Ask the Expert: The GBBO Final

Winning was amazing, says Ed
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It’s finally here. After 11 weeks of bad puns, Paul’s stares and piles and piles of cake, bread, biscuit, pastry and meringue, three bakers face their final challenge to determine who will be crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off Series 6. We asked the winner of Series 1, Edd Kimber, what it felt like to win and what advice he would give the bakers.

“Winning the show was amazing, it is an intense and surreal experience,” he said.

Kimber wowed the judges on his way to victory, bringing impeccable attention to detail and inventive flavour combinations to technical excellence. What advice would he give the bakers to emulate his success?

“The biggest challenge of the final will be keeping your nerve, as the pressure is intense and the nerves have a way of getting to you, so it’s almost who can handle the pressure that will succeed!” he said.

Especially hard is this week’s technical challenge, which will require the bakers to revisit something they all struggled with in the past. Can they learn from their mistakes to triumph where first they failed?

Before that, though, is a more straightforward signature challenge which sees the contestants making iced buns.

Impress

“Paul is a big fan of enriched dough, so this is a challenge in which they’ll need to impress him,” said Kimber.

He warned that there were hidden dangers to the challenge, which the bakers must avoid if they do not want to ruin their chances before the race has even properly got under way.

“Adding butter and eggs to the dough makes it harder to develop gluten, so the challenge for the contestants will be to make sure they work the dough properly so the finished dough is light,” he said, adding: “Shaping the iced buns will also be key as the judges will be looking for consistency.”

The last battle of the competition is to produce a showstopper classic British cake. With such a broad category to choose from - from fluffy and creamy Victoria sponge to dark and intense fruit cake - the bakers will have plenty of opportunity to exercise their creativity in the final sprint for the line.

Whoever wins, however - be it Tamal, Ian, or Nadiya - the chances are their lives will never be the same again.

“The show has opened up many doors and since then I've made a career as a food writer,” said Kimber. “I've written three books and regularly write for the leading food magazines, as well as working for big brands such as KitchenAid. The show changed my life entirely and enabled me to have a career I love in the food industry that I also love.”

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