Great British Bake Off recap: Meltdowns and rising temperatures challenge chocolate week bakers

The cast of the 2023 Great British Bake Off. Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4/PA WireThe cast of the 2023 Great British Bake Off. Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4/PA Wire
The cast of the 2023 Great British Bake Off. Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4/PA Wire | Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4/PA Wire
Chocolate Week had the contestants in meltdown. Here’s what happened on The Great British Bake Off.

Chocolate week, in typical Bake Off fashion, took place on the hottest day of the year so far, with bakers struggling to keep their cool.

Week four challenged contestants with chocolate creations, from the torte to chocolate boxes. But with overbaking, tempering and rising temperatures, how did they do?

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Signature Bake: Chocolate torte

For their signature bakes, contestants were challenged to create a chocolate torte with no wheat flour.

Many chose to use almond-based flour while others, such as Josh, chose pecan flour.

Many of the bakers chose to combine their torte with fruits such as raspberry or cherry to help balance the flavours, including Saku, Josh, Cristy and Dana. Dan decided to create a chocolate Mexican chilli and chocolate inspired torte with a hint of alcohol, Tasha created a ginger wine and Amaretto inspired bake while Nicky decided to take a risk with her upside down torte which featured a mousse layer on the bottom.

But what did the judges think?

Nicky was rewarded for her risky move, with her torte being called a “little work of art”. Matty was similarly praised for his hazelnut and praline torte, while Rowan received praise alongside Dana whose creation tasted good but Prue thought the bake would be better if it had time to set overnight.

However others, such as Saku, Dan, Cristy and Tasha struggled with the texture of their creations.

Nicky summed up her first challenge by threatening to go off skipping in the meadows.

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Technical Challenge: Chocolate Cheesecake

For the technical, bakers were tasked with creating six identical cheesecakes with a caramelised white chocolate filling.

It’s perhaps a spoiler however half way through the challenge Rowan summed up his experience so far: “Feel like I’m going to set up a charity for anyone who’s worked with caramelised white chocolate.”

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Several bakers struggled with caramelising their white chocolate, which had to be done in a microwave – unusual for The Great British Bake Off – as the chocolate could very easily end up burnt or gritty.

However, it was halfway through the challenge when the heat became too much for Tasha and she had to leave the tent. After suffering from a migraine, the baker had to sit out the rest of chocolate week.

Saku struggled once more in the technical coming last followed by Cristy and Josh, though she was able to entertain audience with her frantic snacking of raspberries once time was up.

Rowan was able to redeem himself coming in third, with Matty in second. Dan came in first and was praised by Prue for his being the only “perfect” cheesecake.

Showstopper: Chocolate box

An edible chocolate box was on the menu for the judges, which was supposed to be filled with cake and accompanied by several filled and moulded chocolates.

Bakers could either create separate sides to their chocolate box or use moulds to then peel off their creations.

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Josh immediately set out to spark a positive reaction from the bakers with his chemistry box which was to be decorated with the periodic table – though the involvement of hazelnuts did see Paul making several innuendos.

Rowan was a risk taker during this showstopper challenge however, as he revealed to the judges and hosts that he had not practised his chocolate box as he hand been writing his dissertation. Instead he was hoping for the best with his painters box creation, inspired by his grandad.

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Dan on the other hand was going for an edible treasure chest, full of Caribbean-inspired flavours, Dana wanted to relive her childhood fantasies with her princess carriage chocolate box, claiming that the times were long past her – though Paul was quick to comment that it was “still early days” for the young baker.

Cristy’s heart-shaped box was a sign of affection for her husband, though she was one of the few bakers to use white chocolate over dark or milk, meanwhile Saku returned to cricket, creating a chocolate box for her daughter with flavours such as pistachio.

Another baker using pistachio was Matty, who also created a chocolate genoise sponge, while Nicky was set on a salted caramel creation – though she struggled with the caramel leaving her short on time.

In the meantime, Matty and Saku both struggled with their cakes and ended up starting them again.

Getting the right temper on their chocolate proved to be an issue for Josh and Rowan, while Nicky ended up having to scale back her plans slightly.

Alison rolled over the counter behind Dan to help cheer up the baker who had a terrible time during bread week, though he seemed to be in better spirits during their chocolate challenges, though the stress did see Nicky saying: “Shiver me timbers, help me Boab…”

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Matty, Dan and Nicky all pleased the judges with their showstoppers. Dana was told her carriage looked impressive, but only from a distance due to its simplicity and Prue was taken aback by the inclusion of popping candy in her chocolates.

Rowan was brutally honest with the judges, sharing that he had a nightmare with his creation though his flavours were good. Josh was praised for his sponge – though Paul did make another comment about his nuts.

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Cristy was somewhat able to come back from her earlier disasters, though her cake was dry once again and Saku was also able to please the judges with her flavours, even if the cake texture was slightly off.

But who went home and who was star baker?

Who was Bake Off’s Star Baker?

Matty, who has been improving week-on-week, became Star Baker for his performance during chocolate week.

Who left Bake Off?

No one left the Bake Off tent this week due to Tasha’s absence, however that does mean that there will be a double elimination during pastry week.

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