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Baking Society on The Great British Bake Off so far

It’s been a rocky road, but we’ve finally reached week seven of the BBC’s The Great British Bake-Off

This season has been, quite possibly, the most dramatic yet. We’ve been through tears and tantrums in dessert week – where the infamous Baked Alaska incident shook the country – to pastry week, where this year’s contestants faced the most difficult technical challenge we’ve seen in a long time, the elusive kouign-amann.

The Great British Bake-Off has not only moved the nation to pick up their spatulas and start baking, but has also spawned internet fandoms for its contestants. Norman, who left in pie week after presenting Mary and Paul with a seemingly unsatisfactory lavender-infused meringue, has even inspired a Buzzfeed article dedicated to proving that he’s the best contestant on the show (now, you know you’ve made it if somebody’s written a Buzzfeed article about you.)

The show’s popularity has reached such huge heights, with 8.3 million viewers tuning in every week, that it now even has a spin-off comedy panel show, An Extra Slice, hosted by the brilliant Jo Brand and with an appearance from the contestant who has left the show that week. We even saw the return of my favourite Bake-Off contestant ever, Howard Middleton from series 4, to give his opinion on ‘bingate’. He discussed his similar experience from his time in the tent, when fellow contestant Deborah stole his custard, which I personally think was one of the best moments in British TV history – if you haven’t seen it you need to YouTube it.

The brilliance of The Great British Bake-Off is possible because of the characters. We all know someone like Norman, for example, who believes the use of pesto constitutes an avant-garde baking style, or a Martha, who cries in the bad times, the good times…and the average times. We relate to them and grow to love them, and in a voyeuristic way, enjoy watching Mel and Sue poke, prod and generally annoy them when they’re at their peak stress levels.

With the quarter final airing next week, it would be wrong to write about Bake-Off and not make a prediction on the winner. The competition is very close, with all five bakers having a consistently high standard of baking, yet all of them at some point in the show have made big slip-ups. Personally, I’d like to see Luis win; his precision and the incorporation of his skills as a designer have meant that his bakes – especially his showstoppers – look incredibly professional and frankly, delicious. However, from the outcome of pastry week, which is notoriously one of the most difficult and telling weeks of the competition, it looks to be that flavour queen, Chetna, and precision-fanatic, Richard, are the front-runners.

Catch The Great British Bake Off on BBC2, Wednesdays at 8pm, when the remaining contestants will be taking on patisseries and battling it out in the final on the 8th October. Happy Baking!

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