Happy bake-off finale lovelies! As ever, the contestants are preparing recipes for a traditional British fete during the final, and their afternoon tea style efforts will then be judged by Paul, Mary and their eliminated fellow contestants.
The first challenge is to make a French puff pastry pie (I won’t attempt to say the name!) – but a savoury one. They sound fairly delish… we’ll see if they can convert me to liking pastry!
Time for a foray into James’ baking past – he learned to bake from his Grandma in Shetland – bless! Next up is John who lives in the poshest student flat you’ve ever seen in your life. John’s family are charming and tease him about being in the bake-off. Followed by lovely Brendan, who thinks that the person who keeps his cool in the final will be triumphant.
Judging time on the pithivier’s and Brendan wins universal praise with a flavoursome pith-thingy and avoids the dreaded soggy bottom. John is up next and the tension as Paul checks for his soggy bottom (ey up!) is quite spectacular. Finally, James is up and HE HAS A SOGGY BOTTOM OHMIGOD!! Can he still win? Brendan and John are starting to realise that maybe they could get their grubby mitts on the GBBO trophy…
The final ever technical challenge for series 3 is making Fondant Fancies – a square of sponge with a mound of buttercream on top and covered with fondant. And even Paul thinks its difficult, blimey!
Apparently he was right, as fondant fancies are bleeding hard to dip into the fondant and get out in one piece. All three finalists do pretty poorly, with Brendan and John coming joint second/last and James coming out on top (though PaMo make it clear that they all did basically SHIT).
The showstopper challenge is to make a bonkers chiffon cake, and the bakers are going all out with crazyily extravagant tiered and multiple cakes. John is making a big cake and then lots of adorable baby cakes – how cute! But disaster strikes when James knocks one of his FIVE cakes off onto the floor… will he be able to pull it back? Knowing James, I vote yes!
Decorating time and OMG James is hairdrying his cake – what a baking tip! (he’s doing it to make the frosting runnier so he can smooth it over). James’ turkish delight and general cake progress are NOT going well at all….. are we witnessing a last second collapse in James’ winning performance this season?
Judging time, and both John and Brendan have produced truly spectacular showstoppers. John’s cake is amazingly professional looking and apparently very delish too (it looks amazingly chocolately). Brendan is up next, and there are actual gasps as the judges cut through his again amazing cake….
Finally, its James’ turn and the judges point out that his five cakes, while ambitious, are difficult to judge…. and unfortunately, have meant that James has pretty much botched his cakes, bake wise…. the Bake Off is thrown wide open!
The winner is…….. JOHN! After being unimpressed with him earlier in the series, I’m now pleased with the result… John has come the furthest and improved the most during the series I think. Brendan and James are very gracious losers and John’s family and friends are endearingly proud of him. So that’s it! See you back here for recaps of season 4 (and we’ve got junior bake off and a Christmas special to look forward to)… what will we do with our Tuesday nights now?
Bonus Bake Off bits…
- Recipes from the final
- Don’t miss the bake off masterclass, starting Monday night
- Check out John’s blog