Last week the final of the hugely popular TV show The Great British Bake Off was broadcast by the BBC and attracted a record audience of over 13 million viewers. The show is essentially a baking competition and each week the group of amateur bakers battle it out to get through to the next round until they reach the final three. Once they reach the final round it is up to the judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, to decide on a winner.
Every week has a theme, from biscuits to bread, in order to test the contestants’ abilities in all areas of baking. They have to complete three tasks in each show: a signature bake, technical challenge and a showstopper. Paul and Mary judge the bakes and decide who will go home that week and who was the ‘star baker’.
The show is presented by the comedy duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who make lots of baking puns and chat to the contestants. This adds to the friendly nature of the show and is one of the reasons it appeals to so many people. Although it is a competition, the programme is unlike any other competitive show as the contestants help each other out and applaud each other when they do well.
In this year’s final the remaining bakers, Ian, Nadiya and Tamal had to bake sixteen iced buns, make mille-feuille in the technical challenge, and create a multi-tiered cake of their choice. It was Nadiya’s lemon wedding cake that won her the title of winner of the Great British Bake Off 2015.
The success of the show may seem a surprise to some, as the initial idea might not seem entirely exciting. However, the traditional British elements such as the bunting and setting in the English countryside have gripped the nation every Wednesday evening for the past month. Watching home bakers attempt some impressive challenges in the oven not only provides great levels of entertainment but has also inspired lots of people to take up baking at home – there was an 881% rise in the sales of baking trays at the supermarket Waitrose in the run-up to the show. Evidently, we Brits just love a good slice of cake (alongside a cup of tea).
Do you enjoy baking at home?