Why did it feel like Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood wanted to send all the bakers to detention with the words “you’ve let me down, you’ve let the Bake Off down, but most of all you’ve let yourself down”?
This week’s Technical Challenge was, simply put, a disaster. The remaining nine contestants were asked to make stroopwafel, a syrupy waffle-y delicacy from Holland.
But while there’s usually a range of success in the Technical Challenge – from perfect bake to hot mess – there were no real winners in the tent during Caramel Week.
“Did NONE of you get caramel right?” Prue asked, astonished, as she bit into stroopwafel after stroopwafel, searching in vain for that smooth consistency.
Instead of stretchy caramel, every single baker had presented a grainy mess sandwiched between two mediocre waffle-halves.
“I’m really looking forward to getting one right,” Prue said, still looking for her perfect stroopwafel as she sampled the offerings on the gingham altar. “This one I pray will work.”
It didn’t. “It’s probably the worst one we’ve seen yet,” she added. “Bit of a mess.”
“This is going to be pretty tricky judging this lot,” Paul said, glumly. The contestants looked even glummer.
We’ve had some pretty fiendish Technical Challenges in the past, from arlettes to tennis cakes to religieuses.
But surely nothing has been as universally disastrous as the stroopwafel?
The Great British Bake Off airs on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4