selasi

Great British Bake Off recap: find out what happened in Tudor week

Don't read if you haven't watched Bake Off's week 8 yet!

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF!

Yes, you read it right! It really was Tudor Week in the Great British Bake Off tent this evening - and if your history lessons are failing you, let us help you out. Turns out baking in Tudor times consisted of meat. A whole lot of meat!

True to form, the contestants, judges and of course Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins lived up to expectations delighting Twitter users with an array of fitting Henry VIII puns!

Andrew bake off sausages tudor week

And with only five contestants (or ye olde bakers) left in the quarter finals, the competition was certainly hotting up as Selasi, Andrew, Candice, Benjamina and Jane got cooking in their kitchens in a bid to "make like Anne Boleyn and get ahead" (joke courtesy of Sue, natch).  

"We're like the Spice Girls before Geri left," Candice considered. "Any of us could go home," mused Jane. But the fivesome managed to keep their collective nerve as they dove into the first challenge of the evening: pies!

Individual Tudor pies were the order of the day - small pies that combined to make a stunning centrepiece design. Andrew decided to aim high, making a fully mechanised Leonardo-da-Vinci-style "geared" pie. But while last week's Star Baker didn't bring the curse of the title with him (Paul Hollywood gave Andrew a "well done" while Mary Berry said the bake on his pastry looked "absolutely right") it was Jane who smashed the competition out of the game in the first challenge of the night.

"Paul's just given them a squeeze and gave me a look," the oldest competitor told viewers half way through the pie bake as Mr Hollywood approached and manhandled her pastry creations. But after joking that Selasi thought that she was from the Tudor period herself, Jane was relieved to discover her experience won out over Selasi's youth (and his questionable decision to make his air holes with the tip of a biro). Jane's Tudor Rose pies were declared "first rate" and "delicious" by Mary.

Candice's jumbles on GBBO's Tudor week

Next up, it was jumbles - a 500-year-old biscuit made in two shapes: a Celtic knot and a knot ball, which were, Paul insisted, just like him: "Hard on the outside, soft in the middle."

Benjamina eschewed technology (they wouldn't have had mixers in Tudor times), while Candice got uber-mathematical with her calculations and called for a calculator.

Making the mixture was the easy part. Shaping their dough sausages into the required designs was something else entirely.
Andrew was in his element ("Oh Andrew, they look so tidy," remarked Benjamina in awe as she saw his creations at the end of the contest).

But the gang's confusion was mainly about the colour: with their noses glued to their ovens, the bakers were literally begging their biscuits to brown. Andrew was the first to figure out that sugar would help the colour of their bake, and one by one his competitor buddies followed suit, eyeing each other suspiciously.

Had Candice upped the temperature of her oven to get her biccies so brown? wondered Andrew. Whatever she did, it worked! Candice was given top spot in the technical challenge and the smile on her bright pink lips revealed the importance of pulling it off when it was needed.

With the contest still wide open (pie victor Jane came fifth with her jumbles, which lacked gaps and definition, despite tasting good) it was onto the final quarter final finale.

Great british bake off quarter finals

"Nothing is clear," bemoaned Sue. Paul agreed: "Candice and Jane have gone top to bottom on both of the challenges," he mused, adding that, in his opinion, it was Benjamina and Selasi who were "in a bit of trouble" - Andrew had been the "most consistent," he added.

So - with it all coming down to the showstopper challenge, the task was unveiled. A marchpane (otherwise known as a marzipan 3-D centrepiece).

The bakers pulled out all the stops with their designs - from Jane's swan theme to Candice's life-like peacock (which gave us all the chance to delight in Sue's ear-splitting crows).

Andrew's jousting knights were competing with Selasi's historically accurate array of weapons and the pressure was palpable even from the comfort of our sofas!

The ginger-haired aerospace engineer's cheeks burned adorably while he declared himself "exceedingly frustrated" when his caramel refused to do what it should.

Candice sprinkled glitter, Selasi balanced his crown on his sword, Benjamina tended to her garden and Jane painted her swans. But when time was up, the proof - as always - was in the pudding, and after Paul had wielded his enormous knife, the results were in.

Candice wowed with her technicoloured peacock, pouting her way through Paul's plentiful platitudes as he declared her creation "incredible work."

Close behind her, Jane, with an understated walnut genoise sponge, also was on the receiving end of a lot of praise. "It tastes amazing," gushed Paul. " She stepped up," agreed Mary as the judges deliberated a little later.

Selasi quater finals great british bake off

Andrew "came in with flying colours," said Mary, but sadly, his jousting knight cake failed to impress. All his currants fell to the bottom. "He's gone back," Mary admitted.

But clearly bottom of the pile were Benjamina and Selasi who had both left plenty of room for improvement with a "simplistic design" and an "underbaked" cake respectively.

Which of the two of them would actually face elimination, however, was was anyone's guess as Paul and Mary made their final jaunt into the tent to reduce the quarter finalists group to four.

After crowning Candice Star Baker, someone had to leave - and it was with a lot of sadness that Benjamina was gently given the boot.

Tears flowed, (a lot of them, and into a tea towel) but Benjamina eventually declared herself proud of her progress and vowed to continue creating.

"I'm going to keep on baking," she declared. "But no marzipan or Tudor ever in my life!"

What did you think of this week's quarter finals?

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