After eight weeks of baking heaven, the BBC’s ‘Great British Bake Off ‘ has come to an end with Joanne Wheatley pronounced the 2011 winner.
The show started with twelve amateur bakers who battled it out against each other, during eight weeks of challenging tasks under intense pressure. Joanne Wheatley, Holly Bell and Mary-Anne Boermans all won a well-deserved position in the final and their sweet dreamy creations were judged by baking writer Mary Berry and professional baker Paul Hollywood.
What was the show about?
I would describe this programme as a Master-cake-chef mixed with The Apprentice, providing suspense to shake a rolling pin at. The tasty formula of the show was to take some contestants, some baking ingredients, throw in a kitchen unit each for them to cook at with an oven and set them three tasks and voila: a recipe for success.
Contestants were set tasks from creating cheesecakes to complex tortes with a focus on sharing the baker’s original creations. The amateur bakers were put through testing times, being judged on everything from, whether their iced fingers were rising sufficiently and if the thickness of their pastry was acceptable.
The final episode involved three stages in which the contestants were stretched to their baking limits and taken completely out of their comfort zones. The technical challenge was particularly complex this week.
The pressure mounted in this task as the contestants were given limited ingredients and minimal baking instructions. The complicated Austrian dish was a tricky one to get their heads around and puzzled faces became apparent. As the pressure mounted Mary-Anne struggled with the spelling of Sacher. Holly was told her torte was a little under baked, whereas Jo stole the show with her delicious ‘sticky’ result.
The technical challenge has always been tricky for the contestants as last week they tackled Rolling Roulades (chocolate roulade). Under the scrutiny of Queen Mary Berry (who knew exactly how to roll a roulade without it crumbling or breaking) the contestants ended up being judged on whom the most had attractively presented roulade.
The final Round
The final round involved creating three types of mini cakes and pastries that were simply good enough to eat at a summer street party.
Mary-Anne made summer fruit tarts, rhubarb cheesecake and black forest meringue with everlasting syllabub.
Holly whipped up some delightful strawberry and cream meringues and created an array of very eye catching Neapolitan ‘ice cream’ cakes, including home-made brandy snaps.
Jo created mini Victoria sandwiches, mini meringue nests with raspberries and pistachios plus mini banoffee pies were wonderfully British and extremely tasty.
The three finalists were judged on the taste of their baked treats but also their technique and presentation.
Joanne Wheatly was crowned British baker 2011 and was awarded a very unusual trophy made up of a food blender, flan dishes, wooden spoons and a lemon squeezer.
Paul was still dreaming about Jo’s banana mouse as he quoted ‘it was unbelievable’ and Mary said ‘Jo deserved this award as she just got better and better” “Her three final bakes looked pretty and polished”
As Jo was overjoyed and extremely emotional about the result, she said: “It was a privilege to take part but to win it has been amazing.”
Written by Jessica