The Great British Baking Show: Walton Edition, Episode 15 – Ghostbusters Week

We’re back! After a few long months in baking quarantine, The Great British Baking Show: Walton Edition returns in full force, with a celebration of everyone’s favorite paranormal investigators and eliminators. So pack up, regroup, get a grip, come equipped, grab the proton packs out the back, and let’s split. It’s time for the best, the beautiful, the only Ghostbusters Week!

Hi, welcome back to World Of The Psychic The Great British Baking Show: Walton Edition, I’m Peter Venkman Chris Woodall. This week’s competition took place on my birthday, so the other bakers kindly indulged me with an unusual request: a bake based on my favorite movie. Although my parents don’t take part in the competition, I thought a pic of one of their bakes deserved inclusion. Every year Mom makes me a homemade birthday pizza. It’s a tradition that I have really come to love. Usually we have the extended family over to celebrate, but this year COVID-19 had other plans. So to keep things interesting, Dad decided to surprise me with a big pepperoni 45 on top of the pie. As if that wasn’t cool enough, Dan and Mandy’s daughter Evey made me a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man brownie for my birthday, once again securing for herself the title of this week’s Junior Star Baker! Thank you very much, Evey, that was a very sweet surprise!

FOOD QUOTE: “Look at all the junk food! You actually eat this stuff?”

From start to finish, Ghostbusters is a food movie. Peter rewarding Egon with a Crunch bar, Dana carrying groceries, eggs frying themselves on the counter, the guys scarfing Cheez-Its, popcorn, and mixed nuts, a gluttonous ghost that never stops eating, trashing an elegant midnight buffet, Dana chopping vegetables, old potato chips in Venkman’s office, Vinz Clortho chewing hot water and rubbing pizza on his face, Venkman buying Peck a nice fruit basket, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! Hell, the first time we see Zuul it’s in a packed refrigerator, and the final battle features a hundred foot tall monster made of candy. Any way you slice it, Ghostbusters is all about food. And since I requested this particular bake, it seemed only right that I should make sure there was plenty of food available.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Don’t buy this edible Mr. Stay Puft on Amazon before shopping around. If you have a specialty/novelty grocery store or market, check there first. I failed to do so and paid double what I should have.

I’m of the opinion that if you’re going to do something Ghostbusters, you do it right. To that end I secured some Ghostbusters party supplies and an officially licensed Stay Puft Marshmallow Man marshmallow. I also brought some Sterno so we could roast him, because, it ain’t really Ghostbusters until you set something on fire.

FOOD QUOTE: “That’s a big Twinkie.”

Ladies and gentlemen, my Ecto-Cooler Twinkie Slime Cake. This wasn’t my entry for the competition, just something I came up with and wanted to try. If you pause the movie at just the right time you can see that the bottle Peter and Ray share while commiserating is Hiram Walker Apricot Flavored Brandy. Hiram Walker no longer makes the flask sized bottles, but they still make that sweet brandy, and it’s super cheap. I mixed some with sugar free lime gelatin, mango fruit punch, and water and brought it all to a simmer. I have to say the Hiram Walker really helps make a decent replica of that wonderful old Hi-C Ecto Cooler flavor.

FOOD QUOTE: “This ecto-containment unit that Spengler and I talked about is going to take a load of bread to capitalize.”

To assemble the cake, I tightly packed the bottom of a bundt pan with Twinkies, then poured enough of the gelatin mixture over it to soak the Twinkies. I lined the inner and outer sides with Twinkies, leaving a hollow space in the middle. Then I filled the hollow space with marshmallow fluff and then packed Twinkies on top, so the marshmallow was completely surround by snack cakes. Finally, I poured the rest of the gelatin over the cake as evenly as possible and let it solidify for a few hours in the fridge. It took something like 35½ Twinkies, and although I needed WAY more gelatin than I used, it tasted really good. I may make this again.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: See how mangled the sides of this thing are? Line your bundt pan with plastic wrap before you start building the cake. I used a nonstick bundt and we still struggled for quite some time to get this thing to depan in one piece.

