Week Ten – The Final.
Here it is – the final episode of The Great British Bake Off 2021 where we will finally find out who will be crowned the winner. It’s all to play for this week as there is no theme, which means the bakers can be asked to showcase any of the disciplines from the past nine weeks.
Signature Challenge – Exquisitely Decorated Carrot Cake.
It’s the final signature challenge and the judges have asked our bakers to make an exquisitely decorated carrot cake. Upon finding out what the signature challenge is, Chigs tells us that he’s not a big fan of carrot cake and then utters the four most dangerous words a person could say, ‘what could go wrong?’. Chigs will be putting a twist on the original carrot cake with ‘Take Two’ carrot cake with star anise, pineapple jam and cream cheese frosting. Giuseppe will bake ‘Torta Camilla’ an orange zest infused carrot cake with fig and walnut jam and decorated with a light orange cream cheese frosting and candied walnuts. Taking a nutty approach to her carrot cake, Crystelle will bake a pistachio, cardamom and orange carrot cake with pistachio praline and pistachio and mascarpone icing. Whilst the bakers thrived in the chaos of the tent, we were shown very touching and emotional messages from the bakers’ family and friends at home after being separated from them for two months. Giuseppe received a video from his parents where he was showered in love and Giuseppe told us of how amazing his father’s bakes used to be. Crystelle’s video brought tears to her eyes as she told us “I don’t know if I can do it, but I’ll try my best”, but we have every faith in Crystelle.
It’s time for feedback and the judges begin with Crystelle as they tell her that they love the well balanced flavours but the appearance is not the most attractive. Next is Chigs who is praised for his nice appearance and commended for his pineapple jam that works well with the carrot cake, but his texture was too rubbery. Finally we have Giuseppe who is told that his bake is attractive and fairly level, has delicious flavours but the texture is slightly too soft. Texture has definitely been a struggle in this final signature challenge, but can our bakers get over their texture terrors in the technical?
Technical Challenge – Twelve Belgian Buns filled with Sultanas and Lemon Curd.
The final technical challenge has been set by Paul as he asks the bakers to make twelve Belgian buns filled with sultanas and lemon curd. Much to the dismay of the bakers, Paul has removed the ‘methods’ section of the recipe completely which causes panic in the tent as Giuseppe has never made a curd. Crystelle makes an accurate statement telling us “I just don’t know what that man wants”. With the lack of instruction, the bakers must follow their own intuition and knowledge of the bake which leads to differing rolling techniques as Crystelle and Giuseppe roll their buns in a different way to Chigs. Will Crystelle and Giuseppe have the right technique or will it be Chigs who has marched to the beat of his own drum?
It’s time to find out who has won and who has lost in the most important week. Paul and Prue reveal that it is Giuseppe who has come last in the technical challenge due to his Belgian buns being ‘massively overbaked’. In second place we have Chigs who’s bake was good apart from the incorrect rolling technique which leaves Crystelle as the winner of the final technical challenge as she is complimented on her good colour and swirl.
Showstopper Challenge – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Display.
Paul and Prue have requested an outstanding Mad Hatter’s tea party display filled with sweet and savoury afternoon treats, shaped and decorated in a Mad Hatter’s style. The display will put everything the bakers know to the test as the display should showcase four different baking disciplines of their choice. Chigs’ ‘Party Treats’ will showcase a Cheshire Cat cake centrepiece with orange zest and mascarpone, accompanied by playing card biscuits, chicken and mushroom pocket watch pies and brioche toadstools filled with lemon and lime crème pâtissière. Chigs’ Cheshire Cat centrepiece will be decorated in the colours of Leicester Football Club which he has since revealed he doesn’t support. Giuseppe will rival Chigs’ ‘Party Treats’ with his ‘What is the Hatter With Me’ display that will feature and tear-and-share brioche mushroom topped by a dark chocolate and hazelnut sweetbread and served with orange zest and fresh fig heart shaped muffins, an asparagus and pea choux caterpillar and mango and passion fruit ‘drink me’ panna cottas.
