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The Great Kiwi Bake Off

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I hadn't either. When the judges initially started talking about it (as they discussed the ideal linzer torte), I thought they were being descriptive, as in, "You want to have a melting moment." 

Sounds akin to "afternoon delight." 

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I never thought I would say this about any Bake Off series but I'm not enjoying this version.  The hosts are too intrusive (guys, the show isn't about you).  The judging is weak and uninformative.  They need to give some serious thought to re-casting the hosts and judges if the show is renewed for a second season.

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I don't care for the hosts or the judges but I love all bake shows. I can't begin to articulate why. I don't bake all that much so it's baffling. I like the camaraderie of the cheftestants.

Stacy is so pretty. I know it's shallow of me but she kinda fucked up her face with the piercings. Her face,  tho, is gorgeous. Not a fan of the tats either. Get off my lawn.

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The main problem I have with the two hosts is that they seem like they are trying too hard ALL THE TIME. On the rare occasions when they drop the schtick and actually talk to the bakers like human beings (like when something goes wrong or they're genuinely trying to help), they're fine.

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The main problem I have with the two hosts is that they seem like they are trying too hard ALL THE TIME. On the rare occasions when they drop the schtick and actually talk to the bakers like human beings (like when something goes wrong or they're genuinely trying to help), they're fine.

Yeah, maybe that's it. They are not funny & bordering on exhausting. I just want them to calm down.

i wish TPTB would get rid of the work stations in the center of the shed. I think by now the remaining bakers could just fill stations along, say, the east and west sides of the room and the middle could be cleared.

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Those retro choux swans seemed impossible and fussy upon first glance so I enjoyed watching the entire process. Wow, has Annabel come in last before? After all of Larissa's stumbles, I was sure she would be last. Yay for Jeff winning the technical challenge!

I feel like many of the challenges have been simple and open ended (make a pie) and this is no different. Make some pastries. I like that it gives the bakers a lot of room to be creative and do whatever they do best but on the other hand they seem like very generic challenges.

Jeff's breakfast khachapuri with cheese and perfectly runny egg sounded delicious. His deep fried katlama with cherry jam and sour cream sounded great and I loved how all the layers of lamination were visible. It was smart to roll the dough and turn it as he did to show the layers like that.

Hannah's honey sticky buns with hazelnut filling sounded really good. Loved hat she made her own hazelnut paste! Her salmon and cream cheese pastries sounded very classic and yummy. I liked the twists one each end of the pastry.

Stacey took a chance making yeasted croissant dough in such a short amount of time. Hee, I loved that she told Jeff if she succeeded she might have to get a croissant tattoo on her bum. Her plaited apple and cinnamon pastries were pretty. Her gruyere and prosciutto croissants sounded classic and delicious.

Annabel's date, pecan, and orange pastries looked nice. Her broccoli and parmesan pastries sounded fine to me (why are avocado and tomato acceptable at breakfast but broccoli isn't?). For the record, the new Australian trend of broccoli coffee is actually broccoli powder added to coffee - I was picturing stalks of broccoli just dropped into a hot cup of coffee. I would have made a pastry that completely enclosed the broccoli though because I'm not a fan of the dry brittle broccoli that was poking out of the ends of her pastry.

Larissa's egg, bacon, and feta pastries sounded delicious. I don't know why the judges complimented Jeff's runny egg but said hers was weird. And you shut up, judges! I would LOVE a pastry with a runny egg! Her apricot and crème pâtissière pastries sounded yummy and I loved that they looked like they had an egg on top to echo the savory pastries she made.

I knew that if Stacey could pull off her dough, she would win star baker. It was Larissa's time to go. She was fun to have in the tent but she wasn't consistent enough week to week.

An Extra Slice has been up and down for me, but I loved this week's segment with Dean, Sue, and the crew getting those choux swans into their mouths in one bite!

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I can't imagine making those swans. So delicate. The breakfast stuff isn't as interesting to me as other baked goods. I'd rather see breads, pies, desserts of any kind i suppose. I can't really explain why croissants etc aren't all that interesting to me---I think it's cuz I know I will never make them.

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On 12/5/2018 at 8:46 AM, rhys said:

can't really explain why croissants etc aren't all that interesting to me---I think it's cuz I know I will never make them.

I might never make some of the stuff we see on the show (see also: choux swans) but I would definitely eat them! 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I looooooove chocolate week! No matter what they make, I know I will be drooling.

Yum, chocolate soufflés! The staggered start time always makes the bakers whisper, so it was kind of hilarious when the judges started speaking at a normal volume.

Since both Jeff and Annabel filled their ramekins to the top, I wish someone would have explained why their soufflés turned out so differently. Jeff's had a nice rise above the rim with straight sides while Annabel's spilled out over the edge of the ramekin. Is it because she left hers in the oven longer? Wow, has Stacey come in last for the technical before? I always think of her as doing well at the technical challenges. Yay for Hannah placing first, especially after all that stress! It was sweet to see Annabel go check on her and give her a hug when Hannah was trying to calm down.

