The Great British Bake Off – Mid Series

Hard to believe we are already half way through Series 7, 2016. So much has already happened and so much is still to happen!
The stunning news is that YES, the GBBO is moving to Channel 4 in 2017. We lose Mel and Sue as presenters, but Mary and Paul are still to make up their minds in terms of allegiance to the BBC – which way will they go, and will Love Productions convince them with a worthwhile financial package to jump ship? We have to wait and see. Public opinion is that this IS a BBC show, and should remain as such and not be sold to the highest bidder. But with viewing figures higher than other reality shows such as X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, no wonder the production company want to hawk their wares. In 2015, the final attracted over 15 million viewers – you can’t beat that.
But what of the challenges and the food created by the contestants – very much a different ball game in this series with what would seem simple dishes to make, but technically they were quite complex.
We have lost 4 contestants so far – Lee in Week 1, Louise in Week 2, Michael in Week 3 and Kate in Week 4 – poor Kate, what a terrible week she had! Who would have thought that traditional Yorkshire Puddings and simple Lacy Pancakes would trip up so many of the contestants? We had flat Yorkies which Paul said that the texture was like bullets and pancakes that were more like Frisbees! Easy to criticise though – anyone would wilt under both Paul and Mary’s watchful glare!
So here at TryMyKitchen, what do we think were tricky bakes? Some of the showstoppers were good, but nothing really stood out so far. There has been no obvious ‘leader of the pack’, with the star baker prize going to different contestants, who are all having highs and lows. Benjamina, Tom, Jane and Candice have all had a turn at the coveted ‘Star Baker’, but they have all had disasters as well – it is pretty neck and neck so far, and we wouldn’t like to predict the outcome of this series.
Probably the most difficult showstopper was the interpretation of the Gingerbread House, an all-time Christmas favourite, but so difficult to produce and make sure it stood up! The Gingerbread Pub by Candice was so imaginative, with its ‘sticky carpet’, snooker table and bar – an outstanding creative effort and one of our favourites.
What an array of baking creations – biscuits, cakes, loaves and plaits, Yorkshire puds, pancakes – what next? The churros were also a revelation, but some of the contestants took the brief too far and included spices such as fennel, which detracted from the sweetness of the churro. Benjamina won ‘star baker’ here with her tropical churros, which were loved by both Mary and Paul.
As usual, all reality TV programmes bring controversy. Who would have thought that something such as icing (viewers felt that it was ‘gender related’ as the men were given blue icing and the women pink icing!) would cause such a backlash! Now, both genders use the same colour!!
So what does Week 5 bring – we are pretty excited here at TryMyKitchen, as the competition is so close and no front runner as yet. Well, it’s Pastry Week, and we will hopefully see beautiful Danish Pastries, a classic tart challenge from Mary, and the showstopper – this has to be ‘bite-sized’ this time round and we can’t wait to see what the remaining contestants produce.
So sit tight, and watch Benjamina, Rav, Selasi, Val, Tom, Jane, Candice and Andrew fight it out – along with the 13 million (average) who have watched each episode so far!

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