The Great British Bake Off 2017 bakers: Sophie Faldo
Day job: Training to be a stuntwoman
What do you need to know about Sophie?
Former Army officer Sophie found her love for baking after leaving the military, and she hasn’t looked back since – although it took her boyfriend David to convince her to put herself to the test on The Great British Bake Off.
“He actually put the initial application in,” she says. “I had been looking at going on a course for a while at a patisserie college as it’s something I love doing but I couldn’t really afford it. I saw they were accepting applications and before I knew it, David had started applying.”
But Sophie’s not one to shrink away from a challenge – she’s currently training to be a stuntwoman, although she says that nothing compares to the adrenaline rush of going into the tent.
“Walking in to that tent first time is so much harder than training to be a stunt woman, which I am currently doing,” she says. “For that, we have been doing everything from rock climbing to equestrian but there is just so much pressure baking in the tent.”
As well as baking, she’s also a keen track cyclist, and also teaches military boot camps on the side – so no worries about piling on the Bake Off pounds then.
What is her baking style?
Sophie is a patisserie specialists, and says her military background helps her find solutions even when bakes are going wrong.
That said, don’t expect her to be pristine when it comes to her preparation: “I am not so sure my cleanliness in the tent was up to military standards; my work station was carnage!”
How well is she doing on The Great British Bake Off?
You know you’re doing well when you get a Hollywood handshake in the very first episode.
Her illusion cake, a champagne bottle in a bucket of ice, was a work of genius, right down to the little ice cubes. Add the fact that Noel Fielding had a field day with her bottle sculpting skills, and you have a classic Bake Off frontrunner…
Perhaps it’s her military background, but Sophie is definitely the calmest baker in the tent. She doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the word “panic”.
She has been a consistent performer all series, but really came into her own in episode five’s Pudding Week, when she was named Star Baker for the first time.
Can she maintain her form in the second half of the series? Pastry Week proved to be another strong week: Prue said her savoury pies were a “triumph”, and gave her a celebratory tap on the shoulder. Forget the Hollywood Handshake: the ‘Prue Pat’ was born.