19 “Great British Bake Off” Moments From Caramel Week That Were Stressful, And 16 That Were So Pure

    "I flippin' hate caramel."

    Welcome to this week's stressful/delightful recap of The Great British Bake Off!

    the title card for the show

    This week, the final six bakers battled against caramel. Here are 16 undeniably delightful moments from the episode, plus 19 exceptionally stressful ones.

    Warning: Spoilers (and potential emotional turmoil) ahead. 

    1. STRESSFUL: The "Caramel Gibson" opener, which exists in spite of the fact that Mel Gibson is not an individual worthy of punny baking show jokes. Also, this exact show had a beloved host named Mel. Can't they do something with that?

    Matt says,  Did you know that leathery screen star Mel Gibson's original name was Caramel Gibson?

    Signature Challenge: A Highly Decorative Sharing Size Caramel Tart

    George's caramel custard and banana tart

    2. DELIGHTFUL: The fact that Lizzie's tart is themed after Titanic. (The movie, not the ship.)

    Lizzie's tart, entitled "my tart will go on"

    3. DELIGHTFUL: Giuseppe preparing to bake with caramel the best way he knows how: spending time with his Italian wife.

    Giuseppe says caramel is temperamental, then says he's used to dealing with an Italian wife

    4. DELIGHTFUL: You see those marble things? The bakers use those to avoid the "dreaded soggy bottom," as Matt puts it, and according to Crystelle they're called "baking beans," which is simply too good of a phrase not to immediately repeat out loud. Seriously, try it. Whatever's wrong, it'll make it better.

    the tart crust filled with baking beans

    5. STRESSFUL: Realizing that before it becomes delicious, caramel is a lethal vat of boiling sugar.

    The caramel boiling with candy thermometer inserting

    6. STRESSFUL: Lizzie's oven-watching position, which speaks to a level of caramel-induced despair I don't even want to contemplate.

    Lizzie lies with her head on the cupboard

    7. STRESSFUL: George coming to this realization with only a minute left in the challenge.

    George, as he decorates his tart, says, I think this was a bad idea

    8. STRESSFUL: George just grabbing fistfuls of cream off his tart for no clear reason other than panic.

    George with a fistful of cream

    9. DELIGHTFUL: The adorable tiny biscuit flowers decorating Crystelle's tart.

    Crystelle's tart, which is decorated with caramelized walnuts and biscuit flowers

    10. DELIGHTFUL: Chigs' drop-dead gorgeous caramel tart. The judges think its caramel flavor is too strong, to which I say, "But wasn't that the assignment?"

    Chigs' gorgeous and highly decorated tart, with delicate spun sugar decorations

    11. STRESSFUL: Watching Jürgen — Jürgen! — turn in a tart that the judges neither like the look nor the taste of. (His caramel was too close to toffee, said Paul. And to be honest, I know there is a difference, but I have no idea what the difference is. Caramel is gooey and toffee is...not?)

    Jurgen's plain tart

    12. STRESSFUL: George's worst fears of a curdled custard coming true right before his eyes.

    The inside of George's tart, with the failed custard

    Technical Challenge: Caramel Biscuit Bars

    The perfect example of the caramel biscuit fingers

    13. STRESSFUL: ...Are these Twix bars? These are Twixes, right? Right?! Why is Paul pretending that these aren't Twixes and conscripting us into his devious ruse?

    Paul breaking open a Twix

    14. DELIGHTFUL: This joke, which thankfully broke the "this is a Twix" ice.

    Matt says, Have one of these shortbread crumbly fingers, with caramel on the top and chocolate coating, that we can't name but you know what they are. You've seen them in the shop with the golden wrappers.

    15. DELIGHTFUL: Noel's decision to deliver brief but undoubtedly evocative summations of the remaining bakers.

    Noel describes Giuseppe as Al Pacino if he was on the Guess Who? board, Chigs as Lumberjack Robert De Niro serial killer, and Lizzie as Princess Leia dressed as a children's bullfighter

    16. DELIGHTFUL: Crystelle's classy description of her ideal caramel.

    Crystelle says, I want it to be a full-bodied caramel, like a nice glass of red wine

    17. STRESSFUL: This contrast in the bakers' experiences with their caramel, which I can't imagine bodes well for George.

    George says, It's not pipeable! And Giuseppe says, oh this is definitely of pipeable consistency

    18. STRESSFUL: Wondering whether assigning the bakers a treat that is mass produced by machines in a factory is a fair challenge, considering that none of them quite pulled off a perfect Twix bar, which makes sense, since the technology required to make said perfect Twix is probably worth millions?

