Welcome to Pastry Week, my little overstuffed cherubs. Tara Ward power ranks episode eight of the delicious televisual feast that is The Great Kiwi Bake Off.
This morning Sir David Attenborough announced that civilisation was on the brink of collapse. Seems likely, but let’s just eat some cake and chill out for a bit. I’m 100% convinced that a bunch of Kiwi amateur bakers are about to save the world, and in years to come as we wallow in the smouldering cesspit of a planet formerly known as Earth, we’ll be glad we placed our faith in the power of 12 pastry swans on a tray.
It’s pastry week, and our final five bakers glided towards the GKBO semi-final like a flock of tiny swans swimming through the tears of the other bakers who died on their chocolate roulade swords. It was our chance to soak in the flaky glory that a thousand layers of butter brings, but personally, I just want someone to look at me the way Dean Brettschneider looks at a pastry swan. Dean wore a blazer this week. He dresses up for pastry.
It’s no wonder, because look at this delicate morsel. The pastry swan is my spirit animal, with its graceful neck, its teardrop body, and an entire abdominal cavity filled with sugar and cream. Delicious.
With only five bakers left, there’s nowhere to hide. Jeff took us to Turkey for breakfast, Annabel wowed the judges with her broccoli pastries, Larissa dropped her cream and Sue spoke for the nation when she said she was “not a fan of slippage and drippage”. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a journey into a crisp shell of cygnetty joy that made Jeff’s glasses fog up in happiness.
Let’s cover ourselves in Chantilly cream and take a gander at this week’s GKBO power rankings.
Oh, Larissa, light of our gingerbread heart, what will we do without you? The writing was on the wall when Sue said Larissa’s swans looked more like penguins, which is the kindest bird-related burn ever heard. I’m sure penguins are delicious too, and I was once attacked by a swan, so I hate those fuckers anyway.
After coming second last in the technical challenge, Larissa threw caution to the pastry wind, chucked a raw egg on everything and hoped for the best. It was not the best. We’ll miss you, Larissa. May your pastry forever be flaky and may John the Rabbit welcome you home with open paws.
It’s not a Bake Off episode unless someone’s roasting their nuts, and Hannah’s were super tasty this week. Hannah’s playing the long game, doing enough to avoid the bottom while lulling the star bakers into a false sense of security. I can’t wait to see her pounce like a pastry panther into next week’s semi-final, and whatever oven god Hannah is praying to, we say hallelujah, praise be, blessed be the fruit and nut pastry.
Broccoli for breakfast? Say it isn’t so, Annabel. Apparently it’s all the rage in Australia, and if it’s good enough for Straya, it’s good enough for Fleischelschneider. Those tiny vegetables were Annabel’s saving grace after she sank to the bottom in the technical challenge, but Dean’s Pastry-o-meter hit the roof when he called her savoury showstopper the “lightest pastry ever”. Broccoli crowns for everyone, please.
How could Jeff go wrong with cheese on cheese on cheese for breakfast? His pastry might have morphed into bread, but Jeff impressed Sue and Dean so much with his flamingo-esque swans that he won the technical challenge. He’s taken us up Le Tour Eiffel and all the way to Turkey, so where will Jeff lead us next week? Chocolate heaven, perhaps?
Star Baker: Stacey
Stacey promised if she could whip up a batch of croissants in two and a half hours, she’d get a croissant tattoo inked on her butt. This is the level of commitment we need in a Star Baker, and Stacey made all Dean’s pastry dreams come true when she not only made twelve delicious sweet and savoury croissants, but made them taste bloody delicious too. Star baker, croissant maker, swan queen of our flaky hearts.
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