Poor Annabel! I wonder what happened. I felt bad for her because it must have been a difficult decision whether to power through it or quit this close to the finale. And poor Hannah. Seeing her in tears over Annabel and getting a hug from the blonde host shows how close the bakers get. This week is the most I have liked the hosts because they were very supportive during the soufflé challenge and they were also kind to everyone on such an emotional day.

Hannah's cherry and coconut truffle cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate glaze was very messy looking to me. t didn't look perfectly square and it looked like it was only half done. There was some glaze dripping from the top, but not in that perfect intentional drip kind of way that's so popular.

Jeff's ten layer chocolate mousse cake with pistachio dacquoise, ganache, sponge cake, and raspberry jelly with a red and white chocolate mirror glaze was so pretty. I liked how he combined the two colors of mirror glaze but I kind of wish he had used a toothpick or a spoon to swirl them more.

Stacey's white chocolate cake with strawberry mousse, chocolate buttercream, and pink drizzle was gorgeous. The giant pink flower was so pretty and I loved all the other shards that she added to give it the illusion of motion. I was surprised that she used white chocolate instead of milk or dark chocolate.

Annabel's chocolate cake with plum jam, chocolate bark, and toadstools was a fun idea so I'm sorry we didn't get to see how it turned out. I'm glad the judges ended up not eliminating her due to her illness. It's happened on other Bake Off shows too so it's not like this is the first time it's happened. The other three bakers seemed totally fine with it too. I'm glad that everyone is going to the finale because they're all very good bakers. I can't wait to see what they make next week but I'm so sad that the season will be over!

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I feel bad for Annabel, but not for the reason I should. I don’t feel she was ill so much as she has an untreated eating disorder and was starving herself while standing for hours in front of a hot stove and oven. She has so many of the classic signs of anorexia, likely from her time as a ballerina. Did you hear Madeleine ask if they could get her something to eat and she refused anything except “her shakes” which likely have no sugar in them, which is what she needed. The judges have pegged her as the winner from day one, so no surprise they kept her even though her “illness” was having to sit down with low blood sugar. 

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2 hours ago, oldCJ said:

I feel bad for Annabel, but not for the reason I should. I don’t feel she was ill so much as she has an untreated eating disorder and was starving herself while standing for hours in front of a hot stove and oven. She has so many of the classic signs of anorexia, likely from her time as a ballerina. Did you hear Madeleine ask if they could get her something to eat and she refused anything except “her shakes” which likely have no sugar in them, which is what she needed. The judges have pegged her as the winner from day one, so no surprise they kept her even though her “illness” was having to sit down with low blood sugar. 

I didn't hear the shakes comment. I don't think she looks super thin but she has celiac sprue so she would have to be careful about what she eats. 

i thought it was odd that Jeff & Annabel both chose to ignore Sue's instructions to fill just 3/4 full. There's a reason, folks. Jeff's souffle looked more "classical" on top tho.

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12 hours ago, oldCJ said:

I feel bad for Annabel, but not for the reason I should. I don’t feel she was ill so much as she has an untreated eating disorder and was starving herself while standing for hours in front of a hot stove and oven. She has so many of the classic signs of anorexia, likely from her time as a ballerina. Did you hear Madeleine ask if they could get her something to eat and she refused anything except “her shakes” which likely have no sugar in them, which is what she needed. The judges have pegged her as the winner from day one, so no surprise they kept her even though her “illness” was having to sit down with low blood sugar. 

Both of my sisters and I took ballet from the time we could walk through high school (and one of my sisters was also a gymnast) and we have discussed at several points in our lives how crazy it is that none of us developed eating disorders. I was very thin due to my ridiculous metabolism and all the physical activity but I never had an eating disorder. I ate what in retrospect was an obscene amount of food, but I was under 100 pounds until college (and even then I was exactly 110 no matter how much I ate). It wasn't until I was almost 30 that I was able to get past 115 pounds. I look back at pictures of myself from high school and I can now see why people were constantly shoving food at me - my elbows were super pointy and my wrists look as thin as twigs. I have high cheekbones but I was so thin that my face looked gaunt. But I assure you, I ate and ate and ate. I never starved myself. I never made myself vomit. I never counted calories. I never obsessed about food. I ate when I felt like it and I ate a lot of unhealthy junk food/fast food with tons of carbs and fat. I never took supplements beyond Flintstones vitamins. I never had a bad relationship with food or body image issues.

And that's why I hesitate to ever assume that anyone has an eating disorder. If Annabel said she didn't feel well, I'm going to take her at her word and not speculate about her having an eating disorder. If she comes out and says she has an eating disorder, then fine. But until then I'm not going to give her an armchair diagnosis based upon the fact that she's a skinny teenager who used to dance. Yes, there are dancers who have eating disorders, but there are A LOT of dancers who are skinny due to their natural metabolism.

10 hours ago, rhys said:

i thought it was odd that Jeff & Annabel both chose to ignore Sue's instructions to fill just 3/4 full. There's a reason, folks.

I KNOW! Whenever a contestant says that they've made [insert technical challenge] before and that's why they're choosing to deviate from the instructions, most of the time that results in being criticized by the judges for whichever part of the directions they didn't follow. Come on, you guys!

