TV | Let's Chat Great British Bake Off Ice-Cream Gate & Innuendo Tarts

This week on the Great British Bake Off it is all about Pies and Tarts. An episode which is sure to be filled with innuendos aplenty but is unlikely to beat the controversy of last weeks ice cream drama. While on the topic of last week I'll add my two cents... Watching events unfold I was aghast, my hand over my mouth in amazement and shouting at the T.V. at the controversy of it all. How could they let Iain go? Why didn't Diana say something? It all seemed so unjust. But then I went on to twitter to see everyone else's reaction and all six of the related trending topics and I saw that Sue Perkins had tried to rectify the situation by explaining just how long Iain's baked Alaska had been out of the freezer for - a whole 40 seconds. It took awhile for the nation to accept this during which Diana was given a pretty hard time. Then came the news that she had suffered a fall during filming and would not be back this week as well as losing her sense of taste and smell potentially permanently. I began to feel really bad for Diana, and the lack of empathy the producers had when they put together the footage in the way that they did knowing full well that Diana wouldn't be in the next episode either. Knowing also that an elderly lady would be targeted by the public and the media as some sort of villain. It's easy to forget that what we see on our screens is almost always a constructed reality and not a true representation of events. It's fun to be outraged at the events of Bake Off, but I think a lot of us were left feeling guilty about how we treated an elderly woman who made a simple mistake of moving someone else's ice cream without knowledge of how dire the consequences would be.

But bake to the episode at hand! I know very little about pastry having never made a pie or a tart myself but apparently  "The real challenge is knowing when to take the tarts out" says Sue. In Essex where I live this inuendo would have a completely meaning, in fact I think we should be more worried about keeping the tarts in. Here's my round up of the bakers signature bakes, complete with my favourite innuendoes!

Luis had a good Tropical tart, as you'd expect because he has made it clear over the last few weeks that he's a damn good baker and has quickly risen to the top end of the group. "I think its got a wobble" he stated as he took his egg tart out of the oven, which I'm not sure if a good or a bad thing perhaps its personal preference (I'm trying to lose my wobble). Paul also complimented Luis on his "thin sides and bottom".

"I knew it was going to be tight" - Ooer! Kate was pushed for time with her tart leaving it in the oven until the last minute. Her choice to turn up the oven had me wondering if she was heading for a burnt tart disaster but actually it worked out pretty well with custard "in the bottom and on top".

When Nancy discussed her chocolate tart with the judges Paul replied "I like that Nancy" while looking at her with a slight 'come hither' look. It's clear where Paul's preferences lie.

Martha's pistachio, apricot and honey custard tart look to me remarkably like a quiche with sliced tomato on top? Mary said the flavour was too tart (for a tart?). Martha was left emotional after the signature bake bringing the first tears of the episode.

Chetna followed a traditional indian recipe for rice custard tart with mangoes and raspberries. It looked very good and she was praised by the judges although Paul had some advice about the rice. Chetna is fast becoming one the the tent's best bakers after a slightly wobbly start.

There were concerns about "leakage" with Richard and he required a "steady hand" for his fig and orange tart. Unfortunately Mary didn't think the orange flavour came through very well and the judges didn't seem impressed. Richard was one of my favourite bakers with a pencil behind his ear but he needs to do better in the next challenges to secure his position at the top end of the group.

Lastly was Norman who explained "Icing sugar gives it a nice finish" while 'decorating' his tart just after the cameras had panned across everyone else delicately decorating with fruit, piping icing etc. Norman's supposedly exotic Tarte au Citrone "looks a mess" stated Paul as he explained it "should be clean, sharp neat".  However Norman was complimented on his fantastic flavour despite his not poor presentation. I have a soft-spot for Norman and they way he defies Paul and Mary but I will be very surprised if he survives for another week.

Following the signature bake was the confusing part of the show where Mel or Sue visit a small town to find out about baking from somewhere around a century ago. I like to use this time as a good break for checking Twitter, a bit like an ad break. Also if I wanted to see testicles I'd watch 'Embarrassing Bodies'.

The technical challenge involved making mini pear pies. This slightly unappetising dessert involves a poached pear wrapped in layers of pastry which none of the bakers seemed to have any knowledge of. Most had either never poached a pear before or not done in a very long time. During this challenge I was pleased to see the bakers discuss where they were putting their trays in the fridge thus avoiding any disaster à la Iain or Howard (custardgate last year). My favourite pear innuendoes include Luis' "nice soft pears", Martha "observing the other bakers' pears" and Chetna's "well flavoured pear". Wrapping the poached pears in pastry seemed to be the difficult part for the bakers which Martha described as being like "mummifying".  Richard had admitted he was "flying blind" and on "a voyage of discovery" and it showed as he failed to wrap his pears, and the limp pastry unravelled and sunk to the bottom of the pear during baking. Paul called Richard's pears a "mess" outright and the look on Richard's face suggested he knew that he would be coming last in the challenge.

The Showstopper challenge this week was to make at least three-tiers of pies. Some stayed safe choosing only to bake the minimum requirement of tiers while others - I'm looking at you Luis - decided to push the boat out and bake more.

Kate explained she "doesn't want to go in with the hand straight away" (to be honest I'm not quite sure what she was referring to) while putting her pie together but ended up with a "great looking pie" compliment from Paul. Looks like Kate's safe then as she's had successful bakes all round this week.

Mel enacted a big bad wolf as she stated "I'm looking forward to blowing your pie" to Martha regarding the Three Little Pigs themed tiers in a strange innuendo that didn't make much sense.  Mary was complimentary as she said it 'looks a lovely little pie' while Sue called it 'a three man job'. The judges thought Martha had interesting filling but her pies were unfortunately over baked.

"Fat bottoms" were a worry for Nancy as she opted to sculpt her pie crust by hand rather than using a tray. She mad three variations of apple pies, but they were "too dry inside" according to Paul.

Chetna's fusion pies caused Paul to crown her the "flavour queen" pushing her even further up to the top of the bakers while Richard redeemed himself with his Autumn pie feasts. Luis was let down by the pastry of his slightly confusing fruit topped Four Seasons meat pies, disappointing for a Northerner.

That brings us to Norman's 'pieful tower' which, as expected, left the judges disappointed. Unsurprisingly it was Norman's time to leave this week but he did well to last as far as he did and I'm looking forward to watching him on the Extra Slice. With Bake Off finished it is now time for a re-run of American Pie on ITV2 which is a strangely coincidental and brings another wave of pie-related innuendoes with it.

Did you enjoy bake off this week? Are you glad to see Norman leave?



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