Sunday, 20 October 2013

How to win The Great British Bake Off

Image courtesy of The BBC/Love Productions

For nine weeks an entire nation has been glued to the telly every Tuesday night at Eight O Clock for The Great British Bake Off. This week is the culmination of hours of kneading, mixing, stirring, piping and an awful lot of anxious staring through the oven glass. 

Has Kimberley peaked too soon? Will Ruby's doe-eyed 'You mean it's actually good?' schtick wear off? Will the Dame of Design, Frances, fall at the final hurdle? 

With the final of this year's more-popular-than-ever Bake Off just days away, here are my thoughts as I ponder exactly how do you win the Bake Off?

Be Star Baker
By the end of the Quarter Finals Ruby had won Star Baker three times. With this pedigree, the most junior of betting shop assistants would place Ruby as firm favourite. Whereas Beca, who of course left last week amongst tears and Mel-n-Sue sandwich-hugs, had never won star baker the entire series. 

But you don't have to be favourite...
In last year's all-male final (how times have changed!) champion John Whaite was not the favourite to win but a show-stopper chiffon cake sealed the deal when bookies favourite, James, failed to live up to expectations. 

Dark horses do triumph
Jo Wheatley, winner of Series 2, "seemed to be sneaking through without doing anything too spectacular and looked set for a mid-series exit". That was until Jo peaked just before the final, winning Star Baker and ultimately the coveted Bake Off title. There's hope for Frances yet! 

Don't bake with aniseed or coconut
Mary will spit out any coconut flavoured cake. Well, not literally, our Mary is far too polite. She'll probably cough into an embroidered Handkerchief out of view of the cameras.  And Paul can't bear aniseed. Useful to know before presenting your Three Tiered Coconut and Aniseed Celebration Signature Cake.

But is it too late?
"I pretty much know by episode three who's going to win!" reckons Paul. Does that mean we'll watch the Bakers simply popping their feet up, grabbing a cuppa and having a natter for an hour on Tuesday night

Ultimately It's All About Best Baker On The Day
Quite frankly the last nine weeks will disappear into a cloud of excess icing sugar by the final. It's all about who can produce the best bakes on the day. No pressure then. 

So who will actually win? 

The Ruby-favouritism debate has confirmed one thing. Erm, Ruby is indeed favourite. Kimberley seemed to have deflated in recent weeks, like an unsuccessful soufflé, before rising again in the Semi-Final like a lovely loaf. Meanwhile although the judges bemoan Frances' style over substance attitude to baking, heck, it hasn't done the cupcake industry any harm. 

But one winner of the Bake Off we can already confirm is a major Supermarket chain. By Week Two Waitrose claimed that the show was behind a 12% surge in sales of homebaking products with pastry sales up 27% and sugar sales by 17%.

And Mel Promises "a cracker of a final".

Who would you like to win? 

Enjoy the show! 


  1. Ooh, very difficult to predict and I can't say that I have a favourite out of these three but I will be watching with my usual slice of cake and cup of tea.

  2. REALLY fab summation of how it all works Kate, this is brilliantly perceived. I want Frances to win because i've always been more style over substance and to be frank Ruby and Kimberly are too dull to care about. xx

  3. I have a very strong hope it'll be Kimberley, who I think has been consistently good (if not great) throughout the series with some flashes of brilliance. I also love her attitude - she works hard, but she's quite laid back about the whole thing.

    But it's going to be bloody Ruby, isn't it? x

  4. There's something about Ruby that makes me hope it's not her. She reminds me of some of the girls at school who could get away with murder by seeming to be hopeless and helpless.
    It's going to be fascinating to see who wins.

  5. Great post Kate,

    I think that one major factor is how much money will the winner make for the production company, and how much publicity they are prepared to do. By taking part they all agree to a certain number of days of appearances. Of course the winner is already 2/3 of the way through their book and will have their brand new website set to go live the second the announcement is made tomorrow night.

  6. Haha I love this! Let the battle begin. I found Francis annoying at first but now I'd quite like her to win, her creations are incredible! Can't wait for the final :-)

  7. Mmm. Tricky. I think Kimberley has been fairly consistently good and Frances has an amazing flair for design (aren't we told that we eat with our eyes?). Ruby is, I think, a dark horse - someone who has a good eye and a talent for flavour but can be very inconsistent. And has annoying self-doubt issues. I hope it's Frances....


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