So it’s come to this… the agony and ecstasy of ten intense weeks in the tent leave us with our triumphant trio, Ian, Nadiya and Tamal. They look utterly exhausted.
Stepping into the tent for the last weekend, it’s filled iced buns for the signature bake. Mary is dewy eyed at the prospect of light, squidgy enriched dough, lashings of filling and soft icing that yields to the tooth. Tamal is finishing his with crisp royal icing – it’s enough to set her teeth on edge. His fillings are cinnamon and apple and citrus marmalade with caramel crème patissiere. The marmalade is deemed delicious but his crème pat hasn’t set and he has to serve it in a jug on the side. If this were Masterchef, he might claim it was ‘deconstructed’ – for Bake Off it’s just ‘unfinished’.
Ian is also risking the wrath of the clock by making two types of dough – flavouring one with elderflower and lemon curd and the other with cardamom, cinnamon and apple and cranberry jam. Something’s just not right with half of his rolls – too late he realises he forgot the sugar, leaving them dull and hard. Ian looks uncomfortable. Paul claims Ian’s crispy baps are sending all his senses out but his lemon rolls are ‘dynamite’. Mary says she approves of the louche way his cream is spilling out. Ian still looks uncomfortable.
Nadiya fares better with cardamom rolls filled with almond crème pat and a nutmeg variety with sour cherry jam. Paul’s eyebrows rise as she breaks with tradition and chooses not to batch-bake but he can’t fault the look and taste of the finished products.