The Great British Bake off has come to an end, and while some of you may be weeping, others are rejoicing, both at the results and at the fact that it is over for another year. If you have yet to watch the final and are trying to avoid knowing who won, read no further!
The stakes were split over who would win, and although there did seem to be a favourite towards the end of the series, the end result, as always, came as something of a surprise. Richard Burr, the 37 year old builder, was a favourite to win having won star baker a total of five times, including three in the lead up to the final. Yet it was Nancy Birthwright who stole the show last night, with high praise for her showstopper final bake, the 'pièce montée', with which the judges could find nothing other than praise for. The rotating caramel windmill sails put the cherry on the cake, so to speak, and made Nancy's piece stand out clearly amongst the others, a hard task with the standard amongst the finalists being extremely high.
Having been described as 'close to perfection' by Paul Hollywood in one judging, and with Mary Berry admitting to have been 'inspired by her baking', it seems Nancy was the deserved winner. Each of the contestants had pulled their weight throughout the series though, and much sweat and tears went into each competitive piece. It's been a gripping series, with over 7 million viewers on the opening night, 2 million more than the previous year when it was shown on BBC2, showing a good shift for BBC1. By September there were over 10 million viewers, which beat the total for last years final.
Each of the three final pieces were delicate works of art, and watching them being cut into and eaten must have been heartbreaking after so much time and effort. The amount of practice and hard work gone into the bake off behind the scenes was also intense, with Nancy saying she had been getting up at 5am to practice the showstopper challenge within the 5 hour time limit. With such dedication it seems she definitely earned the prize, and declared that it has been one of the best things she has ever done in her life.
Tuesday nights may be looking somewhat empty to you now, unless you're a fan of the Apprentice that is, which kicks off next week, but we think we're going to miss the cake creations on a Tuesday evening! While we're going to miss the GBBO on our screens, we think it might help the waistlines, as who can watch the show without sampling a little bit of cake at home?! Maybe it's time to get the Bake Off going at home, and try re-creating some of the works of art the contestants produced... or you could always pop to the local shop if you'd rather leave it to them!