Sophie is a third year Philosophy student at the University of Bristol. She recently won the Great British Bacon Off with her Showstopper sandwich ‘Don’t Go Bacon My Heart’. The competition was co-judged by Holly Bell, the Great British Bake Off series two runner-up.
How did you get involved in the competition?
My friend’s sister works for the marketing company that runs the bacon account and she knew that I’ve always loved bacon. So she asked me if I wanted to be a part of it and I said yes, because I thought it would be a great, fun thing to do.
When was it?
It was last Monday, the 19th of October, in Soho. It was just for the day from around eleven in the morning until about six o’clock. Because they film it, you have to cook everything like three times so they can get all the right shots. I had to put my bread in the toaster again and again for the camera, so things like that made it take longer than you’d think!
Could you describe the competition for me?
They did it similarly to the Bake Off style, so they have the Signature, where you had to create a classic bacon sandwich, but with your own little twist on it. For that I got a white bread roll and put marmite, ketchup and of course the bacon in it. It’s a family thing, we always have marmite in our bacon sandwiches – it’s so good! Then you have to do the Showstopper, where you make quite a whacky bacon sandwich. You have to cook everything using either a microwave or toaster.
What were the other contestants like?
There was one guy there who was really into it. He had bacon on his shoes and on his tie and he said that he had bacon in practically every meal. I know I said I loved bacon, but I don’t know if I like it that much!
How many contestants were there?
There were three other finalists and myself.
What was your main inspiration for your recipe?
I grew up in America and the fact that it was Autumn made me think of Thanksgiving and apple pies. Maple syrup and bacon is a classic combo and everyone loves French toast, so I just thought why not put it all together?
Did you experiment with the recipe before?
Yes, the week before I had my friends over and we had a seven course bacon meal of all the different options.
Did you get to try the other contestants’ bacon sandwiches?
I did, I tried one that was a chili chocolate and cider with two types of cheese, bacon and chewy bread. One guy did a really good club sandwich take and the other guy did one on brown bread with strawberry jam, bacon and bananas.
Would you mind sharing the winning recipe with HC?
– Brioche slices
– 2 eggs
– Large swig of milk
– Dash of vanilla extract
Mix the 3 above in a bowl and then dip the brioche slices in it. Microwave for a minute and a half, stopping halfway to turn the bread over.
Cook the bacon (in the microwave).
Slice an apple and sprinkle some cinnamon over it with dash of water. Microwave for two minutes.
Put everything together!
What did you get as the winner?
A trophy, a poster that says ‘The Great British Bacon Off Winner’, roses and a year’s supply of bacon!
And finally, what was Holly Bell like?
She was lovely! She gave us loads of insight into Bake Off like how stressful it was and how only a very small part of what is filmed goes on TV, so it’s weird watching it when you’re panic cooking for two hours but on the show it’s reduced down to only two minutes.