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17 September 2015

The Great British Bake Off: the five most horrifying moments of Victorian week

Step AWAY from the gelatine.

By Helen Thomas

The Great British Bake Off is always an enriching and delightful sensory experience, but last night it was for all the wrong reasons. I mean I guess once they were baked those raised game pies looked SORT OF delicious, but this week the behind the scenes shots were just way too gruesome to tolerate. Jelly sort of freaks me out a bit, and the Bake Off tent had it in spades last night. It was all the gelatine themed nightmares of your life combined into one hour of soft lighting and dramatic music. Here are the top five most horrifying moments from last night’s episode, which proved why Victorian recipes should have stayed in the 19th century.

When Mat produced a Victorian pie tin that looked like an ACTUAL torturing device

All photos: BBC

Mat’s antique pie tin was borrowed from the mother of his “mate, Dangerous Dave”. Mat failed to give a reason as to why Dave was so dangerous, but I think it might have something to do with this atrocious piece of metal. Looks like something you’d put around the neck of an enemy.

When Ian made gelatine out of pig trotters in the Bake Off tent because, Ian

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Waste not, want not, but as they explained later in the programme, even those economical Victorians didn’t bother with pig hoofs. The bubbling feet soon kicked up a stink and steam in the tent, which Sue Perkins called a “pig’s trotter sauna”. It might sound like an innuendo but the disgust on her face suggested otherwise.

When Ian plated up his jelly

So maybe I’m just a fussy eater but this genuinely looks like the ectoplasm of Satan. There’s no stopping quirky Ian, who, let’s not forget, is the man who brought us squid ink vol-au-vents. Ian made his unappetising jelly to accompany a road kill pie. Delicious.

When Flora overheated her gelatine and created this monstrosity in her pan

So I take my previous comment back. THIS is the ectoplasm of Satan. I know it’s hard to believe but no, that is not the by-product of a sexually frustrated Paul Hollywood, it’s just gelatine. (Uggggghhhh). I don’t know whether that makes things better or worse.

When Tamal counted out eight sheets of gelatine

Just imagine how many pig saunas went into the making of that jelly mixture.


So Mat’s tennis cake disaster wasn’t exactly a Victorian atrocity, but unless you’re a child or an experienced red velvet cake connoisseur, you shouldn’t mess around with food colouring. I sort of regard this as playing with your food. Mind, would you play with that toxic splodge?

And then he baked his royal icing, poor lamb

Yeah, that was a terrible life decision.

And he was pretty chuffed with himself

That is the face of a man who does not know what a terrible food sin he has just committed. Meanwhile, the others put their royal icing in the fridge freezer.

And Paul Hollywood said his cake looked like a “tennis court of Hades”

So yes, it looked like it burned down and became infested with pink and gold iced gems on a bed of toxic waste, but mine would probably have been worse.

The bakers will be back next week for the quarter finals, where they’ll be working with advanced pastry. But who will the judges choux to send home?

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