‘My Showstopper is a hipster’s picnic’: Tom’s unsavoury, subversive, modern ideas were quashed when he was eliminated and Andrew’s family values triumphed on Great British Bake Off, by Jim Shelley
The unexpected, unsavoury, aroma of revolution reared its ugly head in Dessert Week on the Great British Bake Off with one of the contestants’ choices particularly radical.
No not Candice’s provocative plum-coloured lipstick. This breach of GBBO protocol was relatively minor.
Tom Gilliford’s announcement about the concept behind his Showstopper was altogether more modern and Just Wrong.
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Unsavoury: Tom Gilliford’s announcement about the concept behind his Showstopper didn't go down too well on dessert week during The Great British Bake Off
‘It’s a hipsters’ picnic !’ he revealed eagerly, inspiring a palpable shudder of horror from Mary Berry, not to mention millions of viewers at home.
Tom was embodied the evangelical zeal of the true subversive as he expounded further about his recipe for mini mousse cakes.
‘It’s taking something really classic and simple and making it ludicrously complicated - which is the hipster’s way !’
‘The hipster’s way’?! If Tom thought this was the way to approach mini mousse cakes he was mistaken. If he thought anything to do with ‘hipsters’ belonged on the Bake Off he was crazy.
Winner, winner: Meanwhile, Andrew went on to winner Star Baker
Eventually – thankfully – anarchy was defeated, the natural order restored, and he was eliminated. (Sent home that is, not actually like a Russian spy.) The nation could rest easy. The Bake Off was safe again, at least for the time being. No doubt there will be all manner of ‘hipsters’ when the show starts on Channel 4.
For now, Round Seven was Dessert Week. At least that was the theme officially. It really amounted to The Battle Of The Young Bucks Week with Tom and Andrew fighting it out for survival (or whisking it out), like gladiators. Admittedly they were rather geeky gladiators, with aprons and a love of piping butter-cream into sponge cakes.
But one of them had to go that much was clear.
Back in lippy: Candice was noticeably back to her best in red lipstick
It was hard to imagine Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood being ruthless enough to resist the chilled-out charm of Selasi Gbormittah, the Cool Ruler of the tent, and sending him home. As for the three female Bakers, Candice, Jane, and Benjamina were so evidently superior they were surely secure.
So it proved, turning into a blatant showdown between Andrew’s clean-cut family values and Tom’s experimental, eccentric, radical approach to bread and life in general.
The ever-lovable Andrew started with his usual optimism.
‘This week is my kind of week. I’m a desserts man through and through,’ he beamed boyishly, seemingly unaware that so was everyone else.
Head-to-head: Tom and Andrew fighting it out for survival (or whisking it out), like gladiators
Tom was surprisingly gloomy considering he had triumphed in the previous show (Botanical Week). Then again he was ‘a hipster’, demonstrating how the world was against them as he scowled: ‘I’ve had a bit of the curse of Star Baker in the past. So I’m just going to try and ignore that.’
A bit late given that he had just brought it up.
Dessert Week saw the Bakers required to make a family-sized roulade (for the Signature Challenge), a Marjolaine gateau (the Technical), and (in the Showstopper) ‘24 mini mousse cakes.’ No not Mini Mouse cakes. Unfortunately.
Andrew cleverly countered Tom’s persona of the grumpy revolutionary, shamelessly celebrating his family ties with a fervour that made The Waltons look like The Sopranos.
For the roulade he was using his dad’s recipe (banana, caramel, passion fruit curd), acting as if roulade recipes were something all fathers passed down to their sons. With his Showstopper he then played the Christopher Maloney ‘Lovely Gran’ card. As Sue Perkins put it: ‘Andrew’s using his gran’s chocolate sponge recipe and his love of ice-cream to capture a day at the seaside in mousse form.’
Mmm tasty: There's only six bakers left in the competition now
As you do...
Meanwhile Paul Hollywood had rumbled Tom as a wrong ‘un, immediately forming a conspiracy theory about his millionaire shortbread roulade.
‘It’s interesting that you covered it in chocolate. What’s it hiding?’ he probed concluding ‘the appearance is not good.’
‘I thought it was quite classy,’ Tom objected afterwards feeling persecuted. ‘I wanted it to look like a chocolate bar and it did look like a chocolate bar.’
