for the Fancy Desserts Week; their last bid to make it to the finale.

Original air date: 3/28/21

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Gotta love Raufikat jumping in to help Maggie finish up on time.  You'd never see that on an American baking contest except maybe one of the kid's shows.  It was pretty obvious today that Raufikat would take Master Baker.  She has been consistently great from the beginning.

Edited by Cetacean
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Raufikat for the win!   She’s tackled every bake with grace and dignity...no whining or grizzling.  She’s helped the others and seems to get her bakes done in the time limit.  Just hoping one of those milque-toast gen z bakers don’t win!

Edited by Bunnyette
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Canadian Screen Award nominations!

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
Best Direction, Reality/Competition - Dave Russell (The Great Canadian Holiday Baking Show)
Best Writing, Lifestyle or Reality/Competition - Elvira Kurt (Cake Week)
Best Picture Editing, Reality/Competition - Jordan Wood (International Week)
Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition - Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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SEASON FINALE!

S4.E8: Finale

Quote

The final three bakers return to the Baking Tent for the final showdown to determine who will win.

Original air date: 4/4/21

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Already the final episode! At this point, I think the most satisfying outcome for me would be Tanner winning. They are all very talented, but he has a nice balance of skills and good taste, and even restraint in the show stopper round. His owl face one was spectacular while eschewing the usual facile choice of piling colourful things on top of each other in multiple layers (I am looking at you Raufikat). Although that is a strategy which the judges are often easily impressed with.

He, and to a slightly lesser degree Mahathi, come across in my view as the most authentic of personalities in this finale.

Maggie's elimination was expected. Her lack of consistency and confidence did her in.

Edited by Florinaldo
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They were all great but I was so taken with Raufikat from the beginning.  And she seemed a genuingly nice person, jumping in to help others more than once.  Good for her, she deserved it.

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I agree @Cetacean. I’ve been chanting “Raufikat” almost every episode of this show. When she said that she wasn’t competing in this episode, but baking with Tanner and Mahathi, I almost started to cry. A well-deserved win!

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I was so happy for Raufikat when she won. The genuine look of shock on her face combined with how happy everyone was at her winning was so great. 

I’m so sad the season is already over!

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Best, most satisfying winner ever!!! I was so so so worried she'd peak too early!!! Thrilled!!! It only ever works out like this once a blue moon!!!!

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I'm so happy Raufikat won.  Her final show stopper plates were so beautiful and totally looked like they could be in a fancy bakery, Her surprise at winning made me a little teary eyed. 

Love this show, and also am sad it's over for another year.  But the good news is, there's going to be a season 5.  🎂🍰🧁🥧🍪

 

 

Edited by buffynut
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4 hours ago, Mellowyellow said:

Best, most satisfying winner ever!!!

I absolutely agree. In both the British and Canadian versions I have generally like almost everyone and was happy with the winner.  But this is the absolutely first time I have had a overwhelming favorite and wished hard for her to win.  The closest I can say to having a favorite was Nadiya before this.

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While I would have been happy with any of the bakers winning, was so happy to see Raufikat win!  When her Father said how proud he was of her, I got a bit teary eyed...

Edited by Bunnyette
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An uneven finale for all three contestants; both Raufikat and Mahathi overcooked their puff pastry while Tanner made a mess of his Saint-Honoré. Judging from the comments, I was thinking that Mahathi would come on top, Tanya's comments about wanting to eat Tanner's berry pie all day probably being intended as a diversion, but the judges could not resist Raufikat's Earth Mother persona, which personally I find studied and artificial.

Desserts like Gâteau Saint-Honoré are another factor which explain, I think, why there are so many pastry shops in France. If you have a hankering or need for a complicated bake like that cake, a Charlotte, a tarte Tropézienne or any of the other challenging but popular and delicious French desserts in existence, you have two choices: attempting to make it yourself, with all of the attendant technical pitfalls. Or you can rely on professionals who have the tools, skills and regular practice at making them (I mean, how often do home bakers get a chance to prepare a crème chiboust like they had to do in the technical?). Sometimes they may even have one already in store so you don't  have to order it in advance so it's a good thing there's a shop on almost every block or so (at least in the big cities).

I was surprised to learn that Tanner only recently got into baking. Perhaps if he had waited another year and furher honed in his skills he might have fared better. His combination of goat cheese and balsamic for the ice cream sounded intriguing; I hope it gets posted.

The season being over means I will be spared another viewing of the canoli ad with Danny "I've got high standards" Smiles which we got twice every episode. At least the Dough Bros (silly title!) ads changed each week.

 

On 3/31/2021 at 5:28 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition - Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne

These two are up for an award for their hosting in the previous season? Should it be blamed on a paucity of potential candidates or an absence of good taste on the part of the selection committee?

Edited by Florinaldo

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1 hour ago, Florinaldo said:

Raufikat's Earth Mother persona, which personally I find studied and artificial.

Nope, didn't get that vibe at all.  The way she held steady when things went wrong, the way she stepped in to comfort or help didn't seem at all artificial to me.  And the shock and tears seemed genuine as well along with the delight of her family.  Personally I would love to have her as a friend.

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Hey, Bruno, come to California! We've had goat cheese ice cream here for years!

(for anyone who thinks it might be weird, it's not - it has a very rich texture and flavor but doesn't taste like straight up goat cheese)

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Hey, Bruno, come to California! We've had goat cheese ice cream here for years!

According to his bio, Bruno worked extensively in California, including San Francisco and is now in Vancouver. Even in un-hip Central Canada (Ontario & Québec) we have goat cheese ice cream; there is at least one producer of goat milk in our region that makes a version of it. Strangely I have never put balsamic on it, although I often do with good ice cream (the tradizionale balsamic, the one that is all syrupy because it is the most aged, and also the most expensive unfortunately).

So perhaps he was feigning ignorance to create some suspense as to the potential for disaster.

Tanner's recipe is not among the ones posted this week on the CBC site, but it's mostly the combination of ingredients that interested me not the bombe itself. I will have to listen to the episode to see if he gives the exact proportions for his ice cream.

8 hours ago, Cetacean said:

Nope, didn't get that vibe at all.

Well, I am still firmly on the "Yup!" side of the fence. But as I said, that is my personal view of her and I have yet to see something to change my mind. Perhaps that view makes me a minority of one.

 

Edited by Florinaldo

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14 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Hey, Bruno, come to California! We've had goat cheese ice cream here for years!

Someone (Glenn) made goat cheese ice cream back when Mel & Sue were still hosting GBBO (2013). I remember that Sue, who hates goat's cheese, tried and wasn't keen on it.

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7 hours ago, buffynut said:

This is interesting:

A great find, thanks. I managed to miss that on the CBC site. I have at times wondered about that graphic material, especially the style chosen, how the artist is informed of the final design of the dish and how much idealised their rendition can be.

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