The UK has gone cooking mad with the final of the Great British Bake Off. For the first time ever, the final of the fun-but-tense bakery competition featured an all-male line-up. Cue plenty of testosterone jokes from feisty and funny comedy duo presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
The contestants in the final were James, John and Brendan, and they made for a calm and rather charming group of bakers. In fact, all three contestants retained an almost Zen approach to stiff competition throughout the final: “It was very tight, but for some reason I felt totally relaxed”, said James of his rather messy ‘bijou French patisserie’ adventure.
The show puts its contestants to three challenges each week: first, the ‘signature bake’, which allows the bakers to put their own spin on a traditional recipe, the ‘technical bake’ which tests their skills and technique, and the ‘showstopper bake’, where they must summon all their talent, experience and creative flair to produce something, well, show-stopping. More or less what it says on the cake tin.
Having worked their way through a savoury pithivier, 25 perfectly divided and decorated fondant fancies and a chiffon cake, John was eventually crowned the winner at the special British Bake Off fete. The Twitter-sphere was soon set alight by the Bake Off final, with singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor revealing that she was a new convert, and past contestants offering their praise and support.
Mary Berry, one of the judges on the show, is something of a baking guru, and her involvement with the programme has been one if its great draws for viewers. The author of 70 cookery books, she has been inspiring amateur and professional cooks for over 60 years.
Mary’s great love is for really good home cooking, so for viewers inspired by the Great British Bake Off or any other cookery programmes, the best thing to do is to get back in the kitchen and experiment. Home cooking is always tastier and healthier than a takeaway, so investing in the right cooker is always recommended. There are many options for buying new cookers on finance these days, so hop online for some great ideas.
Investing in some good quality baking supplies is worth the expense – they are usually very versatile and can be used for lots of variations of recipes. Adding some unusual little hints of your own always breathes new life into the most classic dishes – a hint of mint could be a great little kick.