A hipster’s chocolate bar maybe...
‘After last week’s disaster it feels like I’m back in the running now,’ trilled Andrew on a high and going on to take the Technical Challenge by storm.
‘Very good, even, piping !’ purred Mary. ‘That’s how it should be. Nice and crisp. Really well put together. Lovely flavour. Beautifully layered. Good piping.’
On your marks... Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins assembled the contestants for three more challenges
Apart from that she didn’t like it...
Tom knew Mary’s fondness for nibbling Andrew’s Marjolaine meant trouble.
‘The moment that they tasted Andrew’s and I realised how different mine was to Andrew’s, I knew I was going to be last or in the bottom few,’ he harrumphed. He conveniently ignored the fact that the judges had described his own effort as ‘all over the place’ and ‘on the chewy side.’
Andrew finally crushed Tom’s chances with his mini mousse cakes, which the judges declared were ‘divine.’
Tom nodded in pain rather than agreement. He might as well have put on his hipster’s coat and headed out the door for Shoreditch then and there. But he had to stay to hear Paul Hollywood say the apple pie and ice-cream combination in his Hipster’s Picnic was ‘a very original idea.’ This didn’t necessarily sound like a compliment especially when he added: ‘but there isn’t much finesse about it.’
Feeling lucky? Andrew finally crushed Tom’s chances with his mini mousse cakes
He had been the only Baker not to rely on moulds to set and shape the mousses, ambitiously piping all the layers by hand instead.
‘The mixture that you’ve piped is not a mousse,’ Paul pointed out - a petty, bourgeoisie, minor detail in a mousse cake.
As for his carrot cake mousse, Tom’s unnecessarily contrary decision to use nutmeg again predictably back-fired. His lofty view ‘it’s an aroma that works quite well’ proves mis-placed.
‘It’s quite stodgy,’ Paul scoffed (not in a good way). ‘You’ve gone a bit overboard with the nutmeg and again it’s not a mousse.’
A hipsters picnic: Tom's idea went down like a lead balloon
Colourful: It was dessert week on the show this week
You could see Tom thinking that Hollywood clearly had no idea what being a Hipster, or having a Hipster’s Picnic, was all about.
Mind you, this was one thing about the Bake Off that he had got spot on.
Apart from Hollywood winning Most Unfashionable Male, here are my other awards from this week’s episode:
Channel 4 Pointer of the Week
Mel Giedroyc for remarking ‘we all know that nuts and caramel are an exquisite, delightful, combination. Like Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, they’re a match made in heaven !’ Not for much longer.
Pretentious Baker of the Week
Candice for explaining ‘my Champagne Cocktail is a Prosecco and raspberry liqueur jelly.’ Will you tell her or shall I? That’s not champagne.
Compliment of the Week
Mary Berry telling Jane: ‘you’ve achieved great things. These in their own way are quite startling.’ Not bad for a cappuccino mousse cake.
Wrong Priority of the Week
Paul Hollywood to Benjamina on her chocolate coffee cup mousse cakes: ‘Oh wow they taste amazing ! It’s a shame they’re not neat.’ If they taste that good, who cares?
Coconut Gamble of the Week
Benjamina’s Pina Colada roulade recipe - ‘pineapple soaked in coconut rum, layered with Coconut mascarpone, and rolled up in coconut sponge.’ Not great if you don’t like coconut.
Pompous Judge of the Week
Paul Hollywood for Jane’s technique with roulade: ‘interesting that you’ve rolled it up that way !’ Let’s not exaggerate.
Ridiculous Judge of the Week
Paul Hollywood for telling Jane: ‘the alcohol in the roulade is almost ruining the flavour.’ Madness.
Merry Berry Lush of the Week
Mary Berry for disagreeing with Paul and declaring ‘I like the whole combination. Perhaps it’s the little bit of tipple in there I like !’
Man Crush of the Week
Mel Giedroyc for sighing: ’That is a lovely, lovely sight ! A man spreading cream on to a sponge ! I’m slightly giddy !’
Of course it depends WHICH man. If it’s Selasi, anything is lovely.
Heading home: Unfortunately, it was curtains for Tom on Wednesday
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