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Great British Bake Off – inspiration for The Final!

Great British Bake Off – inspiration for The Final!

by Great British Chefs 02 October 2015

It’s the Great British Bake Off final and as the contestants face their final test, we consider the challenges ahead.

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After ten gruelling weeks, the twelve bakers have been whittled down to the last three and Mary and Paul have lined up their final tests of the series. For a final, the challenges seem simple – iced buns and traditional cakes (the showstopper is still a secret) – but simplicity can be misleading; the judges are after ‘sheer perfection’, as Mary would say, and the simpler the recipe the more important it is to get it right. There isn’t a clear favourite to win this year, and even if there were, it could all change on the day – a mediocre iced bun or insipid cake could spell disaster for an otherwise strong candidate (let’s not forget what happened to Richard with his ‘too simple’ pains au lait in last year’s final). The last three contestants have really earned their place in this final and we are longing to find out who will be crowned the star baker of the whole series.

First the contestants must make an enriched dough for their signature filled iced buns. An enriched dough is one that has had eggs, milk, oil or butter added to enrich the texture and flavour of the finished product. Examples of enriched doughs are brioche, croissants, English muffins, cinnamon buns and doughnuts all of which make delicious treats. Flavours can also be added to enriched doughs for an extra dimension – have a look at Lee Wescott’s Rosemary brioche or Adam Gray’s Warm chocolate doughnuts for inspiration.

We aren’t privy to what the final technical challenge is going to be and know only that it is a bake that the three contestants have struggled with before (we’re guessing it has something to do with puff pastry). We can only imagine what the pressure is like in the tent and hope that the final three manage to keep a cool head to deal with whatever the judges have lined up for them. As we saw in the semi-final, panic does not help when time is short.

For the very last bake of the show, the bakers must make a British cake. There is a great list of classics to choose from – Victoria sponge, Battenburg, Dundee cake, parkin, lardy cake, tea bread, fruit cake, Madeira cake, bara brith, coffee and walnut etc. – and the contestants will presumably have fun with the presentation and decoration to elevate a humble cake to a showstopper worthy of the ultimate prize. This time next week it will all be over but in the meantime, let’s have another slice of cake!

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Great British Bake Off – inspiration for The Final!


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