The Great British Bake Off 2017 bakers: Liam Charles
From: Hackney, North London
Day job: Drama student
What do you need to know about Liam?
Meet “Cake Boy” – or at least, that’s what his friends at Goldsmiths University call him. The drama student is a long-time fan of The Great British Bake Off, to the extent that he used to join in each week alongside the TV bakers and cook their creations.
He explains: “I am such a massive fan and so every time I watched it, if they made cakes, I would then go and bake cakes. Biscuit week for them – it would be the same for me!”
Now, at last, he has his chance in front of the camera.
Liam has only baked for four years, but he is on a mission to make sure that baking is acceptable among the younger generations – starting with his nephews (11 and five), who help him out in the kitchen. “They really love making doughnuts,” he says. Ambition begins at home.
What is his baking style?
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Liam is more into cake than bread. “I love cakes so much because it is a ‘go to’ bake,” Liam says. “It isn’t that stressful and everyone loves a cake. Anything with caramel in and I am right down there.”
His Instagram reveals oodles of perfectly-iced cakes piled high with chocolates, biscuits, pretzels and ice cream.
How well is he doing on The Great British Bake Off?
Arriving at the tent for the first time, reality kicked in. “I was so apprehensive,” Liam says. “But it’s just so surreal. You arrive on a coach and when you see the tent, you find yourself going ‘oh gosh, this really is happening to me.’ OMG and when I saw Prue and Paul, well that was just totally nuts.”
Liam just about kept it together for the first two challenges, but it was his first showstopper that really caught the judges’ eye, an illusion cake designed to look like a stack of pancakes.
Prue Leith in particular was pretty impressed…
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) August 29, 2017
Despite his constant worries that he’d be going home, Liam also made it through Biscuit Week in one piece. His Classroom Classics board game was wildly ambitious, but he just about pulled it off – and even played a game of noughts and crosses with Paul Hollywood.
As expected, Bread Week was NOT Liam’s week and he almost got sent home. His Jamaican Spiced Teacakes were not a hit – after all, he wasn’t even sure what consistency teacakes should be. And his Kneadapolitan Bread Sculpture went pretty wonky in the oven.
But in Caramel Week Liam really came into his own, delivering Salted Peanut Butter Millionaire Shortbreads and a White Layered Ginger Caramel Cake and earning the handshake of approval from Paul Hollywood.
He may have missed out on the Star Baker title – but Bake Off fans think he was robbed.
However, that all changed in Pastry Week, when his fantastic raised pie finally earned him Star Baker.