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GBBO: welcome to a very sweaty 80s week in the Bake Off tent

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Helen Bownass
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As the Bake Off contestants melt in 80s week, here’s what we made of episode seven. Warning: spoilers ahead.      

It’s 80s week in the Bake Off tent. And, while the bakers were transported back 40 years – many of them into an era they weren’t even born in, the episode sent me on my very own trip down memory lane, too…

Hot weather was nice, wasn’t it?

In case you didn’t notice from the constant references, it was hot in the tent. Like boiling, baking, sweating a layer of skin off warm. In fact the eipsode took place on the third hottest day on record. The mixers were over-heating. People were sweating through aprons (apparently that’s a thing). The pasty had a meltdown. Ice-cream was dripping out the freezer. Lottie, who wasn’t holding back at any point tonight, complained: “This is extreme baking. An insane amount of heat, now it’s really windy. I feel like we should get more out of this than some doughnuts.” Prue even took her flouro blazer off!

And yet all I could think was about how lovely it would be to feel heat on my skin again. Even if you were standing over a deep fat fryer, throwing doughnut batter into it, in 35-degree heat, it would be just the warming boost we all need. 

GBBO: Noel Fielding and Marc
GBBO: Noel Fielding and Marc

Heat = filth

I think I forgot that when temperatures ramp up, so too do the general smut levels. Tonight we had Noel saying “E.T. is definitely on Grindr”; many phallic references about finger doughnuts including:  “I don’t think that’s six inches is it? it looks very large” and even Prue reprimanding Paul for talking about stripping: “You peeling your jeans off is not what I want to think about.” Me neither Prue.

The 80s were a long time ago…

The first shock of the night was that Peter was born in 2000. I know it’s boring when people go on about feeling old, yet somehow it blows my mind that someone who was born in the millennium is on TV and creating cakes and pastries that I could never create. Time passes, that’s the nature of the world. It might be time for me to learn to accept it. 

GBBO: Dave
GBBO: Dave

 Life was better when I didn’t know about egg flavoured quiche

Tonight the bakers had to make two savoury quiches. One of Dave’s offerings was an English breakfast quiche. Which sounded quite amenable until I head the phrase: scrambled egg in an egg custard. Sorry, but that’s not OK! Even Prue, the baking optimist, had a less than complimentary reaction to it. 

Dave wasn’t the only one ruining quiches for everyone. Lottie also added baked beans to one of her quiches. It’s a hard no from me and Prue who had to promise to try to “taste it as if we have no prejudices at all.’ 

GBBO: Laura
GBBO: Laura

I miss France

I have no real connection to France, but currently I miss anywhere that’s not the walls of my flat. But Hermine – who had a brilliant star baking week and pulled it out the bag in every round, despite her own expectations – talking about what she missed about the country, made me feel nostalgic. “I miss the food, the booze, the cheese, then my family,” she said. Also proving that she is a woman with her priorities in the correct order. 

GBBO: Lottie
GBBO: Lottie

Are ice-cream cakes another thing I missed out on?

I was born in 1980, and the only thing I have ever eaten that resembles an ice-cream cake is a Viennetta (aka the king of corner shop desserts). But now I’m worried that everyone else was tucking into epic many flavoured and elaborately constructed cakes made of ice-cream. And if that’s the case then what else did I miss out on? It’s like never getting a Mr Frosty or Girl’s World all over again…

Speaking of things I’ll feel the loss of: Lottie will be a much missed presence from the tent after her ice-cream cake turned hellish chocolate flood, saw her ejected tonight. Leaving a teary Laura to fight another week. An apt metaphor for 2020 I suspect. 

Images: Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off is on All 4