The Great British Bake Off 2021: final – as it happened

Last modified: 09: 17 PM GMT+0

Crystelle, Chigs and Giuseppe had to conjure up a Mad Hatter’s tea party in the final … but who took home the coveted cake stand?

Thank you for reading! It has been an absolute thrill.

Take a bow, Giuseppe. Such wonderful words. We wish you and your family the very, very best. ❤️❤️ #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/aSUEm2uUue

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) November 23, 2021

Well, that’s it from us for another year. We really love doing this lovely blog with you lovely lot. Thank you for joining us each week as we’ve laughed, cried (and wailed at the inclusion of yet *another* Forbidden Ingredient). Till next time, friends. X

I always enjoy the “here’s where they are now” bit - except this year it’s a bit more of a pitch for a Freya and Lizzie travel show where each baker shows them the sights of their hometowns. Crystelle bafflingly chose Baker Street station.

not crying. nope. absolutely not. prove it. prove i'm crying. #GBBO pic.twitter.com/IxGOmg18dB

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) November 23, 2021

It was the tightest final I can remember. I hope the slightest of errors from Chigs and Crystelle don’t make them feel too downhearted. They have a LOT to be proud of here.

The Italians have won the Eurovision song contest, Euro 2020, the 100m final at the Olympics (as well as being the incredible joint winner in the high jump too) and now, and most importantly of course, The Great British Bake Off 2021.

Jokes aside, we should also send some big congratulations to the miso fiend, Crystelle – her flavours have been the most adventurous this year and they’ve been right up my street. And we shouldn’t forget our lovely Chigs and his glasses. What an incredible achievement to reach the final and put up such fierce competition after baking for only a year!

There is nothing else to win, Italy. You’ve won the lot.

The winner of The Great British Bake Off 2021 is ...

Giuseppe! A steady pace for a worthy winner, he’s never been very far from the top and barely broke a sweat, bar the last couple of challenges. What a brilliant baker. One can only imagine he’s clutching his face again right now.

Updated

Here we goooooooooooooo

I do hope we get to see the previous bakers at the final again next year. I’ve really missed it over the past two years.

That shot of Chigs cheesing down the camera was a nice tonic to the tension of the past 20 minutes. How are we all doing please? Who do we think is going to win?

Did she put it in Giuseppe’s cold oven? How strange.

Crystelle appears to have a winning set of flavours from Paul and Prue … but she has provided a RAW FOCACCIA! That could have cost her.

She’s baked nankhatai! They’re a gorgeous Indian biscuit, not dissimilar to a shortbread. Definitely worth a Google and a try, if you have time (which you will, every Tuesday night until September 2022.)

For a second I thought Crystelle had also baked a tree.

Wow. Crystelle’s is the most visually impressive of the lot, I think.

That is a winning set of reviews from Paul and Prue. Unless Crystelle knocks it out of the park, I think we could have our Bake Off winner here.

The jammie dodger (/biscuit) playing cards are genius. And the jam sounds delicious, though the judges are complaining they can’t taste it.

Genuinely this is an iconic task because you could just call any mistake intentional due to the brief.

I’m just going to say it. Chigs has baked a field of willies.

“Pity,” says Prue. Damn. I don’t think Giuseppe is going to win - but he did add a mango to please us lot. What a hero.

“Simple and effective?!” I’ll give you simple and effective, Paul. It does sound a bit like Giuseppe’s filled his choux buns with pesto, which is a bit weird.

Giuseppe’s ‘What Is The Hatter With Me’ Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Showstopper. #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/YqGjSEQrxo

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) November 23, 2021

It’s the final judgment!

WHY OH WHY DO THEY HAVE TO CARRY THEM?!

These Showstoppers look absolutely brilliant. So much more impressive than some of the final Showstoppers we’ve seen previously – what a good challenge, and what brilliant bakers. They should be so proud.

Noel: “You kids have done a Bake Off.”

Crystelle: “Completed it mate.”

And they hug.

Hold your heads up very high, Chigs, Crystelle and Giuseppe! It’s been such a joy seeing you bake, bond and grow over these ten weeks. ❤️❤️❤️ #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/L28TIGVKw2

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) November 23, 2021

Not one to break the habit of a lifetime, Chigs has finished early.

