Where do I start? What a final and what a winner!
In the lead up to the final, I did a few radio interviews talking generally about the current series and of course predicting what was going to happen in the final itself – and most importantly, who was going win?
Ian – the father of two, portrayed as a bit of a mad scientist/hippy baker, with interesting flavour combination and holder of 3 star bakers.
Nadiya – Loving mother and wife, who started her Bake Of journey terribly in the technical, but soon grew in confidence to earn herself 3 star baker accolades and topping the technical table several times.
Tamal – The dashing young doctor who’s flavour combinations always pleased, even if he did have timing issues. Winner of one star baker.
Let the baking begin!
The signature challenge was set, and the bakers had to make 16 iced buns, flavoured with 2 different fillings and iced to perfection. I would have loved this challenge! I made iced fingers in the tent, flavoured with cardamom and lemon – and both the judges loved them. Nadiya’s cardamom and almond buns sounded amazing, although both Paul and Mary weren’t too sure about the unconventional round bun shape! It’s funny what they don’t like sometimes! I remember being criticised for ‘clumsy icing’! Both judges loved Nadiya’s buns (no pun intended) and meant that Nadiya was off to a cracking start.
Poor Ian was attempting to make 2 different types of doughs for his two different flavoured buns, but sadly forgot to put sugar into one batch, meaning they were over baked and dry. His flavours did however please the judges.
Tamal had a bit if a rocky start and sadly his crème patisserie wasn’t set enough to pipe into his buns. But yet again, his flavours did please although neither judge liked the flavourless royal icing on top of his buns.
The final technical was to create 8 raspberry Mille Feuille. A challenge that had been personally set due to the finalists all showing weaknesses when it came to pasty. The timings for the challenge were tight, with lots of elements needed to be made, including rough puff pastry.
All three bakers received negative comments, but Nadiya once again fought off the men to become top of the technical, with Tamal at the bottom. With one challenge left, the title was still up for grabs and all that stood between the bakers and the cake stand of glory were a few cakes…
For their final Showstopper, the bakers were tasked at baking a tiered cake using one classic British recipe. The challenge was set to see if the bakers can achieve consistency in flavour and bake across all the cakes. They had to also impress with decorations and presentation.
Ian chose to make a classic carrot cake and baked 5 cakes in different sizes! Tamal decided to make a twist on a classic sticky toffee pudding, but added more fruit. His presentation was a little random; something about a deserted Chinese fishing village with a lot of spun sugar….! And Nadiya was making a classic lemon drizzle cake – always a crowd pleaser. Her decoration? Well, this would have been her wedding cake…cue the whole nation starting wiping away a tear. Come on Nadiya, you can do it!!
I was a little disappointed to see that none of the bakers were going to directly stack their cakes, but rather they all had fancy cake stands to display the cakes on separate platforms.
When it came to judging, each of the bakers were praised for the flavour of their cakes. Tamal’s cake really impressed the judges, more so than they were expecting! Ian’s carrot cake was the best carrot cake that Paul had ever eaten, and Nadiya’s lemon drizzle with homemade marshmallow fondant equally impressed the judges.
And that was it! We now just wait to hear who the winner is…I think the whole nation knew who the winner was going to be though! Cue a few minutes of the bakers families in the sprawling English countryside, interviews with previous bakers all cut to warm and fuzzy bake off music.
As the three bakers lined up in front of the judges and Mel and Sue, in my head there was one clear winner. Huge congratulations to all three bakers for reaching the final, which is a huge achievement. But of course a MASSIVE congratulations to Nadiya, the most worthy winner across all the Bake Offs to date in my opinion. Well done. You did indeed do it, and you will continue to wow for years to come.
Until next year Bake Off fans….it’s been emotional.