And the Winner Is … GBBO 2015

A slightly different format this week as it was THE BIG FINALE.


But a quick note:  I would so watch “Baking with Nadyia & Tamal” – someone make this happen. What is the point in having friends “in the biz” if they can’t make my dream shows happen? Seriously, they are hilarious and adorable and I want them to go on baking adventures together – him wise-cracking and her pulling faces and the baking being glorious. OK, back to business.

Signature Round: iced buns, filled.

  • Ian: I get the idea but surely, surely Ian tried this at home a few times before bringing it into the tent. I mean, his wife described and we saw the state of the kitchen due to his practice runs. So why the miscalculation on the buns? How could he not know that leaving the sugar out was going to be a problem and leave it tasting, as Paul pointed out, like ‘a crispy bap with icing on it.”


  • Tamal: Timing again, Tamal? At this late stage, it really should not be happening. And quite honestly, not flavouring the icing was a bad call. That said, your citrus marmalade obviously went down a treat.
  • Nadyia – Sure, everyone else is batch baking but so what. Just because Paul is hung up on finger shaped buns with tears on the side doesn’t mean it HAS to be that way. You bake the way you want and make it awesome. Mary says they can be round – and so they can.


Technical Challenge: Raspberry millefeuille

  • Ian: actually not as precise as I woulkd have thought from Ian, who is normally HUGELY precise. And I was also surprised that in addition to waffling about what to use the sugar syrup, Ian produced a weak syrup. This challenge had Ian written all over it. But the use of pastry – which as they all soon realized was aimed at them because they’d all struggled with it – was a stumbling block.
  • Tamal: in addition to timing, Tamal’s other weakness was precision – as was pointed out to him last week and the week before. In the final, you need to have taken it on board – but the timing issue once again reared it’s head and left Tamal rushing. Result, sloppy (and sloping) millefeuille.
  • Nadyia: Let’s be honest – no one’s millefeuille was going to live up to Paul’s standards this week but Nadyia’s came the closest. I’ve never understood raspberry millefeuille, to be honest. It looks like a nightmare to eat – it’s so TALL!

The Showstopper: A British Classic, multi-tiered and OMG the tension!!!


  • Ian: I have to say, I thought Ian’s Stepped Carrot Cake was impressive in scale but NOT decorated to Ian-ish standards. And he forgot the oranges until the last minute – which in retrospect worked out since Mary thought that was a lovely twist. So, maybe it looked a bit under decorated to me -but apparently it tasted divine.
  • Tamal: Pushing the boat out, Tamal produced not only a British classic cake (fruit cake) but a British classic pudding (sticky toffee pudding) AS a British classic cake – triple layer Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. Add in all that sugar work and my GOD what a vision! Figs, dates, oranges, lemons and prunes all went into the cake. Then it was doused with toffee sauce and connected with massive sugar cobwebs.


  • Nadyia: Well damned – not only was it going to be classic, it was going to be an emotionally charged classic too. Nadyia made ‘My Big Fat British Wedding Cake’ – a giant, multi-tiered lemon drizzle decorated with jewels from her wedding day and a red, white and blue sari. She made her own fondant – her use of marshmallows was a surprise to Mary who decided it was the best thing ever. Her precision was evident the second they use the cake and the consistency was PERFECT.

The showstopper round also produced, for me, one of the BEST moments in all of GBBO history:

Paul: “Happy, Nadyia?”
Nadyia: “Yes.
*stares back*
Nadyia: Happy, Paul?”

Oh Paul Hollywood – you are a glorious bastard, you know that? But Nadyia is on to you know. You caught her out the first couple of times with the “pause and stare” routine but she’s TOTALLY got your number and she knows you are a marshmallow inside.

And then the baking … was over.


And then the BIG moment. Who would win? Here at TransAtlantic Towers, we were pretty confident going in that we knew who it would be and the results of the three rounds above made us even more sure.


Next thing you know, everyone is crying – Nadyia, Tamal, Ian – even MARY, for crying out loud (no pun intended). MARY BERRY got choked up and walked off camera.

And let’s just take a minute to think about this, Nadyia’s piece to camera after she won:

‘ I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can do it. I’m never gonna say “maybe”. I’m never gonna say “I don’t think I can”. I can and I will. ’

Forget cake for a minute. That is not about making a cake. It’s about DOING something, gaining a skill – whatever skill you’ve decided to tackle – finding you have a knack, enjoying it, expanding your knowledge and gaining the confidence that comes with having achieved.

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