The Great Australian Bake-Off Season One – Grand Finale

It’s all come down to this- Jonathan, Nancy or Maria? Who will win Nine’s Great Australian Bake-Off?

First up is their last signature bake- they want one large, multi-layered gateau in three and a half hours. Maria is doing a chocolate sponge gateau. Jonathan is doing a raspberry, walnut and praline gateau. Nancy is doing a passionfruit sponge with chocolate caramel mousse.

No major problems yet, but this is a hard challenge. Luckily there is only one hour to go- but some contestants want to be further than what they are. Jonathan is getting frustrated. They all seem to just throw their cakes together.

Time is called and the judges taste. Jonathan’s is first. Dan comments on how messy it is but the flavours are there, as well as the textures. Dan does call it overwhelmingly sweet. Kerry calls the cake lop-sided and is disappointed by the lack of gloss on the chocolate.

Nancy’s is next. Dan likes the sensation of the popping candy she’s put in the cake. Kerry doesn’t think her flavours bode well together. It’s not light enough for Kerry. She’s on fire tonight.

Maria’s cake is last. There’s a noticeable bulge in the side of it. When it’s cut into, it collapses a bit because it isn’t set. Will it taste alright? Dan isn’t sure about the coconut in it.

It’s now time for the technical challenge. Today, they’re cooking a ‘la religieuse’. They’re known as ‘little nuns’ made out of choux. They have to make three, each with a different flavour- coffee, chocolate and rose. They have two and a half hours.

The biggest issue right now is knowing how big a mandarin is. Don’t ask…

Time is soon up and the judging begins.

Nancy’s plate is very messy but the nuns are quite plump. Dan comments on the intense chocolate but Kerry calls it dense. Some of her nuns are too sweet and the fillings are too runny. To Maria’s and they look good but Kerry, obviously, picks up on flaws. Again, the chocolate is intense but it’s been cooked through.

Jonathan’s tastes good. Seems to be the nuns of the moment here. In terms of worst to best, the contestants rank Nancy, Maria and Jonathan.

For the show stopper they will have to make three types of petit fours- and twelve of each type. Maria is doing Mini lemon cream tartlets, toffee cream choux puffs and raspberry brulee custard tarts.

Nancy is doing Earl Grey and Lavender opera cakes, lemon tarts with candied cumquat Tuile and lychee rose mini choux nuns- an ode to the previous challenge.

Jonathan is doing Pistachio crusted choux puffs with Turkish delight, Hungarian Dobos Tortes and Macadamia Tuile cones with Strawberry Cream and coconut Ganache.

They’re all struggling as the end comes in site. Jonathan is absolutely losing it. All of a sudden, the family members arrive and the contestants now have the added pressures that bring. The former contestants come back as well.

It’s now time for the judging. Maria’s is first. Her petit fours are a good size and balance. She is praised for her pastry and her structure while the tastes are great.

Nancy’s are next and her presentation is spectacular. They are light, airy, flavoursome and delicate. Kerry likes her opera cakes.

Praise all round.

Jonathan is last. Again, a lot of praise. They are innovative.

Now, it’s time for the announcement of the winner.

THE WINNER OF THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF IS… NANCY!

That’s a surprise considering I thought she would go in first week. So, there we go, Nancy is the winner of the Great Australian Bake Off. Nicely played!