Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
The Great British Bake Off returned to screens last night, and the theme the bakers were faced with certainly got people talking.
The Channel 4 baking show, hosted by Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, challenged contestants to show off their skills during Mexican week – the first time the theme has ever been used in the show’s history.
It was an obvious attempt to keep things fresh, and that it did, with the contestants first tasked with baking pan dulce, which are Mexican sweet buns.
But viewers were confused by the second challenge of the episode: tacos.
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) October 4, 2022
In a technical like you’ve never seen before, Paul Hollywood tasked the team with making “hand-pressed” tacos topped with refried beans, pico de gallo, steak and guac.
They had to make their own tortillas… but other than that, were they really baking?
When Paul announced the task, even Prue seemed a bit confused, and the audience were with her.
“The fuck have tacos got to do with baking? #GBBO,” wrote one person on Twitter.
As another concurred: “How is making tacos, even from scratch, BAKING? #gbbo”.
You can see some more of the reaction here:
— Georgia (@GeorgiaEH17) October 4, 2022
— Sam Goodman (@SamGoodman990) October 4, 2022
— Mrs Beattie (@MrsBeattie23) October 4, 2022
Pizza last week and tacos this week…
— . (@toops99) October 4, 2022
It might not seem that much of a scandal in its own right, but people were more perplexed given that last week, bakers were tasked with making pizzas, too.
Now, naturally, making pizza dough is slightly closer to baking than making a tortilla, but we can understand why both savoury challenges in a row raised eyebrows on a show synonymous with cakes and the occasional bread roll.
A fellow viewer wrote: “This #GBBO is disastrous. Too much cooking. Pizza last week, Steak Tacos this week… They should just call it Masterbake”.
Watching the challenge, it was clear the bakers were out of their depths. They might know how to master a choux pastry, but when it came to “pico de gallo”, none of them had the foggiest what it was.
“Like a mad professor, I am flinging things into a bowl with gay abandon,” fan favourite Dawn joked during the episode.
As the challenge was being judged, Maxy and Sandro got high praise, whilst Rebs and Carole received negative feedback, with Rebs being told her tacos are over-seasoned, whilst Carole’s were “far, far too thick”.
The taco challenge might have raised some eyebrows, but it wasn’t long before GBBO was back to what it did best – sweet treats. Specifically, Tres Leches.
Tres Leches is a cake made of three sponges soaked in three different milks, and it’s a challenge the bakers took on with gusto – Syabira made a sweet corn infused sponge and Abdul made a Day of the Dead sponge with white chocolate skulls.
All of the bakers found this week a challenge, and whilst Maxy won star baker, it was ultimately Rebs and James who were sent packing in a surprise double elimination.
The good news is it’s dessert week next week, so all cooking critics can rest easy. Who knows what’ll come afterwards, though. At this rate, we’re expecting pasta week imminently…