Yikes, while Crystelle and Chigs are assembling, Giuseppe is still putting things in the oven!!

Perhaps the Bake Off lawyers saw the Colin/Cuthbert controversy and forbade it?

So, white rabbit, dormouse, hatter, Alice.

No caterpillar at the tea party ?

If you weren’t concentrating during that Showstopper, it just consisted of them running for 20 minutes.

Shout out to Crystelle’s oven gloves getting some more air-time. Still incredibly jealous of them.

I loved Chigs and Crystelle refusing to play along with Mr Spatula. Though considering how things have been going, I can understand Giuseppe’s desperate peck on the forehead. Needs must.

Oh, for god’s sake.

“This is Mr Spatula. You just have to kiss his head and then you win.” - @noelfielding11 #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/IUcWis07Sz

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) November 23, 2021

Let’s just be thankful they haven’t brought Mr Spoon back.

Giuseppe is not having a good time, is he? Protection squad assemble!

But Noel just called Giuseppe “Seps” and I think I might EXPLODE WITH LOVE.

I really thought Guiseppe just said: “I am going to be shitting this into a mushroom” but it turns out that it is shaping. Stand down.

Name check for everybody’s Happy Little Jürgen! Gone, but never forgotten.

Ah, there’s a mango in Giuseppe’s bake. I’m almost grateful, for old time’s sake.

He’s having a horror of a week.

He’s so mad he hasn’t even clutched his face. I completely relate to his frustration but I think he should turn it on before complaining about it.

GUISEPPE FORGOT TO CLOSE HIS OVEN DOOR PROPERLY! He has lost 15 minutes as he waits for it to warm up. I don’t know why but this is reminding me of the time when Alison Hammond thought that her oven doors had gone missing.

As we all need a bit of a lift today, here's Alison Hammond on Bake Off thinking that her oven doors have gone missing pic.twitter.com/32fYIMKnDX

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) April 7, 2020

I may have missed them, but have we *finally* had an episode without any Forbidden Ingredients? Surely we’ve missed a rogue mango?

Crystelle also apparently likes to “finish things off by hand”.

Crystelle is baking an edible clock and Chigs is making a cat wearing the colours of a Leicester City football club shirt. Got it? Got it.

“We’ve given you a fair amount of time,” claims Paul. I’d like to see him try this challenge in four and a half hours.

A bit ridiculous that after testing them on everything, they make them do a Showstopper consisting of everything.

Prue: “I want a display that takes us into a wonderland.”

No pressure, then.

For the past few years, the final’s Showstopper has been a way of getting the bakers to show all disciplines – breads, cakes, pastries, biscuits. Gone are the days of a simple wedding cake like in Nadiya’s day, but I do think it’s a good way of showing off all the bakers’ skills.

It is an Outstanding Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Display!

Sweet and savoury afternoon tea treats shaped and decorated in a “mad hatter kind of a way.”

Chigs just kissed his chain and my heart hurts.

Nice of Noel to own up to distracting Giuseppe and making him come last in the technical.

Greggs is the pinnacle of baking. Change my mind.

Have none of the finalists ever been to Greggs? The lack of icing on these Belgian Buns is criminal. #GBBO #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/geAPDqP0Nn

— Daniel Friar (@dannyboyfriar) November 23, 2021

Ah, I’m not so sure! I think it’s between Giuseppe and Crystelle – his signature was better than hers, from the critiques. What do we think BTL?

I reckon Crystelle is out in front so far, with Chigs just behind. I reckon Guiseppe could claw it back if he pulls off something amazing in the Showstopper.

Here is the order: 3. Giuseppe (“massively overbaked.”) 2. Chigs (criticised as he rolled his the wrong way) 1. Crystelle!

I have to say I think they all did a fairly good job considering they literally had two instructions.

Guiseppe is overbaked massively. “Such a pity. It is the final!” says a frustrated Prue.

Prue’s necklace looks like a child made a spider out of strawberry laces and an enormous glace cherry, doesn’t it?

It is the technical judging.

There’s no clear frontrunner, it seems.