It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not.” – Lewis Carrol, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) – or probably a direct quote from Paul Hollywood before trying Giuseppe’s ‘drink me’ panna cotta.
Finally, Crystelle will present the judges with her ‘Crazy Tea Party’ display with a focaccia clock centrepiece surrounded by chickpea curry filled Mad Hatter’s pies, cardamom and pistachio toadstool biscuits and chai cake talking sunflowers.
Never free from chaos Giuseppe panics as his oven is stone cold because the oven door did not close properly and Crystelle tells us that she has been having recurring nightmares that she did not prove her focaccia. Always one to cheer up our contestants, Noel visits the bakers with ‘Mr Spatula’ and claims that if you kiss Mr Spatula, you are guaranteed to win. Chigs didn’t go for the big smooch, Giuseppe did and Crystelle’s covid safe elbow bump was more like a crushing blow to Mr Spatula’s trachea. Will Noel’s Mr Spatula prediction hold true in this nail-biting final?
It’s the final showstopper judgement time in the Bake Off tent for 2021 and the displays look magnificent but the bakers look terrified. Giuseppe’s display is first up to judge. Paul and Prue are overwhelmed by Giuseppe’s perfect panna cotta and praise his simple but effective aesthetic. The judges love his ‘very Italian’ sweetbread but are unsure about the overly soft textures from the choux caterpillar. Paul and Prue are impressed by the overall look of Chigs’ display and the neat clock. Chigs’ chicken and mushroom pies are a delicious success as well as his ‘beautiful’ brioche and delicious floral sponge. Crystelle was last up for feedback and was commended for her impressive and colourful display, her biscuits have a nice balance of flavours, her chai sponge is delicious and soft and her curry is incredible. However, when it came time to judge the focaccia that has plagued her nightmares, Prue tells Crystelle that ‘it is not even recognisable as focaccia’ and that it is raw. I don’t know about you but my heart sank as a viewer.
Will Crystelle’s raw focaccia have finished her chances of winning, or will her perfect pies redeem her? With all of the bakers receiving equal criticism, it’s hard to call who will pull ahead. The three bakers wait outside the tent in suspense as Noel tells us that it is Giuseppe who is crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2021. Giuseppe is engulfed in a hug from Crystelle and Chigs as they tell him how proud they are of him. Giuseppe attempts to put his joy into words telling us, “There are no words. I’m speechless… for once.” Giuseppe has gone from strength to strength over the past ten weeks and it has been amazing to witness. Although there can only be one winner I think we can all agree that this has been a season filled to the brim with charismatic, talented and all round wonderful bakers.
What Are The Bakers Doing Now?
Don’t be sad that it’s over, we now get to see what our bakers have been up to since they left the Bake Off tent. Lizzie and Freya have driven all around the country to visit their Bake Off friends, they went punting with Tom in Kent, swimming with Maggie in Poole, played mini golf with Chigs in Leicester, sightseeing with Crystelle in London, drinking with Rochica in Birmingham and went for an ice cream in Brighton with Jürgen. The whole Bake Off family gathered together in Amanda’s home in Hertfordshire to have a BBQ, unfortunately Giuseppe couldn’t make it because he now works in Milan where he plans to write a cookbook with his father.
Farewell to The Great British Bake Off 2021.
I have loved every minute of our weekly catch ups about our twelve amazing bakers but for now it’s time to say goodbye to The Great British Bake Off blog posts for 2021. Just because Bake Off has ended this year, it doesn’t mean that I’ll be going anywhere; join me every week in the lead up to Christmas where I’ll be posting festive recipes and will return for The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special.
Previous Bake Off Posts:
If you have enjoyed reading about the final, you can catch up on what happened in Patisserie Week, Free-From Week, Caramel Week, Pastry Week, German Week, Bread Week, Dessert Week, Biscuit Week and Cake Week by clicking on the links.