Great British Bake Off 2020: 80s Week

Shutterstock / MariaKovaleva © great british bake off

The Great British Bake Off continued its theme of tenuous themes this week, with 80s Week.

I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into this one. Food that tasted like too much make-up? Cakes in the shape of synthesisers? Recipes with no milk, since the Prime Minister stole it all?

And some of the contestants were just as confused as me. Peter’s assertion that he may have covered the 1980s “in mediaeval history” at school presumably didn’t endear him to most of the other bakers. Nor the presenters, judges nor audience.

But he bashed on regardless. That’s the exuberance of youth for you.

Signature challenge: two savoury quiches

This week in the tent, it was hot. Like, really hot. Like, “the Ark has been opened, and your face is going to melt” hot. So, of course the bakers were tasked with creating something that can disintegrate quite easily. Surely that wouldn’t be a theme for the episode . . .?

Both Dave and Lottie opted to make a “full English” flavoured quiche — the second week Lottie has gone for the same option as another baker. Either she needs to add a little subtlety to her game, or she needs to hide her Big Book Of Baking Ideas a little better.

Prue called Dave’s choice “brave” (a kiss of death that Lottie has previously survived), while also spending some time moaning about beans.

Hermine was the first of the night to misunderstand how technology worked, and accidentally froze her pastry entirely. A good way to stand out from the others, that. It also provided a little bit of drama as she tried to make sure it cooked in 3.5 seconds.

Laura’s efforts ultimately suffered from a Great British Bake Off classic: the soggy bottom, while Last Marc Standing chose flavours that were too similar for a Prue Leith party.

Dave was well-baked but over-flavoured, while Lottie suffered the opposite problem.

Against all odds, Hermine’s ice-cold approach comfortably won her challenge, with Paul calling her quiches “absolutely gorgeous”.

No handshake, though. Maybe they were out of Purell.

Technical challenge: finger doughnuts

This challenge began with a surprising admission: apparently Peter has never deep-fried anything before in his life.

Is he really Scottish at all?

Perhaps he just couldn’t fit a fat fryer into the crib he so recently resided in.

Meanwhile, the heat hotted on:

It seemed the elements were finally lending a hand, with dough practically proving itself on the countertop. 

This didn’t help Dave much, who somehow managed to underprove it, and then burn his doughnuts.

That’s a sore one.

Laura’s and Lottie’s were a bit sloppy (not literally), while Hermine sailed to her second win of the night without too much drama.

A technical challenge where everyone knew what they were doing, and largely pulled it off? My faith is restored.

Showstopper: ice cream cake

It’s clear Peter (“The Baby-faced Assassin”) has the measure of Prue. His choice for a brandy-soaked Christmas cake is right up her street.

Paul poured piping hot scorn all over Dave’s decision to decorate his tiramisu cake with piped ice cream in Satan’s Kitchen. He was in a little bit of danger going into the showstopper. Would the gamble save him?

“It’ll be a nice drink,” Paul said in the face of Lottie’s inexplicable decision to cover her “mixtape” cake in the cold stuff. There’s only so much gambling one can take.

Hermine’s holiday cake was mango flavoured, meaning the fruit has featured in every episode of the series so far. Our most consistent performer?

Last Marc Standing planned to embrace his age with a “retro ice cream parlour” cake. Intricate. Possibly melty.

Laura’s went for “death by chocolate”, but her efforts were severely hampered by this week’s second technology fail: she forgot to press the correct button on the ice-cream maker, meaning it was decidedly unfrozen come construction time.

The latest in a long line of disasters for Laura. Even turning the air blue didn’t help lower the temperature.

Lottie’s effort didn’t fare well, either. And it’s fair to say she didn’t appreciate Peter’s composure under pressure:

She is absolutely my favourite.

I hope nothing bad happens to her.

As predicted, Dave’s piping puddled. Paul looked more than a little miffed bakers continue to ignore his advice so late in the competition.

Both Laura and Lottie produced reasonable tasting slop, which sadly isn’t the preferred outcome of the Great British Bake Off.

Hermine produced the kind of cake that had my Googling where I could possibly buy it. Even her Ebay would do.

Marc’s cake was solid. But in a good way.

Hermine stormed to a very well-deserved Star Baker.

. . . and Lottie slipped to an entirely undeserved elimination.

Was she developing too much personality for the competition? She was certainly much more entertaining than Matt Lucas.

The sneak peek at next week’s episode hints that justice might be done, with several shots of Laura doing her very best Norman Wisdom impression as the kitchen falls to bits around her.

We’ll see . . .

The bakes

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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.