Heck, with my baking skills I’m not exactly in the best place to criticise anyone else

I mean they’ve caught a little, but I can’t help but think Chigs isn’t exactly in the best place to criticise anyone else.

Giuseppe’s Belgian buns look burnt! “Is this what Belgian buns should look like?” he muses, not long after expressing concern that his bakes would be underdone.

Crystelle is frowning at Matt for making fun of her “glazed buns” comment – but she’s not here to police us so we’re free to snigger as much as we wish. And I certainly wish to snigger.

Chigs has rolled his Belgian buns the wrong way! And by the time he has noticed, it’s too late.

This challenge is making me hungry. I’m going to have to make some of these, aren’t I?

Oh no, Chigs looks really sad. It’s all going to be OK, I promise. And if it isn’t OK, at least it’ll be over.

Paul Hollywood after only giving the bakers two instructions#GBBO #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/gt3sSxae4j

— Mercury K Theo 💕 (@MercuryTheo) November 23, 2021

Giuseppe has no idea how to make lemon curd, so describes it as a “creamy liquidy thingy.” He seems to be experiencing quite a bit of bad luck this episode.

I hadn’t noticed until Noel pointed out but Giuseppe has very long arms. Like an Italian Mr Tickle.

They should have just printed.

  1. Bake!
  2. Cry!

Heavens. I think that’s brilliant for a final challenge though. It’s a fairly straightforward bake, and it’s properly testing their knowledge. Remember they have the quantities written out on the ingredients list!

Oh, I’m nearly right. It appears there are just two instructions, one of which is ‘make Belgian buns.’

Would be phenomenal if the piece of paper just said ‘Belgian buns’ and nothing else.

The final gingham-wrapped mystery is ...

12 Belgian buns! They must be filled with sultanas, lemon curd and the tears of finalists.

I think maybe Giuseppe came out on top there, followed by Crystelle with Chigs in last place?

Michael, you were right about Prue’s facial expression being a warning. Chigs’ bake is too solid as there was too much carrot in the batter.

Seeing Crystelle and Prue’s outfits in the same shot feels like when you first open your eyes with a hangover. Owch.

Giuseppe already has his head in his hands.

Giuseppe already in his trademark move. Incredible.https://t.co/xXwcmVCXfs #GBBO pic.twitter.com/Q5biWgALPl

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) November 23, 2021

It is time for the carrot cake judging.

That’s all, folks.

They are showing the Great Australian Bake Off on More4. Just to fill the gap before the next four other Bake Off shows are on.

But Guiseppe has finished! Miraculously. Who knew baking a carrot cake could cause so much STRESS?

Giuseppe is sweating, Crystelle’s cake is aiming for the floor and Chigs … well, Chigs has finished early.

Chigs’s open shirt is really doing things, isn’t it.

Oh and Crystelle’s cake is going to be 90% wood at this point isn’t it?

I thought Chigs was going to be in the most trouble here, but it appears to be Guiseppe. He can’t seem to cool his bake down in time to add the walnuts, which has to be *super* cold for some reason. “This is going to be carnage,” he warns.

Matt and Noel following the annual tradition of seeing how far they can take it for the final, I see.

Well, we did tell you that the final would be full of unexpected twists… #GBBOFinal pic.twitter.com/wza9uhNGtx

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) November 23, 2021

Gosh, Crystelle’s sister looks the spit of her doesn’t she? I got a bit confused there, thinking she’d boldly pre-recorded her message for herself 10 weeks ago.

Ah, it’s Crystelle’s rhyming siblings again! What a throwback.

Something I love about Bake Off is how they let the camera linger on contestants in silence. It speaks a thousand words.

We're 10 mins and I'm already a mess. #GBBO pic.twitter.com/Kj6maKYXdz

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) November 23, 2021

Oh I have become one huge goosebump.

Guiseppe’s facial expression when he is sent a video message from his father. He is breaking down in tears.

I don’t really like figs unless they’re dried. Am I a monster?

Chigs <3

Chigs: “I lost my father when I was really young. I think I was 12 years old. He died really young, so I take every opportunity in my life as I can. I’m not going to wait for something to happen. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it.”

