The Great British Baking Show Episode 8 Recap: “’80s Week”

Great British Baking Show 80s Week Look at those li'l quiches! (Screencap: Netflix)

The tent gets retro, with ’80s-inspired quiches and cakes and surprising eliminations abound.

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Welcome back to The Great British Baking Show recaps! I don’t know about you all, but I was undoubtedly bidin’ my time for this episode to drop after a crazy news week. The show’s contestants are getting closer to the quarterfinals! With an ET-inspired cold open, the theme for this week’s bakes is the 1980s. Which bakers will excel at their retro bakes? Will it be those who were alive in the 80s? Or will it be those who weren’t born yet (aka Peter)? Let’s crack on with the recap!

First up is the signature. The bakers make 8 individual quiches. They can fill them with whatever custardy filling they desire, but that crust has got to be a shortcrust pastry. A lot of the bakers are stuffing their quiches with fish and cheese. My ears perked up when Dave mentioned he was going for an English breakfast quiche. Lottie was also going for a Full English breakfast flavored quiche and adding baked beans, setting herself apart from Dave who was anti-beans. Prue and Paul quietly revealed to each other that they too were anti-beans. In my opinion, a Full English breakfast isn’t a Full English breakfast without the beans!

Bean opinions aside, the bakers assemble their quiches. Lottie’s quiches had a perfect pastry cook, and Paul and Prue were relieved they tasted the black pudding instead of baked beans in her filling. Dave’s spices overwhelmed Paul and Prue. Marc’s Cornish inspired fillings were good, but Paul and Prue felt overall his quiches were too simple. Laura’s chorizo leaked out of her filling, but the taste was delicious. Peter’s Thai inspired quiche had too much spice, but overall he had a good cook. Hermine struggled a bit on the timing of her bake, and while her pastry was undercooked, her mushroom and spinach/salmon and leek fillings were “absolutely delicious.” 

Great British Baking Show 80s Week
Hermine could use a brewski (couldn’t we all?) (Screencap: Netflix)

Next up is the technical, set by ’80s fan Paul Hollywood. Also noting here, things heat up in the tent, and Prue is sans blazer, showing off a delightful tie-dye shirt. I think Prue has a wild side we have rarely tapped into! Back to the challenge, Paul tasks the bakers with creating 6 custard and jam finger donuts. These finger donuts were all over England in the 80s, and I guess they never made the hop across the pond because I had no idea what they were. Imagine a posh version of a Long John/eclair/bar donut, vertically sliced open, stuffed with custard, and then drizzled with jam. 

The bakers are all a bit worried about the deep frying of their dough, as Paul’s parting words were that he was looking for a specific coloring. They’re also not looking forward to spending a day in the tent as the sun’s out, heating up the tent. All the bakers and Matt end up wrapping their necks with cold washcloths, and all are dripping with water and sweat, dreading their time with the fryers. 

As the challenge progresses, Peter looks to his elder bakers to see how they’re slicing their finger donuts. Everyone gets them plated and up to the judge’s table with relative ease. They are ranked in the following order: Dave (6th), Lottie (5th), Laura (4th), Marc (3rd), Peter (2nd), and Hermine (1st). Again not too many disasters, but Dave over-fried his donuts, and Lottie’s dough was a tough chew, so things aren’t looking great for those two.

Great British Baking Show 80s Week
Noel up to his usual hijinks. (Screencap: Netflix)

As Matt states, the bakers are one challenge away from the quarterfinals. That challenge is an ice cream cake showstopper. They can use whatever flavors of ice cream they want, but their cakes must have a baked element in it. Peter goes for a Christmas cake, taking a risk on brandy-flavored ice cream that may be tricky to set in-time. Hermine cracks on with a tropical mango and coconut ice cream cake.

Marc’s designing his cake to look like an ice cream parlor and adding a whole jar of honey to his ice cream. Laura’s Death by Chocolate cake will feature a brownie crust (Laura did you learn nothing from chocolate week?!) and a ton of chocolate ice cream. Lottie is also using chocolate ice cream, hoping to design her cake to look like an 80s mixtape. Dave opts for a tiramisu cake and thinks his idea of piping an ice cream design on top will save him from going home.

The big worry as the challenge progresses is the melting ice cream as the temperature in the tent rises. Everyone struggles a bit with meltage, but none more than Laura and Lottie. Laura accidentally didn’t hit the ice cream button on her ice cream maker, which meant her cream was just getting mixed about and not freezing. She caught her mistake, but it wasn’t quite early enough to stop it from melting.

Lottie hit all the right buttons but thought her ice cream would freeze with plenty of time for her to create a cassette tape design. Spoiler alert: it didn’t, and her cake looked like a warped tape that had been left on a car dashboard.

Everyone gets their cakes finished in time. Marc presents his retro parlor cake, and Paul and Prue were impressed by both the design and the flavors. Hermine’s mango and coconut hit all the marks by Paul and Prue, and both enjoyed her shortbread crust and elegant design. Peter’s cake had a great look, complete with festive holly, and his brandy ice cream was set. Dave’s tiramisu had delicious flavors, but the piping of the ice cream on top looked messy. Lottie’s melted cake lacked both design and flavor. Laura’s cake did tilt a bit, and her brownie crust was very tough, but the ice cream tasted great.

Great British Baking Show 80s Week
Paul Hollywood on the 1980s. (Screencap: Netflix)

The judges adjourn, and both agree that Hermine and Marc are in contention for Star Baker. They both scored high in the technical, and brought their A-game to the signature and showstopper challenges. Lottie and Dave are near the bottom. Both were at the bottom of the technical, and both had issues with their signature and showstoppers.

The judges head back to the tent. Everyone in the tent except for Hermine has won Star Baker, and Matt has the pleasure of remedying that in this episode! Hooray for Hermine who has been consistent throughout the episodes, and finally won that title this week. Sadly the baker departing this week is Lottie! Not going to lie, I was gutted that Lottie was going home, and seeing her cry in her confessional almost sent me over. However, like last week’s departing baker Mark, she was proud of herself for making it this far, and that’s a bittersweet note for her to go out on.

Predictions and other notes:

  • I was happy to see Hermine win Star Baker this week! I hope the Star Baker curse doesn’t send her home next week. And while she had a great week, I think Peter could be next in line for Star Baker.
  • I also don’t want to seem like I’m a Dave hater, but he seems to skate by on mistakes that would otherwise send folks home. I may sound like a broken record, but I predict he’ll be the next baker to get the boot.
  • With Lottie out, it looks like it’s time to revise my top three predictions. I think Hermine, Peter, and Marc will be the top three bakers.
  • On a sad note, it was reported earlier this week that season five finalist Luis Troyano passed away. He was a great baker in the tent and I was sad to hear of his passing. Join me in sending some happy thoughts to his family during this time.
Ashley Lara
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