The final of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ is tonight and the nation has once again embraced baking, with Waitrose revealing sales of baking ingredients soaring since the start of the fifth season.
The episode will air on BBC1 at 8pm. From thousands of applicants, just 12 bakers made it to the final, and now only three remain: Richard, Luis and Nancy. Having fought their way through 27 baking challenges, the trio have just three more tasks to tackle: a signature challenge that requires the mastery of a classic pastry technique that normally takes a day – in just three hours; a technical challenge that tests them beyond everything they have tackled in the previous nine weeks by requiring them to master the basics – with no recipe; and a final show-stopper challenge that demands delivery of perfect sponge, caramel, choux pastry and petit four in their final five hours in the Bake Off tent.
According to Waitrose, sales of baklava are up over 100% at the supermarket chain since last week’s patisserie bake off challenge. A Waitrose spokesperson said: “It’s always great to see a TV programme inspiring shoppers to don their aprons and get cooking, and this effect is no more apparent than with ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Now in its fifth series, the programme’s effect on sales shows no signs of abating, with this year’s challenges prompting customers to create all manner of baked treats.
“At the beginning of the series, we saw a rise in sales of cake decorations and toppings with mini marshmallows up 110%, glitter strands up 124%, pink and white sugar stars up 95%, fruity confetti up 79% and glacé cherries up 17%. Shoppers also started to stock up their cupboards with essentials in preparation for the weeks ahead, with sales of spelt flour up 103%, lemon juice up 14% and sandwich tins up 21%.
“As the weeks go by, the bakes get harder. But this hasn’t stopped our customers giving the various challenges a go in their own home. For example, Baked Alaska week prompted a 129% rise in sales of our Seriously Madagascan Vanilla ice cream and a 29% rise in vanilla extract sales. Whatever the age or experience, it seems the nation is still dough-eyed for all things Bake Off!”