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Great British Bake Off 2023: Contestant pulls out in Chocolate Week

Tasha had to pull out of the competition due to falling ill but will return next week.

Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Alison Hammond, and Paul Hollywood - The Great British Bake Off 2023 (Channel 4)
Chocolate Week caused drama in The Great British Bake Off tent. (Channel 4)

What did you miss?

The Great British Bake Off's Chocolate Week proved too much for Tasha, who was sent home after falling ill.

Many of the contestants struggled with the task of caramelising white chocolate on one of the hottest days of the year.

And as Tasha was unable to complete the Technical Challenge she was forced to withdraw from the competition for the rest of the week.


Great British Bake Off contestant Tasha
Tasha had to pull out of the competition but will return next week. (Channel 4)

What, how, and why?

For the Technical Challenge judge Prue Leith tasked the bakers with making white chocolate and blackcurrant baked cheesecakes within two hours.

This involved caramelising white chocolate in the microwave, which meant the contestants had to repeatedly melt the chocolate in short bursts before stirring it vigorously.

Several of the bakers struggled, particularly Tasha, and the combination of kneeling down to watch the microwave below her bench and standing up to stir the chocolate proved too much for her.

The Great British Bake Off is filmed in a tent in the grounds of Welford Estate in Berkshire during the summer, and Chocolate Week took place during the early heatwave.

After failing to caramelise her white chocolate following several attempts, Tasha stood with her head in the freezer saying: "Not [feeling] great, I'm very hot."

She then sat on the floor saying: "I'm really dizzy. It's so hot, I think I need some air."

After her fellows bakers express concern a medic was called to attend to Tasha.

They told her: "You take as much time as you need. Nice and slow breathing. Just give yourself a few minutes okay."

The 27-year-old participation officer from Bristol was taken out of the tent to get some fresh air.

Presenter Alison Hammond went out to see how she was getting on.

Hammond asked: "Hiya darling, how are you?"

Tasha replied: "Gutted! I had a massive migraine last night. I thought I'd feel better but I'm not."

Hammond told her: "Go home darling and rest. I'll walk you back."

As Tasha could not complete her Technical Challenge and have her cheesecakes submitted for judging, she was removed from the competition for the remainder of Chocolate Week and did not return the next day to bake her chocolate box showstopper cake.

The two-time Star Baker will return to the competition in Week Five.


What else happened on The Great British Bake Off?

Matty - The Great British Bake Off 2023. (Channel 4)
Matty was Star Bake in Chocolate Week. (Channel 4)

Matty, a 28-year-old PE and science teacher from Cambridgeshire was crowned Star Baker for the first time after impressing judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with the flavours and textures of his chocolate torte and chocolate box cake.

And Hammond revealed that due to Tasha being unable to complete Chocolate Week, no one would be sent home.

However, she confirmed that two bakers will leave the tent next week.

New host Hammond appeared to be really enjoying her time on Bake Off, sharing jokes with co-presenter Noel Fielding.

At one point the pair knocked over a bowl while messing around with melted chocolate on research associate Josh's bench, while he tried to concentrate on piping leaves.

Looking like a pair of naughty school children Hammond exclaimed: "Let's get out of here!" while a sheepish Fielding gingerly picked up the bowl and put it back on the bench.


Will we be back for more?

Nicky, Tasha, Abbi, Cristy, Josh, Amos, Rowan, Matty, Keith, Saku, Dana, Dan. The Great British Bake Off 2023 (Channel 4)
The Great British Bake Off 2023 contestants Nicky, Tasha, Cristy, Josh, Rowan, Matty, Saku, Dana and Dan will return for Chocolate Week. (Channel 4)

Next week is Pastry Week which will test the bakers pastry making skills and see them baking steamed pies, Tarte Tatin and attempt to impress with decorative showstopper pies. All of course without producing the dreaded Soggy Bottom.

In the fifth week of the Great British Bake Off 2023 two bakers will leave the competition.

The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 every Tuesday at 8pm. It can also be streamed online at Channel4.com

Read more: Great British Bake Off

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