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The Great British Baking Show Episode 10: The finale

Great British Baking Show finale

The remaining three bakers pull out all the stops to figure out which one gets the big title (and cake stand) at the end of this contentious season.

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Welcome back to The Great British Baking Show recap! Our final three bakers – Peter, Dave, and Laura – head back to the tent, looking to win the title of Great British Baker and a nice glass cake stand. Will the winner be Laura, the musical loving baker with the messiest cooking station? Will Dave, the “most improved” baker of this series, earn the title? Or will Peter, the youngest finalist in GBBS history, be crowned best baker? As the finale begins, it could be anyone’s game to lose in the bake-off tent.

They head to the tent to begin the final challenges. First up is the Signature, tasking the bakers to create 8 custard slices, treats consisting of sheets of laminated pastry stuffed with custard. They must be mindful of the time to allow their custard to set. Laura’s flavoring her slices with yuzu. Dave’s going for coffee and caramel. Peter’s hoping to make Scotland proud with his take of a Cranachan custard slice.

The bakers start on their rough puff pastries, which proves to be extra challenging considering the butter layers could melt as the temperature rises in the tent. As their pastries chill, the bakers get started on their custard layers. All are using gelatine, hoping to avoid a rubbery, stodgy filling. So far all the bakers are looking good, allowing for some fun rounds of Matt and Dave to check in with everyone. I loved the bit where Matt tried to prepare Peter for fame outside of the tent, telling him to watch out for folks filming him with their phones while at uni. 

Great British Baking Show (Screenshot: Netflix)

The hijinks don’t last too long as the slices need assembling. Both Peter and Dave seem happy with their set custard and toppings. Laura’s custard hasn’t sent properly, and sadly the toppings are sliding off. She does manage to get everything plated on time and gets a sweet pep talk from Noel, but compared to Peter and Dave’s slices, her bakes definitely look messy. 

Paul and Prue make their rounds. They love Peter’s flavors, but they felt his custard was a bit thick. Dave’s pastry was beautiful, and the strong coffee flavor was good, but again his custard was a bit stodgy. When they made it Laura’s slices, they liked the yuzu but felt the pastry lost its butter and the runny custard could be attributed to the strong flavorings. Dave and Peter are looking good, and Laura’s going to need to pull out all the stops to recover from this signature.

The final technical is set by Prue. She tasks the bakers with creating 8 coffee walnut whirls. These sweets consist of a walnut sable biscuit topped with coffee chocolate ganache, swirls of marshmallow, all wrapped in a chocolate shell and topped with a walnut. They’re tiny and delicate, requiring specific temperatures to make sure the ganache holds up to being wrapped with marshmallows and a hot chocolate shell.

Again Dave and Peter seem to get on with the challenge with very few issues. Dave’s never made a sable biscuit but seems pretty confident to spend more time baking them than the others. Peter had some issues with his marshmallows swirls but manages to get the best chocolate shell. Laura has issues with creating her marshmallows, requiring two attempts to get her egg whites blending properly with melted sugar. 

Great British Baking Show Finale
Great British Baking Show (Screenshot: Netflix)

At the judging table, Paul and Prue seem more impressed with this week’s technical results than the previous week’s pond puddings. Laura comes in third, as her chocolate shells weren’t set, her biscuit needed more cooking time, and overall felt like a rushed attempt. Peter came in second his swirls lacked the swirl design, but his chocolate shell was set. Dave came in first with a perfect biscuit and overall good flavors. Dave and Peter seem neck and neck going into the showstopper, but could Laura pull out a spectacular final bake to win it all?

It’s time for the final challenge of the series. The bakers have to create a Colossal Dessert Tower for the showstopper. Their towers must contain a large cake base and must showcase three other baked treats on separate layers topping. It also wouldn’t be a showstopper if the bakers didn’t tie in something personal with the bakes. Laura’s showstopper is a Rainbow dessert cake, an ode to her favorite G.K. Chesterton quote, with other layers featuring key lime tarts, Chelsea buns, and macarons. Peter makes a Bonkers Baking Show Bubble Cake, representing his appreciation of GBBS for half his life (thanks for reminding most of us that we’re old Peter), and consisting of a Victoria sandwich base, lemon and blackberry choux buns, and a biscuit/crisped rice cone top. Dave sets off to bake a Tower to Redemption, making a bold choice to show the judges he can master a Fraiser cake base, babka and choux buns, and brownies – all bakes he messed up in previous challenges.

As the baking progresses, the drama seems few and far between. Dave is very confident in all of his bakes. Laura even seems excited to be baking some of the treats she loves. Peter momentarily forgets how to create checkerboard biscuits, but redeems himself with a second attempt. Dave assembles his tower well before Laura and Peter, again snacking as the others rush to assemble. Everyone assembles their towers, and all seem relieved to have completed their final bake-off challenge.

They present their towers to Paul and Prue. First up is Laura. They agree her tower looks a bit messy, but all of her flavors are beautiful. Peter’s tower looks lovely, and his choux buns had great flavors. Peter’s Victoria sponge was a bit dry and his biscuits were stodgy. Dave’s tower is magnificently designed, and his base Fraiser cake was tender and delicious and his brownies had a fudgy center. Sadly Dave’s choux buns were underbaked and his babka was overbaked. Laura’s consistently messy presentation seems to knock her out of running for winning. Paul and Prue agree that the winning baker will be either Peter or Dave.

They head out to the bubble picnic on the lawn outside the tent. They celebrate with the staff and crew in lieu of the bakers’ families, as there’s still a pandemic outside of the bake-off bubble. Matt says some lovely words thanking those who helped them pull off this production, which was sweet to acknowledge the staff behind the scenes (please keep this for future seasons!). At the end of the episode, it’s Peter who wins the show! He’s the youngest and the first Scottish baker to win. He again reminds us all that he’s been watching GBBS for half of his life (we get it you’re young!), and he’s amazed that a fan like him clutched the winning title. Dave is the runner-up, and Laura is happy to have made it through the show. 

Final Notes:

  • My prediction last week that Peter would win was correct! His win was well-deserved, and I loved it when he called his family to tell them the good news. Congrats Peter!
  • Sometimes it did feel like the bakers were all over the place this season. They couldn’t even bake brownies! However, I will cut them some slack since they were all willing to present themselves on a widely popular internationally viewed Netflix series, whereas somedays I fake tech issues and leave off my computer camera for Zoom calls since I can’t be bothered to brush my hair. I had a fun time watching and recapping the show, and look forward to seeing what happens in future GBBS seasons!
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Ashley Lara

Ashley is a writer, producer, and avid karaoke fan living in New York City. She co-produces/co-hosts She Makes Me Laugh, a monthly female and non-binary comedy show. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @smashley_lara.