In Tuesday night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Josh was awarded the title of Star Baker, while Dana became the sixth baker to bid farewell to the tent.
This episode marked the first occurrence of Botanical week in the series, where the bakers took on challenges inspired by nature. They were tasked with creating a signature bake infused with spices, a technical bake featuring herbs, and a showstopping floral dessert.
At the conclusion of the sixth episode, Noel revealed that Josh had earned the coveted Star Baker title, while Alison faced the challenging duty of informing Dana that she would be the sixth baker to depart from the series.
Reflecting on her time on the show, Dana expressed, “I am just reminiscing about all the enjoyment I’ve had over the past six weeks, and that’s what will stay with me! I never imagined I’d make it to Week 6! Bake Off entered my life at just the right moment, and I’ll cherish this experience forever. If I could turn back time and do it all over again, I most definitely would.”
In this passage, Dana shares her thoughts and feelings about her journey on the show.
‘I knew It was me that was going to go home, I could sense it so I hyped myself up for it. Obviously it would have been great to go further but I am happy with how far I did come as I got over halfway through which isn’t a bad place to be!
‘I am beyond proud of my Showstopper, not sure if I will ever make a Botanical bake again ha ha. I will really miss not having the wonderful washer uppers who never complained and were always around to help. I loved the cameramen and crew, when I was going it felt like I was leaving lots of ‘dads’ behind. I did of course have fear of missing out, but we all made up for it in the bar that night.
‘What has been truly wonderful are the so many gorgeous comments on social media praising me for positive thinking and inspirational mindset, especially on Chocolate week when I couldn’t get my horse’s legs out of the mould. So I presented them to the judges without legs saying they are laying down at the moment ha!
‘I was really excited to get back to cuddles with my cockapoo Gracie who had been looked after by my mum while I was in the tent, and she was thoroughly spoilt. I have got recognised on dog walks as they recognise Gracie first.
‘I am looking forward to looking back at my journey on AN EXTRA SLICE and reminisce of my time there, it will be a lovely memory for me and all the laughs with Alison and Noel – a Hammond Hug is a very special experience! I took the whole thing totally in my stride and I was determined to enjoy every moment which I know I really did.
‘I love the Bakers and I am known as the group’s social secretary. I organise a birthday video for each Baker, and I am relentless at chasing all the Bakers to get their birthday tributes in for whichever Baker’s birthday it is and it’s always a lovely surprise for them to get it on their special day.’
‘I have learnt that I am actually quite a calm person. I didn’t think this was the case especially when it came to baking but I held my head up high during high pressure moments and I am very proud of myself for keeping my emotions under control.
‘Best moment In the tent would have to be finding out the technical challenge In pastry week which just so happened to be extremely similar to my signature bake and everyone just looked over at me and was like OMG NOOOO WAY. I still didn’t come first though. Worst moment In the tent was coming last In week 1 for the technical challenge, no one wants to come last and I was certain I was going to be the 1st one to go home so I was terrified….
‘As much as It sucked, I actually loved doing my cottage loaf because there was a lot of waiting around for the dough to prove etc so I had time to just relax and chat to my fellow bakers. Worst challenge had to be Chocolate showstopper!! I have such an ambitious and creative mind that sometimes it doesn’t go to plan so my horses had no legs, I couldn’t finish the intricate detail around the carriage or get the wheels exactly right but I am beyond proud that even In 30 degree heat and working with white chocolate, I got something up to the judges.
‘Funniest moments in the tent would have to be any Interactions with Alison and Noel, they are the best people to be around and for some reason I could be talking about my bake and then the topic changed to shark attacks.
‘I love how kind and generous all the Bakers are. They are a group of people who I consider to be such close friends and I can always go to them with any questions, both personal and baking related. I feel honoured to have been able to work with such a great team and I love them all!
‘Bake Off has given me a lot of confidence that I had lost over the years and for that I am truly grateful. It has made me understand my worth and what I am capable of and If I put my mind to anything, I can achieve It and that Is something I will use going forward now that my Bake Off journey has ended.
‘Everyone must apply, it’s taken me 4 years so try try and try again and I promise you, it will be an experience you will never forget. You will make friends for life and I know that Is such a cliché but It’s true and I’ll be rooting for all the fellow bakers to come.
To apply online for the next series of The Great British Bake Off : www.applyforbakeoff.co.uk
‘The world Is my oyster right now, but I 100% would love to get into postal orders like sending cinnamon rolls and brownie boxes and mini cookies (all my specialities) nationwide!
Dana will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Thursday 2 November on Channel 4 at 8.00 pm.
DANA, 25. Essex Database administrator
Dana’s passion for baking started at the age of 16 when she identified a gap in her family’s traditionally Indian culinary repertoire. As a self-professed untidy baker, Dana would avoid stepping on her mum’s toes in the kitchen by catching the bus to her dad’s house to indulge her need to experiment with her bakes. Now she has a kitchen of her own (and a cockapoo, Gracie, to clean up after her), Dana has become the family’s go-to celebration cake-maker. Her style is rustic and homely, but always pleasing to the eye. She loves a semi-naked cake with neat lines, pretty piping and minimalist decoration; and although she likes to keep her flavours safe, Dana will often incorporate a twist or two, adding in familiar spices associated with her Indian heritage.
The Great British Bake Off is looking for a fresh batch of bakers for 2024
If you think you’ve got what it bakes to be in the tent, take a whisk and choux us what you’ve got!
Applications close 2nd January 2024 at 1pm.