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Just getting back to this show. (It's on the bottom of my list until they change the hosts!) I think the breakfast pasteries are okay for a signature challenge, but not a showstopper. And since this version often does not have a showstopper and goes technical / signature, then yeah, it was a bit meh to end the show. 

I can't say I find any of these contestants to be too memorable. But that may be cuz the hosts are so busy sucking up all the air time that I don't really have a good sense of them. 

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Really, show? For the season finale, the bakers are making sausage rolls as the final signature? Okay then. Don't get me wrong - meat-filled pastry is delicious, but it seemed a bit basic for the finale.

Stacey's sausage rolls with meat, cheese, and tomato sauce looked great from the side because of all the layers of lamination she got.

Ha, I loved that Hannah's sausage rolls were the opposite of Stacey's with lots of veggies. Her sausage rolls with carrots, courgettes, chicken, and cheese looked a little messy (although I suppose we could be generous and say they looked rustic). I wish they'd told us more about her chutney.

Annabel's sausage rolls with sage pastry, beef, mushrooms, garlic, and smoked paprika and tomato chutney looked nice - very uniform and golden brown.

Jeff's plaited sausage rolls with beef, pork, bacon, carrots, red onion, and kumara (sweet potato to the rest of us) looked so fancy before they went into the oven. They looked a little messier once they were cut but the flavors sounded delicious.

When they announced that the technical challenge was Chelsea buns, I thought OMG are we finally getting an episode with all three challenges? Woo hoo! And the 12 year old in me giggled when Sue was talking about the nice sized buns. Kind of funny that Hannah and Jeff thought that Annabel misunderstood the directions and it turned out that they were the ones who did it incorrectly.

Annabel's rice krispy fish and chips on the beach with raspberry ripple cake looked great. I liked that she had a red and white checked blanket to counter all the brown of the fish, chips, and sand.

Stacey's chocolate mud cake burger with vanilla cake bun, fondant lettuce, tomato, and cheese, and sugar cookie dough fries was nothing new (that's been around for at least a decade because Mr. EB's cousin had a burger cake for his birthday in 2007 - his mom, who is not a baker, made it) but it was well executed. It was colorful and looked like a burger with fries.

Jeff's apple flavored oranges, hazelnet dacquoise butter with chocolate honeycomb rose vanilla tea panna cotta, and white chocolate mousse covered in white chocolate sounded good but didn't look very interesting. Did they ever say what his "bread" was made of? Poppyseed cake?

Hannah's lemon cake picnic basket with buttercream, fondant and chocolate flowers, and mint mousse apples was very pretty.

Annabel was consistently good throughout the season so I'm happy she won. I would have been fine with any of the top four winning. I actually thought Jeff might pull out the win because he did so well in this episode. I will miss his silly dad jokes.

They're already soliciting contestants for S2 (the only requirements is that you are at least 16 years old and you must be a NZ citizen or permanent resident for two years). I love all the Bake Off shows so I'm glad there will be another season!

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For me, it doesn't matter whether Annabel was feeling sick or has anorexia, because those are both illnesses. Seeing as how she made it back to the tent for judging and seemed fine, I was thinking maybe it was hot in there and her blood sugar dipped and she got to feeling suddenly very faint. I can get that way too, and I got a good bakers dozen of extra pounds on me! 

I too was totally freaked out when 2 of the contestants went rogue and decided NOT to follow the fill instructions for the souffles mixture! Why would they do that?!?! But then they got praised for "good height". And they did not land in the bottom. That was crazy how much they were bubbling over and then to just cut away the sides like nothing happened! I felt they should have gotten a bit of a ding for that.  

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This is me watching the finale... yellow-onion-head-emoticon-01.gif

What the fuck?! There were NO gorgeous bakes. ZERO. First they made freaking sausage rolls that all pretty much looked the same, even in the usually fanciful little illustrations they show of the bakes they looked exactly the same. 

Then the technical is boring old cinnamon buns. 

Then unappetizing illusions cakes! 

Then even though Jeff won the technical and the judges actually seemed most impressed with his showstopper, they inexplicably gave the title to Annabel. dont-no-smiley.gif They didn't really even talk about how her fish cake tasted accept for something like, it's a good cake.  But they talked about what a wonderful magical young lady she was or some shit like that. (?!) Jeff had all kinds of flavors in his cake that they were raving about. Not that I care too much who won cuz I wasn't that invested, but that call seemed shady to me. 

The female judge's most often used comment about any bake has been "mmm". Super insightful.

And because it can not be said enough, the hosts were annoying, unamusing assclowns.  

Sorry, I used up all my Christmas spirit getting through the family dinner! laugh1-smiley.gif

Edited by TVbitch
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Season 2 Of THE GREAT KIWI BAKE OFF Premieres Sunday 3 November, 7.00PM


Season two of Bake Off has been super-sized as our 10 amateur bakers tackle three challenging cooks in each new 90-minute episode, taking on a Technical, Signature and Showstopper bake.

