Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo speaks out on biscuit week: “You do push your luck with the producers!”

In her weekly RadioTimes.com column, 2017 winner Sophie Faldo reveals all about biscuit week

The Great British Bake Off 8 - 2017: - Baker Sophie

The Great British Bake Off is back for 2019, and we’ve already seen a few shocks this series.

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While it appeared Jamie was down and out after a questionable week one performance, fans were left shocked when Dan bowed out of the tent. But Jamie’s luck ran out in biscuit week and he was sent packing.

But what does someone who has previously battled her way through the marquee of dreams really make of this series? Join our RadioTimes.com columnist, 2017 Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo, in what she makes of each week’s events, including who she thinks will rise to the occasion, and who only put in a half-baked performance…

“Everybody’s talking about Jamie”

Bake Off Jamie (Channel 4)

The internet went crazy over Jamie staying to fight another day, and Dan leaving the tent. What people don’t realise is that the judging goes on for a lot, lot longer. So, we don’t always get a sense of everything Paul [Hollywood] and [Prue Leith] may be saying. It can sometimes come across like the judging is going to go a certain way and then they pick someone else.

We all love an underdog, but Jamie’s luck has run out.

But good on him for having such a positive attitude when it came to his signature challenge. It’s so easy to get het up as you want to do so well and it can be really upsetting that you know you’re going to get a bad judging and you know you put your heart and soul into it, but good for him, that he can just go, “it’s just a biscuit”.

“You can get into a lot of trouble with producers”

Biscuit week is an interesting one because it’s the first time they’ll really understand the competition is about the logistics as much as it is about the baking, which is something I had trouble with on caramel week where things don’t set, and you can run out of time.

You can get into a lot of trouble if you ignore Noel [Fielding] and Sandi [Toksvig] saying: “Time’s up!”

Eventually the producers will be like “guys we’re being serious,” and you’re like, “ah, ok, alright”. But sometimes you’re done, and you just have to have a minute to catch your breath before you do anything with your bake – sometimes you do try and push your luck!

“We learned to steer clear of certain flavours with Paul”

Paul Hollywood, Bake Off (C4, EH)

I thought Helena would succumb to her nerves, but she kept chilled for week two. She does need more variety in her bakes as she’s quite gothy. She made an error in her signature as Paul doesn’t like matcha. In my year, we all clocked onto this early. Rose and matcha, just stay away from it because Paul doesn’t like it.

“We bought all our clothes for the tent from Primark!”

Bake Off Henry (Channel 4)

I spoke to Henry and he said he totally regretted his tie and jumper, because once you’ve decided what you’re going to wear you have to stick with it due to continuity.

It can be quite chilly and then it’s absolutely sweltering, but you’ve got to wear the same thing for two days.

You often don’t have time to wash things – you film for so long and then you’ve got enough time to get in and eat. If you wash clothes, they wouldn’t be dry in the morning. You’ve got a choice. You either air them out a little bit, or you buy two sets of everything. Which is what a lot of us did – we’d go to Primark and buy two of the same coloured t-shirts.

“Channel 4 is probably trying to whoosh things up a little bit”

This week’s technical saw people ask whether a fig roll is really a biscuit, or a cake. I remember this about the Jaffa cake. A cake is a cake if it goes hard when it’s stale a biscuit goes soft when its stale. Channel 4 is probably trying to whoosh things up a little bit and cause a little controversy. It’s an interesting one, it’s not a particularly beautiful looking bake, so it was nice that it came down to how it was baked and the flavours.

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The Great British Bake Off continues Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4