The Great British Bake Off Finale
By Bethany McLean
If you don’t know what a ‘soggy bottom’ is, you must have been living under a rock for the last nine weeks. For those in the Great British Bake Off loop, know it is the term used by the Goddess of Baking and glamorous granny judge extraordinaire, Mary Berry, to describe a wet pastry. The Great British Bake Off has swept the nation, and as it reaches the finale on Tuesday, Britain is at fever pitch.
Every week, we have been watching the bakers kneel in front of the oven, desperately praying to the gods in Baking Heaven for their decoratively shaped loaves to rise to doughy perfection. We have been shocked when Deborah accidentally stole Howard’s custard; sympathized with Glenn as he shed a tear over his failed brioches, and laughed each time a precious cake hit the floor. Each episode presents another slice of excitement as the signature challenges put the bakers to the test.
It is the quintessential British-ness that makes the Bake-Off so special. The innocent fun has attracted a record-breaking six million viewers, young and old. This week, it was announced that the show will be moving to BBC 1 for the fifth series.
The show has encouraged people across the country to try their hand at baking. Including myself, despite having previously rendered ‘just add water’ brownie mixes inedible. It has even inspired pre-Stuesday drinking games, in which players drink every time Mary Berry says the word ‘layers’ (in that deliciously posh R.P accent of hers) and each time Ruby looks like she’s going to burst into tears.
Each week we wait for Mary’s disapproving glances, Paul’s sarcastic comments, and the silly innuendos of the comic duo we love to hate, presenters Sue and Mel. We see the pain etched across the contestants’ faces when Mary dismisses them because their bread wasn’t proved for long enough. ‘Of course it wasn’t, you foolish bakers.’ We agree, while we scoff down our own half-risen cupcakes from the comfort of our sofas. Student bakers are lucky to always have a hungry housemate happy to devour their cakes, whether or not they have risen, are burnt, or have mysteriously turned the colour of snot.
This weekend we await the Bake Off finale with three female bakers: Frances, Kimberley and Ruby. The show inspires heated debates regarding the contestants. Are Frances’ creations innovative and exciting or showy and pretentious? Is Kimberley smug or just confident? And as for Ruby, her hysteria keeps us on the edge of her seats. We want to slap her into action and then give her a big hug when all goes according to plan.
The finale will be a big night, and with three unpredictable girls as the final contestants, we can’t foresee the winner; what we do know, is that our Tuesdays won’t be the same. Whatever the outcome, I will still be baking my snot-coloured cakes and rotten brownies long after the champion is announced. May the best woman win. Ready, set, BAKE!