Nadiya Hussein is your Bake Off champion for 2015! She might have come last in the first technical and first in the last technical but you cannot doubt the huge amount of talent Nadiya had amongst the many facial contortions that have been gif’d to hell and back. I am very happy, not only did she deserve the win for her performance both across this week but across the series, but I’ve been on Team Nadiya very early on!
The Signature challenge was to make 16 Iced Buns and Paul put the wind up the bakers as he revealed that iced buns are his favourite in the world. I have to be honest, I thought that the iced bun was quite simple in terms of its flavour but both Ian and Tamal added different flavours to their iced buns, with Ian going for Spiced Buns and Elderflower and Lemon Buns and Tamal going for Cinnamon and Apple and Toffee and Marmalade Iced Buns. Similarities didn’t end there as they both decided to batch bake their buns, meaning they pull them apart individually after baking. Nadiya went the other way making her buns not only round but baking them on their own. She filled them with an almond custard and a sour cherry jam and they reminded me of Swedish Semla buns. The judges loved Nadiya’s Iced Buns but both Ian and Tamal had issues that put Nadiya at the top.
The Technical tested the bakers on something which they have all done badly on in the past: puff pastry. Paul’s recipe for Raspberry Millefeuille tested our bakers, especially for Nadiya who had never made one before. Tamal made the fatal error of not following Paul’s recipe exactly as his puff pastry separated into distinct layers and finished in third place. Ian’s pastry was a tad underdone and he left too big a gap between the cream and finished in second. And Queen Nadiya (to which we’ll now refer her) perfected her puff and took first place.
The Showstopper tested the bakers to make classic British cakes in 4 hours. Tamal chose to go with the sticky toffee pudding as his cake. Mary had her doubts using a pudding-style cake for a tiered cake but ate her words when it came to judging. Tamal’s ingenuity saw him create a masterpiece in caramel decorations with a caramel web joining his cakes up. It looked like a showstopper and there was a chance that Tamal had brought it back with that!
Ian went with the classic carrot cake and decided to make 5 layer cakes, each a different size. Ian really went for the title with his cakes, and the pressure did seem to get to him as he forgot an ingredient (for the second time in the final). Even so he managed to make every single cake perfect as the one before and the judges were wowed by his consistency. It was clear that Ian had done something special in those 4 hours! And you can find my pretty special carrot cake recipe by clicking here.
Nadiya chose one of my favourite cakes for her showstopper using lemon drizzle as the foundation. Drawing on inspiration from her dream wedding cake and using decorations from her wedding, Nadiya’s cake was another showstopper that blew the judges away on flavour. I loved the story behind Nadiya’s cake, how if she had a wedding in Britain that cake she made would be her wedding cake. And you can find my ultimate lemon drizzle cake recipe by clicking here.
So Bake Off 2015 is officially over. We had collapsed Black Forest Gateaux, beetroot cakes and biscuit fire engines at the start to wonderful choux towers and chocolate wells at the end. All 12 bakers can look forward to a busy year with their newfound fame and a new batch of bakers are starting their Bake Off journey, including me! That’s right I am applying for Bake Off 2016.