The Great British Bake off is back, so we take a look at 9 life lessons it's taught us
9. Sometimes, you must suffer for your art
The Bake Off is rarely without its drama, but fans were shocked during series three when contestant John Whaite cut his finger during the showstopper challenge. Who knew a strudel could be so dangerous? He went on to win the series, proving that following your dreams really is worth the blood, sweat and tears. Mostly blood.
8. Paul Hollywood isn’t always right
Paul’s face said it all when he saw series five contestant Nancy Birtwhistle use a microwave to speed up the proving process for her bread. He insisted that the shortcut would ‘destroy the protein structure’ in the dough and could ‘destabilise it’. But he was wrong. Nancy’s bread came out just fine. Phew.
7. It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts
We’ve all heard this classic line, and it’s never truer than in the world of GBBO. Many runners up and non-placing contestants have gone on to have incredibly successful careers, such as 2014 contestant Martha Collison, who went on to publish her own cook book, as well as work with huge brands such as Cadbury and Mars.
6. Patience is a virtue
In series 6, Dorret Conway miraculously managed to avoid elimination after removing her cake cover for her black forest gateau to melt away before her very eyes. The delicious bottom layer saved her that week, but we can’t help but wonder what the finished article would’ve been like given a little more time to set.
5. NEVER remove a Baked Alaska from the freezer before it is ready
Ok, maybe not the most commonly used life lesson, but it’s an important one to have in your back pocket if you want to avoid the disaster that occurred in series five. With 15 minutes to go, Iain Watter’s version of the classic dessert was removed from the freezer and accidentally left on side. Iain later admitted that he ‘didn’t cope with the situation very well’ – understatement of the century. But hey, it made for amazing British television.
4. There’s nothing wrong with an alcoholic pud
If GBBO has taught us anything, it’s that Mary Berry LOVES a naughty surprise in her desserts. A drop of the hard stuff is a sure-fire way to her heart, as proven by Luis Troyano when he served his cocktail-themed doughnuts. ‘Why are we bothering with the doughnuts?’ she said. Great question.
3. Even celebrities have off days
Salt instead of sugar is a classic mistake, and though John Whaite managed to make the error yet emerge unscathed, others have not always been so lucky. During the Sport Relief celebrity special of 2014, Rochelle Humes gives her finished article a nice generous sprinkling of salt. Nice.
2. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again
In series 6, Alvin Magallanes finally triumphed after several failed attempts at this caramel. The sheer dedication and tenacity displayed, plus the eventual perfection in taste and consistency won him top marks from both Paul and Mary.
1. Life is more fun with a pun
Our personal favourites include when Sue told the bakers not to be in a ‘pitta’ despair, when Mel told the gang to ‘choux’ out of the way, and, of course, the constant challenge of avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom.
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