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Great British Bake Off Goes Back to the 1920s and Accidentally Summons Cthulhu

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Lovecraftian custard, bad beignets, and more

Great British Bake Off Episode 5: Cthulhu arrives Great British Bake Off/Twitter

Welcome to the Eater round-up of Great British Bake Off 2019, as Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding return to Channel 4 with the 10th series of cakes, puddings, breads, and inevitable recourse to terrible baking puns.

Cake week kicked off GBBO 2019; episode 2 tackled biscuits for biscuit week; bread week brought in tear-and-share loaves, baps, and a lot of scoring; and dairy week was all about crying over spilt milk. Here, now, is Great British Bake Off 2019 Episode 5, 1920s/Retro/Great Gatsby Week, (sort of) as it happened: Lovecraftian custard tarts, bad beignet, and various other 1920s crutches that don’t make much sense at all.


01:30: This is officially “Roaring Twenties” week. Alternatively: Great Gatsby week. Jazz week. Prohibition week. Prohibited prorogation week. The show has been on for 30 (thirty) seconds:

01:45: Michelle confesses she thought the show was a turn up, bake, go home kind of deal. She. Was. Wrong. Noel Fielding’s shirt is covered in dogs. They’re making highly decorative custard pies. Is this going to turn into ... A comedy? The baking tests: shortcrust pastry; custard; decoration with a 1920s theme??? Henry is wearing a tie again. Helena is doing an Ancient Greek sea creature, obvi. The Call of Cthulhu was published 1928. It checks out. Henry is doing Kool Aid, with an overly long and complex explanation.

Rosie gets an unfortunate soundbite about “impressive domes” — who let Paul in the cutting room?

05:22: Steph sees Paul Hollywood looming over here like a predatory old baker at a bakery. She’s also adding “more zest” to a tarte au citron. Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned Of The Week could be here already. Michelle is doing stuff from her Welsh garden in Wales where she lives because she is Welsh.

06:22 Alice is going for the chocolate and orange route. David says bone marrow custard doesn’t light his fire. Fergus Henderson weeps in the corner. Paul Hollywood doesn’t know who he is. It’s quite awkward.

08:19: Michael, who has spent most of the competition cutting his finger, weeping, or both, is doing a mango, lime, and ginger number. Priya is doing lemon and raspberry. Michael has said “there’s a lot going on” a lot of times.

10:12: Henry froze something last week and it didn’t set because he kept opening the freezer. He keeps opening the freezer. Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the ... NO WAIT ROSIE DROPPED HER TART IT’S A BLOODBATH IT’S PURPLE AND GREEN IT’S BORIS JOHNSON AFTER TODAY’S SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT. The “tfw” and “no-one:” memes will be in soon enough.

And, right on cue, Conspiracy Theory of the Week is here.

17:00: Signature challenge tiers

  • That’s a custard pie tier: David, Steph
  • If there were more custard it’s perfect but there isn’t tier: Michael
  • Paul: “Orange extract? Are you a pleb?” Tier: Alice
  • Soapy Cthulu tier: Helena
  • Boiled custard tier: Priya
  • Mehhhhhh tier: Michelle, Henry
  • Foolhardy, Possibly Staged, Definitely Embarrassing Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week But With Some Redemption tier: Rosie

17:40: Has anyone else noticed that the “words of advice” for the technical challenge are just various riddles that amount to: “make this thing you’ve never done to f---ing perfection with no real instruction, you damned oiks.” It’s beignets. Choux. New Orleans. Powdered sugar. Cafe du Monde. Wait. No. Jam. And sabayon. Why.

24:30: Technical is going extremely badly. Choux pastry is causing serious issues. White poop emojis are everywhere. Noel references Face/Off but not very accurately. John Travolta and Nic Cage, watching, are furious.

27:22 Michael and David are both finding it difficult to get their choux stiff enough. They’re making it again. The same way. It hasn’t improved. Do the same thing twice expecting a different result of the week might have to become a new category. WAIT Michael is weeping again.

A week late, bud.

32:00: We’ve got a sabay-guy. There’s also an issue. The judges keep saying they’re baked through. They were fried. Fried.

36:20: Technical challenge tiers

  • Ctulhu influences the judging tier: Helena
  • Aerated tier: Henry, Priya, Steph, Rosie, Alice
  • Burnt and raw tier: David, Michael

Extremely correct point of order:

34:32: The showstopper is here, and it’s Prohibition cakes. Michael is making a Bramble. Helena is doing Dracula, despite the fact it was done in 1897, not 1922. Nosferatu was 1920s though. Anyway: Red velvet. Raspberry. Vodka. Bat wings.

41:22: David is doing an amaretto sour cake, having never drunk an amaretto sour. Michelle is recreating a pina colada, having, she says, drunk many, many pina coladas. Paul confesses his love for them, and also, getting caught in the rain. Alice is doing one too. Steph is doing one too. Henry namedrops a well-known supermarket frequently stereotyped as middle class. He’s doing a coffee cocktail cake, as is Rosie.

46:00: Michael reveals that he is not looking for a boozy flavour in his Prohibition era, cocktail-inspired cake. Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned Of The Week is here.

48:01: Showstopper challenge tiers

  • Prohibition tier: Rosie
  • Pina Colada tier: Alice, Priya, Steph
  • Got caught in the rain tier: Henry, Michelle
  • Buttercream’s quite grainy and I don’t like that in a buttercream tier: David
  • Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned Of The Week tier: Michael

Judging tweet:

Judgey tweet:

Honestly quite confused by the progression from individual judging to discussion. They often don’t scan at all.

Star baker: Steph, for the second week in a row.

Going home: Helena and Michelle.

Bit of a shocker again. Helena won the technical and did well in the showstopper. It could have been Priya, perhaps even Michae-

Running theme: How it’s pretty hard to spin a theme out of an entire decade.

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