Last night 6.5 million people (including myself) tuned into BBC Two’s Great British Bake Off to watch the first ever all male final commence. Much like the series as a whole, the final was one of the best yet as baking finalists John, Brendan and James faced their most difficult bakes to date.
To start the finalists each baked a savoury French Puff Pastry Pie- a tricky task as these pies are usual sweet. The final’s technical challenge proved to be no easier as the bakers had to produce 25 perfectly square Fondant Fancies; all complete with a layer of marzipan and perfectly coated in icing sugar.
The most difficult (and messiest) technical challenge in The Great British Bake Off saw all the finalists struggle as neither Brendan, John or James had tackled the classic Fondant Fancies before, and each underestimated how tricky coating their cakes would be. Even Brendan, who had demonstrated a perfect eye for decoration ended up in an icing sugar disaster leaving the final ‘showstopper’ challenge- a chiffon sponge cake- open for anyone to win.
Experimental James decided to bake five cakes rather than one, ultimately making himself too much work. Brendan, on the other hand, created a beautiful ‘family reunion’ cake which was perfectly executed. However, John’s modern approach and ability to adapt to new baking techniques, as demonstrated in his beautiful Heaven and Hell showstopper, won over Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood who crowned him winner of The Great British Bake Off 2012.
Twenty two year old John Whaite was a surprising winner, I thought Brendan’s consistency would give him the edge, but John was a deserved winner having produced some marvellous creations throughout the series – I loved his gingerbread Colosseum in the biscuits round.
Overall the series has been another phenomenal success as its inspired hundreds of home bakers to put on their aprons and whip up lots of delicious baked goodies. Thankfully The Great British Bake Off isn’t over just yet as Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have filmed three Master Class episodes that detail all of the recipes featured this series. The Master Classes will be shown on BBC Two, Tuesdays at 8pm for the following three weeks.
And finally a great fact from last night final show is that Brendan is now teaching bakery classes at a care home within his local community- it’s fantastic to hear that he’s sharing his spectacular skills and passion for baking with elderly people.by