The Great British Bake Off: Series 6: Episode 1

Guys… it’s back!

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In case you don’t know, for the past few years I’ve been writing recaps of the annual BBC reality show The Great British Bake Off, and people seem to enjoy them – if the (delightful) inundation with requests to recap this year’s episodes is anything to go by. I can’t promise recaps will be prompt this year BUT they will definitely happen. I’m not even going on holiday in the middle of the series this time. And it’s now with enormous pictures, because WordPress.

Things start precisely as you’d expect them to: with a pun. PUN KLAXON. And, guys, it’s a weak one. It’s based on ‘warrior’ and ‘worrier’ sounding alike. Things are off to a solid start.

01
They never sort out what they’re doing with their arms. They never do.

As usual, at this stage there are literally dozens of bakers. There doesn’t seem to be any real way of keeping track of them, although some have cottoned onto the fact that an impactful first impression can be made by signature outfits (Hat McGee has nose rings and a hat, at all times – can his scalp have suffered from some industrial burning at some point? Can it?) or being very similar to previous contestants. More on those anon; you should know that I am cheering on Marie, because I drew her name in the office sweepstake.

02
You go, girl!

Tamal – a ‘trainee anaethetist’, which sounds lethal – says it didn’t feel real until they saw the tent. At which point, this building looms into view. Since they haven’t for a moment explained where they are, this seems like an unnecessary waste of taxpayers’ money on a jolly in a helicopter.

Independent enquiry, amirite?
Independent enquiry, amirite?

Oh, no, wait – there the tent is. I take it all back.

Flora (her nickname will come later in this recap) wins my love by showing proper respect for Mary – albeit adding that she wants to “make Mary swallow a piece of my cake”, which couldn’t sound more menacing. But she is so like Martha from last series that I can’t help feel fond of her already.

04

Alvin says simply “Nervous. Really nervous.” which, judging by the promotional images of him that have been released, is simply his nickname. He looks constantly terrified. Sandy, on the other hand – who I’m pretty sure is simply Nancy from last series putting on a slightly different Northern accent – claims that she often inadvertently makes meat pies when trying to make cakes. Well, this bodes well.

The opening credits haven’t changed. The little girl in them must be in her late forties by now.

More panning. More helicopters. Apparently we’re in Berkshire; Mel and Sue are in hoodies. Have they eschewed blazers for this series?! Will Boden go bankrupt?

Never mind.
Never mind.

For the first challenge of the series, they’re making – Madeira cake. Call me foolish, but I didn’t think you could add lots of other flavours to this without making something completely different. I’m with those bakers who make a ‘classic’ Madeira. I.e. a Madeira.

Sandy informs us that her sister’s ‘last words’ were something convoluted and meandering about greasing tins. Well, I guess we may as well fill the moments before passing to a Better Place with sound kitchen advice.

There is something rather alarming about a trainee anaesthetist not being able to use scissors.

YAY! Home videos! The first to get this treatment is Ugne, who lives in Essex with (by happy coincidence) her partner and children. Sadly they couldn’t be in the same shot together, so these have been cobbled together clumsily in Photoshop.

She also loves body-building, being a contract killer, etc.
She also loves body-building, being a contract killer, etc.

Ian also has children; they bounce on trampolines. I was wearing the same jumper that Ian has on, while watching this episode. He waffles on about the rare, exotic ingredients he’s found while travelling in foreign climes – which turn out to be ginger and lime. But anybody who puts ginger, lime, and coconut together is a friend of mine. Oh, and let’s take a moment to welcome back the BBC Colouring Pencils Man.

07

Mat – in what I think might be the only ten seconds of screentime he gets this episode – says he’s making a gin and tonic Madeira cake. Mary’s eyes light up, as does the alarm bell in the producer’s office. Mary’s on the alcs.

My girl Marie bakes almost every day, we are told, ‘much to the delight of her five grandchildren’. Why doesn’t Voiceover Mel ever make any effort to do rudimentary counting?

Or are two grandchildren somewhat less delighted?
Or are two grandchildren somewhat less delighted?

Marie seems like a treasure, and I wholeheartedly applaud Marie, Dorret, and Flora for making classic Madeiras without bells, whistles, or – indeed – any metal at all. Speaking of metal (THIS IS WHAT WE IN THE BUSINESS CALL A SEGUE) Flora’s sister is inexplicably riding a unicycle in her home-life-shot. Which is taken by somebody leaning out of the attic, apparently.

