The Great British Bake Off 2014 - The Final

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th October 2014
Final 3 of The Great British Bake Off - credit to the TelegraphThousands of applicants had been whittled down to 12, and from there just three remained. All the highs and lows, the overbaked tarts and cakes with soggy bottoms culminated in the final of the Great British Bake Off. Five-time star baker Richard was surely the bookies’ favourite, but the extravagant Luis or the ultra-consistent Nancy could easily rock the boat. With the tent looking starkly bare, the bakers were asked to make two different types of viennoiserie in 3.5 hours. As Mary put it, ‘the pressure is on’. Luis’ French pronunciation had a lot to live up to, but his choice of bakes seemed solid. Nancy went for almond and raspberry croissants and a Danish kite pastry. Richard, however, had to make two types of dough for his pain au chocolat and pain au lait, which Paul described as ‘simple’ and he therefore emphasised the need for them to be perfect to impress. LuisLuis took his frustration out on the butter, which got a good pummelling from his rolling pin. It was all about layers for the bakers, not 20 of them like last week, but just perfecting the few that they needed. It was then a matter of playing the waiting game whilst everything proved before being glazed and placed in the oven. Luis’ were well presented, as always, and were praised for their flakiness. One of his bakes was a hit and the other was a miss. As for Nancy, the flavours were spot on and the bake was pretty good. Top dog Richard’s pain au lait excelled except for the fact that they had joined in the oven, but the pain au chocolat was a disappointment. All round the bakers had both positive and negative feedback, but maybe the judges were just being especially picky given the circumstances. Mary claimed that the last dreaded technical challenge was actually ‘really nice’. The bakers had to make 12 mini scones, 12 mini Victoria sandwiches and 12 mini tartes au citron. How kind was that? Well, they all had to be completed within the 2 hour time limit and the instructions said no more than simply make 12 of each type – surely the competitors didn’t expect an easy final afternoon did they?Technical bake Pastry, dough, jam, cream, lemon sauce, decorations; the challenge had so many elements to juggle and the pressure began to tell as the clock ticked down. The three bakers all received praise for some of their creations and more constructive feedback for others. Richard’s tartes au citron were a resounding failure and he finished in last place. Nancy won the task thanks to her great tartes. And so it all boiled down to the final day and a showstopper to end all showstoppers. According to Paul it was more likely that Nancy or Luis would win, but it was certainly too close to call. The patisserie called for was a pièce montée, needing to be of epic proportions and taste magnificent. The final 5 hours started, and it was time for a characterful and personal bake. Nancy's Showstopper - credit to Daily MailRichard made Mill on the Hill, with inspiration coming from the windmill in his local town. Luis made a heavenly chocolate cake with a tribute to his home town of Poynton. After the touching montages of each finalist’s background (including photos of Luis with hair!) it was back to the tent to watch these masterpieces take shape. Nancy seemed so overexcited that she sent flower flying around the room when recreating the red windmill based on Moulin Rouge. The familiar faces of the bakers that had been voted off in previous weeks all returned to have their say on who would win the competition, and whilst the presenters amused themselves by tasting and playing around with the offcuts, the finalists panicked, stressed, sweated and rushed for the last time. Hands trembled as the designs were constructed and decorated, but everyone finished the challenge, just. The moment of truth arrived, and after having completed 30 challenges the bakers knew that their side of the deal had been seen through and it was now left to the judges to taste and then choose a winner. Showstoppers from Luis, Nancy and Richard Richard’s brightly coloured creation was ‘fun’ according to Mary and the flavours pleased Paul. The overall product was excellent and he had done as much as he could. Nancy’s red windmill was a sight to behold, the blades even turned around! The cake reminded Paul of one of his birthday cakes as a child and once more Nancy’s consistency struck a chord with the judges. Luis’ final piece was probably his most visually impressive of the whole series, which says a lot about his hard work. The taste was top notch as well. The bakers went to be greeted by friends and family, and backstage the judges deliberated. Minutes must have turned to hours for the awaiting bakers. The Great British Bake Off 2014 However, the judges did reach a unanimous decision and…NANCY was crowned the champion of The Great British Bake Off 2014. Joy and sadness were the only emotions left after a pressure-filled but awe-inspiring series. Hearty congratulations go to all those who took part, especially those in the final and the winner Nancy, for 10 fun and talent-filled weeks, mixed with the odd mishap, cheeky innuendo and baking disaster. All that’s left to say is more of the same next year please! Words by Mark Savile

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th October 2014

The Great British Bake Off 2014 - The Final