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Pop CultureOctober 28, 2016

The Great British Bake Off just served up their greatest, most terrifying episode


Shit got real on Bake Off this week. Forget American Horror Story or Scream Queens, the real horror this Halloween was found in a marquee in the English countryside. Tara Ward witnessed it all fall apart.

Tuesday’s episode of Great British Bake Off served up the stuff of nightmares: possible sabotage, irrational behaviour, and terrifying meltdowns.

Plus a giant meringue swan.


It began a typically innocent Bake Off episode, with enough camaraderie and good will to make you vomit into your Thermomix. The nine remaining bakers prepared to make a Baked Alaska, a heavenly mix of sponge, ice-cream and meringue. It looked so soft and delicious I could climb into one and sleep for a week.


But the Bake Off winds blew no good when Iain discovered his dish had been interfered with. In case you were still licking that Baked Alaska off your screen, I’ll repeat: Iain’s ice-cream HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THE FREEZER.

Someone call Citizens Advice or Dial a Prayer, because Iain needs answers. How did this heinous crime against frozen confectionary happen?  Was it an innocent mistake or an outrageous act of sabotage, a tactical masterstroke to eliminate the tall and beardy from the competition? Or was it merely a silent protest highlighting food safety issues around voluminous facial hair?


I’m not pointing chocolate ladyfingers, but pretty sure Diana’s sticky prints were all over that tin.


Iain was appalled. Diana was shocked too, but probably felt better after she looked at her own rock-solid ice-cream. Still, it’s not like Iain’s dish sat on a bench surrounded by bright lights and hot ovens in the middle of a heatwave for long. How bad can it be?

It’s thaw-ful. Welcome to hell, my friends.


In desperate times like these, we must consult the mysterious beast some people call science. If we take the freezing point depression, consider the temperature transitions and include the exothermicity factor, we can conclude the likelihood of Iain making ice-cream in ten minutes is: not a shitshow.


This was Iain’s post climate-change Baked Alaska. The ice caps had melted, the sea levels had risen, and the only thing frozen was Iain’s cold, dead heart. He responded as any irate, russet-bearded baker would, and chucked his entire bake in the bin. That’ll learn ‘em, Iain.


The Baked Alaska lay silently at the bottom of the bin, next to Iain’s dignity and his future in the competition. He collected it all and sloshed his way towards the judging table. Dead man walking, with a bin.

Luis was horrified. Martha covered her eyes. Even the marquee walls quivered, though that could have been the wind.


Chetna covered her mouth in a silent scream.


It’s tricky to stay in a baking competition when all you present is a stainless steel cake coffin. If only Iain had thought to pipe the outside with some delicious buttercream rosettes.

“I didn’t cope with the situation very well,” he admitted, ironically frozen to the spot. I’d be eating that cake out of the bin with one of Diana’s wooden spoons by now, so I reckon Iain did okay.


The nightmare was over. Iain retreated to the safety of his own home, where nothing leaves the freezer without his express permission, and Diana’s creepy meringue swan lived to swim another day. Bloody good work, Bake Off: for every soul-destroying moment of cake-related madness, you raise us up with the inspiring vision of a malformed sugar bird. I’ve always heard swan tastes delicious, and now we know why.


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