Great British Bake Off episode 9 2021 – Semi-final Week: Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas present the semi-final in which the amateurs face a trio of patisserie challenges, including a delicate layered slice signature and a regional French classic in the technical. On day two, they must use all their skill and creativity as they serve up a showstopping entremets display. But who will be going through to the final three? Only Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith know the answer.
This year’s series has been a wonderful contest. It’s hard to fathom how brilliant these amateur bakers are (as well as being a nice bunch, it seems) and how they keep piping, melting, folding, whisking, layering, tempering, infusing, chilling and everything else with cameras on them and lights and time pressure – always the time pressure. “It’s multitasking until you almost faint!” says one baker in tonight’s semi-final, steeling herself.
All this despite the presenters butting in at key moments to swap dodgy puns and chit-chat. At one stage Noel Fielding is at a baker’s workstation spinning out one of his comic flights of fancy (something about a trombone and the moon…) and the baker just walks away, focused on the next bit of his recipe. Fair enough, really.
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.
Great British Bake Off episode 9 2021 – Semi-final 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.