The Great British Bake Off 2017 bakers: Kate Lyon
Day job: Health and Safety Inspector
What is Kate’s baking style?
As a history enthusiast, Kate uses old-fashioned techniques for baking – experimenting with smoked flour for sourdough bread and recreating old recipes using unfashionable tools.
Predominantly self-taught, Kate only started baking about two years ago, even though she has been watching the Bake Off for much longer.
“I was a big fan of Bake Off as I love watching cookery programmes,” explains Kate. “I would regularly take my cakes into work and one of my friends, Fran, told me: ‘Look Kate, this is really lovely, if you don’t apply for the show, I will. And I am being serious.’
“And so I decided to give it a go. I didn’t think any more of it and now here I am!”
On Instagram, she shows off her latest creations: Vietnamese summer rolls, baked falafel, wholemeal soda bread (made in a vintage cast iron pan on an open fire, naturally), and pear frangipane tarts.
What else do you need to know about Kate?
Kate is also an enthusiastic blacksmith who enjoys making things from scratch – and she also wants to make her own crockery one day, so the bowls and spoons might be homemade as well as the cakes. Her passions extend into furniture restoration and yoga, and she enjoys growing her own vegetables in her veg patch.
How is Kate doing in The Great British Bake Off?
Great British Bake Off contestant Kate (Channel 4)
The Bake Off has been full of ups and downs for Kate. In week two she narrowly escaped being booted out of the tent – but just two weeks later she was Star Baker.
Kate’s first episode highlight was a number one spot in the technical challenge, and praise for the glass effect on her ‘Chocolate Terrarium’ showstopper. The low was her Moroccan Strawberry and Rose Cake signature bake, which left the judges wrinkling their noses.
There were more downs in Biscuit Week. Despite the name that seemed like something straight out of Noel Fielding’s Mighty Boosh, her Coconut Seashells for a Titanic Afternoon Tea Signature Challenge failed to impress.
In bread week she rose to the occasion with a weird and wonderful Kraken Bread Sculpture – but it was Caramel Week that she first tasted sweet victory.
Kate created some impressive Salted Bay Caramel Millionaire Shortbreads, as well as a Sticky Toffee Caramel Cake, and was named Star Baker for the first time.
Pudding Week followed, and a slight slip back into the chasing pack when Paul complained about her messy signature challenge. Pastry Week too was not exactly a perfect run out for Kate: Prue said sternly, “I’ve seen you bake a lot better than this” following the signature challenge, and she was only redeemed by an impressive showstopper.
Is Kate’s time in the tent coming to an end? Or can she raise her game once again?