It’s Pastry Week on The Great British
Bake Off Baking Show, and I have no idea how I’m supposed to write about anything that happens in this episode that doesn’t involve squirting things into or out of at least two holes. [Stares vacantly out window for three hours]
Pastry, in Britain, refers to dough, and what we call pastry, they call patisserie. In this year’s Pastry Week challenge, the bakers ha—
Um... yes, so the bakers have to um... all right, you know what? I’m going to need another minute. [Stares vacantly out window for another hour]
Pastry week is a celebration of all things dough, from rigid hot water crusts, to light, airy choux, to flaky puff pastr—
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Where was I? I’ve lost my place. Surely the judges can inject some civility here? What say you, Prue?
Okay, we’re just going to plow straight into the Signature Bake because this recap is going to end up killing me.
Signature Bake: Two Batches of Decorated Chouxnuts
DAMNIT, CRYSTELLE, ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THIS SHIT? Deep breaths, Allison. You are a professional. You can do this. Ahem... Chouxnuts are deep-fried rings of pâte à choux; a high-moisture dough that puffs up when it touches—
All right, nevermind. We’re done here. Chouxnuts are ruined for me forever. Thanks a lot, bakers.
Technical Bake: Baklava
For this year’s Pastry Week technical, the bakers have to make their own filo dough, laminate it into dozens of paper-thin layers, and make them into an intricately decorated baklava in two hours and forty-five minutes. Incredibly, this isn’t remotely close to being the most asinine technical challenge I’ve ever seen on this show. All the bakers managed to do way better than they should have, and no one squirted anything out of any holes. Everyone should be very proud of themselves.
Showstopper Bake: Intricate Terrine Pie
I CAN’T HEAR YOU, GEORGE, LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.
A terrine is a meat-filled pie made of hot water crust pastry. So far, so good. No discussion of holes. C’mon, Allison. Keep it moving.
So let’s talk about Amanda, whose terrine imploded in spectacular fashion, and the handsome knight in shining armor who came to her rescue. That’s right, we’re talking about none other than Chigs, our Official Season 12 Sex Symbol and the sort of man who will gladly burn the shit out of his hands to help prevent hot meat juices from flowing uncontrollably.
When the top of Amanda’s terrine pops off as she’s unmolding it, Chigs swoops right in and thrusts his bare hands around her hot pie, holding it together as its walls begin to crumble, while Amanda repeatedly drops a hot metal terrine mold onto his delicate flesh. It’s a total structural failure, but Chigs will not quit on his friend, helping Amanda patch up her broken terrine as best he can. Know who would be really helpful in this sort of situation? A structural engineer. Know who’s a structural engineer? Giuseppe. Know what Giuseppe does? This:
By now, we have gritted our teeth through the departure of Mary Berry, begrudgingly accepted the challenges becoming batshit ridiculous, and unknowingly agreed to let Dame Prue Leith’s discussion of holes live in our heads rent-free until the day we die. The only reason I’ve held onto this show as it leaps over an ocean’s worth of sharks is because of its civility; I like to be reminded that no matter how tough things may get, we can all get through it with kindness, compassion, and friendship. AND GIUSEPPE JUST STOOD THERE. And where was Jurgen, by the way? Why was Chigs the only one willing to do anything? Everybody is complicit in this tragedy, no ifs, ands, or—
Okay, we’re finished. Crystelle got a handshake for her (oh goddamnit) “Pickle Cottage” pie, won star baker, Amanda went home, and Chigs is my new favorite to win. Everybody else in the tent can go cram their creations in their pie holes, and I hope that’s the last hole I talk about today.