Great British Bake Off 2023: Botanical week sends another baker home

Dana is the latest contestant sent packing from the tent

Dana - The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)
Dana in The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)

What did you miss?

Dana has become the latest contestant to be eliminated from The Great British Bake Off after a particularly sub-par week.

Despite being a fan favourite due to her endless optimism and permanent smile, it's now the end of the road for her after judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith deemed her to be the weakest baker remaining.

For her showstopper, she cooked up an impressive looking rose cake that was in a box and while the judges were wowed by the presentation, the taste didn't cut the mustard.

What, how, and why?

Dana had earlier struggled in the technical challenge, coming in sixth place (out of seven) with her take on a lemon and thyme drizzle cake not impressing Paul and Prue.

She could be seen having difficulty early, not knowing how much thyme to put in her cake and only adding more of the herb after seeing other bakers had much more in than she had.

Cristy - The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)
Cristy had to re-bake her showstopper. (Channel 4)

In the end, her cake still didn't have enough thyme and came out an odd colour.

After Alison Hammond informed her of her elimination, Dana said: “I am just thinking of all the fun that I have had over the last six weeks and that is what I am going to remember. I never thought I would get to week six. Bake Off came at just the right moment in my life, and I will never forget the experience. If I could rewind time and do it all again, I definitely would.”

She also praised her fellow contestants: “I love how kind and generous all the bakers are. They are a group of people who I consider to be such close friends and I can always go to them with any questions, both personal and baking related. I feel honoured to have been able to work with such a great team and I love them all.”

What else happened on Great British Bake Off?

Botanical week – losely interpreted as something being plant inspired (such as spices apparently) – saw an array of interesting bakes with several of the contestants admitting to be confused by the theme. Given this aired on Halloween night, it seems baffling not to embrace the spooky as they did last year.

For the signature challenge, the remaining bakers had to make 12 perfectly identical spiced buns with spices of their choosing.

Tasha added mulled wine to her bake which turned it an odd looking grey and caused Alison Hammond to call it "gross".

Hilariously, Saku admits the reason her bakes are all different sizes due to messing up the maths. She works as an accountant.

Josh - The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)
Josh was named star baker. (Channel 4)

Cristy looks to have followed up her excellent pastry week as the judges call it "absolutely delicious".

The technical challenge is a lemon and thyme drizzle cake which is almost botanical. The standout here is once again Cristy who has really found he footing in the competition after previously admitting to having imposter syndrome.

For the all-important showstopper, the bakers are challenged to come up with a floral desert, which is the first time botanical week has actually embraced its theme. There's lots of hibiscus and elderflower and references to nans plus Noel does a Yoda impression while Cristy's cake falls apart and she has to fight back the tears. Miraculously, she bakes a second cake before time runs out and has something to present to the judges.

After deliberation, the star baker is announced by Noel as Josh who's rhubarb, raspberry and hibiscus floral desert was fawned over by the judges. He looks practically nailed on for the final and in a heartwarming moment, he's shown informing his mum of his particularly excellent week.

Will we be back for more?

Not a vintage Bake Off episode, let down by its curious theme and losing two bakers in one week has hurt the camaraderie in the tent with the show becoming a more serious affair as we head towards the end.

Now down to just six bakers, next week they will have to tackle desert week which is teasing some very sticky challenges and in the words of one Noel Fielding a "car crash".

The Great British Bake Off airs on Tuesday nights at 8pm.

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