The cake aerobics-loving baker was told she’d be leaving the tent after her filo pastry failed to impress, but she took the news in true Bake Off style, delivering a wonderfully emotional speech that made her the show’s real winner in everyone’s eyes.
2. Norman’s pesto
We all know Bake Off has become WAY more ambitious since its humble BBC2 beginnings, with wacky flavours, unpronounceable technical challenges and teetering towers of cakes.
However, one brave baker bucked that trend, choosing instead to sticky to the classics, and never, ever go too far out of his comfort zone. For series 5 baker Norman, even the humble pesto was a little bit too “exotic” for his filled bread – and we loved him for it.
3. When Paul produced a Bread Lion
Bake Off contestant Paul, who looked a bit like Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, was rather fittingly very good with bread (OK, we’ll forget about his technical baguette bake).
His showstopper wasn’t just King of the Jungle, it was king of all the Bake Off tents, with Hollywood claiming it was one of the “best things” he’s ever seen made out of bread, and that even he wouldn’t have dared to take on such a challenge.
In fact, Paul (the contestant) got the Bake Off’s first ever commendation, even though the bread lion (controversially) didn’t earn him Star Baker in the end.
I mean, come on, even the claws were edible almonds.
4. Tamal’s top two sandwiches
Remember the time Tamal based a whole bake on one of his favourite sandwiches of all time?
“It was a pork sandwich and they fried the meat with the fennel and rosemary…” Tamal explained.”I think about that sandwich quite a lot…” he added, with an expression that would be just as at home on the face of a groom watching his life-partner-to-be walk down the aisle.
But Tamal didn’t need to just think about that sandwich anymore. He could replicate it inside a vol-au-vent for the delectation of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. And become everyone’s soulmate while he was at it.
5. Nadiya’s wonderful winning moment
Nobody was disappointed to see Nadiya Hussain crowned the 2015 Bake Off champ, least of all Mary Berry – who actually shed tears of joy for the amateur baker.
And as if her facial expressions and brilliant bakes hadn’t endeared Nadiya to the nation already, she went and floored us all with a speech that puts every Oscar winner to shame.
6. That series 2 squirrel
The internet went absolutely nuts for this little guy, who spent a little too much time having a close-up and became an internet sensation in the process.
7. Howard’s stolen custard
The Great Custard Sabotage was talk of series four, when part of poor Howard’s trifle went missing. It was found in fellow contestant Deborah’s dessert after she accidentally used his handiwork instead of her own. Howard bravely soldiered on, serving up Deborah’s disappointingly “slack custard” in place of his.
8. Mel breaks Frances’ biscuit tower
Mel became inadvertently involved in one baker’s showstopper creation in series four, sending Frances’ impressive sewing-themed selection of stacked giant buttons toppling. Frances had a tiny wobbly-lipped moment before pulling herself together.
9. The salt vs sugar mix up
John Waite went on to win the Bake Off in 2012, but was nearly sent packing at the start of the competition. In the very first episode of Bake Off series three, he came second to last in the technical challenge after putting salt – instead of sugar – in his rum babas. We all felt his pain.
10. #BINGATE – The Baked Alaska Disaster
Ah, bingate. The 2014 Bake Off drama was a big one. During a challenge, Iain’s icecream failed spectacularly to set, resulting in him having to present a bin to Paul and Mary at the end.
The reaction was crazy – it made Newsnight for crying out loud – and the demonisation of Diana on social media deplorable. But all Bake Off fans felt more than a little choked up when Iain realised his Baked Alaska looked like this…
11. When Catherine threw her dough
There Catherine was happily kneading her strudel dough when Sarah-Jane decided to teach her a new technique. But it didn’t work, instead her fledgling bread flew through the tent and landed on the floor, getting covered in all sorts of yucky hair and dirt.
12. Mary Berry vs Howard’s hemp loaf
When it comes to baking there’s very little Mezza Bezza can’t tell you, but when Howard Middleton introduced hemp to his basket of ingredients back in 2013, she looked genuinely stumped. And we all genuinely loved her for it.
Nothing says Bake Off like Mary’s reactions to alcoholic additions and her response to Luis’s rum-infused cocktail doughnuts in 2014 has to be up there with the best of them. Who could say no to a batch of beautifully crafted doughnuts, pumped full of raspberry mojito magic?
If you’re a big Bake Off fan you won’t want to miss the week’s souvenir Radio Times edition, featuring interviews with the four semi-finalists, Candice, Selasi, Andrew and Jane – plus an 8 page cut out & keep Bake Off recipe special!
Find it on sale from Tuesday 17th Octoberin shops and on newsstand