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‘Great British Bake Off’ 80s Week Was a Classic Meltdown

The seventh GBBO of 2020 leaned on its easiest source of drama: heat meeting ice cream

An ice cream cake made of chocolate melting on Great British Bake Off
A molten ice cream cake
Immediate Media/Channel 4

Welcome to the Eater round-up of Great British Bake Off 2020, as Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Matt Lucas, and Noel Fielding return to Channel 4 with the 11th series of cakes, puddings, breads, and inevitable recourse to terrible baking puns. Filmed in a bio-secure coronavirus bubble, producers had originally said that Paul Hollywood’s terrible handshake was cancelled, but somehow, it is still here, as sweaty as ever.

Great British Bake Off 2020 Episode 7, 80s Week, tackled ... the 1980s ... with a signature challenge covering quiche, a technical challenge covering custard doughnuts, and a showstopper covering ice cream cakes. It was, TK, TK.

Here, now, is Great British Bake Off 2020 80s Week, (sort of) as it happened.

Great British Bake Off 2020 80s Week: The Introduction

“Hey Noel, glad we’re on 80s Week now, Japanese Week was an Orientalist mess so it can only get better, right?”

“Yes Matt, this kitschy look back in time at foods that exist before, during, and after the 1980s as our British viewers experienced them is a sure bet.”

That’s not actually what happened in the introduction, but it’s better. Roll it.

Great British Bake Off 2020 80s Week: Signature Challenge

Quiche. Paul Hollywood says “80s, best time ever, still an 80s boy at heart.” Margaret Thatcher’s ghost rises behind his eyes. He dissociates, for a moment.

5:07: Laura’s making pizza quiche. In case viewers have forgotten, Laura has a pizza oven that she mentions in every single character-building ident, she loves her pizza oven, she craves it, she misses it, now it’s in a quiche.

Bit of vintage GBBO drama: it’s hot in the tent, and they’re making pastry. Conditions-related jeopardy has caused some of the show’s greatest moments — it’s one of the elements that the bakers simply cannot outdo. Hermine is going French; Cornish Marc is going fish; Lottie and Dave are pushing it with a full English breakfast quiche.

What is time.

11:35: Some really old fashioned GBBO heat-stress-here. It’s pretty good. Salad quiche. Dave is being his usual snidey self. Shut up, Dave. Hermine seems to have salvaged her quiches having appeared to be royally in the weeds for the whole build up.

13:20: Signature challenge tiers

  • Quiche Lorraine tier: Marc, Peter, Hermine
  • Quiche c’est fine tier: Lottie, Laura
  • Quiche de Pain tier: Dave

Great British Bake Off 2020 80s Week: Technical Challenge

20:12: Custard doughnuts. Deep-frying on a super hot day. Really ideal. Dough that requires rising time and catching at the right proving time on a super hot day. Really ideal.

22:12: Matt Lucas is singing 80s music and everybody wants to die, especially Peter, who was born in the year 2000 and grew up with the formative Blackface of Little Britain.

23:15: It’s the first time Peter has deep-fat fried. Not very surprised. He is a wholesome individual. A shallow-fryer.

25:01: Dave’s doughnuts look like baked potatoes. This, for avoidance of doubt, is incorrect.

36:30: Technical challenge tiers

  • Doughnut tier: Hermine, Marc, Peter
  • Doughnot tier: Laura, Lottie
  • Doughgodno tier: Dave

Great British Bake Off 2020 80s Week: Showstopper Challenge

40:00: Ice cream cake. YES. Frozen desserts have caused some of Bake Off’s greatest moments, including the time when a contestant named Ian threw his whole cake in the bin.

31:47: Hermine is bringing a mango and coconut ice cream cake; Peter is going for Christmas; Laura is considering blowtorching Matt Lucas’ head. Lottie is doing an 80s mixtape, which is a cunning idea, but she’s also coating it in ice cream, which has a serious ring of Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Surely Backfire as Soon as It Is Mentioned of the Week. It’s back! It took a break for Japanese Week, because the Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Surely Backfire as Soon as It Is Mentioned of the Week was Japanese Week itself.

44:07: It’s been ten minutes of melting down; ice cream; people; Paul Hollywood’s hair gel. Dave the troll is still trolling. LEAVE DAVE. LEAVE NOW.

56:00: Showstopper challenge tiers

  • Frozen tier: Marc, Hermine, Peter, Dave
  • Molten tier:
  • Let it go tier: Lottie, Laura

Great British Bake Off 2020 80s Week: Results

Star baker: Hermine.

Going home: Lottie, probably the least popular elimination of the series so far, given Dave and Laura’s more consistently nightmarish weeks (and also the fact that Dave is, according to all evidence on display in the tent and in the tent only, not a great dude.) His tiramisu cake was solid, and that probably saved him. Why does GBBO have three challenges when it judges on one? The world will never know.

Running theme: “Crikey folks, weren’t the 1980s full of kitschy banter and also melting ice cream!”