‘Great British Baking Show’ S8 E7 recap: “Is it hot in here or is it just the 80s?”
So…how are we all feeling? Has the week been normal for everyone or…uh… extremely not normal? Has there been something monumentally important happening in the United States political system that’s been weighing on you mentally? Let’s take refuge in the steamy insanity that is 80’s week in the middle of one of Britain’s famous heat waves on “The Great British Baking Show.”
My name is Daniel Trainor, and I actually wasn’t alive in the 80’s because I am 14-years-old.
I’m Sam Stone, and, while Daniel did steal my opening joke, I won’t hold it against him (when will I be canonized @Pontifex?).
SS: We would be remiss to not address the elaborately produced E.T. themed opening in this week’s episode. Suffice it to say Matt Lucas was wearing what I can only assume was the world’s most expensive wig, and there somehow wasn’t even one mention of Reese’s Pieces. Leave it to the Brits to absolutely massacre American pop culture nostalgia.
DT: One wonders what 80’s Week could mean on this show other than a bust of Margaret Thatcher made out of fondant, meringue, and clotted cream.
SS: As we ramp up for the Signature Challenge, our bakers share what the 80’s mean to them, and it’s absolutely no surprise at all when we learn that Laura’s recently had a 80’s-themed birthday party. I bet her Carole Baskin Halloween costume was amazing this year.
DT: Marc’s best memory from the 80’s was…learning to drive. What a wild man!
SS: And Peter was born in the year 2000, so in addition to difficulty in 80’s week, it appears that he may also have difficulty remembering print journalism.
DT: For the record, also born in the year 2000: my sexual awakening after seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Beach.”
SS: For this week’s Signature Challenge, our bakers are tasked with making eight quiches of two different savory flavors, which, I gather, were a thing in Britain in the 80’s? This show, if I’m being honest, is a mystery to me.
DT: Prue is, at this point, just wearing a baby’s toy around her neck and calling it fashion. She’s going to walk in next week with a Skip It around her ankle.
SS: Another reference Peter wouldn’t understand!!! Anyone who is younger than me does not deserve success.
DT: It’s very hot inside the tent. Laura makes a joke about it being like “Satan’s kitchen” and then eagerly looks around for uproarious laughter that never arrives.
SS: It’s easy to rag on Laura, but to be fair we are doing precisely the same thing in writing these recaps.
DT: Hermine, continuing to operate under her own rules, says “I don’t cook by time, you see” in a timed cooking competition.
SS: It’s at this point in the show that we, the lucky audience, get to watch Noel make a Grindr joke about beloved childhood icon E.T. which was like watching someone very slowly drive their car into a telephone pole. 80% of the way through the joke it’s clear that he doesn’t want to land on a Grindr punchline, but he’s for some reason powerless to stop himself.
DT: We have a lot to say about the E.T./Grindr discourse, which will all be in our upcoming e-book “E.T. Phone Homo” available on Amazon for free.
SS: As the challenge begins, Laura exclaims “who doesn’t love quiche?!” to which I would like to publicly respond: “everyone, Laura.” There’s a war going on between quiche and frittata and I, for one, am firmly Team Frittata.
DT: Meanwhile, Dave is attempting to invent the world’s first scrambled egg and custard quiche. Who do you think you are, Dave? Hermine? Baking genius Hermine?
SS: He and Lottie are also making dueling English Breakfast quiches, which is how I assume most property disputes are settled in the UK. The English Breakfast Quiche War of 2020 comes down to their respective fillings. To bean, or not to bean? That is the question.
DT: Prue hates baked beans, but she’s going to eat Lottie’s filling, unlike Paul, who threw an absolute tantrum at the mere sight of baby pickles last week.
SS: Despite being a culinary wizard, Hermine is tragically behind and she’s worried her quiches won’t cook, until Laura has the genius idea of…turning up the oven’s temperature? These bakers. Their minds!
DT: In true Hermine fashion, however, she pulls off fantastic critiques after running around the tent screaming “I don’t know what I’m doing!” for an hour-and-a-half.
SS: It’s a pretty even judging across the board except for Dave, whose spices are too strong for Prue’s delicate British palate.
DT: It’s time for the Technical Challenge and apparently nothing says 80’s like custard and jam finger doughnuts?
SS: What the hell and fuck are “finger doughnuts?” Sounds like an after prom activity for two Midwestern teens.
DT: Just call these “finger doughnuts” what they really are: custard hot dogs!!!!!!
SS: If you think you’re too good to eat round doughnuts, you are in fact a bourgeois, elitist, toxic class traitor. And that’s not my opinion, that’s a Karl Marx QUOTE, hon.
DT: PERIODT! THAT’S THAT ON THAT! PERIODT!
SS: Yes! Slay! Iconic girl boss Karl Marx!!!!
DT: It’s blisteringly hot inside the tent again, which begs the question: do they not have air conditioning in the UK?
SS: Dave bungles his doughnuts by leaving them in the fryer for too long, and Laura’s doughnuts are messier than the judges would like to see. Lottie’s doughnuts are middling at best, and she needs an amazing Showstopper to stay safe this week.
DT: Baking empress Hermine wins the Technical, continuing her streak of being better than all of the other contestants combined.
SS: In our Showstopper Challenge this week, bakers will have to make an ice cream cake on the hottest day of the year! Tension is mounting! Nothing has been this tense for me in recent memory!
DT: Ice cream cake, for me, is synonymous with being at a Pizza Hut for the birthday party of a kid from your third-grade class named Blake S. when somebody’s mom walks in with a box from Baskin Robbins and the whole place fucking erupts.
SS: Not only am I lactose intolerant, but I also did not have birthday parties growing up so I would coldly remind you to check your privilege.
DT: After putting scrambled eggs inside his quiche, Dave is attempting to pipe ice cream on top of his ice cream cake. Somebody put this man in prison!
SS: Predictably, pretty much everyone’s cake turns out to be a melty mess, but it’s Lottie and Laura who fare the worst.
DT: Laura took the novel approach of forgetting to make ice cream for her ice cream cake, so she’s in trouble. Contrary to last week’s meltdown over her pineapple cake, however, she seems pretty…chill. Ice cream pun.
SS: Somehow, Peter and Mark keep their ice cream frozen, and manage to construct a halfway decent cake. Meanwhile, Hermine is in the corner wearing safety goggles, and spray painting her perfect mango cake, seemingly unphased by the heat.
DT: When it comes time for judging, Peter, who has made a bunch of edible holly for his Christmas cake like a little twink elf, is asked to remind the judges of his flavors, to which he responds “it’s Christmas cake and Christmas cake ice cream.” Ah yes, my favorite flavor…Christmas!
SS: Peter does well in judging, as do Mark and Dave, but Lottie and Laura both find themselves in hot water when they serve ice cream cakes that are essentially completely melted. Hermine, though, impresses Paul and Prue and earns her first star baker of the season!
DT: Lottie’s mixtape ice cream cake is reminiscent of most of the mixtapes I made in middle school, in the sense that they all belong in the trash, and it’s this mistake of a cake that ultimately sends her home as we finish the episode.
SS: It’s been fun to see Lottie bake this season, and I’m sad she now has to leave the tent, and be sentenced to death. Wait, that’s how this show works, right?