And the winner is… Liam. Ok, that’s just wishful thinking on my part (and that of hundreds of Twitter users). But I am willing to concede the actual champion ultimately deserved to win.
Going into the final, most people would have put their money on Steven. He was Star Baker three times, had more Hollywood handshakes than you can shake a stick at and produced some genuinely show-stopping bakes over the past 10 weeks.
But for those of you who avoided Prue’s spoilers on Twitter yesterday the winner was (SPOILER ALERT) stuntwoman and former army officer Sophie Faldo.
“Yes Sophie!” I shouted from the sofa in my Jedi robe dressing gown.
Out of the remaining three, I wanted her to win. I got my wish after Steven basically turned into Stacey in the showstoppers, complete with faffing and ‘calming’ deep breaths. I genuinely felt sorry for him; of all weeks to choose to have a meltdown, the final is definitely the worst.
In the signature, Kate, Steven and Sophie were asked to create 12 mini loaves – three flavoured, three with intricate designs and three using alternative grains. We’ll glide straight past Prue’s comment about spelt not being the tastiest, and on to the bakes.
Sophie performed well, although her mushroom ciabatta didn’t really look like ciabatta. Kate nailed it. After an unnervingly creepy stare, Paul declared her filled rolls “divine”. Steven’s, meanwhile, were a tad disappointing to the judges, although his knots proved to be the highlight of his basket.
The technical seemed surprisingly simple – 10 iced ginger biscuits – until they saw the intricate designs. As someone who has iced 30 gingerbread men into roller derby players (complete with marshmallow kneepads), I do not envy them. The hand cramp alone is enough to put you off.
The tables turned, with Steven coming in first place, followed by Sophie and then Kate who didn’t manage to ice all of her biscuits. Going into the final, there was everything to play for.
Things picked up from here. I particularly enjoyed the bit with Jason Momoa. He’s divine. Wait… actually, that might have been an advert for his latest film. Either way, he was delightful.
For the showstopper, the bakers had to create an entremet (yet another bloody word I had to learn how to spell. At this point Bake Off has turned into a French lesson!) It’s a layered dessert… a painstaking, incredibly complicated layered dessert.
Sophie’s, as expected for the Bake Off winner, was a triumph. Her ‘Ode to the honeybee’, complete with chocolate honeybee, orange blossom sponge and lemon & lavender mirror glaze wowed the judges, despite their original scepticism over the flavours. It was truly stunning.
After hearing Sophie’s feedback, Steven looked defeated. His Ying and Yang entremet looked beautiful with its galaxy mirror glaze, but upon cutting this bled through, dominating the inside. It was also overwhelmed by chocolate and banana. Paul said it needed to be more refined.
Kate’s, on the other hand, was described as tremendously unusual. The Japanese-inspired dessert was flavoured with yuzu and white chocolate for a bold flavour. “I’d eat that all day,” said Paul.
Outside the tent, family and friends gathered eagerly to watch their loved one be crowned Bake Off winner 2017.
Upon hearing her name, Sophie seemed a bit shell-shocked and, as she had said earlier, her biggest concern about winning was “I can’t go to Tesco in my pyjamas any more”. She could, but she’d also turn up in the Daily Mail in her pyjamas. So there’s that to consider.
Afterwards, we were treated to an update on the departed bakers. They were pretty standard, apart from the glorious treat that was Yan, Flo and Julia doing car karaoke. That was glorious.
In the words of Porky Pig, that’s all folks!
My thoughts on this week’s episode:
Most fun to watch: Sophie
Quote of the week: “You’re never too posh to dunk” - Prue