Comment: The Great British Bake Off

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Last night, an average of 8.4 million fans tuned into The Great British Bake Off to see who be crowned the baking champion this year.

The three finalists couldn’t have been more different from each other if they had tried, the only similarities they all possessed was a love for baking.

We had Ruby Tandoh who was battling it out for us youngsters, Kimberly Wilson who had always previously made or seen someone make pretty much every technical challenge and Frances Quinn who had a different theme to go along with each of her bakes.

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I was routing for Ruby, despite her annoying facial expressions and lack of confidence. I wanted her to win because she was the youngest contestant and I certainly felt as though I would be letting the twenty somethings down, if I strayed away and backed any of the others. I liked how unprepared and scatty she was and the fact she made it to the final whilst also being able to study and complete exams at university. I also sort of liked her whimsical ways, flowery clothing and her curly hair. I do not think she will be forgotten in a flash, especially with the male fans that are out there.

Last night we saw them compete with savoury picnic pies, pretzels and wedding cakes.

After the first signature challenge had been completed, I thought Ruby was definitely in with a shot at winning, with her perfect layers of vegetables and that all important crispy bottom.

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Frances had made a lovely picnic pie but Pauly Hollywood wished it had been in the oven for another ten minutes.

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Kimberly was very disappointed with her soggy base but luckily clawed her way up by coming first in the technical challenge of making a pretzel. Of course she had made something similar to a pretzel before so she had the upper hand.

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I was quite surprised that the Judges had chosen Paul Hollywood’s pretzel recipe as the final technical challenge, simply because they are an unusual food to eat. They just remind me of my trip to New York as pretzel vans were dotted around the city. Not everyone could master the fine art of double twisting the dough to create that perfect shaped pretzel.

Next on the agenda for the finalists was the mammoth task of designing and baking a three tiered wedding cake. Frances was in her element, creating a beautiful cake decorated with mango and beetroot ‘confetti’, that had all been hand chopped and roasted before being thrown (in a delicate manner) on to the cake.

Frances Wedding Cake

Kimberly’s ingredients sounded delicious in her ‘language of love’ cake but the decoration is what let her down, according to harsh judges Paul and Mary Berry.

Kim Cake

Unfortunately for Ruby, decoration is not one of her strong points and it really did let her down, as the close up shots of her finished cake looked a little messy. As she walked away in tears having been told by Paul that her sponge was dry, we all new she would not be crowned the winner.

Ruby Cake

In the end, as the contestants huddled together awaiting to hear the results, it was Frances Quinn that was crowned winner of 2013 Bake Off. As sad as it was that Ruby did not win, I reckon Frances did deserve the winning title simply due to how much effort she must have put in every week to be able to produce such imaginative bakes.

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This year Paul has again taken the role of The Great British Bake Off’s Simon Cowel and Mary Berry has been as delightful as ever. I think she epitomises a grandma and I am sure her grandchildren are on the plump size due to all the lovely cakes they must eat.

Throughout the series I have enjoyed the banter that presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have provided. I always looked forward to the way they scream out the word ‘BAKE’ before the camera cuts to the contestants scurrying around.

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The way it is filmed and the setting they bake in all adds a great sense of Britishness to the programme. I think this is one of the reasons I love it so much. It is the little touches such as the thick wooden table that the judges and presenters sit around whilst they scrutinise the baking. The pale pink, blue and yellow mixers that look very professional and enviable by any keen baker. The white marquee that screams British summer due to our unpredictable weather conditions. I remember during one episode it rained throughout the whole programme. I also can’t forget the odd British flags that line the tent, I think this is the one of the only programmes that features our flag.

One of my favourite contestants this year has been Howard, purely for the way he speaks.

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All in all, I am not surprised millions of people tuned into find out who the winner of this years Bake Off was. I certainly didn’t predict it, but well done Frances!

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