Great British Bake Off 7 Epsiode 8: Andrew Looks Like Henry VIII’s Son Whilst Paul Hollywood’s Pie Squeezing Game Is Done

As Tudor Week kicks off, will the bakers be divorced, beheaded or die, divorced, beheaded or survive?

Great British Bake Off 7 Epsiode 8: Andrew Looks Like Henry VIII's Son Whilst Paul Hollywood's Pie Squeezing Game Is Done

by Jess Commons |

It’s only Bake Off quarter finals week! To celebrate, Mel are taking things old school. No, REALLY old school. It’s Tudor Week, here to help you achieve that much-lusted-after waist girthage as sported by fitness icon Henry VIII.

There’s only five bakers remaining and TBH, I could never pick a favourite out of such a great bunch of people. Except I have and it’s Selasi. Followed closely by Candice and her colourful range of lipsticks with near-magical mattified staying power. Everyone’s feeling the pressure of being in the final five, especially Selasi who is the only one in the tent left who hasn’t been star baker. No pressure. Candice reckons the final five are like the Spice Girls before Geri left which, in terms of raw singing and dancing talent, is probably true. Especially now Val’s gone.

First up, the bakers are making 'shaped pies' which need to come together to create one *giant *pie to rule them all, in much the same way that Peep Show’s Mark and Jeremy used duct tape to create a remote control overlord device called The Megatron. Andrew is feeling nervous because he thinks he didn’t cover the Tudors at school which is categorically incorrect. Everyone but everyone did the Tudors at school at least once a year, after the Egyptians and before the Victorians, every year from Reception until Year 6. Maybe Andrew just has a terrible memory. A reassuring trait for an engineer. TBF, Selasi doesn’t seem to know much better; he thinks Jane was born in Tudor times which is erm, also not right. Unless Jane is actually Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, back in ghost form to avenge her late husband’s astounding lack of feminist ideologies. That would be cool.

Candice is going literal and making fish-shaped fish pies whilst Selasi's game pies apparently smell so bad Mel and Sue are shoving herbs up their noses to relieve themselves a la the noble classes during the Great Plague. Crazy how trends come back round like that. Jane’s doing some heart shaped pies whilst Benjamina’s ditching Tudor stuff altogether and making chorizo pies. Insert cheap joke here about nobody expecting the Spanish inquisition.

As the pies come out of the oven there’s a myriad of problems; weak pastry, ‘leakage’ and, not helping things in the slightest, is Paul Hollywood who is walking around giving Benjamina’s pies a squeeze. We'll let it slide this time because this time next year, Paul will be sitting on his own on Channel 4 with nobody's pies to squeeze but his own.

When it comes to judging, Jane smashes it with her Tudor rose, although less impressive (possibly due to Paul's squeezing) is Benjamina’s Mexican sun-pie which features 'rushed' pastry. Candices’s fish pies pie doesn’t look very much like a fish, more like an abstract artist's interpretation of a fish but the judges are chuffed with the flavours. Andrew though, Andrew has made a rotating gearbox of pies shaped like cogs, and he nearly wets himself with barely suppressed agitation when Sue attempts to turn the cogs herself. Everyone is very impressed with him. Top marks for over-achieving Andrew, well done.

Next up the bakers are instructed to make ‘jumbles’ which turns out to be bready biscuit versions of those Celtic lower back tattoos everyone got in the 90s. Andrew’s struggling to get his calculations right, again, a really reassuring trait for an engineer. Everyone else is just generally baffled. Is it a bread? Is it a biscuit? How long do they bake them for? How do they make the complicated Celtic designs without their jumbles ending up looking like an actual jumble? It’s not looking good for anyone really. In the end it’s Candice who comes up trumps whilst Jane comes last, followed closely by Benjamina. Andrew is chuffed with the results and reckons he’s going to get more in touch with his Tudor roots, which is ironic because I’ve finally remembered who it is that he reminds me of; Edward the VI, Henry VIII’s son.


As we move into the showstopper round (this is the third-to-last showstopper under Mel and Sue and Mary BTW guys), Paul and Mary reckon it’s all up for grabs which means everything’s going to come down to this final round. The gang’s challenge? A marzipan centrepiece. Which sounds awful. Marzipan is the worst. Marzipan is straight up something that was invented one time as a joke and them someone influential said they liked it so they had to keep making it even though everyone else in the world hated it with the passion of a thousand suns.

Before the bakers get started though we've just got time for Mel and Sue’s history hour! And this week they’ve gone to Hampton Court to learn about how much the Tudors liked sugar. Incidentally, I once went to Hampton Court to learn what happens when you lose the rest of your class and get lost in the maze for three hours until a couple of helpful Spanish tourists find you crying in the corner and usher you to safety. Memories.

Almost as if she knew, Benjamina is actually making a marzipan maze which is something I find triggering and will not be looking directly at. Jane is making a mash-up of swans and also roses, very regal. Andrew is constructing marzipan knights on horses, Selasi is doing a fortress (presumably where he keeps his heart) and Candice is doing a Game of Thrones themed (pea)cock.

The main things the bakers are worrying about as they go about their business is their marzipan cracking (‘crackage’ according to Benjamina) and overbaking and melting. Selasi accidentally breaks his marzipan crown. Lucky for him he’s got a metaphorical crown of his own to fall back on. Candice meanwhile is being distracted by Sue who’s doing an alarmingly good impression of a peacock/us calling for chips on a Saturday morning at 3AM.

As time nears the end the bakers are more panicky than we’ve ever seen them before and, with fiddly painting, collapsing fortresses and caramel that keeps crystallising, it’s a tense few minutes as we come up to judging.

Jane’s swan thing is a work of art and the judges are chuffed with it. Andrew’s attempt to create knights with jousting poles has resulted in something that looks like knights with erm, ejaculating poles. Everyone has a snigger. Benjamina’s maze looks less like it’s made out of hedges and more like it’s made out of green pool noodles, Candice’s peacock looks un-bloody-believable and, from what the judges say, she's nailed it taste-wise too. Selasi gets something of a dressing down, the judges think he hasn’t gone far enough on his decoration and they’re not happy with the cake either.

And in the end it’s Benjamina who is sent packing. Which is a shame because her marzipan tree really was very good. Farewell Benjamina, give us a shout if you’re up for a South London pint and a bitch about Hollywood.

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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