The last ever Bake Off on the Beeb. It’s the end of a madeira. Oh please yourselves.
So – and now there were three. Who would win the royal-themed Great British Bake Off final? The country held its breath. And its glasses of wine, if Twitter was anything to go by. Mary Berry’s legacy to the nation is that everyone is now as keen on booze as she is.
Jane, Andrew and Candice lined up and were told to bake a filled meringue crown. “Big enough for the whole Royal Family!” squeaked Mel. What, all of them? They were going to need a bigger tent. “It’s the final, and we’ve been waiting for this,” wrinkled Mary, wisely. “I’m looking for it to taste good, look good, and…..” And what, Bezza? Have a secret layer of tequila-flavoured raspberries? Be made entirely of gin? “Be spectacular.” Oh. I blame Nadiya (last year’s winner) for this royal shizz. She’s always being papped with Her Madge.
Jane wanted her meringue to be “as white as possible” (should please Prince Philip) whereas Andrew wanted his to have a brown colour, using muscovado sugar and Candice, (looking all kinds of fabulous in a funereal black dress) wanted to go “a little bit further” and threw in some prosecco (should please Mary). “Now for my cassis jelly jewels,” shimmied Andrew. Is that what you kids are calling them these days? He then bent over his oven to check his meringue and uttered the immortal words:
Moving swiftly on, the judging. “Your coulis is sharp,” declared Mary to Jane, who looked unsure as to whether or not this was a good thing.” Candice and Jane got a Paul handshake (it’s just a handshake, calm down) but Andrew didn’t. Andrew felt this was a worrying development. What would happen in the technical challenge?
Victoria Sandwich. Eh? Any fool can make one of those. There were no instructions, no quantities, no recipe, no method, nothing. Aha. Evil. The camera cut to a Victoria Sandwich so perfect it couldn’t be real. “It MUST look like this,” said Mary firmly. Paul’s mandarin orange complexion gaped at her in awe.
Everyone made their sponges, fretting about creaming methods and all-in-one methods, (“Mary likes the all-in-one method” said Jane, trying, and failing, not to look smug.) They then started making their own jam. Oh but Mary, you’re cruel. “Everyone’s will look exactly the same, making it easier to compare them,” wailed Andrew, his jelly jewels presumably limp with worry.
Candice was told she’d made jelly not jam, because she’d taken the pips out. Candice reacted as though she’d gone to the doctor with a slight rash on her knee and been told she needed her leg amputated. Jane’s buttercream was a bit on the soft side and her jam was gluey. She pulled a face that indicated she wished to destroy the government. Andrew won. “An even bake, a good jam, a smooth buttercream.” What more can a girl ask for? He should put that on his Tinder profile.
The biggest ever Bake Off final show stopper challenge. Five hours to make 12 puff pastry sausage rolls. 12 fruit and custard tarts (bleurgh). 12 savoury scones. 12 mini quiches (seriously Bezza, the 80s are over. Stop trying to make them happen) and a chocolate cake. Essentially, a large picnic for alas unwritten Enid Blyton novel, “Five Go Mad With Pastry In A Tent”.
Candice made a chocolate orange and cardamom cake. Bloody cardamom. WHY? Andrew produced a spreadsheet. Of course. Jane made stuff like elderflower and something or other tarts and a four tier chocolate cake. You won’t fit that in the picnic hamper, Jane. There was a clip of Jane’s extremely good-looking children. Why doesn’t one of them tell her to use Frizz-Ease? John Frieda is the way forward, Jane. Knock that squirrel off your head.
So, 49 bakes, but only one oven. “Time management has never been so important,” whispered Mel. Meanwhile the other bakers were sat outside the tent having a great old time, giving their tips for who would triumph. Selasi wanted Andrew to win. I WANTED SELASI TO WIN. Jane had the most supporters. Would she steal it from the other two? Val was firm. “Candice. She’s VERY focused.” Val gave no indication as to whether she approved of this. Jane’s chocolate collar wouldn’t peel off the greaseproof paper. She pretended not to mind.
God but it was amazing – they were baking at the speed of light (whatever that is, I didn’t pay a lot of attention in physics at school) and everything looked bloody gorgeous.
Mary thought the Queen would love Jane’s colourful picnic. “Great chocolate cake”, smiled Paul. “Shame about the collar.” He giveth, and he taketh away, folks.
“It’s beautifully displayed,” said Mary of Andrew’s spread. “But such a thick layer of undercooked pastry, I think I’ll be leaving that.” His cake fared better. “That’s a great cake.”
Finally, Candice, who looked terrified. “It looks an exciting hamper,” said Mary, happily. “I love your little piggies.” (Sausage rolls folks, she hadn’t cooked her toes.) “Beautiful LAAAAAAIIIRRRRRS.” The tarts were a little over-baked (apparently) but “that’s a good custard.” Paul looked closely at her cake whilst Jane also stared at it intently. “Let there be snakes in it,” she seemed to be praying. “Or a great honking dog poo.” Bad luck, Jane. Her chocolate orange and bloody cardamom cake was a triumph. Had Candice got this in the bag, or rather the hamper? The bakers joined their cheering family and friends whilst Bezza and Paul tried to pick a winner.
Candice won. Of course she did. She is a superbly talented baker and she deserved it, and all the people on Twitter and in the newspapers who said a ton of mean things about her lipstick and her pout can just EAT IT. She cried while Jane and Andrew cheered her heartily, like the good sports they are. “I did it,” she wept quietly. “I’m good enough.” Of course you are. They all are.
So, that’s it. Bake Off moves to Channel 4, without Bezza, and without Mel and Sue. It is such a truly lovely programme that I really, genuinely hope it is successful on another channel. There’s enough meanness and cruelty in the world. Let’s have more cake.