Last night saw the final Celebrity Bake off su2C of 2021, opening with Prue appearing to be dressed ready for an appearance in Dee-Lite’s Groove Is In the Heart 1990 video, and Matt Lucas now officially as round as a weeble.
The contestants participating this week were comedian and all round charity do-gooder John Bishop. The delightful Girls Aloud singer (with the weirdest irish accent ever) Nadine Coyle. Television presenter/wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, and finally the ageless Anneka Rice who, back in the 90’s, graced our screens weekly, with her much loved Challenge Anneka program where she was dropped by helicopter (always wearing a tight jumpsuit) in various parts of the UK, then given the huge challenge of renovating a building (usually a school, library, public building) with no money and by begging for the help of the local community.
As usual, it appeared that none of the ‘celebs’ had much baking experience under their belts, so the results were never going to be perfection. However, the first challenge of decorated choux buns went surprisingly well. Paul was very impressed with the appearance of John’s chocolate orange buns, saying “they’re one of the best I’ve ever seen” until he bit into one and said the filling inside “is a bit stodgy, like rubber!”
The second challenge, the technical, was something obscure called a coffee and walnut financier, which I’d never heard of in all my years of baking. Basically, little sponge cakes cooked in moulds, then decorated with a piped butter cream, topped with a crisp praline. Considering John first forgot to put the flour into his, and even got as far as putting his tray into the oven before realising, he was lucky to come second. Maybe his brain became even more addled when he managed to smash the glass mixing bowl, and exclaimed “stand-up is way less stressful than this!”
Frankly, I don’t think I ever quite expected to hear Anneka utter the words to Ade “shall i open your hole while you shove it in?” when he was attempting to get his cream into the piping bag. But it was lovely to see how the celebs went about helping each other to complete their buns on time.
The final showstopper was a spectacular chocolate cake that resembled something on their bucket list. John created a chocolate tray bake, filled with raspberry jam and covered in green fondant, representing a tennis court. How on earth he managed to make the end result look as good as it did after witnessing its creation beforehand, is an absolute mystery. Miraculously, it even tasted ok. Mabye it was something to do with his free-range eggs he brought from his ‘farm’ at home? Or maybe if you combine enough chocolate, butter and sugar and eggs together you simply can’t go wrong and will always end up with something delicious?
Ade bravely attemped to make a basketball arena with tiny people scattered inside in the form of Smarties or M&M type sweets. It was recognisable, but did look a total mess.
Anneka’s creation was a huge frosted mountainside ski-slope, encasing her chocolate cakes, with her and her sons arriving by helicopter (of course). It did look spectacular, but as is so often the case – it looked better than it tasted.
Finally Nadine’s cake (I never worked out what it was supposed to look like) probably appeared the worst, but surprisingly tasted the best and the judges could actually taste the flavour of chocolate, which was the whole point of the chocolate cake challenge. Sadly, she was just pipped by Anneka to take home the winning pinny.
It was a heart-breaking moment when Matt asked Nadine if cancer had affected her in any way, and she replied that she has a good friend currently battling the disease. This was probably a reference to her band-mate 39 year old Sarah Harding, suffering terminal breast cancer.
This horrible disease will affect one in two people, the strap line for the show solemnly states. My children have missed out on having a grandma in their lives because of cancer, along with many more children who have lost parents, grandparents and friends.
We must do everything we can to help.