Great British Bake Off episode 4 2021 – Dessert Week: Pudding week, and the bakers must make a pavlova. Paul Hollywood has a warning: “They could crack… melt, allow water to come out, or indeed collapse,” he says. He’s referring to the meringues, not the bakers.
In fact this lot, as well as being great company on screen, are generally cool in the face of a crisis: “It’s very collapse-y,” sighs one baker of his pavlova, while another notes fairly calmly of her showstopper, “It’s going to go splodge,” as she confronts the inevitability of letting go of it, seeing hours of work subside into tasty gloop.
That showstopper round takes quite a while for Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding to explain, so I won’t try here, but it involves things like joconde imprimé, bavarois, dacquoise… I’m sure you get the picture. It’s fancy. There are layers. The results look richer than Jeff Bezos. But boy, they’re pretty.
Culinary competition in which amateur cooks compete in a variety of culinary challenges, hoping to be crowned Britain’s best amateur baker. Contestants create a wide range of sweets and pastry dishes, before the judges cast a critical eye over their efforts. Each week, the bakers must prepare their own take on a tried-and-tested recipe, complete a technical challenge with minimal instructions, and finally pull out all the stops to create an outstanding showcase of their talents.
There’s no smile like the smile of a baker whose showstopper has worked. After weeks of planning and hours of toiling, the glow of relief when judges love the result is a pleasure to watch – one of the things this show reliably delivers. But it delivers disasters, too… This is biscuit week and the final challenge is to make working replicas of childhood toys. We get gingerbread pinball machines, rocking horses, windmills – even a snooker table complete with balls and cues. They’re creations to gladden the hardest heart – just as long as they don’t fall to biscuity pieces.
Great British Bake Off episode 4 2021 – Dessert Week
Bake Off in the time of a global pandemic is very different behind the scenes as the 12 contestants, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith and presenters Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas leave behind their loved ones to enter their own bubble.
But this sacrifice means that on-screen, fans will be relieved to learn, all is as familiar and comfortable as a well-loved bobble hat. The opening episode is a corker, with a bunch of good-natured, self-deprecating and often brilliant amateurs and the funniest round I can ever recall. It’s the showstopper and it’s hilarious. A fondant Freddie Mercury, anyone?
First up in Cake Week is a Battenberg signature challenge. As new boy and Sandi Toksvig replacement Lucas settles in (very well, actually) there is raw dough, a classic technical challenge, and a catastrophe caused by carelessness at the gingham altar. And yes, of course there are tears.
The elder statesman of Bake Off, Paul is the only member of the team who has been with the show since its very beginning, originally judging alongside Mary Berry until the move to Channel 4 in 2017. Paul also hosts the US version of the programme, The American Baking Competition and has served as head baker at a number of hotels in the UK and abroad, after first beginning his career at his father’s bakery when he was still in his teens.
Although it was Bake Off that really made Paul a household name, he had made some other TV appearances beforehand on shows including The Heaven and Earth Show and This Morning, while since making his name as a judge he has appeared on a number of programmes including his own show Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds.
Paul is known for his often harsh comments and for setting frequently challenging tasks in the signature challenge, while his coveted “Hollywood handshakes” reserved for the very best bakes have become a popular feature of the show.