09

Back in the tent: “My chunks are well-dispersed,” says Sandy, trying perhaps a little too hard to be the Nancy of Series 6. Sandy walks through deserted corridors for a living.

10

Her Madeira has apricots and almond liquor, which does sound rather nice. Maybe I was too hasty with my purist judgements about Madeira.

Flora forgot to set her oven, because (wait for it) ‘at home we have an Aga’. Congrats, m’lady, you have earned yourself a nickname for the WHOLE SERIES. (Couldn’t you have made it something quicker to type out, srsly?)

If the baking thing doesn't pan out, Nick Park will have a role for you.
If the baking thing doesn’t pan out, Nick Park will have a role for you.

Paul (the baker) is apparently a prison governor in Swansea who likes making sugar flowers. This is all an elaborate cover-up for the fact that he’s a seldom-employed professional Paul Hollywood impersonator. If he is connected with prisons, he should probably have a word with Ugne, who turns menacingly to the camera and says “looking for crack”. Send in the sniffer dogs, pronto. (But, really, apparently having a single crack along the top of a Madeira cake is Essential, and this episode’s Probably Arbitrary But Somehow Crucial decider. And it’s not even the technical challenge, where these things usually emerge.)

“Famous in Leeds is the three-crack Madeira” confides Sandra, with an accent calculated to be incomprehensible to anybody not from the UK.

Tamal. Now, Tamal, I think you might be my favourite so far. Your showstopper (more on that anon) was fantastic; you seem charming; you don’t freeze rigid with fear whenever Mel or Sue hove into view. But… are you sure you’re allowed to steal medical equipment from work?

He'd better win, because he's definitely been fired.
He’d better win, because he’s definitely been fired.

The aforementioned syringe (obj. 1 in an impending trial, no doubt) is for putting in a rosewater syrup. I am heartily anti rose as a flavour. I’ve got nothing against it as either a flower or a name. Or a past tense.

Confusing the Signature Challenge with the Showstopper Challenge (where prolonged staring at your bake is not only accepted but encouraged), Paul fixes his gaze on his Madeira. Which pretty much underlines how non-showstoppery this challenge is. I’m sure his bake is fabs, but it looks like he’s ogling a lump of clay.

It's probably got a good crack or whatever.
It’s probably got a good crack or whatever.

We interrupt a montage of people spreading, rolling, and candying and (in the case of At Home We Have An Aga, apparently adding tomatoes) with a shot of Marie drying pans.

BBC budget cuts hit hard. Poor Tamal is stuck wielding a boom mic.
BBC budget cuts hit hard. Poor Tamal is stuck wielding a boom mic.

Since you’ve seen so few images of actual food so far in this recap – knock yourself out:

15

Mary does a candied fruit drop test. It’s glorious. She’s trolling the show now.

Faaaaar too many people to tell you what Mary and Paul said about them all, but Nadiya, Tamal, Marie, and At Home We Have An Aga do well, Ian and Stu do badly (‘wallpaper paste’ / ‘everything’s wrong’), everyone else fall somewhere in between. Marie, fyi, has a wonderful line in anxious shifty-eyes, which are impossible to show aptly here. Take my word for it. She also seems a complete sweetie.

No History of Cake, guys. Have we… have we learned everything there is to know about cake?

Straight onto the technical challenge – which is one from Mary’s mind. It’s a walnut cake. I’m liking the simplicity of today’s challenges; things that people might actually want to make at home. No fondant fancies here. I mean, yes, they’ve picked something entirely to say ‘nuts’ as often as possible, but swings and roundabouts.

And suddenly the inspiration for Artex ceilings becomes clear.
And suddenly the inspiration for Artex ceilings becomes clear.

“Where could they go wrong?” Paul queries. “They have to make a sponge mix,” starts Mary, somewhat underestimating the ability housed in the tent. She also sounds quite croaky in this scene, and I find myself wishing she were wearing a scarf and/or downing Strepsils by the packet. Then I remember: she’ll doubtless have a hipflask of whiskey within arm’s reach.

Have YOU ever wondered the correct size for a chopped walnut? Have you? No? Well, prepare yourself to fast-forward through a few minutes of in-depth discussion on the topic. Or pause on this shot, which Mat (or Ian?) proudly and unquestioning labels the perfect size.

"I don't see how it can't be," he adds, demonstrating an alarming lack of imagination.
“I don’t see how it can’t be,” he adds, demonstrating an alarming lack of imagination.

