Friday 30 September 2016

Dorret Conway vows to keep on baking despite GBBO exit

Published 20/08/2015 | 00:13

Dorret Conway has vowed to keep baking after being booted off Great British Bake Off (BBC)
Dorret Conway has vowed to keep baking after being booted off Great British Bake Off (BBC)

Dorret Conway has vowed to keep baking, despite becoming the third contestant to exit the Great British Bake Off.

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Her exit was less of a surprise for the public after judge Mary Berry accidentally revealed who was going home during an interview with Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday morning, mentioning the names of the first three bakers to leave the Bake Off tent - which included Conway.

The accountant from Preston was eliminated after presenting Berry and her co-judge Paul Hollywood with a walnut and stilton soda bread that "could have been more intense", as well as a "showstopper" which failed to impress the judges.

"I bake to entertain my friends at dinner parties, it's more of a hobby and an interest to make something memorable to eat when people come to our house," she explained. "I was genuinely surprised to be accepted as I know the standard gets higher each year."

The amateur baker came dangerously close to elimination in week one, when her Black Forest gateau melted into a mess of chocolate mousse. The 53-year-old was convinced she'd be going home - but "Hipster Stu" was the first to leave the Bake Off tent instead.

When the show aired she was "dreading" the first episode, Conway admitted. "My husband and all my friends, along with the rest of the nation were seeing it for the first time. I hadn't told a soul the outcome. I knew what was coming, but of course I hadn't seen the tension that was building in the episode."

The gateau disaster was nicknamed the "Mudslide" on Twitter, but Conway was delighted to receive sympathy from the Bake Off audience: "I got incredible support, which was great because at the time it was quite traumatic! You get very passionate and involved about your bakes and have every reason to be upset when they don't turn out as you expect. I really thought I was going home.

"It was such a wonderful feeling when the public got on my side."

Conway had a better second episode, winning the technical challenge with her arlettes - her "best moment", she said. "I had given the judges what they wanted and I was really proud - I had never made them before so that was something new for me.

"When I got the praise from Mary and Paul for my arlettes, inside I was doing a little Salsa dance."

But episode three brought Bread Week, where her "showstopper" bread version of Tracey Emin's Unmade Bed failed to secure her a place for week four.

"To choose something that's untidy to start with doesn't give a good impression when we first look at it," Berry warned, while Hollywood added: "Is that five hours' work? No, it's not."

It didn't help that she'd never made it before, she admitted: "I said I hadn't practised my bread, and you could see by Mary and Paul's faces that they weren't happy."

"At the end of the day you have to remember it's a baking competition and at home I don't make bread sculptures. I am never going to stop baking but I won't be baking under pressure."

The amateur baker intends to keep improving her baking skills, explaining that she likes to "blag" her way into kitchen restaurants to pick up ideas from chefs: "Some are forthcoming and other chefs want to keep their secrets, but most of them are flattered that I am that interested.

"I think for now I would like to take some courses, develop my skills and keep learning. I would love to go to a Cordon Bleu school to soak up some knowledge," she added.

:: Dorret Conway will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday August 21 at 9pm on BBC Two.

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