Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t seen The Great British Bake Off episode 4
Scottish architect Tom was the fourth baker to leave the tent after his disastrous showstopper hummingbird cake failed to get the judges’ palates buzzing.
The 29-year old was the unlucky contestant to be given the boot in caramel week, and there was little doubt that his showstopper round sealed his fate.
Tom admitted that he hadn’t baked the recipe as a full-blown cake before – having only made cupcakes with the mix. And the judges’ doubts about the endeavour were confirmed when his offering was judged to be “gooey and underbaked” according to Prue Leith.
“Poor Tom because he really did make a mess of it,” said Prue, while Paul added: “That cake was raw, it was just an off day for him, but unfortunately in Bake Off, one slip and that’s it.”
Tom admitted afterwards: “My decision to make the hummingbird cake was a wrong one. Throughout I had positive feedback on my flavours, and I am not so good on the intricate side of decoration, so that was a gross miscalculation on my part. I am disappointed to be leaving, but it was justified. I made a really bad cake and everyone else did excellent cakes. I think it’s totally fair.
“In Bake Off it’s not a marathon, it’s a sprint each week! You could be the best person in that race, but if you fall at the hurdle that’s it, and you’re out.”
Still, at least Tom can console himself in part with the fact that the experience of appearing in millions of homes each week is over – and that he has another career to go back to.
“I didn’t really want to be on television, I was looking for the challenge aspect of it more than appearing on screen. I watched the first episode with family and friends, and from then on I planned to watch it by myself, as I found it all a bit overwhelming.
“At the end of the day I love being an architect and I have always enjoyed my job so I don’t have any immediate career changes in mind.”
“I will start teaching architecture soon at one of my former Scottish Universities one day a week teaching second year students, it’s something I have always wanted to do. It keeps your mind ticking on current architecture, and I think I will get as much out of it as I hope the students will.”
In more positive news, Kate was named Star Baker for the first time after impressing so much with her sticky toffee apple cake that Prue asked for the recipe.
She also scored high praise with her intriguing bayleaf-flavoured millionaire shortbread.
This helped her case enormously after the setback of coming sixth in the technical challenge where all nine bakers failed to bake a decent Dutch stroopwafel with not a single one producing proper caramel.
The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesday nights on Channel 4
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years writing for Stage newspaper, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.