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The Great British Baking Show | Netflix | W6: Japanese Week

As a manga-style Noel points out, it’s Japanese Week in the tent! What does that mean, exactly? Since this is the first time the show has done this particular theme, it’s anyone’s guess – and the bakers are just as excited and worried as they probably should be. Let’s find out what Japanese treats the bakers will have to tackle.

Signature Challenge

First up, the bakers must make a batch of 8 steamed buns; these are usually filled with pork or curry, but the bakers can choose whatever they like – sweet or savory. Prue points out this is a bun challenge, so that should be the task at hand.

Mark and Lottie are doing hamburger-filled buns, and Paul asks them both to make one without pickles for him, since he’s not a fan. Who knew?! This starts off a friendly rivalry between the two burger bakers. The bakers have a myriad flavors in their buns, borrowing from Chinese, Japanese, and Indian flavors. Filling their buns proves difficult for Marc, who can’t quite seal his shut – and Peter, who overfills his first 7 buns and doesn’t have enough filling for the last one. Here’s how the buns turned out!

The judges have mostly nice things to say about all the buns, but some turn out a little dry, but with good flavors all around.

Technical Challenge

Prue’s matcha masterpiece

Prue’s advice to the bakers is “do not panic” – a foreboding start to the challenge! The bakers must make a matcha crepe cake; 12 matcha filled crepes layered on top of one another.

Some bakers aren’t familiar with or don’t like matcha; I’m not a fan, either, so I feel their pain. It’s very good for you, but much like most things that are good for you it doesn’t taste all that great…

Peter has issues making the crepes, and he’s not the only one. Noel tries to get the bakers to flip their crepes in their pans, and Dave is the only one who obliges – he successfully flips one crepe in the pan, and Noel jokingly declares him the winner.

The bakers have mixed results in getting their cakes assembled and decorated, though ultimately they all look pretty good!

I’m always impressed that the bakers’ creations come out remotely how they should, considering they don’t have full recipes. I suspect they’re able to see what the finished product should look like, or some facsimile thereof, because there’s no way that 7 bakers could all make cakes that look so similar with absolutely no guidance. Anyway, Laura comes in last, Dave in third, Lottie in second, and Peter comes in first!

Showstopper Challenge

For the showstopper, the bakers are tasked with creating a “spectacular kawaii cake” in 4 hours. Kawaii = cute, so these creations should be the epitome of cuteness while incorporating Japanese culture and flavors – and of course, they must taste good, as Paul reminds us. Soybeans, pineapples, cherry blossoms, and yuzu will be inside and outside of the bakers’ spectacular cakes.

How did they turn out? For the most part, cute!

Lottie gets compliments from the judges for her design and flavors, but Hermine’s cake isn’t “cute” according to Prue. Prue also says Mark’s avocados are “witty and charming,” but Paul says the cake is very dry – almost “inedible”!

The judges deliberate, and agree that Marc, Dave and Lottie have done well this week, while Mark, Hermine and Laura are in trouble. When all is said and done, Noel lets the bakers know the star baker this week is Lottie! Matt announces who will be eliminated from the competition this week, and unfortunately, it’s Mark. So the rivalry between Lottie and Mark begins and ends in this episode, with Lottie coming out on top.

Noel’s manga final form

Prue says Laura saved herself with her showstopper, and called Mark’s showstopper a “disaster,” so that’s why he was eliminated this week. With only 6 bakers left, the competition won’t get any easier, and if all the bakers do well, the judges will have to nitpick their bakes to whittle down the contestants. At this point, Dave, Lottie and Peter seem to be the front runners, but as Prue points out, one bad week can send anyone home – so they all have to bring their A-game every week! M

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