BLOG! Former Bake Off Contestant Kate Henry give her verdict on the final and, yep, the tears were rolling down her cheeks too!
Phew – we have arrived. Over the past nine weeks, we’ve had beetroot gateaux, green frogs, toppling carousels and a decadent bread lion, all culminating in tonight’s final episode of The Great British Bake Off.
From the original 12 bakers, just three remain. They look minute and daunted as they enter the tent for their final signature challenge.
I’m feeling very tense. I don’t like it. I want to run in there and give them all a hug.
Nadiya appears strangely calm, whilst Ian looks as though he could do with a good night’s sleep and Tamal – unshakable, lovely Tamal – seems a bit distracted. Can’t think why.
The signature is 16 filled and iced buns. Sounds easy enough. But with only three hours on the clock – and yes, the timings are totally genuine – this is tricky, as enriched doughs (ones with butter/eggs/sugar etc) take longer to prove than ordinary dough.
Ian and Nadiya have flavoured their doughs but Tamal hasn’t bothered. He hasn’t flavoured his icings either. Hmmm. The paranoia is setting in early. I can almost hear the demons whispering bad vibes into his ear.
Paul prowls around the tent with Mary skittishly flittering at his side as they remind Tamal that ‘This is the final!’ – Yes, I think he knows.
Ian has made an elderflower dough and a spiced cardamom one – they sound awesome, but he forgets to put the sugar in one and his icing skills seem to have deserted him at the last minute.
Tamal is making a marmalade crème pat filling and an apple one. But I can see he is definitely losing his way. His crème pat doesn’t set, so he has to leave it out, the judges love his flavours though.
Nadiya triumphs – her steely determined nature showing in her eyebrows as they knit together. She gets full marks for her nutmeg fingers and almond crème pat. Go Nadiya.
Next up, the technical. Mille Feuille in two hours. This is crazy. It’s a lovely dessert, a double decker sandwich of crème pat, raspberries and puff pastry. Extremely tricky in the time though. They’ve all clocked that this challenge has been given to them due to their poor pastry skills in the competition. Mean.
Tamal’s whispering takes on a new level of crazy as he talks to himself maniacally. This is actually hard to watch.
Nadiya smashes it once again, yep, she’s pure grit this girl but Tamal’s pastry lets him down. I think Tamal is out of the running now. Ian does OK but needs to pull out all the stops for tomorrow’s showstopper, to be in with a chance to beat the indominatable Nadiya.
Showstopper day arrives with all the contestant’s family, friends and the return of the ousted bakers, along with a bucket load of drizzle.
The final was so much fun last year, but we were blessed with beautiful weather. Come on sunshine.
The showstopper challenge is tiered British cakes, with all the trimmings. I have to say that this challenge isn’t as tricky as last years. The monuments from last year’s final were something to behold.
The final three are making some very interesting flavours, Nadiya is doing a lemon drizzle, Ian a carrot cake and Tamal a sticky toffee fruit pudding cake. Yum.
Again Ian and Tamal run out of time – whilst Nadiya breezes through the challenge with ease.
Tamal has recreated an ancient Chinese fishing village in caramel! Nadiya has made her wedding cake that has jewels from her wedding dress on it and Ian has made some kind of sloping carrot themed five, yes FIVE, tiered cake.
Time’s up and I already want to cry.
I’m not certain that the finalists have made immensely beautiful cakes, but they have completely blown everyone away with their flavours. All three triumph.
Now it’s just time for them to walk out of the tent into the arms of their loved ones and the other wonderful bakers that have made this series a massive success.
Oh and there’s the small detail of the announcement of the winner.
It’s Nadiya, who makes the whole world cry when she says, ‘I’m never going to say ‘I don’t think I can again.’ I can and I will.’
Yep. Mascara streaks a plenty! Even Mary loses it. And that, I can tell you, is very rare.
Thanks for reading all the way to here. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the last ten weeks. Catch up soon and don’t forget to check out my low sugar baking antics here: www.katehenry.co.uk and follow me on twitter @treaclebakes