Great British Bake Off 2021 is preparing to announce its winner in tonight’s final (how is it the final already?!) with Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood set to crown their champion.
Giuseppe, Crystelle and Chigs will go head-to-head in the grand finale after 10 weeks of intense action – and for us, it’s too close to call.
It’s more open than ever this year, especially after frontrunner Jürgen was eliminated from the competition in scenes that took everyone by surprise.
What we do know is, this series has seen the contestants serve up some of the most spectacular creations in years, bringing us mouthwatering bakes from inside the tent week after week.
From biscuit windmills to incredible cottage pies, they’ve marked some of the strongest dishes the show has ever seen.
But which was best? Take a look back at the showstoppers from each of the Star Bakers throughout the series so far, ranked from worst to best.
9 – Jürgen’s sugar dome from week 7
Caramel week was a tricky one all round for the bakers, as they struggled to really get to grips with the challenges – which included making a deceptively tricky Twix.
Jürgen showed his class, though, and ended up being named Star Baker for a third time to draw level with Giuseppe. His sugar dome might not have been the most spectacular dish he served up during his time in the tent, but as ever it was technically impressive with a clear dome and a pleasing bavarois interior.
8 – Chigs’ black forest imprimé dessert from week 4
This was the moment that really proved Chigs’ progression, with the 40-year-old winning Star Baker for the first time and showing his progression after a pretty innocuous start.
The finishing on his German Week creation was strong, and showed his knack for presentation as well as his interesting flavours. Back in episode one, few would have predicted he’d beat the likes of Jürgen to the final. Yet here he is, ready to go for the top prize, and this is the bake that first marked him out as one to watch.
7 – Crystelle’s ‘Lily Nana’s pickle cottage’ showstopper from week six
Sure, cakes are great, but all the savoury heads in the audience got a real treat during Pastry Week, with Crystelle delivering one of the most technically impressive and scrumptious-looking bakes of the competition.
After being tasked with creating an intricate terrine pie, Crystelle concocted something that matched whimsy with brilliant structural work and flavours to match.
It was so good, in fact, that Paul beckoned Crystelle over before giving out the first Showstopper level Hollywood Handshake.
6 – Jürgen’s ‘night time reading’ anti-gravity showstopper cake from week 1
Viewers everywhere knew they had a real talent on their hands when Jürgen served up this gravity defying bake in week one – in fact, you could call it a real lightbulb moment.
It was a tough ask in just the first week for the bakers to put together an anti-gravity cake, but the German passed with flying colours. His sponge was a ‘tad dry’ according to the judges, which prevents this from being higher up the list, but it showed the engineer’s blend of out of the box thinking and his scientific approach to baking early on.
5 – Giuseppe’s amarena cherry yeast-leavened cake showstopper from week 5
There wasn’t a viewer anywhere who wouldn’t have bet on Jürgen to win German Week, but Giuseppe put his own take on the classic German yeast cake for his showstopper.
As well as being incredibly aesthetically pleasing with three distinct and neat layers, Giuseppe put an Italian twist on the whole thing with Amarena cherries traditionally grown in his home country, before adding vanilla crème pâtissière and a honey glaze.
4 – Giuseppe’s ‘your five-a-day’ milk bread display showstopper from week 3
If veg tasted and looked as good as this fantastic showstopper, we’d be eating 10-a-day, never mind five. The bake consisted of orange and cinnamon-flavoured bread, shaped to look like fruit and veg.
No-one’s bread week creation has ever impressed as much as Paul Jagger’s incredible lion from back in 2015, but this does come as close as we can remember. Bread showstoppers can be tricky, with looks often going out the window in favour of taste, but certainly not this one.
3 – Crystelle’s ‘tropical wedding’ entremets showstopper from week 9
A bake with real heart, this. Crystelle told of how her sister’s wedding had been postponed by the pandemic on the show, and she seemed to pour all her emotion into this incredibly flamboyant and colourful creation.
She certainly followed the brief, which saw bakers tasked with creating a ‘themed banquet display’, and the result left Paul floored. He called the entremets ‘flawless’ and described them as little works of art. High praise indeed.
2 – Chigs’ gluten-free red velvet celebration cake from week 8
Making anything gluten free taste and look fantastic is an achievement, and Chigs passed with flying colours during Free From week. Arguably the most beautiful cake of the series, this two-tiered velvet cake showed real ambition, beautiful finishing and a skill level that many bakers would love to have.
It proved just how much of a contender he is, and is the kind of thing that would hold its own in any fancy patisserie.
1 – Jürgen’s ‘grandpa’s windmill’ 3D biscuit showstopper from week 2
There might have been more delicately prepared cakes served up throughout the series, sure. But can we just take a minute to recognise that Jürgen actually built a giant and fully functional windmill entirely out of biscuit? It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?!
Most of us would struggle to build something like that out of cardboard, never mind delicious biscuit, but Jürgen back in week two showed how ahead of the pack he was with this mind-bending creation.
Goodness, Jürgen, how we miss you…
Great British Bake Off is available to watch on All4.
Credit: Original article published here.