Great British Bake Off 2012 Series Review

So the Baking Begins for 2012's Great British Bake Off

great british bake off 2012 series Review

The Great British Bake Off is presently the most popular cooking show on television. It has transcended to dizzy heights with viewing figures exceeding all expectations. The simple format of bringing twelve amateur bakers together to compete in baking challenges set by the shows experts, who also judge the rounds, has proven popular with viewers. At the end of three challenges one baker is eliminated and one baker is judged to be master baker of the week, therefore the number of contestants lowers each week until the final show where the last three bakers battle it out to become the winner of the series.

All this takes place out in the countryside in a huge tent and is presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, while the shows judges are the legendary Mary Berry and master baker Paul Hollywood. Half way through the show there is a trip back in time to explain the history of one of the featured recipes of the week. It's all great fun and for lovers of cooking programmes is a show not to be missed. So what happened during the 2012 series? Let's take a look.

The Challenges

great british bakeoff 2012 cakes

All the contestants have to complete three challenges per show which are, the signature bake, the technical challenge and the show stopper challenge. The signature bake is first and is the choice of each contestant what they make for their signature bake. This bake has to show their flair, individuality and creative ability. Once the challenge is complete Mary and Paul taste the results and judge them. The technical bake is one of Paul or Mary's recipes that the contestants have to recreate with little more than the ingredients. The judges then rate the offerings from last to first by blind tasting as they do not know who baked what. The show stopper challenge is the final bake where contestants have to create something challenging and magnificent to impress the judges.

The 2012 Contestants

  • Stuart age 26 PE Teacher
  • Sarah age 28 Vicars Wife
  • Danny age 45 Doctor
  • John age 22 Law Student
  • Natasha age 38 Midwife
  • Peter age 42 Sales Manager
  • Victoria age 49 CEO
  • Cathryn age 27 Housewife
  • Brandan age 63 Company Director
  • Ryan age 38 Photographer
  • James age 21 Medical Student
  • Manisha 27 Nursery Officer

As you can see the 2012 bakers were a real mixed bunch and at the start of the series there was no-one who stood out in a way that made viewers think they would be the eventual winner. Contestants would have a great week then follow it with a really bad week where everything went wrong.

The Finalists

great british bakeoff 2012 finalists

The three finalists in 2012 were Brendan, John and James making it an all male final. They had survived while being pitted against some formidable bakers. At this stage James who was from the Shetland Islands was favourite to win with Brendan who was a very experienced baker hot on his heels. John who was the law graduate outsider had had a rough trott in some of the heats even ending up in hospital due to an extremely bad gash on his finger inflicted by a blade in a mixer. John actually struggled through some of the heats but it was his masterpiece in the form of a 100 part gingerbread colloseum that sealed his fate getting him through to the final.

great british bakeoff 2012 gingerbread colosseum

John Whaite did in fact win the series although he was an outsider to do so. He sealed the deal with his show stopper offering of Heaven and Hell Chiffon Cake. The cake was made from a collection of small coconut and lemon meringue mini cakes on top of a dark orange and chocolate large base cake. Both judges praised John highly calling the cake professional and a perfect slice of cake. No-one was more astounded than John himself when the result was announced but was of course ecstatic! John went on to become a baker professionally leaving behind his legal past.

great british bakeoff 2012 heaven and hell cake