An entire episode dedicated to caramel was bound to get some stick (see what we did there?), so it came as no surprise that this week’s instalment of The Great British Bake Off drew ire from the ranks of the easily offended.
And from fans such as we, who take our GBBO very seriously indeed.
After an incredibly tricky technical challenge (think “gritty” caramel, sad-looking stroopwafels and an uncharacteristically stern Prue Leith), it was up to the remaining bakers to impress the judges with their very own caramel cake creations.
Liam – the show’s youngest ever contestant – was convinced that he had it in the bag. He’d already wowed in the first challenge with his heady salted caramel and peanut butter shortbreads, scored a respectable third place in the stroopwafel disaster and wooed Paul Hollywood with his plans for the showstopper.
And his white chocolate and ginger cake (with on-trend drippage) came out perfectly: it looked magnificent, it (apparently) tasted truly divine and it earned him praise for his expert use of strong flavours.
Throw in the fact that he was the proud recipient of the patented Paul Hollywood Handshake, and it seemed as if Liam truly had this week’s Star Baker in the bag. Indeed, the cameraman certainly thought so, carefully zooming in on Liam’s expectant little face as presenter Noel Fielding went through the preamble of announcing this week’s winner.
Only, when it came to it, Noel unexpectedly shouted out the name ‘Kate’, and the camera was forced to quickly jerk away from Liam’s face (now crumpling up in disappointment) to Kate’s shocked and disbelieving one.
Sure, the amateur blacksmith had done a good job: her salted bay shortbread was aromatic and delicately patterned and she secured a respectable midway finish in the technical.
And, yes, her sticky toffee apple cake showstopper was quite clearly a winner, topped with brightly coloured fireworks and tasting so spectacular that Prue even asked for the recipe.
Yet, despite all of that, the internet was OUTRAGED that Channel 4 bosses had so cruelly toyed with theirs and Liam’s emotions.
Finally caught up with the end of bake off. Star baker should have been Liam 💯 #gbbo— Sarah Chapman (@sarahchaps21) September 20, 2017
#gbbo OK BAKE OFF. don't be fcking cruel and show Liam's face when Kate is announced as star baker— Galapagos (@nursehorrible) September 20, 2017
#gbbo reading all the tweets and seeing a universal consensus that Liam should have been star baker is music to mah ears 👍🏽— Galapagos (@nursehorrible) September 20, 2017
#gbbo SHUT THE HELL UP!! liam really wanted to get star baker. I'm gonna cry. JUST KEEP BEING GOOD MY LOVE!— Galapagos (@nursehorrible) September 20, 2017
Kate was 6th to Liam's 3rd in technical. How much weight is given to showstopper?! He should have been SB!! #GBBO— Brenna (@BookishBren) September 20, 2017
LIAM WAS ROBBED!!!!!!!! #GBBO— Brenna (@BookishBren) September 20, 2017
Like we said, outraged.
Of course, this isn’t the only ‘scandal’ that’s rocked this year’s season of the show: Ofcom is currently deciding whether to investigate the show after Sandi Toksvig pretended to shut Noel in a fridge.
Meanwhile, the absurd ‘fix’ claims that have been made about two-time star baker Steven Carter-Bailey are still floating around social media – and they’re only being fuelled by the stunning images on his personal Instagram account.
All in all, it makes for great telly. Roll on the next episode.
GBBO continues next Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4
Images: Channel 4/Love Productions