The downside to a simple challenge is that there isn’t very much to say. We all know how to make a sponge cake. Even Mel’s breathless prognostications about the dangers of not knowing precisely how long to leave them in the oven leave this particular viewer in no state of distress. Crystallising sugar is the pinnacle of the difficulties. We pan from pan to pan (*bows* thank you – no, thank you) until we land on Alvin’s.

Spoilers: he spends the rest of the episode making this caramel over and over again, Sisphyus-esque.
Spoilers: he spends the rest of the episode making this caramel over and over again, Sisphyus-esque.

Stu goes off-piste with measurements for water, ignoring the fist-clenching alarums and discords from Mel, hovering over his shoulder. Has he seen the show before?

Alvin’s cake has slid to one side, for the prosaic reason that his shelf was at an angle. “Could you prop it up on some walnuts?” offers Mel, appearing from nowhere. Has she seen the show before? Alvin, being a nice man, simply pretends he hasn’t heard her. To her credit, she quickly acknowledges that the idea was ridiculous.

19

At Home We Have An Aga manages to concertina one of her layers, but the lack of attention paid to this by the cameraman is forewarning of greater disasters to befall the tent… in some episodes this would be given a ten minute montage from all angles, complete with interviews from all and sundry afterwards.

20

The oompah oompah Big Band are playing to their hearts’ content, and that must mean that the challenge is OVER. It’s a pretty impressive spread (though Stu’s caramelised walnuts became something more like brittle, and he was only able to dig one out). As always, the anonymity of the bakers is made a mockery of by their gurning and wincing while the judging takes place. Paul and Mary keep calling something ‘granular’, and I can’t work out whether they mean the icing or the sponge.

Anyway, some fairly uninspiring judging later, Nadiya and Stu are the bottom two – Marie, Alvin, and Ugne are our top three. Alvin looks very anxious about this. In the interview afterwards, he says “I’m pleased” in the tones of one undertaking a lie detector test with a penalty of death.

Back into the tent for the final challenge, and the establishing shot shows… this filthy sieve!

No *wonder* Marie has taken to doing her own dishes.
No *wonder* Marie has taken to doing her own dishes.

Paul and Mary talk about the fortunes of the bakers so far, while we see the bakers put on their aprons, seemingly over and over again. Paul – for avoidance of doubt – lets us know that walnuts should be cut in eighths, and no larger. He also entirely ignores everything Mel and Sue say to him, as per.

The Showstopper Challenge is a Black Forest Gateaux. Marie thinks wistfully of her youth, while At Home We Have An Aga says she hasn’t heard of it, but when she’ll ask for one when she turns 14 next birthday.

Tamal – and this is where he becomes my favourite – is planning to make this beauty. It also strikes me that the BBC Colouring Pencils Man’s approach feels a bit like that of a child who, worrying that people may not be able to identify his horse and cowboy from artistic merit alone, adds explanatory arrows to the side.

22

Hat McGee is making a Purple Forest Gateaux which, if anything, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Black Forest is.

Beetroot. More like beetNO.
Beetroot. More like beetNO.

Dorret – watch this space – is making two types of sponge, and a mousse. “It makes a very dense, rich sponge,” she says – dense being, of course, what everyone wants from a sponge.

Everything that everyone is making sounds delish. Nobody is trying a cardamom-based spin on it, nobody feels inspired to see what would happen if they used pineapple instead of cherry. The experimenting is minor, and I approve of it. Sandy talks of having recently made one that was “powerful”, whatever she might mean by that, and describes herself as “a bit random with a trendy twist”.

I mean, sure.
I mean, sure.

“I’m happy with the overall appearance,” says Alvin mournfully. Hat McGee has burnt his cakes a bit. And Marie staunchly ignores Mel comparing her with Rod Stewart. Who wants to be compared with Rod Stewart in this day and age? Not even Rod Stewart. Wisely, Marie is more concerned with Paul’s lack of enthusiasm for her envisaged cascading ganache.

25

One of my highlights is Paul (the Baker) and his complete lack of humour about security at the prison where he works. Sue reverses out of her joke so quickly that… if I knew more about cars I’d make a decent joke here.

Things aren’t going swimmingly over with Nadiya, whose cake looks like she accidentally baked a hamster into it.

26

And then we get to our annual explanation of what tempering chocolate is. I’d quite like to compare each year’s explanation, and see if they’re the same wording each time.

