Sunday, November 19The Voice of London

Live Blogging: The Bake Off Final

So it’s that time of the year again. Get your tissues at the ready, it’s the final of The Great British Bake Off.

Reporter: Alex Clement | Sub-Editor: Sasha Wickenden

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Credit: Twitter @TheSun

Live blogging was easy they said, not when it’s the final of the Bake Off. Where do we even begin?

20:00: The first thing we all like to hear on a Wednesday evening is the sound of Mel and Sue, naturally. Their familiar heartwarming voices narrate the start as they introduce the show, one last time. Then it begins, the magic that is the Bake Off theme tune. This reminds you that you no longer have time to finish making that cup of tea, it’s started and you need to sit down and watch.

We start off with Jane. Her flashbacks from her bakes from day one, then Candice then Andrew. How cute. Candice makes a comment on how she thinks that she’s getting fitter from all this baking, then realising how untrue that all is. Andrew, the last man standing is forever ‘a bridesmaid and never the bride’ (in terms of being awarded star baker only twice).

20:03: Mel and Sue give the first challenge of the evening, the Signature. This consists of a filled meringue crown with 3 tiers that is a ‘family sized crown big enough for the whole royal family’ says Mel. With 3 hours on this challenge, it’ll be a breeze… right? ‘On your marks, get set, bake.’ And they’re off. .. And Andrew has dropped his bowl already. This is looking promising.

This year, according to Mary, they are celebrating the year the Queen turned 90, hence the ‘royal’ theme. As time ticks on, we get a glimpse into what their bakes are going to be.

20:04: Jane’s bake is a ‘red, white and blue Pavlova’. It’s ‘simple’ says Paul. Simple at the final? Can Jane really risk it at this level in the competition? Next up, Andrew. He’s not looking worried much, as long as he has his flavor combos just right. ‘Flavour wins, right?’ he says. Candice on the other hand compares her mixture to something of a fairtytale- well almost. ‘It needs to be just right’, like the porridge in Goldilocks. Her bake is a ‘Queen Victoria’s mango and strawberry Crown’. As always, Candice has given herself a lot to do, whilst Paul wishes her goodluck, even though Candice had thought she ‘reigned it in’. Just keep telling yourself that Candice.

20:09: Jelly time. ‘There’s nothing like British fresh fruit’ says Jane, enthusiastically. Other than the additional fruit, Prosecco also gets added alongside strawberries for Candice’s meringue. Whilst the ladies get to it with their fillings, Andrew is ‘on crack watch’, as he stares into the oven, hoping for the perfect meringue.

20:11: 15 minutes to go. Andrew just smiles as he thinks he might’ve gotten away with a broken meringue, which he’s trying to stick together with caramel. Whilst on the other side of the tent, more cracks are starting to show with Jane’s bake; ‘my bottom’s cracking, oops’. Oh how that girl makes us giggle.

20:12: With only five minutes left, there is a huge amount of tension in the tent. Jane almost forgets the jelly and everyone is trying to get everything together, keeping it sturdy, hoping and praying nothing breaks, falls or collapses.

20:13: Time’s up. ‘It’s coronation time gang’ says a rather excited Mel. First up is Andrew. His bake doesn’t seem to go down too well with Mary and Paul with Paul not liking the praline, (although he likes the affect), and Mary thinking that the filling is too ‘overpowering’ and the rest needing to be sharp.

Then we have Candice. Mary didn’t think she would finish on time, but once again, Candice proved her wrong. Both May and Paul smile during their tasting, this must be a good sign. And it is with a clear handshake from Paul. Shocker.

Now, Jane. Can she get another handshake out of Paul? It’s rare to see one but two in a row? Her meringue seemed to hold its shape and Mary looks impressed. ‘The way the knife falls through’ says Paul. He just keeps eating and eating, clearly loving it. And there it is, another handshake. ‘Three layers of heaven’ he says. ‘He’s giving out handshakes willy nilly’ says Candice. Do we sense a slight bit of jealously? Calm down love, at least you had a handshake, unlike poor Andrew who felt like it was a ‘kick in the teeth’.

