Now, Karen’s creations rival even those of a French patisserie, baking sumptuous profiteroles, Religieuse buns, tartes au citron, and even foot-long eclairs.
Although Karen says she used to limit her baking due to her dieting, she loves cooking for her husband and for big family gatherings.
“My daughters encouraged me to [enter Bake Off], and I was approaching 60 and I found it really liberating to do something like this,” Karen said. “As you get older you feel less inhibited, and think does it matter if you make a fool of yourself.
“I have always wanted to be even more flamboyant and free, I really wanted to do this for me and I thought it was the right time to step up and take on some challenges and have some fun,” she added.
“I think my mam who is 84 years young will be the most surprised [that I’m competing in the tent], she will love it. I am very proud of my mam and look forward to telling her all about it,” Karen said.
If she were to invent a crisp flavour on GBBO, she says it would be her “favourite” flavour, “Rogan Josh” (a type of curry), and when it comes to baking an illusion cake, she would make “a kind of This is Your Life, the big red book cake, with a photograph on the front of the recipient with lots of calligraphy and embossing, reason being it is a very personal cake to give to someone and very bold”.
Karen’s Bake Off journey
Sadly, Karen’s Bake Off journey came to an end in Spice Week, and in a double elimination she and Terry and left the tent. It was emotional!
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news