In Tuesday night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Josh earned the title of Star Baker, while Tasha became the ninth baker to bid farewell to the tent.
It was the semi-finals week in the Tent, testing the patisserie skills of the four remaining bakers. They were challenged to elevate their baking prowess, starting with an elegant French patisserie signature and a buttery French classic technical, followed by an Italian celebration cake made up of delicate puff pastry layers.
At the end of the episode, Noel announced Josh as the Star Baker but also delivered the challenging news to Tasha that she would be the ninth Baker to leave the series.
Tasha said on the show: ‘It is ok, it’s so emotional to say goodbye to everyone, that’s when it really hit. They are amazing people they really are friends for life, that is the really special thing about Bake Off, it is the most supportive and loving environment. It has changed me and made me realise I can do so much more than I am capable of. It’s a special place, and I am very lucky to be part of it.
Paul said ‘You have done really well, really well.’
And here she talks about her experience on the series:
‘I knew I was really at risk of going home, so I remember nodding before Noel even said my name like I was bracing myself but it’s still a horrible feeling; like a punch in the gut. I felt quite numb until I stepped out of the tent and the Bakers started hugging me again, the emotions came flooding in. The realisation that we’d no longer be together every weekend and that I was leaving such a mad but wonderful little bubble really set off the waterworks.
‘It was like a very fast car coming to a very sudden stop – all those months of baking, planning, practising, filming and being with the Bakers were over in a second and it was like whiplash. The Bakers were wonderful though, even the ones who weren’t there – I was getting texts from all of them the following week and the love from them was just so kind. I felt so glad that it wouldn’t be long until we’d be reunited at the final, which I was so excited about!
‘Throughout my time there I’ve learned to trust myself and my instincts. Things happen so fast in the tent; the hours go by in a flash and making those decisions is really daunting but as the weeks went on I learned the importance of going with my gut and trusting myself. Also when things go wrong, you don’t have time to dwell in between challenges, you have to shake it off, learn from your mistakes and move on. It’s been a crash course in resilience!
‘There have been so many highlights! A really special moment was getting Star Baker for Bread Week – that was a huge confidence boost! That and the Robin Showstopper for my Pompa meant a lot to me. The hardest moment was the semi final Showstopper. I knew what I needed to do to pull it back, but time wasn’t on my side and it’s a horrible feeling knowing that it’s out of your hands at that point.
‘Next for me in the baking world is I have decided I’m going to conquer pastry! Since Bake Off finished, I’ve had more ideas than ever for bakes and flavour combinations and I’m baking more than I did before!
‘My favourite ever challenge was the Caterpillar Cake and the technical was one of my favourites – we were all racking our brains to try to think of a birthday themed bake that fitted the brief and I was hoping for something silly like a hedgehog cake, so this was brilliant! Noel was a great muse for my caterpillar’s face and he rushed in as soon as we wrapped filming to rescue it to take home with him, so I’ll take that as a sign that I captured his likeness in caterpillar form…
‘I can think of a few challenges that I really struggled with but one of the worst ones for me both in practice and with the judges’ feedback was the creme caramels! I’ve never not sampled other bakers’ bakes after a challenge but none of us wanted to try each others’ that time! We were watching videos the night before of creme caramel challenges where people inhale them and it put us right off!
‘Without a doubt my funniest moment was Nicky’s beaver. I was looped in on the audio feed as part of my deaf access arrangements so I could hear Noel’s tea kettle whistling laugh and Matty losing it on the front bench next to Noel and Alison. That coupled with Daryl’s (my BSL interpreter) relaying of the jokes made me snort laugh to the point of tears! We’d all had a really long weekend and were sleep-deprived due to all the first weekend nerves, so we all lost the plot when Prue asked Nicky to tell her and Paul about her beaver…
‘What I love about my fellow bakers is although you can always rely on them for a proper laugh and a good time, we can also always rely on each other for more. There’s so much love and support for one another.
‘I feel I have learned from my experience in the tent is that I can do more than I think I’m capable of. I’m learning not to be my own worst critic and starting to enjoy my achievements. Bake Off has also shown me the importance of stepping back and recognising achievements, the work it took to get to those points, not just the outcome, and taking pride in that.
‘And anyone out there thinking of applying for the next series? I would say Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I sometimes have to stop myself when I say I wish I’d applied sooner because then I might not have been with these bakers and the experience would have been over sooner!
Tasha will appear on AN EXTRA SLICE with Jo Brand and Tom Allen on Thursday 23 November at 8pm on C4.