Welcome to the final episode of Season Four of The Great British Bake-Off! We laughed, we cried, it was all over far too soon.
Before we begin, who do you think will win this evening? The Guardian have a poll on their site which shows that my hunch that Kimberley will be our valiant victor may be correct. Of course that can very easily all change in the course of the next hour, but right now it looks like it’s Kimberley’s competition to lose.
Let’s go! I’m watching the Bake-Off with friends this week so I’ll include their opinions too!We start with a recap of the contestants progress through the bake off so far… wildcard Ruby, steady and excellent Kimberley and ‘style over substance’ Frances.
First up is the final ever signature challenge – the savoury picnic pie. We’re testing the contestants pastry skills once again reveals Mary in a quick vox pop – it seems the hairdresser has gone extra bouffant for the final – more hairspray!
Frances is making a rainbow pie which sounds tasty, although possibly a bit on the wet side with the filling… then we meet Frances’ mum and dad, Deidre and Kevin, who are absolutely adorable!
Ruby is making a veggie picnic pie with halloumi, cous cous and other mediterranean inspired delights – yum! Ruby’s mum Natalie is also lovely – I sometimes forget how young she is!
Kimberley is making a pie featuring three colours of pastry – white, green and pink! It’s a chicken and pig pie with chicken mousse and bacon inside. We meet Kimberley’s sister and boyfriend Guiseppe who is described as ‘a bit of a dish’ by my friend Lucy.
Frances innocently microwaves some of her pie ingredients and Mary, Sue and Mel nab some of her (hopefully unneeded) asparagus… devious.
Time for the pies to come out of the oven, and Frances’ is well-baked but a little juicy on top… Ruby’s is perfectly baked…. while Kimberley’s pie is soggy and disasterous! OHMIGODDDDDDDDDDD!
Frances is up first for judging, and the inside of her pie is beautifully layered and colourful.. and it tastes fantastic too! Paul thinks it could have done with a few more minutes in the oven.
Kimberley is up next, and the bake is not good. The meat and filling has leached too much moisture into the pastry and produced a stodgy gluey texture. Poor Kimberley!
Finally, its Ruby’s turn… her latticework is pronounced lovely and the layers look wonderful. Paul pronounces it sublime. IT’S ANYONE’S BAKE OFF TO WIN!
Time for the final (sob!) technical challenge – its pretzel time! The contestants are making crispy rich sweet pretzels – they look delicious! Kimberley kneads her dough with the frustration of someone who did poorly in the signature bake… can she recover and win from here?
Our ladies are a bit flummoxed by the pretzel shape… I think we’re going to have some interesting pretzels by the end of the evening…
Frances is making poppy seed and orange pretzels, which sound pretty delicious! They’ve gone a bit mahoosive so Frances pronounces them ‘pretzelsaurus’ while Ruby calls hers ‘monstrous’ – who knew pretzels could be so scary?
Judging time, and Paul and Mary find all of the contestants pretzels lacking… they’ve lost their pretzel shape (if they ever had it, which is debatable) and are a bit soft and soggy. Overall, Kimberley comes out on top with her slightly superior pretzels, with Ruby in second place and Frances bringing up the rear.
A bit of judging talk from Paul and Mary… it appears that Ruby is currently in the lead to win this year!
SHOWSTOPPER TIME! And the contestants are making wedding cakes this year – very appropriate! Kimberley is making an incredibly complex cake with three delicious sounding layers – it will be decorated with the word ‘love’ written in 28 languages… very ambitious!
Ruby is making a Victoria Sponge filled with passionfruit curd which also sounds delicious… Sue teases Frances about the possibilites of winning the Bake-Off… Frances goes bright red and hides in the oven.
Paul and Mary whisper about the contestants from the sidelines… WHO WILL WIN!? Frances is making confetti with fruit and Kimberley is stamping her ‘love’ words onto the cake… not too sure about how this is looking.
PRESSURE MUSIC and Paul pacing the aisles as
Frances’s cake is absolutely stunning whereas Kimberley’s and Ruby’s are both considerably less good. Ruby is up first for judging, and her cake looks very homemade and delicious, but the presentation just isn’t up to scratch. Paul even pronounces the sponges to be overbaked… it looks like Ruby’s hopes are slipping away.
Frances is up next for judging – I love the bees on her cakes! The judges really enjoy her cake on the whole, with just a couple of bits of constructive criticism.
Finally, its Kimberley’s turn! Mary wanted to see more skill involved in her cake, and its true, its pretty boring and, frankly amateur looking. However, the cake on the inside tastes really good.
OHMIGOD its judging time! Our lovely ladies join their friends and family for a garden party while Paul and Mary deliberate…. who will win?!
The time is now… Frances, Kimberley and Ruby assume the X-Factor hugging position and the winner is announced… it’s Frances!!
I’m so happy that she’s won – she really has been great throughout most of the series and her creativity is wonderful.
Some snippets on what the contestents have done since the Bake-Off… so proud of everyone!
The Final GBBO Link Round – Up – Sob!
- Counting down the top five moments of this series. “I’ve elbowed your muffins” truly will go down in GBBO history
- The Telegraph interviews the three finalists in their own kitchens
- One columnists take on Ruby – flakier than puff pastry
- Is Mary really scarier to face in judging than Paul?
At least there’s still the amazing Junior Bake-Off to look forward to!