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Monz Recaps Great Australian Bake Off finale: Warm ovens, clear eyes and full hearts.

It’s the finale of The Great Australian Bakeoff and this means two very sad things. Firstly, only one woman will be crowned the best amateur baker in Australia, and secondly,the dessert porn will end.

I have deep, deep love for the remaining three bakers.  Mostly, because #girlpower.   But also, they are all so evenly matched that I can’t pick a favourite and nor do I want to.

Jasmin the British, Sian the Vogue of Baking and Suzie Glitterati Sparkles have ALL had star baker, they’ve all left the judges weak at the knees, they’ve all slayed the showstopper. None of them has at any point, plated up a Sara-Lee pudding and tried to pass it off as ‘homemade’ like SOME. They are all winners in my book.

FINAL SIGNATURE BAKE

OMFG It’s the VANILLA SLICE.  YES. BAKEOFF GODS be leaving the best till last. Laminated puff pastry, custard, icing, all packed into an engorged square of heaven.   The bakers throw everything at it. Jasmin is filling hers with Raspberry and Caramelized White Chocolate. Suzy Sparkles is doing a Vanilla Cheesecake and Passionfruit Jam one, and Sian isn’t doing a Vanilla Slice AT ALL, she’s Frenching this shit UP and making a Mille Feulle instead. #vogue

The caramelized white chocolate is a thing of absolute beauty. It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen done with white chocolate since the Top Deck. And just when I thought it couldn’t get better,  Jasmin LICKS IT STRAIGHT OFF THE PAN.

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YES.

“That’s one of the best flavours in the world.” says Matt Moran. He has his tux on and is ready to marry Jasmin any moment now and I’m WITH HIM.

Again, like in every show, we see these beautiful moments of comraderie that make me NEVER want this show to end.  Suzie is struggling to finish.  Sian, having finished her vogue covershoot with her vanilla slices already, yells out across the bakeoff shed “SPARKLES, do you need help?”

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Jumps over there and helps this woman, her rival, complete the task.

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More sparkles needs more hands. Image supplied.

The judges care not for sportsmanship points and are swift and harsh.  Suzie’s Vanilla Slices are bursting at the seams which the judges deduct points for. They deem Jasmin’s Vanilla Slices too ‘rustic looking’. Which is a low blow, considering no one really LOOKS that hard at a Vanilla Slice, do they? Isn’t the point just to shove in gob?

And Sian’s Meille Fuelli with Mandarin Mandarin Curd and a Mandarin Jelly and Gold Leaf is without icing.  The rules of Vanilla Slice stipulate it must have a beautiful shiny icing but Sian put icing sugar on top of hers instead, as the French would do. The judges are aghast.  “I like the Australian Version” says Maggie, pointedly. Sian shrugs her shoulders because she’s like, ‘you know what? It’s the last show. YOLO’

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NO ICING???? Image supplied.
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WHATEVS. YOLO. Image supplied.

TECHNICAL BAKE!

Maggie announces she has built a FRANKENSTEIN CAKE built of ALL OF HER FAVOURITE THINGS. Which I kinda get. Because after ten weeks of Maggie having to eat everyone else’s bakes, she’s finally like YOU KNOW WHAT EVERYONE? YOU CAN MAKE WHAT I LOVE FOR ONCE.

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CHEEKY MAGGIE Image supplied.
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This thing is HONESTLY the most off the charts cake I have EVER been witness to.

Ten different components. Countless layers,  Sponge, mousse, chocolate, jelly, roasted hazelnuts. salted honeycomb, honeycomb cream, chocolate glaze.  It’s the cake that dreams are made of. It’s the cake that would BREAK the most experienced baker. It’s a cake that all three of them plate up, perfectly, in less than five hours.

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Unblvbl. Image supplied.

All three cakes were textbook perfect and it’s impossible to discern between them. Suzie comes last because I think someone had to and they probably thought she’d take it the best. Jasmin came second because -and this was the reason – her honeycomb chunks were a millimeter too small.  Sian wins because her honeycomb chunks were a milimeter larger and thus deemed superior. The honeycomb chunks weren’t on top of the cake, weren’t visible at all, THEY WERE HIDDEN IN A MOUSSE INSIDE. THIS IS HOW TIGHT IT IS. WE ARE NOW MEASURING SIZE OF HIDDEN HONEYCOMB TO THE MILLIMETER.

SHOWSTOPPER!

It’s the absolute decider and while I am salivating over what the theme will be, Mel Buttle says the words I never, ever thought I would hear on Bakeoff:

“FREE CHOICE”.

IT’S A FREE CHOICE BAKEOFF. THEY CAN MAKE WHATEVER THEY LIKE. Remember at school when your teacher would say “this lesson is free choice”? Remember that feeling you would get in your stomach, that surge of adrenalin? That buzz of excitement? That was primary school where the most exciting thing you could do was make something with pipe cleaners. THESE GUYS GET FREE CHOICE AND ALL THE CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD?

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“Free Choice” face. Image supplied.
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Accordingly, Jasmin makes like a kid in candy store and announces she is making a triple layered chocolate cake with popcorn and flowers tumbling all over it. YES JASMIN.  All we need now is Elsa from Frozen on top and you have yourself a five year olds dream.   Sian is making a croquembouche, but not JUST that, she’s piling it on top of a sour cream infused chocolate marscapone cake. Phwoarrrrr. And Suzie is making a Gingerbread Church with a giant ring inside it because it’s her wedding anniversary. COP THAT, right in the feels.

This is glorious.

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Image supplied.

Glorious

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Image supplied.
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Glorious.

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Image supplied.

While they bake, a crowd of friends gathers outside for a picnic and to cheer them on and it’s all I can do not to lay out my rug on the loungeroom floor too, in baking solidarity.

When you look at what these women do in FOUR hours, it honestly beggars belief. Just how? Any amateur baker who can knock out a cake without having a breakdown, deserves respect. THESE GUYS? Another level.

The judges, at the end, are similarly stumped.

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Image supplied.
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The time comes to judge.

But first, the bakers reunite with their long lost family and friends. And it is heaven. We meet Sparkles’ kids and her husband, we meet Sian’s mum, and then Jasmin’s dad and sister all the way from the UK, here to surprise her.

Jasmin looks so happy that I could just about cry for her. It’s right now that I realise Jasmin has won.  I mean, they wouldn’t fly her family out if she wasn’t going to win. C’mon BAKEOFF. I’M ONTO YOU.

Alas, the time has come to crown the winner. But it almost seems like that part doesn’t matter. Because over the last ten weeks, we have seen SO MUCH beautiful baking, heavenly judges, hilarious hosts, sportsmanship that our best Australian athletes would marvel over, random shots of dogs, birds, incredible characters, chocolate on tap and carbohydrates up to the eyeballs.

In any case, the winner is Sian.

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Image supplied.
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A worthy victor who, after I joked her baking belongs in a mag, picks up a deal with Delicious Magazine. Ace.

There are no losers in this show. Everyone exits with warm hugs and happiness and I want to live in this show. Please, Foxtel. Can you Air BnB this bakeoff shed? Hire all the bakers to stay, have Claire and Mel welcome us, and just Air BnB it. I BEG OF YOU.

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BRB…booking now. Image supplied.

What a beautiful season. Warm ovens, clear eyes and full hearts.  I can’t wait until next season.

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Image supplied.

Are you happy with the chosen winner?

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