I'm happy to see the show format now includes all three challenges.  I hope the hosts viewed themselves in season 1, cringed, and tone themselves way down.

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YAY!!!! I was just lamenting how sad I'm going to be tomorrow when this season of GBBO ends because I got so spoiled by getting to watch three bake off shows per week (British, Canadian, and Australian). I'm glad the Kiwi show will be there to help ease the withdrawal!

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Yay, I'm so glad this show is back!

At the beginning of the signature challenge, it sounded like blonde host had a mike but brunette host did not, which was really weird.

I have no idea what a Lamington is. When Dean said they're famous in Milton (where Donna is from), I googled them and learned that they are a very Kiwi/Australian dessert.

Donna's piña colada Lamingtons with rum and pineapple cream icing, whipped cream, and fresh pineapple sounded pretty good, but I'm biased because I LOVE pineapple.

Ana's Lamingtons with cream, fresh pineapple, and chocolate sounded delicious. If there's anything I like more than pineapple, it's pineapple with chocolate. I was confused when Dean said he didn't think the pineapple worked. Why not? As for Sue saying that pineapple and chocolate is an interesting combination, I buy chocolate dipped pineapples and they're delicious!

Heather's lime and pistachio Lamingtons with white chocolate and lime icing, toasted pistachios, coconut, lime curd, and chantilly cream looked very cheerful to me because of the green color.

Naomi's tiramisu Lamingtons with cherry jam, whipped mascarpone, cocoa powder, and chocolate shavings sounded great. I love tiramisu flavors (chocolate and mascarpone - yum!) and the addition of cherry jam made it sound even better. But GURL! If you shoot videos for instagram, for crying out loud, spring for some kind of little tripod or phone holder so that your videos aren't shaky from holding the phone up while you're talking!

Anadil's Turkish delight Lamingtons with rose jelly, ganache, and rose petals were so pretty. All the pink and coconut reminded me of a snowball.

Anna's lemon and passionfruit Lamingtons with freeze dried passionfruit sponge, coconut, lemon curd, and passionfruit pulp looked so light and summery.

Trev's Lamington balls with lemon chiffon cake, passionfruit jelly, chantilly cream, and crème pâtissière looked so fluffy and light.

Ethan's Jaffa Lamingtons with orange sponge, chocolate icing, whipped cream, and chocolate orange sauce looked nice. I loved the orange color inside and they had a perfect dusting of coconut.

Louise's peanut butter and jelly Lamington with peanut butter cream, jam, and chocolate were a fun idea. I liked that she turned the sponge inside out so they would look even more like PB&J sandwiches.

Emma's white chocolate passionfruit Lamingtons with white chocolate meringue, passionfruit curd, and passionfruit and white chocolate glaze looked okay but you'd think with a separate dropper full of passionfruit, the overall flavor would have been stronger.

Battenberg cake is good for a first technical challenge. I don't mind the bakers helping each other but I was like Trev, you can't tell Emma how to do everything! I'm with Ethan - I'm not fond of marzipan either. Naomi's pink was way too dark. But even worse, she cut all the cake up into squares and reassembled them into a checekrboard. The judges totally ignored what a mess the marzipan was on Emma's. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be folded over on the ends like that. Donna made hers with six sections of cake instead of four! Ana, on the other hand, made only two sections. I couldn't tell if Anna's had five or six sections. Trev did so well - congratulations on winning first place!

Mirror glaze cakes are a decent showstopper challenge for the first week. One thing I haaaaate is when people make mirror glaze cakes and the cake looks bumpy underneath the glaze. Don't be lazy - put a layer of frosting on first so you get a smooth texture!

Naomi's coffee and white chocolate mousse cake and chocolate mousse cake with purple mirror glaze and gold streaks was a mess. I couldn't believe the judges said it was a good glaze. I could see the white frosting underneath where there was no glaze at all.

Louise's Earl Grey cake with marble glaze was definitely shiny and I liked the marble effect in theory but I wish the grey streaks had been distributed more evenly because it was concentrated in certain spots.

Ana's coconut and chocolate cake with red mirror glaze sounded good but my heart dropped when she was called back into the tent because her cake had fallen inside the refrigerator. The judges were very kind about it.

Heather's banana and blueberry cake  and chocolate vanilla cake with paua shell glaze had some pretty colors but it didn't look like a mirror glaze after she applied all the colors. It looked like a water color painting that had started to run. It was streaky and from the side you could see that her cakes were crooked.

Anna's rose and vanilla cake with raspberry filling had some very questionable glaze. I'm glad the judges liked her buttercream (especially since so much of it was showing).

Emma's rhubarb, raspberry, and rose cake with pink mirror glaze was too busy and the glaze looked awful. Not only was it totally see through but most of it didn't stick to the cake.

Donna's vanilla sponge with tie dyed mirror glaze was ridiculous. Her glaze was obviously too thick because as she was pouring it on, it was just blobbing on top of the cake instead of running down the sides.

Ethan's chocolate and raspberry cake was a bit messy looking, but the flavors sounded great

Trev's with almond blueberry sponge with a cinnamon cookie base, blueberry cream, and mascarpone mousse sounded good but oh my. Watching him pour the glaze on disastrously made me cringe for him.

