What is it about The Great British Bake Off that has the nation drooling over their TVs week after week? Is it Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc’s mouth-watering innuendos? Paul Hollywoods’s damning “digit of doom”? Or perhaps Mary Berry’s showstopping jumpers?
Bake Off has been cooking up a fuss since returning to our screens in early August. As over 10 million viewers tuned in to witness ‘Bingate’, Diana’s apparent sabotage in dessert week, series five has enjoyed record-high figures, with simmering viewers exploding their frustration all over social media.
From saucy signatures to pear-shaped technicals, the challenges have pushed the contestants to excel in previously unknown territory, whilst exposing weaknesses that set them apart. Tensions run high in the tent, with a menacing soundtrack and a ticking clock leaving viewers hungry for Paul and Mary’s final verdict. When the knife eventually falls through the sponge or slices the loaf, we hope a contestant or two falls short of the final cut to keep our precious favourites safe. Some over proving or under baking never goes amiss.
But is it not just the morbid curiosity of culinary chaos that has kept us dribbling. The offerings at the “gingham alter” have progressed from pitifully folded swiss rolls to works of edible art, demonstrating a remarkable attention to detail and originality amongst the contestants in this week’s tasks. We revel in the perfections of these enviable bakes. The show has reminded us all of the simple pleasures of a 3D biscuit scene, spurring us on to crack out the whisk in our own homes.
With only two weeks until the crown is awarded, the final four must up their game to prove their worth. Graphic designer Luis Troyano has even found the key to Mary’s heart with a dash of Baileys in his cocktail-themed doughnuts. “I mean why are we bothering with the doughnuts” asked a delighted Mary, comically slurping up the liqueur with glee.
With four contestants left, there are still too many exceedingly accomplished cooks in the kitchen to call a decisive winner, but Richard Burr has an extraordinary amount of stars on his apron over the past eight weeks. In the meantime: on your marks. Get set. Bake.