Okay, down to the competition. First up, Mark drew inspiration from Slimer raiding the hot dog cart to create his homage to New York street food. These are his NYC Food Cart Pretzel Dogs With Slimer Mustard. They were quite tasty, and he added jalapeño slices to mine because he loves me.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: There’s also an official Ghostbusters ¼ lb. hot dog, which looks absolutely nauseating. My love for Ghostbusters runs deep, but I wouldn’t touch this thing with a ten meter cattle prod. It’s only served at Universal Studios, and that green sludge they pour over it is reportedly cheese based. I’ll take their word for it. That thing doesn’t even look like food.

FOOD QUOTE: “Hey, this is real smoked salmon from Nova Scotia, Canada, $24.95 a pound. It only cost me $14.12 after tax, though. I’m giving this whole thing as a promotional expense, that’s why I invited clients instead of friends… Why don’t you have some of the brie, it’s at room temperature. You think it’s too warm in here for the brie?”

Next up we have my entry, a dish I call Clients Instead Of Friends, my tribute to Louis Tully’s awkward anniversary party. It is a wheel of brie hollowed out, lined with Nova Scotia smoked salmon, packed full of brie mac and cheese, and baked inside a puff pastry shell. From this point on you may notice the pictures get a little thin. We relied on cloud storage for some of the food pics this week, only to find that the cloud is just as unreliable as every other storage option. So there are a lot of pics we had that are either gone entirely, or exist now only as undersized thumbnails. So I can’t show you what it looked like inside. Picture roughly $85 worth of overpriced brie and smoked salmon and you’ll get the idea. It was a very rich dish, both monetarily and gastronomically. It was heavy but unfortunately underflavored. Dan suggested I might have used herbes de Provence to brighten it up, and he was absolutely correct. That would have been just the thing.

FOOD QUOTE: “Nice doggy. Cute little pooch. Maybe I got a Milk-Bone.”

Mandy also drew her inspiration from Louis Tully’s party, or more accurately from his attempt to flee it. When Vinz Clortho in terror dog form chased Louis from his apartment, Louis sought sanctuary at Tavern On The Green, a restaurant in Central Park. Mandy combed their many, many menus for ideas, and delivered her take on their Smoked Bacon & Scrambled Egg Flatbread. Mandy wisely chose to leave her egg unscrambled, which makes for a beautiful and distinctive dish. Very tasty!

Of all the cuisines in the world, I would argue that Ghostbusters is most strongly linked to Chinese food. When the boys bust a ghost in Chinatown they are paid in Peking duck. When Dana is chopping vegetables and listening to Casey Kasem she has her wok at the ready. To celebrate their first case, the guys use the last of the petty cash to treat themselves to Chinese takeout. In the 2016 reboot, the Ghostbusters made their headquarters above an operating Chinese restaurant. And during his commentary on the original film, Harold Ramis revealed that ectoplasmic slime, a substance which will be forever associated with Ghostbusters, was actually made from common Chinese cornstarch. So when Dan revealed his unnamed noodle dish, I was all smiles. No, it isn’t technically a bake, but who cares? It was PERFECT. It’s exactly what the films called for, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. And Dan, who had never made so much as a stir fried vegetable before, nailed it.

It wasn’t fancy. It wasn’t supposed to be. Our struggling scientists didn’t dig on fancy foods. They couldn’t afford to. Dan’s noodles were delicious while being brilliantly non-specific. What was this dish? I don’t know. It was noodles with… stuff. It was tasty and filling and wonderfully vague. That was the genius of it. It was just Chinese. You knew exactly what it was when you looked at it, it tasted exactly as you would expect but better, and it required no exposition. It was, in short, the perfect movie food. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so, which is why Dan won this week’s Star Baker! I don’t remember if the vote was unanimous, but I do know this: we ate it so fast that this is the one and only picture I got of it. That should tell you all you need to know about how good it was. The only way Dan could have improved this dish was if he had given us chopsticks and served it in pagoda print takeout boxes.

Congratulations, Dan, and thank all of you at home for reading. Be sure to join us next week when we present our very first sequel episode, Cocktails Week 2: Refreshing Summer Drinks!

Until next time, bon appétit!

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