Anadil's mango sponge with pineapple compote with yellow, green, and red mirror glaze was shiny and had bright colors but the glaze looked messy. I was surprised the judges were so positive about it.

I thought Trev had star baker in the bag, but congratulations to Heather for winning star baker the first week! She reminds me so much of Molly Hagan (but her comma eyebrows might drive me crazy before the season is over). Bon voyage, Donna!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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The bakes and contestants were alright, even though some of the mirror glazes were of less than appetizing colours.

They are back to the same cramped work bench layout, which I found really annoying last year. Fortunately they have switched to the 3 challenges format.

Lets just hope the hosts have turned it down a bit - I stopped watching halfway through the first series because they were such a nuisance.

Speaking of annoyances, whats up with the sound editing? The non stop, and very disjointed, background music? Especially when someone is speaking or during the judging. Its as if they had a mixed tape of 30 second Bake Off signature tracks on random for the whole episode.

Edited by Aulty
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S2.E2: Biscuits


It's biscuit week with a twist! Later, what lies beneath the red checked cloth is a French inspired technical bake - who will perform well and be safe another week?

Original air date: 11/10/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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OMG Heather cracked me up when she said she was thinking about the star baker curse but that she didn't believe in in stuff like that - only to immediately remember that a black cat ran across the road on her way to film this episode.

Savory biscuit sandwiches - this is when I remember that biscuit means something very specific in the United States. I just had a biscuit with dinner so I was imagining a breakfast biscuit sandwich.

Naomi's parmesan and thyme shortbread biscuit sandwiches with bacon and pine nut cream cheese filling looked perfectly baked. I liked that she took Dean's advice from last week to heart and decided to make a list of her ingredients and check them off as she goes. It's one thing to bake when you're at home and there's no pressure. It's another thing entirely when you're baking on national television and you have a set amount of time to get everything done. I'm okay with not having precise measurements for her filling. You can be a lot less precise when you're cooking versus baking. I loved seeing everyone gather around her bench after judging to try her biscuits.

Anadil's spicy cheese masala shortbread sandwiches with tomato chili relish looked like there wasn't much filling inside.

Louise gets more interesting every week. She and her boyfriend have a secret ramen pop up? Sign me up! Her mushroom shortbread with mushroom mascarpone cream sounded different but interesting. Aww, it was cute how much she laughed after correcting Sue about Kevin being her boyfriend, not her husband.

Anna's sun dried tomato biscuits with basil pesto and goat cheese filling were pretty. It was nice of Naomi to come over and help her in the last few minutes, especially because one of the positive things that the judges said was that the biscuits looked nicely decorated. I can't believe she used a premade pesto. Girl, the short timeframe is not an excuse. It takes like two minutes to throw a handful of basil in the food processor and voilà, you have pesto!

Heather's tumeric jeera biscuits with roasted pumpkin and garlic hummus were very monochromatic. I laughed when she said she wasn't happy with the presentation because there was no presentation. She just had a bunch of biscuit sandwiches piled on a plate with absolutely no design or presentation at all. They weren't in rows or a circle or anything.

Trev's dog is so cute! I loved that Trev said that making savoury biscuits is the same as making sweet biscuits because you're just mixing ingredients together. His blue cheese and walnut biscuits with smoked salmon pâté looked nice. He gave himself a lot of extra work piping all of those tiny dots inside the biscuit but it looked pretty. Heh and if there's anything I've learned from watching the various bake off shows, you always get bonus points if you serve alcohol!

Ana's Mediterranean biscuits with feta, ricotta, and sun dried tomato sounded a bit plain. I wish she had explained what flavors made her biscuits Mediterranean.

Emma's olive biscuits with goat cheese and honey mousse and beetroot and olive tapenade sounded like a lot of flavors together, but they all seemed harmonious.

Ethan's walnut biscuits with balsamic date chutney and whipped cream cheese sounded a bit on the simple side. When you do something that simple, it needs to be perfect. I agreed with Dean that it wasn't a very savoury flavor combination.

One hour and fifteen minutes is not a long time to make two batches of macarons.

Once again, Anna would not have finished without help. This time she had Naomi, Trev, and Louise all helping her.  That's like half the bakers all at one work station. I think this confirms that Anna has some serious time management problems. I also wonder how Emma, Heather, and Anadil felt since they were working on their macarons until the last minute but no one was helping them.

Louise's looked very smooth and evenly baked so I thought the judges bitching about the color being too pale was unnecessary. Unless they specified a Pantone color, it's up to each baker to interpret the particular shade of color. A lot of Heather's looked cracked. Emma's chocolate orange macarons looked great but her raspberry ones were a disaster. I'm okay with macarons being a little chewy but Dean compared them to almost chewing gum. Naomi's looked really nice but she knew that she didn't have the right number on the plate.

