It’s Pastry Week on The Great Holiday Baking Show, and Metrosource editors Paul Hagen
and Matt Gurry have some thoughts.
Four bakers survived Cookie Week and Cake Week on The Great Holiday Baking Show. Yet, one of them won’t stay on for the Final. After challenging the bakers with a morning pastry in the Signature, Mary’s fruit tart for the Technical, and a pâte à choux as a Showstopper, Mary and Johnny sent Ainslie home and pinned Tim Star Baker. They neglected to point out a few other distinctions, though, which Paul and Matt kindly fill in now.
WAS THIS WEEK’S OPENING LINE THE CORNIEST EVER?
PAUL: Yes. Leave it at “icing in their veins,” kids. Drop “Don’t you mean ice?” and “They bleed sugar.” I like the bell sleeve on Nia’s poncho, though.
MATT: Yes. And also, like their GBBO counterparts, they don’t have ice, or, er, icing in their veins; they’re so nice to each other and that’s why I love this show! This is not “I didn’t come here to make friends” reality TV.
MATH LESSON OF THE WEEK:
PAUL: Lauren has already won star baker for half the episodes of the whole season.
More pâte à choux > less pâte à choux.
Sloppy pâte à choux < naked pâte à choux.
It’s simple calc-choux-lus!
INADVERTENT ADVERTISEMENT FOR VIAGRA:
PAUL: Nicole begging, “Why won’t you stay up, buddy?”
MATT: Mary: “I really don’t want to see a pastry that hasn’t risen.” Or Ainslie: “Goodbye, balls.”
WHILE WE’RE ON THE LOW-BROW, YOU GET ONE INAPPROPRIATE TIM DOUBLE ENTENDRE THIS WEEK, PAUL. (A TIMUENDO!) CHOOSE IT WISELY.
PAUL: To quote Johnny on Tim, “This week, he’s feeling confident, he’s able, and his [REDACTED] is delicious.”
MATT: You’re welcome, Paul. And you’re welcome, readers.
IS THIS A THING NOW?
PAUL: Tying inedible red ribbons around cakes? Between the opening credits and Johnny’s tiramisu cake it is happening. I mean, what’s next? Do we call in Anna to do up Lady Cake’s corset?
PAUL: Ainslie saying, “I think I’m pretty good at pastry.” Pride goeth before your dessert falls, sister.
MATT: Mary Berry reminds Johnny that they haven’t told them to bake their tarts blind. So obviously, there will be some, um, seeing baking? (I have no idea what blind baking is.)
BEST EDIT OF THE WEEK:
PAUL: When Ian mentioned Cake Week being especially merry and they cut to Ainslie doing shots with my boyfriend, Tim. #jealous
MATT: OK, so it turns out the editors gave Ainslie a generous exposition voice-over about blind baking. Good work, editors.
GOTTA HAVE IT/GOTTA HATE IT: NICOLE’S TEENY TINY SANTA HAT ON A HEADBAND:
PAUL: Gotta have it.
MATT: Gotta have it.
JOHNNY TOUCHING MARY BERRY WITH RELENTLESS, AGGRESSIVE FAMILIARITY…
PAUL: …is officially making me even more uncomfortable than it seems to make her.
MATT: No kidding. Especially in his Danny Zuko getup. Which had me concerned that Mary would show up in the last act with a permanent and a cigarette.
YOUR WINNER FOR SIGNATURE BAKE:
MATT: Nicole’s Pumpkin Pops! I agree with Ian: “thiserrrearrygood.”
PAUL: Tim’s whole package (heh). I mean, even Mary Berry finished her whole plate—and she’s suffered through six seasons of GBBO tasting!
NAUGHTY RECAPPER ALERT:
MATT: Paul! I allowed you one—one—Timuendo this week. Do not cheat.
PAUL: Yes, I made an extra Timuendo, but I’m only planning to show the judges the one with the crispy golden bottom.
PALM TO FOREHEAD:
MATT: Oh, Paul.
WEARING TIGHTS THE EXACT SAME SHADE AS YOUR BOOTS:
PAUL: Makes Nia Vardalos appear to have been born with very fashionable cloven hooves.
MATT: No seriously, I really hope this is the year of the poncho. Someone tries to do ponchos every few years, and I think we’d all be happier if they caught.
SHADE ALMOST ON PAR WITH GBBO:
PAUL: Nia referring to Mary and Johnny as “Mrs. Claus and her Elf.”
MATT: Mary’s instruction: “Make pastry cream.” Ha! You’re such a bitch, Mary.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS:
PAUL: A snow globe with Mary Berry’s face in it.
MATT: Nicole’s hat.
JOHNNY INFORMS MARY THAT HE’S ALWAYS WANTED TO TRY HER TART:
PAUL: I can’t stop throwing up.
MATT: But she takes it in such good stride! Stiff upper lip, darling.
BEST NICOLE REACTION SHOT THIS EPISODE:
PAUL: Nicole is told she must make a tart!
MATT: The pâte à choux! Her poker face is not what I was expecting. Well played, Nicole.
TRUE OR FALSE: PEOPLE FROM GEORGIA USE “ICING” AS “FILLING”?
PAUL: Well, Nicole said it. But, Matt, you’re from Georgia, so…
MATT: Sometimes we use gravy.
NICOLE’S TART CRUST HAS MORE…:
PAUL: …excess material than Gone with the Wind.
MATT: …to trim than there is kudzu in Georgia.
