What a series! What a final! I was so nervous for all three of the bakers. Massive congratulations to Matty. He is such a sweet and worthy winner! Poor Josh was just pipped at the post, but again was a fantastic baker, making the verdict a really tough one to call. If I am honest, my predictions going into this episode was that it would be between Matty and Josh, but whilst Dan had a tough week, we can’t ignore the brilliant bakes which got him this far. The stories during the signature were a lovely way of summing up the bakers’ journeys and the supportive messages from friends and family were so heart-warming. It was also brilliant seeing all this series’ fantastic bakers again and, during a dark, freezing cold November night, I was very jealous of the sunny garden party!
There is no recipe this week. Instead, I am discussing my highlights from this year as the perfect end to my article series.
With a new host as well as a fresh batch of bakers, this years’ Bake Off was shrouded with intrigue before it even began. I loved Matt Lucas as a host, but Alison seems to have filled his shoes well and she and Noel have such amazing chemistry. It is a duo I have been warming to all series!
From the cutest animal cakes to incredible biscuit illusions, exquisite chocolate boxes, delicate patisseries and even caterpillar birthday cakes, this series certainly produced some showstoppers! I could not do this overview without mentioning Nicky’s beaver. It was the innuendo of the series and an instant reminder of the pleasure of having Bake Off back! The first week also saw the rise of conspiracy about the famous missing raspberry on the Bake Off cake. This mystery still remains unanswered.
Biscuit week was a dramatic one. Not only did Tasha get the first Hollywood handshake of the series but Christy stole Rowan’s dough – something which reminded me of the famous baked Alaska incident (if you know, you know!).
Poor Abbi fell victim to bread week, which again proved to be one of the toughest weeks of the series. She was such a smiley presence it was sad to see her go so soon.
Pastry week saw confusion over crimping and jedi fights between Dan and Saku. Speaking of Saku, wasn’t she such a character and joyous presence in the tent! She is definitely a baker whose personality shone through!
Alongside the classic weeks, this series saw two completely new themes: botanical week and party week. Both were extremely successful, but the fun bakes of party week made this new theme one of my favourites!
It was a pity saying farewell to Dana in Botanicals week, as she was so open and relatable, especially her discussion about how baking videos on social media can quickly result in reels on shark attacks – don’t you love algorithms!
Dessert week was certainly a challenge. With a disastrous treacle sponge technical, all the bakers had to redeem themselves with those gorgeous meringue bomb showstoppers.
There was much shouting at the TV throughout the series as well as so many laughs along the way (Matty’s priority of the West Ham game over Bake Off stands out in particular). Along with the additional fun on An Extra Slice, Bake Off has certainly been entertaining!
Watching Bake Off has been a ritual for me these past weeks and I am sure I am not alone in having no idea how I will spend my Tuesday evenings now it’s over! I hope you have enjoyed trying out my recipes over the past few weeks and, like me, can’t wait to see what next year brings!