Bake Off Professionals curse sugar as ice sculptures smash

Several teams suffered issues as they attempted to create "make or break" winter wonderland themed sugar showpieces for the judges.

Bake Off Professionals Ben and Jason
Bake Off Professionals Ben and Jason said they hated sugar after their icicle showpiece cracked. (Channel 4)

Bake Off: The Professionals semi-finalists were left cursing sugar as they cracked under the pressure of creating ice sculptures.

Judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin set the patisserie chefs the challenge of making winter wonderland themed sugar showpieces with frozen lolliops. Friends Ben and Jason and Ajay and Petra from Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant Adam's both suffered mishaps during the constructions of their sugar ice sculptures, with pieces falling off and breaking.

Hosts Ellie Taylor and Liam Charles were left gasping in horror as a snowman smashed to smithereens with less than half an hour to go in the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off spin-off on Channel 4.

Bake Off Professionals Petra from Adams
Bake Off Professionals Petra's snowman smashed into piece (Channel 4)

Ben and Jason were forced to smash up their own carefully crafted icicles after they cracked and would not be strong enough to support their sugar showpieces. As he scrambled to make a new icicle from scratch within the time, Ben exclaimed: "I love sugar sometimes but I hate sugar as well."

They had four hours to complete the challenge but judge Blin admitted sugar is "very temperamental", adding, "Shall we say it's make or break time!"

As they attempted to assemble their sugar ice sculpture Ben snapped at friend Jason: "You're moving it again. You ned to stay, when say still, statue. If you move, it will die." But as he used a blowtorch to melt the icicles into position, they began to crack. Ben said: "It's going to crack, we're not risking that, take that off. We're going to have to snap it off. Take this, break it! Hit it!" Ben and Jason then changed their design to a stack of broken icicles with no disc base after the sugar wouldn't set in time.

Ben told host Taylor: "Because of the collapse we've decided to change our design." The comedian replied: "It reminds me of that famous children's film. Did you have to let it go...?"

Meanwhile, Petra also struggled with assembling her sugar showpiece. Building her winter wonderland with teammate Ajay she confessed: "I'm just so scared my snowman don't collapse. It's really fragile." As she attempted to attached it to the main structure it fell and smashed on the counter. "Oh no!", she groaned. Taylor asked: "What happened to the snowman?! Do you have time to make another one?"

At the end of the challenge Ben said: "Did you see we snapped our showpiece in half, halfway through? The dreaded sugar eh?" And Gerol and Michael from The Royal Air Force Club were sure their showpiece would collapse on the judges table.

Tensions were high for viewers at home as well as in the kitchen, due to the fragility of the sugar.

One wrote on social media platform X: "Omg the tension and strain carrying it over to the table wasn't sure would survive!!!! #GBBO professionals" Another captioned a picture of Ajay telling Petra he felt nervous: "#GBBO professionals Same feeling at home watching when delicate things are nervously carried over to the table ..." And another joked: "Snow-MG #bakeofftheprofessionals #gbbo"

Bake Off Professionals Ben & Jason
Ben and Jason were sent home from Bake Off: The Professionals in the quarter-final. (Channel 4)

Friends Ben and Jason were sent home after their confession in the first round that even they thought their vanilla ice cream tasted "terrible" and "awful", and their sugar showpiece fell apart.

Ben previously appeared in Bake Off: The Professionals season seven, making it to the final six, and returned teamed up with friend Jason.

Ben joked: "I think we were robbed, robbed at the last minute. Where's my union?" But Jason said: "I think like as much of a meme as it was, there's only so many bottom twos you can get. We came a long way, and it's quite rewarding to think, 'You know what I did that, you can do that.' "

Going through to the semi-final are Ajay and Petra from Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant Adam's, Gerol and Michael from The Royal Air Force Club and Tanuj and Narayan from InterContinental London at The O2.

Bake Off: The Professionals 2024 airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.