Monz recaps Great Australian Bake Off Episode 8: Sorry, suet is not sexy.


It’s pastry week!

Wait, what? Again? Haven’t we already seen pastry this season? We’ve had the choux episode…then pies….is there more?

DAMN RIGHT THERE’S MORE. Because how many ways can you stuff butter into flour and bake something in it? NOT ENOUGH IF YOU ASK ME.




The bakers have two hours to bake 12 miniature savoury pastries so basically they’re turning the bakeoff shed into the cocktail party OF YOUR DREAMS. Mini things. Mini delicious things baked in pastry.  All we need now is a glass of bubbles in hand, and waiters carrying food while I hover near them with crazy canape eyes and I will TRULY feel at home.

The judges, Maggie Beer and Matt Moran, know that their job is about to get harder.

“I’m looking for something I can pick up and have a bite” says Matt, absolutely nailing the brief of being a judge.  Well done Matt.

Maggie says something but I don’t hear it because I’m just agog at her earrings.  Are they cookie cutters? Are they silicon baking moulds? They’re something alright. They’re magnificent.

Mags 4EVA.

With half the Bake Off shed empty, the bakers are trying all the tricks in the book to spark the show up a little.  James is cooking his pastry with suet. “I love suet and it needs to have a comeback!” he says enthusiastically.

“It’s not cool anymore and I want to bring it back and make it sexy!”


Suet:  A hard fat found in the loins of beef and sheep.


Not to be outdone, Jasmin says she wants to bring Vol au Vents back. She’s not even taking the piss either. And just as I’m starting to wonder what’s wrong with her (has she been sipping the verjuice?) She drops THIS:

And a thousand country bakeries’ hearts break.

Boo hiss.

Thankfully, good old country gal Angela is there to lift our hearts with her sausage rolls. Hurrah. And Sian is making something vegetarian which is a genius move when it comes to pastry because it allows the eater to think they’re doing something healthy for themselves. And Suzie Sparkles The Magnificent is making a pastry that us humble pie eaters haven’t even SEEN before called Maznik. She’s a magician and she makes it out of whipping a tablecloth in front of the judges.  The judges just about fall over themselves for her magic trick.

Now you see it….

Neither one of the judges has ever seen a pastry made out of a tablecloth and they are duly impressed and Suzy gets gold stars from everyone except whoever is on laundry duty and now has to get the oil out of the linen.


It’s a Maggie Beer recipe which is enough to strike fear into anyone. And this week it’s something called a “Pattivierrrr”. Is she making up words now? First verjuice then pattivierre?  I Googled it. It’s a French pie with  crepe baked into it, spelled pithivier. Like someone got too juiced up on the old French Chardonnay and decided to combine two of the most excellent foods known to humankind.


Thankfully I’m not the only bogan baker whose never heard of it because most of the bakers on the SHOW are like ‘WUT?’. And even our hosts, Mel and Claire, can’t find a single pun that goes with pithivier.

“Get in my pithivier hole!” – not quite the same ring to it.

They are given three hours to make a French Mushroom pie with the pancake parlour special.  Incredibly, they all nail it. The judges are tres impressed, and there is only a skerrick of a point between the pithivier who comes first and the one who is deemed the worst.

Sadly James comes last, and Angela, a woman who has probably made more pikelets and pies for school fundraisers than we can poke a stick at, wins it, despite not having made one before. Mad skills.


Strewth. It’s strudel. The most delicious but also the ugliest of all desserts. There is just NO way to pretty up a strudel. It’s utilitarian, no-nonsense, no bells and whistles. How will Suzy Sparkles cope?

Just fine, apparently;

Shine, shine, shine.

Meanwhile, Angela puts mango in hers.  Oh dear. In a German/ Austrian dish?  They’re hardly getting out the mangoes in Salsberg or Hamburg are they, Angela. Mangoes belong in daiquiris. Not in strudels.

“I’m about to lose my shit” says James who has given up on the poetic missives of last weeks show and is now just brutally staring down the barrel of elimination with his Pear and Hazelnut showstopper. He has to plate up a strudel that’s better looking than Captain Von Trapp in uniform, and that’s a tough ask.  In fact, at this point, I’m hoping he just bins the strudel and plates up a picture of Captain Von Trapp instead because, damn. He is one showstoppingly delicious Austrian.

Damn fine.

Sian makes a sour cherry strudel that has ricotta in it and I start wondering if we could be neighbours. The kind where she makes strudels and pies and pops them on the “windowsill” to “cool” and I “accidentally” knock it off into my “garden” and then it’s technically on “my property” and hence I am the “owner” of said strudel and pie.

But then as if I couldn’t love this show any more, more magic from Suzy. She’s not only nailed her tablecloth trick for her strudel, she starts HELPING THE OTHER BAKERS.

For my first trick…

And she’s laughing and they’re laughing and everyone is having a great time and ignoring the fact that in about 3 minutes one of them will have their oven light extinguished and be sent to tribal bake council.

Sadly, we kind of know who it’s gonna be.

Oh, James.

A GALLANT effort. It would have tasted amazing, I know it. But when everyone around you is wearing designer Austrian labels and you turn up wearing curtain fabric that the baroness Maria made you, you are not long for this bake off life.

And this week’s star? Suzy Sparkles.  Showing sparkly strudel sportsmanship scoops spectacular skills.

Who do you think should have gone home?

Here they are again, the strudels of episode eight…