7 Things We’ve Learned From The Great British Bake Off

It was the final of the Great British Bake Off last night, when the last three contestants baked it out to be the starriest baker of them all.

It’s been 10 weeks, with 30 challenges and an average of 10 million viewers tuning in to watch each episode.

Nadiya Hussain, Tamal Ray and Ian Cumming went all out to win, but there could only be one winner… And it was Nadiya who was named star baker of the series.

She joins the line-up of successful previous winners including Edd Kimber, Jo Wheatley and John Whaite.

In series 6, there’s been everything from foods no one has ever heard of (arlettes? flaounes?) to choux pastry landslides to bread made in the uncanny image of a wild animal. There’s been excellent facial expressions (Nadia), cake injections (Tamal) and a bit of humble bragging (sorry Ian), but it’s been a fantastic year – and the most watched series to date.

So what have we learned from the Great British Bake off 2015? A LOT. But here’s some of the things we’ll remember.

1. Lion bread is the new tiger bread

Three episodes in, and it was a bread week like no other. Welsh prison governor Paul Jagger showed he meant business when he crafted a bread into the face of a lion. His tent twin, Paul Hollywood, was in awe and so were we.

2. We’d never be able to bake for Paul Hollywood

Those eyes! Those questions! They’re enough to make you doubt everything you’ve ever known about baking (and forget your own name). That’s why, when he’s impressed, it must be an truly excellent bake. And when you get a handshake, as Nadiya did for her tart last week? It must have been out of this world, or “spot on” as Paul would say.

3. You can’t mess with the formula

A staggered start for last week’s technical challenge? It was enough to send the bakers into meltdown. Three times star baker Ian couldn’t even remember how to make creme pat.

4. The Victorians had imagination

A tennis court on a fruit cake? All in a day’s work for Victorian bakers (well, it would pretty much take a day to make it). The Charlotte russe got our vote though, with its silky centre and sponge fingers all the way round.

Want to try an easier version? Take a look at our strawberry Charlotte cake recipe

5. You need a knack for alternative ingredients

Pretty much all the bakers had a wobble when it came to baking gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. They were out of the comfort zone and several bakes fell apart, but Nadiya came out on top as star baker.

Psst! On a special diet? Take a look at our allergy friendly desserts.

6. The way to Paul Hollywood’s heart is banana

Yes, Paul Hollywood’s nostalgic for banana desserts. He goes gooey-eyed for them. Just don’t add banana essence.

7. Mary Berry is a baking legend

Ok, we knew that already. But in this series, we’ve most looked forward to Mary’s turn to set the technical challenges. Tough but fair, the contestants knew what they had to make, even if they weren’t sure how to make it. We’re still craving a slice of her frosted walnut cake from the first episode.

Want to try one of Mary Berry’s recipes? Her malted chocolate cake recipe is one of our most popular.

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