Lots of people are making trees. Ian is making… elephants. Sue’s quizzing on the topic doesn’t bring anything that could be considered a reason.

Well, why not?
Well, why not?

Alcohol is poured copiously, buttercream is piped, layers are… layered. And we linger for some time on Dorret putting her mousse in the fridge. Mel resiliently makes references to forests that are intended to be innuendos, but don’t quite mean anything at all, on any level. And then…

28

Guys – it’s genuinely heartbreaking. The camera lingers on Dorret’s face as she whispers “no”, and I want to reach into my TV and give her a hug. Luckily Sue is there in my stead, and comforts her. “That doesn’t mean you’re going to go home,” she says – which should be a barefaced lie, but… well, spoilers. I love that Sue is so nice to Dorret, rather than waving a bin towards her with HEADLINES gleaming in her eyes.

29

Judgement time! So many wonderful looking cakes; I will restrict myself to showing only three that I loved the look of. And… Dorret’s.

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31

33

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A mixed bag of critiques, as you might expect. Despite Mary’s assurances that Dorret’s will doubtless taste lovely, she is quickly overruled by Paul’s declaration that it is like rubber. Marie, Tamal, and At Home We Have An Aga do well. And so on and so forth. It’s getting late. The bakers wander around outside in the cold while Mary and Paul repeat the whole show in brief.

So! The winner is….

34

And going home is…

35

Somehow Dorret lives to fight another day, and Hat McGee takes his hat back to Hatshire.

It’s nice to be back, guys! Hope you enjoyed the recap, and I’ll see you next week.

51 thoughts on “The Great British Bake Off: Series 6: Episode 1

  • August 7, 2015 at 10:48 pm
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    “I’ve got nothing against it as either a flower or a name. Or a past tense.”
    Love it.
    Been looking forward to these recaps almost as much as I was looking forward to the series! Glad you are continuing.
    Did you know BBC Pencils Man is on Twitter at @twistedloaf? He auctions off his cakey drawings too…

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:44 pm
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      Aw, thanks Yvann!
      I did remember that he was on Twitter, but couldn’t remember what his handle was – thanks for the reminder :)

  • August 7, 2015 at 10:50 pm
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    I’ve read your Great British Bake-Off comments for maybe a couple of years, but I never actually saw the TV program until our local public television station ran it last year. It was interesting, mildly, and I did think about working more seriously on my scones–which my granddaughters seem to love now–but that was about all I took away from the show. I’ve always been a Madeira cake fan, however, so maybe that’s what I’ll work on this year. Ditto Black Forest Cake, one of which I had made by a Swiss visitor to my town some years ago and which was stunningly delicious. So now I may attempt the Madeira cake as it’ll probably be some time before we get the actual program. I can’t help but wonder, Simon, how long it’ll be before YOU are on this program. KWK

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm
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      I am definitely inspired to make a walnut cake soon; they looked so yummy. But the standard in the tent is FAR above me now – I did consider applying after the first series, but wouldn’t think of it now.

  • August 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm
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    I’ve been calling her “My Sister Rides A Unicycle” (I was reminded of The Philadelphia Story when Katherine Hepburn’s wonderful little sister dances into the room in toe-shoes, speaking French) but I think “At Home We Have An Aga” is even better. Or perhaps Martha2. I think your girl Marie will go far, and she’s a sweetie. I’m very fond of Tamal, Alvin, Dorrit, At Home We Have An Aga, and a few whose names I’m not sure of yet!

    Thank you for continuing to give us recaps; I look forward to them as much as to the show itself!

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm
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      Another great nickname! She clearly attracts them. I would love to know the discussion with the producer that led to the unicycle appearing… (and must watch The Philadelphia Story, clearly).

      And thanks, Kara :)

  • August 8, 2015 at 4:26 am
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    Oh my gosh, I saw this post’s title, and ran myself off to youtube, as I across the big pond in Canada did not know this had started again. Last year, PBS showed the last season, and I went back and watched all the first shows! I’ve been making biscuits (your scones) and pastry ever since. They probably won’t show this until the winter here. But now I know the trick!

    Now I’ve come back and enjoyed your recap. Hey, Rod Stewart played in PEI this summer – two pop references to him in one year? I’m so excited for a new season!

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:04 pm
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      Yay! It has been the talk of the office here for ages – I love how much it dominates the nation’s consciousness (or at least 10 million of us).

