It's the pastry round of Great British Bake Off! AKA when things get serious. First-Testament-level-serious actually, says Emma Sleight...
With sacrilegiously good suet, edible nuns and a pastry marathon that demanded the remaining contestants turn one batch of puff into 36 pastries, this week Bake Off got biblical.Even the seven deadly sins got a mention in week seven with gluttony and sloth coming hand in hand as the bakers got to grips with grated kidney fat - more attractively known as suet - and enough butter to put even James Martin out of action.
In a tent as hushed as a church on Sunday morning, Glenn's last man standing routine lasted all of two challenges before he was shoving his showstopper Mille Feuilles onto a tray in sticky handfuls.
His fall from grace might have started when he resorted to dosing the judges with booze. Or with his maverick decision to toy with the holy grail of recipes and make the pastry of the damned, the inside out puff.
More likely it was the fact even the show's producers can no longer hide just how good the female contestants really are this year.
Christine grinned like a Cheshire cat as her husband's favourite spotted dick left Paul unable to criticise between ladling in mouthfuls of gingery suet into his mouth. Kimberley continued with her confident, capable Bake Off domination plan and Beca finally stepped up as a contender with savoury suet and thousand-layer Mille Feuilles as fluffy as goose down pillows.
Even Ruby who, after a firm word from Mel, managed to finally "get a grip, just get a grip, get a ruddy grip" kept her apologies to herself. According to the Bake Off, she's been indulging in animal therapy this week and spent most of her time playing with Rupert, her new cat.
But it was Frances with her hint of goat in a perfectly made fig roll, passable nuns and miraculous, Edith Piaf themed (natch) pastries that finally let her through the gates into Bake Off heaven to get star baker. Hallelujah.
Paul couldn't hide his glee as Glenn's "magic" pastry fell flat and his sugar paste tarts hammered the last nail into his pastry coffin. Thus, his time in the tent was over.
Beca reckons the atmosphere will change after the departure of silver bear Glenn, which will leave an all-female cast fighting it out for a place in the semi-final next week. It might be piping bags at dawn as the judges get harsher, the girls get more competitive and the bakers go up against unconventional flours. Where's Howard with his gluten-free knowledge when you need him?
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