Nancy Wins The Great British Bake Off!
Posted 14/10/2014 by BrightHouse Team
Nancy Birtwhistle has been crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off, watched by a record audience of more than 12 million viewers on BBC1, beating the channel’s ratings for the football World Cup final!
Nancy beat rivals Luis and Richard; a surprise to many as Richard was one of the hottest favourites in the show’s history, and Luis had been a strong contender throughout. The final round put the contestants under enormous pressure to perform, and forced them to really rely on their own knowledge of baking.
The signature bake saw the some of the contestants start to crumble straightaway, with both Richard and Luis receiving harsh criticism for their Viennoiserie from Paul and Mary, while Nancy managed to scrape through with her under-proved croissants. If there was a clear favourite at the start of the show, the contest suddenly seemed much more open.
The technical challenge presented one of the simplest, yet almost impossible, tests for the bakers. A dozen each of mini Victoria sponges, mini tart au citron, and regular scones – nothing too out of the ordinary. However, the recipe from Mary simply said: “Make these. Make my day. Mary.”
With nothing to go on other than their own knowledge, the challenge really highlighted the contestants’ natural skill with baking. Again, the pre-show favourite, Richard, seemed to have lost his touch, ruining his scone mixture with too many eggs, as well as producing some truly awful tart au citrons. Luis seemed to struggle too, leaving Nancy to come out on top again.
The final task required the bakers to make a pièce montée - a towering centrepiece cake with magnificent patisserie decorations – giving them a last chance to show off their creativity and skill. Luis produced a cake based around the theme of this home town, Poynton, with an amazing mining wheel made out of biscuit, and a rope of choux pastry. Richard had a mountain of profiteroles forming a windmill, surrounded by bright green icing for grass. Nancy created a Moulin Rouge style windmill with dramatic red icing and sails that actually went round.
Paul Hollywood didn’t seem too taken with Richard’s choice of colour scheme, but the judges did like his flavours and his choux pastry. They really loved Nancy’s Moulin Rouge, finding almost no faults at all. And while Luis’s mining wheel impressed them, his flavours just weren’t quite good enough, giving Nancy the final success she needed to come out on top.
She may not have always been the front-runner over the weeks, but the final three challenges proved that she had the knowledge and natural knack for baking to storm ahead and win the competition. Well done Nancy!
Now, who fancies some profiteroles?