From perfectly executed multi-layered slices, the four bakers got of to a promising start and Paul Hollywood was generous with his handshakes.
The technical proved even more challenging, with a description full of baker jargon (we only picked up meringue, pistachio, sable) and the four remaining bakers interpreted it in several different ways.
Then came the showstopper, in which the bakers had to create a structure centerpiece and mirror glaze patisserie surrounding it, filled with layers of perfectly set, creamy fillings.
It could possibly have been the best week of baking perfection ever to take place inside the tent, making it nearly impossible to send one home. But, only three could progress to the finals.
Here is who went home, who got star baker and all the details you missed from week nine of the Bake Off.
Who was voted off Bake Off week nine?
The Signature challenge was the clue no one spotted, as only three bakers received a Hollywood handshake. The accolade is usually received by only the top baker and some weeks no one receives one.
Therefore it was a shock when only favourite-to-win Jurgen didn’t get the seal of approval.
Giuseppe chose a tiramisu layered cake, paying subtle homage to his home nation.
Crystelle proved she is the Queen of Flavour with her Yuzu, Coconut and Black Sesame Slices, which the judges determined were faultless.
Chigs was under increasing pressure, as Paul complimented his growth throughout the competition at the beginning of the show.
Luckily, the 40-year-old Sales Manager managed to win over Matcha-sceptic Prue with his Raspberry and Matcha layers, while Jurgen’s beetroot failed to get off the ground.
However, the technical bake was a fresh chance for the bakers to prove they could rise to the occasion or flop out with a soggy bottom.
Crystelle and Giuseppe both interpreted the sable biscuit base wrong and instead presented tart-like cases instead of a thick base. Meanwhile, Chigs’ Creme Mousseline failed to set and dripped down the edge of his base.
It was Jurgen who trumped the technical, putting the bakers on an even keel at the beginning of day two.
The Showstopper was structurally challenging and the bakers were warned that finesse was incredibly important, as well as flavour and multiple components.
Chigs admitted his apple pie filled domes had not worked in practice, but felt he could achieve the desired look during the challenge.
Guiseppe admitted he too had not put all his components together prior to judging, but his background in engineering played to his strengths and made for stunning, green mirror glaze domes with cherry and pine nut fillings.
Crystelle’s flower arch and marble effect domes were another representation of her savvy flavour pairing and faultless style. The passionfruit and mango filling earned her respect from Prue and Paul.
It was Jurgen who failed to impress in the same way the others had. His Japanese inspired bakes were a dull green colour and looked the least appetising. However, they were described by Paul as the worst of a great bunch.
In the end, it was ‘Jurge-pops’ who went home, to the shock of the other three contestants.
Jurgen said he felt “the others are more shocked than I am,” adding that he “saw it coming.”
Therefore, the finalists are Chigs, Giuseppe and Crystelle.
Who was crowned star baker?
Star Baker was difficult to call this week, as all the bakers performed to the professional standards.
Chigs has undoubtedly developed the most as a baker during his time in the competition, as noted by Paul at the beginning of the episode.
Hollywood also praised Chigs for having come so far, presenting stunning apple domes and a biscuit structure apple tree for his Showstopper despite only beginning to bake as a hobby during lockdown.
However, it was Crystelle who managed to pair taste and style to impress Prue and Paul the most. Despite coming fourth in the technical and proclaiming she felt this week would be her last at the beginning of the weekend, she perfected her Showstopper patisserie and managed to present two-tone meringue roses to add to the finishing touches.
In the end, it was Crystelle who was crowned Star Baker. All three finalists have been awarded Star Baker twice.
How can I watch Bake Off on catch up?
If you missed out on all the action, you can catch up on the show one hour later on Channel 4 +1 or at your own leisure on All4, Channel 4’s streaming platform.
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