The team from Cocorico Patisserie in Cardiff, Laurian and Thibault, won the fifth season of Bake Off: The Professionals on Channel 4 on Tuesday, a final described as “incredibly close” by the judges.
Earlier, setting the task for the final’s main challenge, judge Benoit Blin said: “We want a stunning historical banquet, fit to serve to a king and a queen.”
Unfortunately, front-runners the Park Plaza Hotels team of Dominico and Alessandra, had a pretty forgettable night.
Meanwhile the third team, The Ivy’s Clanny and Ryan delivered sumptuous desserts grounded in their Goan heritage and were praised by Blin and co-judge Cherish Finden for taking them on a “journey of discovery” from the beginning of the series in May, when 12 teams began the competition.
But Laurian and Thibault decided on a strategy of serving the least complicated desserts and cakes, but created with finesse and expertise. Blin said of their coffee eclair simply: “Bravo!”
Finden said their sourdough mousse was definitely a “dessert fit for a queen”.
The duo from Cocorico had done “strikingly interesting things before” in their heats and if there was a criticism, Blin said he’d hoped for “something more interesting” in the final.
Laurian and Thibault were understandably elated and said their win was “for all that time we missed with our families and friends”.
Their fans were delighted with the result, some of them even apparently local to Cocorico.
Like the judges, this viewer described the pair as “absolute machines”.
But for many Bake Off fans, Domenico and Alessandra, despite having a disastrous final, which Blin politely described as having “some issues”, were the winners.
Some fans were just in awe of the desserts and cakes being created for the final.
Before the banquet competition, the finalists had to create chocolate hats. Again, Laurian and Thibault opted for a simple but classic strategy.
Domenico and Alessandra went for haute couture.
And, well, Clanny and Ryan decided they wanted to recreate a day in the countryside.
Although some critics have been dismissive of Bake Off: The Professionals, with The Daily Telegraph’s Michael’s Hogan saying it was ‘merely piggybacking cynically’ on its parent show, The Great British Bake Off, viewers seemed to disagree. The programme ranked second or third in Channel 4’s most watched shows each week throughout its fifth season.
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