Great British Bake Off episode 9 2020 – Patisserie Week: Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding present this year’s semi-final, the last four bakers facing three patisserie challenges to decide who will be going through to next week’s final. The signature round features plenty of alcohol, while the technical challenge sets the bakers the task of making pastry horns. Finally, for the Showstopper, they must use all the precision they can muster to construct a cake made entirely from smaller cakes.
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Call the confectionery cops, there’s a chocolate crime scene! Divine goo melts, spills and pools on a work bench as punishing heatwave temperatures bring disaster to the tent. It’s patisserie week and the semi-final and of course no one wants to leave just as the big Bake Off prize is within touching distance. But there is trouble ahead…
The four remaining bakers face a harrowing technical challenge, to make a Danish cornucopia cake. Or horn of plenty, which opens the door wide for so many innuendos to come rushing through. And we are looking at YOU, Paul Hollywood. There are tears as the recipe stumps one amateur – “I don’t have a logical brain, I can’t do this” – though Matt Lucas is kind and comforting.
The judges give no quarter, and no credit, for melted horrors caused by the temperature. By the end, there are sweaty, crestfallen baker-faces.
Great British Bake Off episode 9 2020
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?
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.