TIM’S SUDDEN DRASTIC INCREASE IN EXPERTISE THIS WEEK:
PAUL: Makes me miss when he was basically my White Chocolate Chippendale.
MATT: Came out of nowhere. He’s a baking shark!
I KNEW LAUREN WOULDN’T GET A THIRD STAR WHEN:
PAUL: She attempted to adjust her pie crust by pushing it down. It made me fear for her bottom!
MATT: Same. But! She, along with Ainslie, earned Matt’s Star Explainer in the Showstopper for explaining moisture’s role in pâte à choux. So there’s that!
OK, SO MAYBE THEY’RE NOT MEL AND SUE, BUT WHERE ARE WE WITH NIA AND IAN?
PAUL: To me, Ian will always be the lisping Dean & Deluca store manager from Felicity. To enjoy Nia Vardalos doing camp somewhat more successfully may I recommend the 2004 drag comedy Connie and Carla?
MATT: Did you see their sexual energy toward the end of the Technical? (Nia: “Guess what. Ten minutes!” Ian: “Spank me.” [paraphrased]) You didn’t get that with Mel and Sue.
I AM JEALOUS OF _______ BECAUSE ______:
PAUL: Nicole because Tim gave her a loving fridge-side massage when she was worried about the cream ruining her bottom. Oops, Tim, I’ve ruined my bottom. Console me!
MATT: :palm to forehead:
SO CONSIDER THIS: DISNEY OWNS ABC, AND DISNEY OWNS THE STAR WARS FRANCHISE. AND YET, NO CROSS-PROMOTION! LET’S HELP THE SUITS AT ABC FIGURE OUT HOW BEST TO FORCE THEIR SYNERGY UNTO THIS SHOW!
PAUL: “Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I baked pastry. My own counsel will I keep on who has burned.” —Yoda Berry
MATT: A Bantha Surprise challenge! But actually, this is one of the great parts of GBBO, and I’m so glad ABC imported it with GHBS: People love the calm pace of the series, and that’s helped by there being no real embedded marketing. There’s no KitchenAid® Judges’ Tent or Reynolds® No-Stick™ Parchment Paper Hotshot Challenge like on other shows. It just makes the whole series so palateable.
YOUR CHOICE FOR BEST TECHNICAL BAKE:
PAUL: Nicole. It’s worth ruining a technical bake to get some Tim loving.
MATT: Tim. Why does Mary need a piece of tart to hold together while she’s eating it? If you’re not scarfing your tart down too fast for it it to fall apart, you are eating it wrong. Mary.
NICOLE AND TIM ARE BOTH DOING REINDEER FOR THEIR SHOWSTOPPER:
PAUL: Food fight!!!
MATT: Ohmygod this is Nancy and Richard’s duplicate windmills all over again I can’t take this stress!!!
PAUL: The mention of Lauren’s banana brulée filling made me banana cream my pants!
MATT: You asked about how we do things in Georgia, Paul? Nicole’s Reindeer Showstopper is a perfect example. In the South, we’d call that diet food. Because it contains banana. She practically made a smoothie.
MISTAKE OF THE EPISODE:
PAUL: Nicole’s “Oops, I didn’t do opposite-side antlers!”
MATT: Also Nicole. Get your tart crust in and out of that oven first, girl! Remember Iain and #bingate? (Which, by the way, Sue has confirmed was not sabotage by Diana, so we can all relax.)
Iain's Alaska was out of the freezer for 40 secs. That's it. No sabotage. 40 secs of normal temp would NOT be enough to reduce it to liquid
— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) August 27, 2014
THING THAT MADE ME GASP:
PAUL: Nicole breaking her reindeer’s neck!
MATT: And then it sat there on the judges’ table like a trophy! They’re damn monsters.
AINSLIE’S PASTRY “PRESENT” LOOKS LIKE:
PAUL: Some very well fed birds just flew over it.
MATT: A leftover from Miss Havisham’s Viennese Hour.
YOUR CHOICE FOR SHOWSTOPPER OF THE WEEK:
PAUL: Lauren. Hands down the most beautiful, and she displayed the greatest variety of skills.
MATT: Nicole. ExecutionAmbition = Star Baker. Her Banana Pâte à Choux Reindeer was a wild idea—blown sugar, for crying out loud!—and as Mary noticed, she didn’t sacrifice on individual-pastry quality for overall effect. I thought she pulled together an 8.5-hour concept in 4.5 hours quite admirably.
DID MARY AND JOHNNY CHOOSE THE RIGHT STAR BAKER?
PAUL: Yes. He did crazy good in the first two challenges, and his Showstopper was impressive.
MATT: But somehow you managed to win this week, Paul. (Tim’s antlers were impressive.)
DID THE RIGHT BAKER GO HOME?
PAUL: Oh heck to the yes. I knew it from the moment she said she was good at pastry. Editors know how to build ‘em up to cut ‘em down.
MATT: Yes. Though points to Ainslie for good sportsmanship. Just glad we still have Lauren on hand to tell us what the hell these baking terms mean.
LESSON OF THE WEEK:
PAUL: Vivacious Nicole was very much in danger of going home this week, after several times saying she was doing what her kids told her to do. LESSON: Your children are out to get you.
MATT: Across the boards, the bakers did better with their morning pastries than their fruit tarts or pâtes. My takeaway here is that a baker is someone you want to wake up with.
The Great Holiday Baking Show airs Monday nights on ABC. Next week is the Final, and Paul and Matt will stay until the last pun, crumb, and soggy bottom.
Last modified: July 27, 2017
Lol – this is hilarious