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Friday, May 7, 2021

The Classic British Good Baking Show’s Rom-Com Appeal

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Adam baked the perfect soft-fried parsnip cake to demonstrate why sour cherries always look so slimy. “My mother used to buy half a bag of them and hold them up in front of you,” he told his entourage after the baking finished. “It looks dirty now.”

The giant parsnip was the object of an elaborate preparation from as far back as spring, as contestants were told to never cook one with salty sauces. Thankfully, the judges decided there was nothing to fussy about it.

Some moments in “The Great British Baking Show” live up to the classic expectations of their kind, but there are enough layers in this show – at once silly, emotional, and good-natured – to win it the title of the most fun baking show on air. The final challenge took place after the first hour of a marathon even-numbered show, ending the extra-long hours but still bearing down on the contestants. “In some places,” said Alexandra, “I looked like a bag of mice.”

The episode ended with a repeat of the physical challenges earlier in the season, requiring the contestants to complete challenging domino-sized dishes like chia pudding with sturdily unfazed contestants.

The show’s mix of factors makes it both quite droll and as heavily faith-based as the modern tastes of British people. It’s a framework that works for both.

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