None of this year’s finalists have seen their loved ones for nearly two months! We’re now seeing messages from their family, starting with Chigs.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Giuseppe: “One Hour 50 Mins.”

It’s a really good challenge actually. If you bake lots of thinner layers, it’ll end up dry – but if you bake one thick cake, it might end up raw.

Speaking from experience, when the judges raise their eyebrows at a quantity in your recipe you should change your recipe.

Chigs is baking the carrot cake for only the second time of his life, 900 grams of carrot in the batter, based on a recipe he has seen on YouTube. It is like doing a Strictly dance based on something you’ve seen on TikTok.

Ooooooh hey now. I need to eat Crystelle’s cake IMMEDIATELY. That sounds delicious.

Phew. One bake out of this episode’s nine which doesn’t have a Forbidden Ingredient.

Giuseppe brings his catchphrase: “I’m doing an Italian twist!”

Saying Jammie Dodgers is banned. Yet Bugs Bunny is fine!

The signature is a carrot cake!

I do like it when the Final’s signature is straightforward. They have to prove they can make a good cake, pure and simple.

Prue has dressed as a peach melba.

We all prefer the originals, don’t we?

You really have been on a journey, haven’t you Chigs. From no glasses, to glasses, to a different pair of glasses and back to the first pair of glasses again.

Ah, Giuseppe’s still got wet hair. Why break the habit of a lifetime and wake up 10 minutes earlier?

Michael, I’m one step away from opening an Excel spreadsheet and generating data to analyse how each of them have performed this series. Don’t make me do it!

I know they’re technically right that they’re evenly matched but surely a handshake for a Showstopper counts for more?

We should have just had a recap of the entire series through Giuseppe’s increasingly traumatised facial expressions.

I like how the bakers each get two benches in the final, to ensure added “running around in a flap” content.

Please, I don’t want to see Matt Lucas singing the Flintstones theme tune again.

May the mangos be ever in your favour.

Good luck everyone, may the Mango be with you

Right before we get cracking .. who are your predictions for the winner of Bake Off 2021? Let us know in the comments.

Updated

Oh yes, sorry. I’ve not set this week’s Forbidden Ingredient yet! Perhaps that’s because this segment has been perhaps my life’s least successful invention, considering the bakers’ flagrant disregard for my nerves. However, I shall push through: this week’s Forbidden Ingredient is finesse.

Right. Bingo cards at the ready:

  • Crystelle using miso
  • Giuseppe clutching his face
  • Someone mentioning the fact that Chigs has only been baking for a year [looks at Scott]
  • Unspoken family tension during the videos from home

And, as it’s the final, we have a bonus bingo round:

  • Any of the previous Forbidden Ingredients: olives, tahini, fennel, matcha, chantilly, miso or yuzu.

Yeah, Chigs is the underdog‘s underdog, constantly defying expectations while being new to the game. He was that person in class who didn’t revise and keeps getting A*. And he gets away with it because he’s nice. Infuriating.

It’s certainly an even final - I genuinely feel like any of them could win. Giuseppe seems the most consistent, but Crystelle (and her miso) have really risen in the last few weeks and Chigs is, well, Chigs.

We are now left with three evenly matched finalists. And when I say evenly matched, I mean it!

Each finalist has won Star Baker twice. Giuseppe got his in Bread Week and German Week, Crystelle received hers on Pastry Week and Pâtisserie Week and Chigs got his during Dessert Week and Free-From Week! The final, in case you are wondering, is where they are tested on basically everything, so it could end up anywhere.

Let’s think back to those we’ve lost along the way. Never forget Dame Maggie of Dorset and her accidentally gluten-free sticky toffee puddings, or George grimacing his way through doom-laden bakes. We had lovely Lizzie loathing everything she put in her oven, and we mustn’t forget our Happy Little Jürgen, pipped at the post by his arch-rival, Giuseppe.

Hello and welcome to the Bake Off final liveblog! We made it! The last few episodes have been nail-biting and unpredictable, with Jürgen shockingly making an exit in last week’s semi-final. It is now between three bakers who all could easily win the series: Crystelle, Chigs and Giuseppe.

Contributors

Scott Bryan and Michael Chakraverty

The GuardianTramp

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