20:17: Round two, ding ding ding. This is the last ever technical challenge for these bakers, and I’m pretty sure they won’t miss it. As it’s a Mary recipe, her piece of advice is that it’s ‘familiar but tricky’. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to the classic that is a Victorian Sandwich (with cream and jam). With no more than 2 small lines of instructions, the clock has started.

Now the question is, who do you use, the all in one or the creaming method? ‘It will be fascinating to see how they cope with this’ says Paul. Five minutes left to go.

20:25: That’s time. As they bring them up, Candice is first (unknown to Mary and Paul as the norm). The comments for hers include ‘more like jelly than jam, but a good even texture’ and the buttercream is ‘grainy’. Ouch.

Andrew’s turn. His buttercream is ‘neat and the jam looks good’. Good tasting cake from Mary. And then we have Jane, who’s bake is ‘a little on the dark side’. Her ‘jam is thick and the cream is soft’. Looking good Jane, looking good.

20:26: Decisions. Decisions. In third place is Jane, then we have Candice in second with the first place going to Andrew. Jane’s face, although looking sweet and innocent and happy for her competitors, deep down she is clearly thinking ‘you bitches, this is mine’.

20:28: According to Mary, this is ‘one of the most exciting showstoppers we’ve ever had’. Bingo. 49 mini bakes in five hours. This includes once chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 mini scones and 12 custard tarts. Sue jokes that they have only 20 minutes… yeah come on Sue, be realistic, more like 45.

With Paul expecting ‘perfection’, Andrew keeps telling himself to ‘keep it together’. He even has a spreadsheet with every five minutes filled with baking galore. This is the part we always love to watch. The little interview clips with the finalist’s friends and family. It’s so heart felt and warming.

But moving on and back to it in the tent.

20:34: Andrew wants there to be ‘no soggy bottoms in sight’. As we all know, Bake Off is famous for its ‘soggy bottoms’, and don’t be mistaken Andrew, but you might just get one.

20:40: We’re outside the tent now with the friends and family of the finalists, as well as ex contestants like Rav, Benjamina, Tom and Selasi, (we miss you). Who do they think will win?

One hour left to go.

20:41: ‘Screw the measurements’ says Andrew, which shocks us given the fact that he’s always so precise at everything he does… he brings his own ruler and everything.

Five minutes left.

20:45: The tension rises as does the background music. Time is up. There’s clapping, hugs and emotion from all four corners of the tent. As Jane wipes her eyes, she tells herself ‘I’m not going to cry’.

First up is the judging of Jane’s picnic. Comments come back with things like raw pastry but delicious flavours. Crispy but pale baked. The cake is ‘light and soft’ but it’s ‘a shame about the colour’.

Now it’s Andrew’s turn. Mary, who clearly looks like she’s in her element as she stares at the food longingly, says how it tastes fantastic, although the pastry is slightly raw. It all looks exciting but some of the flavours aren’t there. And people of the world…we have a soggy bottom! Like that’s news to us in the world of Bake Off. However his cake did receive positive comments from Paul.

Last but not least is Candice. Good comments overall with the layers of pastry being flaky, full and well baked. Then the cake is tasted and it’s ‘a great cake to take to a picnic’ Mary says. Go on Candice.

20:52: And breathe. Everyone gathers outside and the bakers join their loved ones with much anticipation.

20:55: There’s clapping and cheering whilst the judges, along with Mel and Sue, come out to join everyone, ready to announce who has won. I can’t take the suspense.

This is it. I’m on my knees with anticipation. I’ve waited 11 weeks for this.

20:58: The winner is… Candice! Everyone erupts into loud cheers and I’m screaming at the TV with such joy. Out of all three, I was rooting for Candice. What a winner. There’s so much emotion from everyone. Paul is the first to hug and congratulate her. With her bright red lips, she did it. Candice is our 2016 winner.

21:00: At the end of each series they always introduce the part where we see what’s happened since the show aired. ‘Since this year’s bake off…’

Louise has been practicing with gingerbread and she’s now changed her wedding venue to a Spanish beach. Carol has been allowed back in Yorkshire (hooray)and Tom has a new job as a designer, ‘they must have seen his bread’. Benjamina has avoided mazes and marzipan, and Candice is planning a road trip with Jane.

What a lovely way to end such a fantastic series, with a little montage to remember those who were just as amazing, funny and talented as the final three.

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