This year’s Great British Bake Off winner has been revealed on Channel 4 – 11 hours after judge Prue Leith accidentally let it slip on Twitter.
Sophie Faldo triumphed over Kate Lyon and Steven Carter-Bailey in the final after wowing the judges with her seven-layered, honey bee-themed entremet showstopper.
However the outcome had been spoiled for some fans when Prue earlier mistakenly tweeted: “Bravo Sophie”.
She apologised and explained that she had been confused by the time difference because she was in Bhutan.
Sophie described her victory as “pretty mega” and “beyond anything I’d thought or dreamed of”.
The former Army officer said her time in the tent had been “very surreal”, adding: “I hadn’t allowed myself to think that I could win it up to that moment in time when they said my name and then the enormity of it hit me.”
Sophie’s recipe for success
After 10 weeks, the contest all came down to the showstoppers after the first two rounds of the final were pretty close.
The entremet – a fiendish multi-layered creation using at least five elements – was “the most unforgiving showstopper in Bake Off history”, we were told.
Sophie’s was titled “ode to the honey bee” and was described as “amazing” by Prue, who complimented her choice of flavours.
“Lemon and lavender has got to be THE new taste”, she declared.
Before that, Sophie had been sandwiched between Steven and Kate when the signature and technical rounds were judged.
In the signature, her 12 small loaves were passable enough – even if Paul reckoned her ciabatta looked more like naan bread. And in the technical, she came second with her ginger biscuits.
The only thing that fell totally flat – literally – was the yoga pose she attempted on the kitchen floor.
No icing on the cake for Kate
Kate impressed in the signature and showstopper but the fact she didn’t have time to finish icing her biscuits in the technical might have cost her the title.
However it did save her from having to cartwheel naked through the tent, as she promised Noel she would if she won.
Her mini loaves were the most impressive in the first round, with her coconut kala chana tasting “divine”, according to Paul, who said he might copy her filling.
And her striking white chocolate, yuzu and lychee entremet showstopper was “a little stroke of genius”, according to Prue.
“I’d eat that all day,” Paul drooled.
Steven has bad timing again
After looking like he might run away with the contest early in the series, Steven’s final was as uneven as a badly-baked Battenberg.
In the signature, his roasted garlic and fontina loaves tasted “disappointing”, Prue said, and Paul said they looked awful. His spelt and rye bread was also underproved.
Steven looked like he had turned things around with the ginger biscuits in the technical, which were iced and shaped more impressively than his rivals’.
But his yin and yang showstopper, featuring 14 elements, proved too testing. He tried to stay calm, taking time out to do deep breathing and have his brow mopped by Sandi Toksvig.
But it wasn’t enough to get him back on track. The way the layers bled into each other “upset” Paul, who added: “This all comes down to timing – as I’ve said before.”
At the end of the final, viewers were given updates on what all 12 contestants had done since the show was filmed, and were told that Sophie and Steven were BBFFs (best baking friends forever).