We love seeing the amazing creations that amateur bakers rustle up on the Great British Bake Off manage to cook up but it’s reassuring to see that even the best can sometimes make a royal mess of it.
To whet your appetite for tonight’s episode of the Channel 4 show, here are five times the showstopper proved hard to swallow.
Edd’s suet pudding, 2010
Bradford banker Edd Kimber went on to win the first series, but you wouldn’t have bet on him after episode 4, when his attempt at a rhubarb and strawberry suet pudding ended in disaster. After scraping it out of the dish Edd did his best to hide its shame with icing sugar, but the poor pudding was “beyond repair”. The verdict: “a pile of s**t”. He must have meant suet.
James’s chiffon cake, 2012
Heartthrob, hipster and trainee doctor James Morton looked certain to win series three. Even his collapsing gingerbread barn hadn’t stopped him winning episode 8 after he covered it with sugar string and called it haunted. But he bit off more than he could chew in the final, trying to bake five cakes at once—with the result so bad it “welded” Paul’s mouth together.
Iain’s baked Alaska, 2014
Mary and Paul must have had hearts as cold as ice cream to set bakers this task on the hottest day of the year. Construction engineer Iain Watters couldn’t stand the heat—and threw his melting mess in the bin. Many viewers accused fellow contestant Diana of “sabotage” after footage of her rearranging the freezer, and it took an official BBC statement to put the “bingate” scandal to bed.
Dorret’s gateau, 2015
No-one on Bake Off history has ever looked more in need of a hug than accountant Dorret Conway when her Black Forest gateau turned into a “mudslide” in the first episode of series six. The mousse didn’t set and the whole thing oozed out of the bottom of the tin. To be fair, it did still look pretty tasty—and miraculously Dorret even survived to bake another week.
Nick’s choux, 2018
Countdown host and former The Apprentice sidekick Nick Hewer won the not-so-coveted title of “most appalling baker” from Prue after a baking disaster that had viewers in stitches in this year’s celebrity specials. His attempt at a choux pastry was more like a biscuit—with the filling splattering straight through—though Paul thought they’d at least make acceptable Yorkshire puddings.