This is it – it’s final time. Now that Selasi has gone I don’t really have a preference for a winner but I think I’m going to back Jane but I have a horrible feeling Candice is going to win.
Here we go then – the final Bake Off on the BBC.
The finalists are Jane, Candice and Andrew. The show starts with a little recap of how each of the bakers have got to this point.
The first challenge is a family sized meringue crown. It must have three layers of meringue and be dazzlingly decorated.
By the way, I was reading Sue’s book while I was waiting to get into work one morning this week. What I didn’t realise was that the bit I was reading was where Sue had to have her dog put to sleep. I had to wipe away tears as the boss drove into the car park, stopped in front of my car and waved! It’s such a good read.
Jane’s meringue crown is red, white and blue. There is a layer of raspberry and strawberry compote and layer of blueberry compote and a layer of nectarines covered in raspberry coulis. It sounds quite nice (by that I mean it hasn’t got any nuts in it – hurrah!)
Andrew is using muscavado sugar as well as caster as it gives the meringues a more caramel flavour. He’s making a crunchy caramel cassis crown. It will contain a pecan praline centre – forget him then. I want Jane to win this round…
Candice is going OTT again. She’s doing two different meringues to make a mango and strawberry crown. There are three tiers and one of them has pistachios so I’ve lost interest in hers.
Jane crawls around on the floor peering into the oven and advises us that she’s on crack watch – each to their own love!
Construction of the meringue spectaculars begins and Paul is stalking around giving all of the bakers funny looks. Jane complains that her bottom is cracking. Andrew balances his on a head and Candice looks smug and pleased with herself.
Mary tells Andrew that the sugar that he’s chosen means that his meringue has no definition. She also tells him that the praline is too sweet with the meringue. They love the effect but don’t like the taste.
Candice is told by Paul that it looks great. Mary says she didn’t think Candice would finish but she did. Paul sounds impressed by the noise the meringue makes when it’s cut. Paul gives Candice a handshake.
Jane is told by Mary that the appearance of her meringue is very impressive. Mary thinks the flavours go very well and the sharpness of the fruit is perfect with the sweetness of the meringue. Jane also gets a handshake. Paul says that it was three layers of delicious.
Candice says that Paul’s giving out handshakes willy nilly – not jealous are you Candice?? She pretends to be pleased but we can see through that.
The technical challenge is a Victoria sandwich with raspberry jam and buttercream. The bakers are given no recipe or instructions other than to make it. By the way, I learnt this week that when Paul and Mary are sitting and tasting the ‘perfect example’ they don’t bake them, they have another baker onsite who does it.
Andrew tells Mel that he’s a bit gutted to be out of the handshake club. Candice puts her cakes in the oven and then stalks around the tent with a pout on her lips – not sure what that’s all about.
Paul and Mary taste them.
Candice’s sponge is too dark but they don’t like her jam and the buttercream is grainy.
They like Andrew’s and call it a good Victoria sandwich.
Jane’s is a little bit on the dark side, the buttercream is a bit soft.
In third is Jane (I think it should have been Andrew). Candice gets second (what?! That means Andrew wins!!) Hmm, very odd!
The showstopper is a chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 savoury scones and 12 fruit and custard tarts. Good grief – that’s a lot of things to make! Each item should be good enough to put in front of the queen!
Andrew has a spreadsheet broken down into segments of 5 minutes so he knows where he’ll be!
Candice goes through her picnic and each item has a flavour. Her sausage rolls are going to be made into little piggies – that sounds like a nice idea.
Jane is making a massive mistake by using vile ground almonds in her chocolate cake. She’s also giving the chocolate collar another try!
Andrew’s picnic, obviously, is family recipes! Grandad’s this and Nan’s that. What he probably doesn’t know is that all of the recipes are probably by good old Delia or something! He’s making ‘Gran’s scone recipe’!
Halfway through and the bakers look frantic. They have 49 things to bake and only one oven, that won’t be easy.
Friends and family and the eliminated bakers return for the picnic while the bakers toil away in the tent.
That’s it – it’s over. All of the baking has been done and it’s just down to the tasting and announcing the winner…
Jane is up first and Mary says that she thinks the Queen would love the selection. Paul tells her she has raw pastry in her sausage rolls. The quiche are very good. The scones taste like a good cheese scone according to Mary. Mary thinks the tarts look very pretty and the flavour is good. The cake has no white chocolate collar but it tastes beautiful.
Andrew is up next. Mary thinks it’s beautifully displayed. Paul starts with the sausage roll, it tastes like sausages but there’s a thick layer of under cooked pastry. Mary thinks the colour and look of the scones is exciting but they have no flavour. The quiche looks good and crispy and the flavour is delicious. Paul can’t lift up the soggy strawberry tart – it looks gross but Paul says it tastes ok. The cake (Grandma’s recipe of course) is a great cake.
Finally it’s Candice. Mary thinks it looks exciting. They start with the piggy sausage rolls, it’s a good puff pastry and Paul thinks they’re great. The quiche is crispy, full and tasty. Paul picks a scone and likes the colour and size but he can’t taste the cheese because the olives are too strong. The raspberry and rhubarb tarts are next and Mary thinks it’s a good custard but the pastry is a bit overbaked. Finally is her chocolate cake and Paul goes silent for ages before revealing that it’s a lovely cake.
I really have a strong, and disappointing suspicion, that Candice is going to win this year. I don’t know what it is but I just haven’t taken to her at all this year. Her humbleness seems very false.
Paul, Mary, Mel and Sue come across the field to reveal the results. Mary and Paul have decided that the winner is Candice. It’s not the result that I would have liked to see but there you go – we just watch, we can’t judge.
It’s all over then and that’s it for ever on the BBC. The bake off will never be the same without Mary Berry, Mel and Sue.
The exciting news is that there is a trailer on for a new Sherlock – let’s hope it’s better than the last one. The bad news is that it’s rumoured to be the last series ever. Sherlock is back on 01.01.17 – see you there!!