Trev's looked a little wrinkly and collapsed. Anadil's were a mixed bag. Some looked really good. Some of the others just looked a bit messy. Heh, but I saw how much her macarons were sticking to the sheet and how she made up for that by piping a little extra filling to hide that. I always support extra filling! I laughed when the judges got to Anna's plate and said they looked uneven. That's because there were four different people working on those macarons. Ana's were kind of a mess too. They were not all the same size and some of them were cracked. I was a little surprised Ethan won the technical because I could see some obvious flaws when his macarons were shown.

Once again, the sound levels kept changing while the hosts were talking. What is going on, sound guys?

I wish the showstopper challenge had just been a biscuit portrait, not a self portrait. The hosts were SO FUCKING ANNOYING when they were pretending to be news reporters. I laughed when Trev just said, "You guys are idiots." Naomi is a lot nicer than I am. If I had these two idiots yelling "TEN MINUTES!" a few inches from my face, I wouldn't have been laughing. Is it asking too much to expect the two hosts not to be so freaking obnoxious? GO AWAY. LET THE BAKERS BAKE.

Louise's matcha shortbread with white chocolate ganache Alps selfie was interesting. I liked everything except the way she portrayed herself. The mountains, the sky, and the water all looked great.

Anadil's monkey selfie made with coconut sugar cookie and pineapple jam was smart. I liked that the decoration was purposefully messy.

Naomi's wedding self portrait made of cinnamon, ginger, and all spice biscuit was interesting. She colored her arms in a greyish color but left her face the brown color of the cookie and drew a smiley face on with the grey arm color. That's an artistic choice, I guess, but since the assignment was to create a selfie, I think this was a fail due to the lack of an actual face on her self portrait. I know I shouldn't expect photorealism but the fake angle of her wedding veil really bothered me too.

Trev's Belgian biscuit selfie turned out much better than I thought it would. When he talked about how he isn't artistic at all, I was expecting something between a three year old's finger painting and a stick figure.

Heather's kayak selfie with hazelnut and shortbread biscuit looked pretty good. I liked how colorful and bold the design was.

Ana's Brazilian self portrait with orange and cinnamon shortbread biscuit with chocolate ganachewas definitely colorful but it felt way too simple in design.

This was the third challenge in a row where Anna needed help from other bakers to finish. At this point, I'd be like sorry, lady, it's sink or swim time. Her crossfit selfie with ginger and cardamom biscuit was really lacking. As Sue pointed out, it was brown on brown.

Emma's rowing team selfie with white chocolate and caramel biscuit was very messy and childish looking.

Ethan's Aussie selfie with lemon biscuit and raspberry jam looked like an elementary school project. It was just way too simplistic and rudimentary.

I was shocked that Naomi won star baker. Her self portrait was literally two dots for eyes and a curve for a smile. No surprise that Anna was eliminated. She couldn't finish any of this week's challenges even with help. And it's not like any of her bakes were more complicated or ambitious than anyone else's.

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I don't have Netflix but I was able to watch this last year on dm I'm fairly sure. But it's not there this year. I'm bummed. Maybe there's just a huge delay, but I rather doubt it. Darn it!

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Signature challenge: Savory sandwich cookies
Technical challenge: macarons
Showstopper challenge: Selfie 3-D biscuit

I was happy to see a savory challenge. I've watched a lot of Food Network competitions and most, if not all, baking is sweet.  Of all the sandwich cookies, I wanted to try Naomi's Parmesean & Thyme shortbread w/bacon, cream cheese, & pine nuts filling and Blue Cheese & Walnuts w/Salmon pate.

I thought the selfie challenge uninteresting because I agreed with the baker who said a selfie was narcissistic.  Having said that, I liked Trevor's selfie because the portrait was him.  And I disagreed with the male judge (Dean?).  The cookie didn't need any more embellishments.

Right now, I'm rooting for Trevor and hope he can go deep in the competition.

On another note, I didn't think the hosts could get worse but I was proven wrong this episode.  Their schticks aren't designed to relieve stress but to ramp it up.  And they're loud.  And they're not funny.  Please go away.

Edited by RealityCheck
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Celebration is a pretty broad theme so I was interested to see exactly what the bakers would have to make this week.

I wasn't exactly sure what was in Anzac biscuits, but google told me that they're made with rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda, boiling water, and desiccated coconut.

Emma's Anzac biscuits with fresh pear, crystallized ginger, and burnt white chocolate did not sound like my cup of tea because I can't handle crystallized ginger (I've tried so many times and I just loathe it).

Naomi's chopped apricot and cinnamon Anzac biscuits dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with hokey pokey sounded interesting but then I realized I just wanted the dark chocolate with

Louise's apricot Anzac bicuits with lemon yogurt icing sounded a bit too simple for the judges.

Trev's Anzac biscuits with poppyseeds also sounded a little too simple in concept. The poppy flowers on top were a nice homage in theory but I was afraid the judges would say there shouldn't be frosting on top.

Ethan's Anzac biscuits with macademia nuts, white chocolate, and hokey pokey was a nice way to honor both Australia and New Zealand.

Ana's Anzac biscuits with macademia nuts and cranberries sounded like a nice combination. The tartness and sweetness of the cranberries seemed like a good contrast.