    George's messy Twix bars

    19. STRESSFUL: Paul saying this when the other bakers applaud for Giuseppe, who placed first in the Technical. Again, what did he expect? Giuseppe is a man, not a cold, Twix-making machine. Was this entire challenge a covert advertisement for Twix? Are we supposed to walk away from this thinking, "Well, since now we know they're impossible to make at home, might as well keep buying them at the store"? How high up does this conspiracy go?

    Paul says to the other bakers, I wouldn't clap

    Showstopper: *deep breath* A Visually Spectacular Caramel-Flavored Dessert, Complete With An Exquisite Sugar Work Dome Or Sphere

    Chigs' caramel dessert sketch

    20. STRESSFUL: This frankly unnerving pre-challenge commentary from Prue.

    Prue says, I'm not expecting failures. Like hell I'm not

    21. STRESSFUL: The fact that Jürgen's to-do list has 107 entries, which is 102 more than I could ever handle.

    Jurgen's to-do list

    22. STRESSFUL: George's confidence being so low after a rough first day that he's saved himself the trouble of packing later.

    George saying he packed my bags last night

    23. DELIGHTFUL: Crystelle theming her dessert after a cactus her late grandfather, Greg, bought her family the day before he died.

    Crystelle holding the giant cactus

    24. DELIGHTFUL: Noel unpacking George's pre-packed bags for him (and, according to George, actually using some of his real clothes for the bit).

    Noel with an armful of clothes

    25. STRESSFUL: Chigs' gelatin-induced catastrophe, which forces him to start again. (And say, "I flippin' hate caramel," and at this point? Same.)

    Chigs gooey caramel mess

    26. STRESSFUL: Watching all of the bakers remove their exceptionally delicate sugar domes from their molds (and, in Crystelle's case, watching it fall apart in her hands).

    Crystelle's shattered dome

    27. DELIGHTFUL: Matt camouflaging himself among the sugar domes.

    Chigs laughs at the similarity between his dome and Matt's bald head

    28. STRESSFUL: Crystelle shattering her third dome, then pivoting to the balloon technique (in which the bakers pour melted sugar over an inflated balloon, then deflate it, leaving them with a circular dome), despite the fact that she's never attempted it before.

    Crystelle's shattered dome

    29. STRESSFUL: Oh my god, Crystelle successfully pulling off the balloon technique, then getting her perfect dome stuck in a bowl, while the other contestants watch in abject horror.

    The bakers watch as Crystelle tries to unstick her dome

    Luckily, Lizzie comes to her aid, and the dome gets on the dessert.

    Lizzie helps Crystelle get the dome out

    30. DELIGHTFUL: Despite everything, Crystelle's terrarium dessert looks pretty freaking amazing.

    Crystelle's finished dessert

    31. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen's dome, which is as clear as his path to the final.

    Jurgen's gorgeous dessert

    32. DELIGHTFUL: George pulling through with a gorgeous (and delicious) Showstopper after a difficult few days in the tent.

    George's dessert, with clear dome and precise decorations

    33. DELIGHTFUL: Paul telling Lizzie that she's delivered finesse, after weeks of her striving for it with each and every bake. They don't love the way it tastes, but c'mon, look at it! Look at those roses! They're more beautiful than the world's most sublime Twix! No, I'm not over the Twix thing!

    Lizzie's flowerpot showstopper

    Final Results

    The remaining bakers lined up

    34. DELIGHTFUL: Jürgen, aka the Jürgen-nator, aka Jürgy-pops, according to Noel, being named Star Baker.

    35. STRESSFUL: Saying goodbye to George, whose constant state of near-panic didn't stop him from being extremely lovable (and not to mention, one hell of a baker).

    George smiling when he gets the news

    This concludes our Caramel Week recap! What were your favorite moments from this episode? Tell us about them in the comments!