Sarah-Jane’s comments about GBBO being like a “massive rollercoaster ride” felt especially apt this week. Viewers will have seen the dropped puddings, flying pastry, John’s injury, and the tears at the end. These incidents give some sense of the pressure that we were all feeling. On one hand the competition was moving up a notch. But, at the same time, we were all growing closer to each other, to the amazing crew, to the presenters and judges, and to the wonderful hosts at Harptree Court. The prospect of leaving this bubble certainly made me tense and, I suspect, many of the other bakers as well.
The pudding round went pretty smoothly for me. Then on to the Queen of Puddings. Being the ‘great-uncle’ of the group with several more years on the clock, viewers may have assumed that this was something I had made a hundred times. In fact, I’d never tried it before. So, I had to work on instinct – drawing on my knowledge of the different components and aware of the need to keep each layer separate. Fortunately, it paid off. Reading comments on the internet after Tuesday I realised that this is a bit of a ‘marmite’ pudding – people either love it or hate it. I have to say having tasted our offerings that day, it won’t be high on my list of favourites.
Then on to the strudel. I was looking forward to this and took full advantage of the opportunity for a bit of culinary theatre by rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in. Prior to the programme I would definitely have joined Mary Berry in buying this pastry but I actually enjoyed the challenge of making my own. It turned out not to be that hard and is quite a de-stresser (providing you’re not making it in front of the cameras, that is!). There were some great ideas for fillings amongst the contestants. John’s sounded like it would have been particularly delicious had the Magimix blade not have intervened.
By the time the final announcements came around we were all pretty exhausted and emotional. To be honest I wasn’t thinking about star baker and was surprised when my name was announced. That may sound strange to viewers but bear in mind that we don’t see all of the judging and so have only a partial view of how others’ bakes have gone. Watching the episode on TV I was a little disappointed that the edit made it look like Danny was frustrated or in some way ungracious. Like all the other contestants she was always warm in her congratulations of that week’s star baker, and so it was on that occasion. She’s a talented and lovely person.
And then the surprise announcement that no-one was going home. I thought that was very fair but it did leave us all feeling apprehensive about week seven and the prospect of two people leaving….