Saturday 24 February 2018

Baker leaves the tent after failure to blossom in floral challenge

Rav Bansal wilted in botanical week
Rav Bansal wilted in botanical week

Rav Bansal has admitted he felt like a "cat that was running out of lives" as he became the sixth contestant to exit The Great British Bake Off.

The university support worker from Kent previously won fans and impressed judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with his flavours and fusion recipes.

But he failed to rise to the challenge of botanical week with his margherita meringue pie and blossom cake, and got his marching orders from the tent.

Bansal, 28, said: "I was so proud to get past the half way mark, my biggest fear was getting kicked out first, and I did feel like a cat that was running out of its lives.

"All the way through whenever I was doing badly, I somehow managed to pull it back.

"It was an up and down ride, but I went out with a smile on my face."

Bansal and the other bakers were given three all-new challenges - having to create a citrus meringue pie for the signature bake, fougasse bread in the technical and a floral cake of at least three tiers for the showstopper.

Bansal's margherita meringue pie was deemed "too soft" by Hollywood, who also suggested that the flavour was not strong enough.

His fougasse won third place, but his blossom cake proved to be his undoing, with Berry saying it lacked creativity and Hollywood calling it "a bit samey".

Bansal admitted that he had his worst moments this week.

"Piping your own flowers was difficult and I have always been open that my bakes are not pretty," he said.

"I would rather they taste good than look good, so I think that was my ultimate downfall."

However, he said being on the BBC One show was the "best experience" of his life and he would keep experimenting in the kitchen.

He said: "For now, I am just going to go with the flow.

"One of my biggest dreams is to write a cook book, and maybe even open my own bakery, that's the ultimate goal."

There was better news for Bake Off hopeful Tom Gilliford, who clinched the coveted title of star baker this week.

The 26-year-old from Rochdale whipped up a blood orange and pumpkin pie in the signature bake and took first place in the technical challenge with his tasty fougasse.

The judges were delighted with his floral tea cake in the showstopper.

"You have absolutely cracked it with brilliant Genoese sponges," said Berry.

:: Bansal will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday September 30 at 9.30 pm on BBC Two.

Press Association

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