I cracked up when Heather spun her two different colors/textures of her Anzac biscuits with ginger, orange zest, and rosemary as "I made one chewy batch and one crunchy batch!"

Anadil's chai and walnuts Anzac biscuits looked like a mess because of the pink chocolate she used to ice them. They didn't look like poppies at all. It was nice of Ana to come over and help but damn, don't drop any of the cookies!

I like raisins by themselves but I don't really like raisins when they're in other food (oatmeal raisin cookies, cinnamon raisin bagels, etc). Every once in a while I'll have a piece of cinnamon raisin bread but that's a rare occasion (not even once a year). That was my long way of saying that hot cross buns aren't my thing. I'd much rather eat a cinnamon roll (and not just because of the icing!). Wow, Ethan has already won two out of three technical challenges. That takes a lot of skill.

One of the things I really liked about this technical challenge is that the producers didn't add an extra element just to keep the bakers busy while the dough was rising and baking. I LOATHE when the GBBO throws in an extra thing for the bakers just so they have to keep busy the whole time. I much prefer to see the bakers doing things like chatting or singing songs.

I could not blame the other bakers for getting annoyed when Louise had the door to the proofing oven open for so long. Just put the trays in and shut the door!

The spooky Halloween cakes sounded fun (but I like Halloween so I'm biased).

Emma's black forest cake looked like the aftermath of shooting a horror movie. It was messy and bloody but it didn't seem to have purpose in its messiness. Instead if just looked like a mess. The spiders were sloppy and the white frosting didn't look like spiderwebs. It just looked like smears of white. But I'm all for the blackberry and cherry filling. Yum!

Ethan's spiced pumpkin cemetery was pretty bad. He had a simple concept with very basic designs and none of them were executed well. The headstones were mssy, the spiders were not really identifiable, the ghosts looked like blobs, and the trees did not look like trees. But mmm, toffee shards.

Ana's lucky that Trev suggested a way for her to salvage her red velvet brain cake with raspberry jam because she seemed like she was ready to give up. Her bloody brain looked exactly like she said it would - disgusting. I didn't understand the connection between being a life coach and making a brain cake though. I wish she had talked more about the brigadeiro filling!

Trev's spiced pumpkin latte witch in a cauldron cake was a fun idea. He was smart to choose a design that had large elements (rather than lots of tiny details). The feet sticking out and the flames were simple but identifiable. Ooh and boysenberry/raspberry blood sounded delicious.

Louise's poison apple cake was an interesting idea and I liked the skull face she made with the green dripping down the front. The candles which gave it more of a spooky Halloween atmosphere. And she was one of the bakers to make more than one kind of cake (although I noticed that the judges only pointed it out when they asked Emma if all three layers of her cake were the same, despite the fact that Trev, Naomi, Anadil, and Heather only made one cake).

Naomi's red velvet monster cake with marshmallow brains, cake ball eyeballs, and Italian meringue buttercream was a really fun idea. The monster was cartoonish. I disagreed when Sue said it was too cute for Halloween. Not everything Halloween related has to be gross or scary (and I'd like to point out that Trev's witch cake was definitely on the cute side rather than the gross or scary side).

Heather's death by chocolate graveyard cake was much better executed than Ethan's. It really helped that I could tell what all of her decorative elements were (as opposed to Ethan's messy blobs). The chocolate dirt, the legible headstones, the chocolate fence, and the little hand poking up were all done well. Loved the white chocolate full moon in the back. And raspberry with chocolate cake is always a winning combination for me. Hilarious that during the walk around, the judges said it sounded safe but it ended up being the best executed one.

Anadil's red velvet bleeding Frankenstein cake was a little too short. The hands in the front were a nice addition (as were the bloodshot eyes and the ears), but I thought the little smile would lead the judges to say that it was too cute for Halloween. The frosting looked a bit rough though.

Congratulations to Heather for winning star baker! I was not surprised that Emma was eliminated. Shee hasn't really excelled at any of the nine challenges we've had so far.

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Am I weird because I thought it was cute that they gave all the bakers umbrellas to walk to the tent/shed?

Ooh, fruit tarts with custard - yes! I love fruit and custard together! Once again, the hosts were super annoying and once again, Trev was super chill about it. If those two dolts had been inches away while I was taking something out of the oven, I would have been SO ANNOYED.

Heather's tart with ginger cardamom custard, rhubarb jelly, and rhubarb herringbone pattern was beautiful. i love the geometric way she decorated her tart.

Louise's tart with a chocolate base, orange custard, and orange slices was so pretty! I loved the orange flower she made on top.

Naomi's tart with vanilla custard, raspberries, and an orange and ginger glaze sounded good but I didn't really like the raspberries all lined up in rows in a rectangular tart. It gave it a hotel pastry look.

Anadil's toffee apple tart wth sweet short pastry, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar custard, and caramel coated apples sounded good but it looked like a mess.

Ethan's tart with sweet short pastry, dark chocolate custard, and black Doris plums looked nice. The chocolate curls added to the presentation without being too fussy.  loved seeing everyone come over after judging to taste it.

