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Great British Bake Off Dessert Week: All Bombe and No Bombshell

Terrible meringues, obscure French desserts, and more on a fairly tame week

A chocolate bombe on Great British Bake Off 2019 Dessert Week Channel 4

Welcome to the Eater round-up of Great British Bake Off 2019, as Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding return to the tent for the 10th series of cakes, puddings, breads, and inevitable recourse to terrible baking puns.

Cake week kicked off GBBO 2019; episode 2 tackled biscuits; bread week brought in tear-and-share loaves, baps, and a lot of scoring; and dairy week was all about crying over spilt milk. Episode 5 inadvertently summoned Cthulhu for 1920s/Retro/Great Gatsby/What Even Is This Theme Week, and here is dessert week: A riot of bad meringues, obscure French desserts, and some bomb bombes. Dig in.


00:00: After last week’s tenuous 1920s theme, GBBO returns to solid ground with dessert week. Sugar. Artistry. Flavour. Refinement. Wait a minute, what the f--- is this

01:00: Things are overshadowed somewhat by Helena’s exit last week.

01:30: The intro is — and, this cannot be stressed enough — deeply weird. Noel Fielding does Lawrence of Arabia for a desert / dessert week gag. Some alternative optics:

Helena reveals that she will miss the contestants most “without any doubt.” If that isn’t a subtweet of the judges, then nothing is. Meanwhile, drinks brand Innocent publishes a tweet workshopped in 2018:

03:22: Henry sets the ball rolling: meringue cake? Get out. It’s a pavlova with layers. David is doing a clove, cinnamon, and star anise layered meringue. Paul Hollywood asks if they all go together. Silence. Henry is literally doing a gap year pavlova, inspired by quaint French coastal town, Le Touquet. Michael is doing that awkward thing where people take an awkward situation and say it’s awkward and then make awkward puns about waiting for nuts and it’s very awkward. Rosie is doing a salted caramel, lime, chocolate, and raspberry smoosh.

04:19: Alice is doing a Black Forest Gateau riff; Steph is taking on Eton Mess but doing Eton Elegance. The U.K.’s political commentators take notes in the corner, and the U.K. public can’t shake its obsession with the hidden meanings of brooches, hats, and pins that in fact have little-to-no bearing on events. It’s cute, though.

A newbie joins the party:

7:12: Michael and Priya are both taking the booze route, he with chocolate orange, she with amaretto and blueberry.

Henry fiddles with a blowtorch and threatens to strip if his meringues work. They work. He does not strip. Michael continues making weird, slightly proverbial asides. Henry refers to his meringue as a “stiff boi” without any Twitter irony. There have been no Foolhardy Manoeuvres That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It/They Is Mentioned of the Week. Who will impress the judges? Here’s one:

To be honest most people are still hung up on Helena:

17:00: Signature challenge tiers

  • I bloody did make this myself you charlatan tier: Henry
  • It’s really good, HOWEVER tier: Rosie, Alice, Steph
  • Prue, have you ever seen a f------- Parma Violet tier: Priya
  • Sweaty meringues tier: Michael
  • Heartbreaking tier: David

17:40: Michael’s offering asides every 30 seconds. The show doesn’t need another narrator, buddy. The technical challenge is: verrines. Layered desserts in a glass. No-one has heard of a verrine in the tent, of course.

22:39: Nearly all of the elements require chilling, so, naturally, jokes about wanting to chill abound. Noel’s burnt some prop biscuits in the corner. Now the bakers are pouring out their layers. Maths is happening. No-one can do it. There’s an atmosphere of febrile fear, the kind that grips Boris Johnson’s aide when a paper cup appears.

27:22: Honestly, there haven’t really been any Foolhardy Manoeuvres That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It/They Is Mentioned of the Week yet. It’s strange. Biscuits are being balanced on glasses. Don’t want to diss the Bake Off’s sense of drama, but:

32:20: Technical challenge tiers

  • Layered tier: David, Steph, Henry, Alice
  • Not quite layered tier: Michael, Rosie, Priya

34:12: Alice wins the technical, which means she’ll go home if last week is anything to go by.

39:17: The showstopper is ... A bombe. It’s Michael’s birthday and he’s in danger of going home. He’s going down the Black Forest Gateau route, having put too much chocolate on his signature yesterday. Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week is doing its best to get a showing. Bombes return things to the 1970s, and ...

41:00: Alice is drinking rum and making a tiramisu bombe, taking inspiration from the worst dessert in the world. It is clear who one of the people is:

43:19: Priya is going for a summer fruit number, Henry is doing a bonfire, and Steph is doing a mirror chocolate number with no sponge lining. This introduces jeopardy, but will not be classed as a Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week, because she was won Star Baker twice. David is doing a lemon and shiso leaf (hello) sorbet (wait) which will require extra freezing... Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week! Rosie, meanwhile, is celebrating her parents’ ruby wedding on national TV.

44:20: Michael, David, and Henry are having a chinwag about gelatin. Sandi doesn’t give a toss. Here’s one for the OGs:

47:21: Sandi has some kind of siren megaphone. It’s extremely annoying. Across the Atlantic:

48:29: Alice says “proof is in ... whether or not it turns out” and somehow sidesteps an impeccable pun opportunity.

Here’s some unmoulding news:

Henry: Yup
Priya: Yup
Rosie: Yup
David: Yup
Priya: Yup
Michael: Yup, with a side of silly drama
Steph: Nope ... Yup
Alice: Nope ... Nope ... Nope ... Yup!

50:00: Steph offers some impeccable wisdom, pointing to the fridge: “Things can happen between there and here.” The world, agape, agrees. Meanwhile, FINALLY, Conspiracy Theory of the Week arrives and of course, it’s about Helena:

51:01: Showstopper challenge tiers

  • Bomb bombe tier: Steph, David, Alice
  • Prue seems to have a weird issue with Priya tier: Priya
  • Bombed out tier: Rosie, Michael
  • Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned Of The Week tier: No-one, for the first time!

Judging tweet:

Judgey tweet:

Judgment tweet:

Star baker: Steph, for the third week in a row. Is she going to win? Almost certainly

Going home: Priya.

Running theme: Inconsistent judging, tbh.

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