  • August 8, 2015 at 9:13 am
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    I’m very relieved Hipster Stu went home. Unless you’re an Orthodox Jew or a 1920s Chicago mobster, you should not be wearing a fedora.

    My favourite is Jumper Mat. I’m hoping a cardigan makes an appearance soon too! I cannot resist a man in knitwear.

    I also like At Home We Have An Aga, Sandy/Nancy as well as The Other Paul (who, by the way, is so far superior to Original Paul it’s not even funny).

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:05 pm
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      I don’t know if I could have coped with the hat for another episode. But I missed the jumper and – having been such a fan of Scottish James’ range of pullovers – I’ll have to watch more carefully next episode.

  • August 8, 2015 at 9:59 am
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    Wonderful! I liked random Sandy, I thought she was very droll and Victoria Woodish. At Home We Have An Aga is a little too peppy (is that the right word) for me after Martha. Marie and Tamal are both up there for me too.

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:05 pm
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      She was so like Victoria Wood, wasn’t she! I meant to mention that. I’m surprised Victoria Wood hasn’t done a spin on GBBO somewhere (or maybe she has?)

  • August 8, 2015 at 11:29 am
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    Watching this series again I find my questions from last time are still not answered. namely 1. what is the name of the glue with which Mary’s hair is stuck in place. It never moves, not even a centimetre 2. does Paul have a quota for the number of times he has to say the word Mary? You;d have thought he would have remembered his co-hosts name by now so why does he keep repeating it.

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm
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      Haha! These are the questions that MUST be answered. Does Points of View still exist? Can Terry Wogan answer these questions?

  • August 8, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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    Oh good, I’ve been waiting for this. Now I’m going to have to search for dodgy websites again to actually watch the episodes (Hey BBC, how about letting Europeans watch this show as a means to increase the UK’s soft power?) but needs must.

    Won’t read the recap until I do but am already wondering if there will be anyone able to fill the Luis-shaped hole in my heart …

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:07 pm
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      And DID anybody fill the Luis-shaped hole properly??

      • August 10, 2015 at 11:23 am
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        Not yet but it’s early days. Can’t give my heart away this lightly, can I now? :)

  • August 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm
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    My main concern was that they seem to have picked new contestants solely to match up to the contestants of last year… Mat even tried styling the pencil on the ear (briefly, the cameraman warned him not to overdo it on week 1, I imagine)… except for Norman! Where is this year’s Norman, Beeb?? Or are we about to promote the autobiog of the original? Give us SOMEthing, for the love of cake!

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm
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      I meant to mention the pencil! Yes, it didn’t last long, did it?

  • August 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm
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    So happy that both the show and your reviews are back! Based on first impressions, I’m rooting for Tamal, Flora, and Marie.

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm
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      Thanks Claire! They are a great trio to back.

  • August 8, 2015 at 4:35 pm
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    I think what happened there is that Nadiya accidentally previewed her Iron Age hill fort cake for week two. It’s a shame because they are the devil to get right.

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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      Ah! Suddenly it all makes sense, yep.

  • August 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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    I realise you do not like dissent in any way,shape or form Simon but i feel GBBO has become stale and past its sell by date.

    • August 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm
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      Sorry you feel that way, Tina. No obligation to watch it, of course!

  • August 8, 2015 at 9:13 pm
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    So so happy this is back. Great round up Simon. (My favs so far Marie and Nadihya,) and thought Paul’s lack of humour hilarious and a bit embarrassing.

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:50 pm
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      Thanks Ali, that’s lovely of you!
      I want more of Paul’s lack of humour…

  • August 8, 2015 at 10:42 pm
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    It’s got to be Tamal for me. And don’t be rude about trainee anaesthetists – that’s what I am for the next three months!! Xx

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm
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      Haha! Sorry Tamal and Rosie! x

  • August 9, 2015 at 11:53 am
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    Yay the GBBO blogposts are back! Enjoyed this episode – also like Mat in the jumper, Aga girl (how do these young precocious bakers manage not to be appalling?) and of course Marie. Marie FTW. If Prison Paul doesn’t have some kind of file in cake reference in one of his bakes at some point I will be really disappointed.

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:49 pm
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      Thanks Miriam :) I must keep an eye out for Mat’s knitwear in the next episode…

      And it is impressive that both Martha and Flora have managed to be lovely, despite precocious possibilities.