Ana's pear tart with almond chocolate pastry, vanilla custard, and chocolate drizzle sounded good. I agreed with the judges about the chocolate drizzle taking away from the presentation, I like chocolate but it looked like she drew a ladder.

Trev took a risk making his plum and rhubarb tart with black Doris jelly and chantilly cream so keep. And unfortunately, it didn't work out for him. Between the underbaked pastry and the runny (honestly, liquid) custard, that was a disaster. I loved that he still took time to help Ana. I totally cracked up when she was oohing and aahing about learning something new (pouring the custard over the back of a spoon) and he was like "HURRY UP!"

When Ana said her goal in the technical challenge was to be in the top four, I thought come on, girl, aim higher! There are only seven bakers left so that's not a very lofty goal. Congratulations to Naomi for winning first place. Anadil should have listened to her since she knew what she was talking about.

I don't enjoy the challenges with structure requirements. They almost always end up ugly and messy. I loved that Anadil said being an engineer did not give her an advantage because these thiings

Ana's religieuse à l'ancienne with coffee and orange éclairs and chili chocolate éclairs was well constructed but the decoration was still messy.

Trev's religieuse à l'ancienne with Irish cream mousse éclairs and raspberry éclairs with chocolate icing was impressively tall and well constructed. His piping work was also very neat.

Heather's religieuse à l'ancienne with mocha chocolate icing and blackberry icing made me laugh when she said she had a decapitated nun. I liked that when her sugar caramelized, she tried using buttercream. It didn't work, but I liked that she didn't give up but just calmly tried something else. I loved the color of the blackeberry icing.

Louise's religieuse à l'ancienne with red bean and chestnut éclairs, poppy seed buttercream, and a black poppy seed cookie base was one of the better looking towers simply because it wasn't leaning over or on the verge of falling apart.

Naomi's religieuse à l'ancienne with plum cream and dark chocolate éclairs, passionfruit white chocolate éclairs, and swiss meringue strawberry buttercream nun sounded good but it was unsurpisingly messy.

Anadil's religieuse à l'ancienne with almond, chocolate, and raspberry cream éclairs was a mess even before the top fell of. It was definitely leaning to one side and the pastry was soggy.

Ethan's religieuse à l'ancienne with pink mocha éclairs and peanut butter and jelly éclairs looked like it was about to fall over.

Congratulations to Trev for being named star baker! I laughed so hard when he said, "I'm bouncing off the wall" in his usual calm tone. I was surprised that Louise wasn't eliminated because she had a rough week. Farewell, Anadil!

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Yum, bread!

Naomi's pizza with bacon chutney, chorizo, walnuts, mozzarella, blue cheese, and rocket sounded good but the judges hated her crust.

Louise's cheeseburger pizza with tomato base, sliced pickles, meat, and cheese ended up looking a bit messy after her disaster getting it into the oven.

Trev's breakfast pizza with poached eggs, boiled quail eggs, salmon, bacon, and hollandaise sounded delicious.

Ana's artichoke pizza with tomato base, olives, and cheese looked very plain but not in a good way.

Heather's seafood pizza with prawns, scallops, capers, mushrooms, tomato, garlic, and anchovies sounded great

Ethan's pesto pizza with tomato base, chicken, bacon, and cream cheese sounded good but his crust was so pale and underbaked.

Congratulations to Heather for winning the technical challenge. Naomi did really well too. Oh, Louise. Last in the technical again? I need someone to make chocolate kugelhopf for me!

I feel like it's hard to do a bread showstopper. You either have to make a lot of pieces to build something with height or you need to do something with a lot of detail (like the unforgettable lion bread from GBBO). Otherwise it's just piles of bread.

Naomi's showstopper with a salmon and cream plaited loaf, a cheesy garlic brioche wreath, and cinnamon star showed so many different techniques. My only complaint was that it was three plates of bread.  My OCD loved that she had separate timers for each bread and they were labeled with different colors.

Trev's picnic basket with ciabatta, dinner rolls, and braided bread sounded simple but delicious. My biggest complaint was that this was not a showstopper or a centerpiece.

Heather's swan with cinnamon chocolate brioche cygnets, fig and feta bread, and orange almond wings was gorgeous. It was the only showstopper that was an actual showstopper.

Ethan's turkey with nut and raisin bread, pesto and cheese twists, white chocolate and cranberry wings, and dead bread wasn't the greatest bread centerpiece I've ever seen but at least he tried to make something big and sculptural.

Ana's cheese and herb bread garland was flat and unimpressive looking. There was nothing showstopper looking about it. Even if it had risen, it still wouldn't have looked like a centerpiece.

Louise's chocolate milk bread basket with pork, oyster sauce, and mushroom rose buns sounded awesome. Sue's "I'm confused" made me roll my eyes when Louise described what she was planning to make. I don't understand what she found so confusing. Louise wasn't the only one who made both sweet and savory breads.

Heather definitely deserved star baker this week. She did so well at all three challenges. Louise is lucky that she survived another week and that Ana was eliminated instead. Louise has been hanging on by a thread for a few weeks now.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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