In Tuesday night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Tasha was crowned Star Baker, while Keith, a 60-year-old baker from Hampshire, bid farewell as the second contestant to leave the 14th series.
The nation’s renowned tent was once again set up in the picturesque surroundings of Welford Park. Hosts Noel Fielding and Alison Hammond guided the latest cohort of 12 bakers through thirty fresh challenges, meticulously set by Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, spanning across 10 episodes.
This marked the second week, and for the remaining bakers, it was the fierce competition of Biscuit Week. They commenced with marshmallow biscuits, drawing inspiration from beloved childhood treats. Following this, the bakers crafted a classic biscuit custard in the technical challenge. Lastly, in the showstopper, they undertook an illusion challenge, crafting their cherished meals using biscuits – yielding breath taking results.
Concluding the second episode, Noel announced Tasha as the Star Baker, and it fell to Alison to deliver the news to Keith that he would be the second baker bidding adieu to the tent.
Reflecting on the show, Keith remarked, ‘It’s alright, I feel fine; there’s nothing sombre about this moment. I’ve had the most fantastic time. I had bruises up my arm from the first week, as I was pinching myself every half hour. I don’t know how many hours I’ll spend the rest of my life reminiscing about this.’
Here, Keith shares his experience:
‘I was very comfortable at leaving as I think it was arguably one of the easiest decisions in GBBO history so it didn’t come as a surprise to me. I think I had to cheer up some of the other bakers rather than the other way round. I said how brilliant I thought they all were and how proud of them I was and I felt privileged to have been in the mix for a couple of weeks with some very talented people. I loved the fact that my fellow Bakers all appear to be very ordinary whilst hiding some very extraordinary abilities.
‘I thought it was important to demonstrate that leaving the tent doesn’t necessarily have to be a sad occasion and sometimes you just have to realise that you’ve reached your limit and be grateful for an amazing experience.
‘I want to do more and more baking – I am determined never to underbake a biscuit again. And I want to tackle challenging bakes now that I have more confidence. My worst challenge was the Biscuit technical – none of my biscuit challenges were great but there were some redeeming features in both the signature and showstopper that brought me a small degree of comfort. The custard creams were just embarrassingly awful…
‘I’ve learnt no matter how insurmountable a challenge might appear at first, with sufficient energy and application you can overcome it. And not just in baking.
‘The situation with my white chocolate drip on my choc orange cake was really interesting to me. I thought it was messy and made the cake look ugly and wished I could remove it. Paul thought it looked good and improved the overall appearance of the cake. Quite often we have things about ourselves that we really dislike and long to change but, unbeknownst to us, others see these as good attractive points/features.