  • August 9, 2015 at 12:24 pm
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    I take it all back, it seems GBBO now has its own dedicated youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1zOl35Uif8). Well done, BBC. They even uploaded last year’s episodes in full.

    You’ve done well with Marie — I think she’s the capable one, so I actually think of her as this year’s Nancy.

    At Home We Have An Aga (AHWHAA) remids me of a character from Orange is the New Black, the one with the imaginary fiancé.

    I loved that Alvin was able to rescue his lopsided cake — he must have cut it very skillfully and then put the layers together differently.

    Other than that, I think this about sums it up:
    https://twitter.com/amolrajan/status/629034775962066945

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm
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      I can’t believe Alvin got away with the lop-sided cake! Mary and Paul will be kicking themselves when they watch the episode…

    • August 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm
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      It still works here. I’m guessing it’s blocked in countries where it is being shown on TV and available in those where it’s not (possibly with a view to building an audience).

      • August 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm
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        I think you’re right, Susan – quite a few UK programmes do that. I’m glad you’re able to watch it!

  • August 9, 2015 at 9:30 pm
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    Loved the recap – I’ve been looking forward to your recaps as much as I have to the return of the series.

    Thanks to twitter I’ve seen that Howard (from Series 4) has also done a recap of the first episode of series 6 (link below). With pictures. And jokes about Mary’s alcoholic tendancies. Surely inspired by your blog? (I prefer the original and the best Stuck in a Book version of course).

    http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/features/great-british-bake-off-2015-e1-cake-week

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm
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      Thank you so much!
      I hadn’t spotted that Howard had a recap blog, but there is nobody finer from the tent’s history to do it. He’s such a treasure.

  • August 9, 2015 at 9:58 pm
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    Thank you, thank you for your recaps…a real treat. I can’t say yet who my favourite is, it’s much too soon. I look forward to your recaps as much as the programme itself.

    Kind regards

    Jean Little

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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      Thanks Jean, that’s kind of you! I’m looking forward to seeing how the personalities develop over the weeks – and hope Marie comes out of her shell a bit.

  • August 10, 2015 at 9:34 am
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    Hurrah! Having this blog back is like an old friend after a year’s absence :-)
    My fave of the week: Beetroot. More like Beet-NO. And loving the AHWHAA moniker.

    Lastly, because Pedants Anonymous:
    “The Showstopper Challenge is a Black Forest Gateaux”
    a Black Forest Gateau, or multiple Black Forest Gateaux, I think?
    But then, I did French for A-level and never get to show off about it, so, thanks for the opportunity ;-)

    • August 10, 2015 at 11:17 am
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      Well, if we’re going there, I’ll never understand why this goes by a French name in English. It’s a friggin’ German forest, it’s a friggin’ German liquor and it’s a friggin’ German cake! Nothing gateau about it.

      I’d like you all to practice saying Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte now (a real missed opportunity for Mel and Sue, don’t you think?).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Forest_cake

  • August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    But had you noticed that Sandy is a *dead ringer* for the deranged chemist lady in Doc Martin?? Conspiracy theories fly…..

  • August 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm
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    “dense being, of course, what everyone wants from a sponge.” I am currently crying, very quietly, at my desk

  • August 10, 2015 at 9:04 pm
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    Thank you for the recap Simon – the highlight of the week. (Apart from GBBO itself, of course, and the Extra Slice – according to which Madeira cakes do NOT need a crack. That was something to do with old ovens)
    At the risk of exercising my jinx so early (and it is real, everyone I gave my allegiance to last year promptly crashed out – had the same effect on the Great British Sewing Bee) my initial favourites are Nadiya, Tamal and At Home We Have An Aga.

  • August 11, 2015 at 2:54 pm
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    Your GBBO recaps should be published in book form. Your christening of “At Home We Have An Aga” is priceless. Carry on, Simon!

  • August 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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    Fabulous blog – thank you!

  • August 12, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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    I’m so worried for Mary’s dentures. The look of fear and trepidation as she bit into this week’s biscotti. Perhaps the BBC hasn’t got her insured for occupational dental hazards?

    • August 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm
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      Imagine if the Teeth of a National Treasure had shattered *live* on TV!!!

  • August 14, 2015 at 2:27 am
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    We won’t get series 6 in the US for ages yet, if ever, but I’ve been reading your recaps from series 5, which are DELIGHTFUL. I would never ordinarily use the term LOL, but truly, I have L-edOL.

  • August 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm
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    I’m worried about the hamster.

Comments are closed.

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