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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Great British Bake Off: The second baker leaves the tent

In Tuesday’s night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Rahul was named Star Baker and Luke, 30 was the second baker to leave the tent in Cake Week, and here talks about his time on Bake Off.

Luke’s first challenge was the Tray Bake, the technical was Le Gateau Vert, and then the Showstopper was a Chocolate Collar Cake with a minimum of two tiers.

“And by the last challenge, I was nearly in tears! It all started to go wrong from the first signature when they said my sponge was tough as old boots, and when I had to start the technical challenge all over again, that didn’t seem to get any better either! At the end when Sandi asked me did I want to bring up my Showstopper - I said not really!

“With hindsight, I should have just kept to one design for my Showstopper, it would have been safer. Instead, I kept changing the design so I never got to practice as much as I wanted to.

“Even though it was just two weeks - it was an amazing two weeks. I was absolutely devastated to leave, there is no getting away from that. But on reflection now, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I have made 11 new friends for life as well!

“I was absolutely gutted that I didn’t get to bread week, as I feel that is one of my baking strengths. My fiancée always asks me to make a bread pinwheel of goats cheese, pesto, olives and sundried tomatoes, bit of a Mediterranean theme in there.

“My best moment in the tent was definitely when I got through week one, what a relief! And of course the excitement of walking into the tent for the first time.

“My worst moment was the Showstopper, it looked lovely when I put it into the fridge, but when I took it out it was like the leaning tower of Pisa, and just sliding down. I started to slide as well then, that knocked my confidence and I didn’t recover after that.

“I think the judges comments were fair and I feel I have learned a lot from them. Every time I got their feedback I took it on board.

“Being a house and techno DJ is another passion of mine, like baking. At work I have to be serious and professional, but I know that come Friday night I will be able to let my hair down and DJ. I get an amazing buzz when you get the interaction from the crowd. It’s a fantastic feeling when you play a good song and literally everyone is dancing. I have always loved house and techno music, I grew up listening to it at home because my mum always loved it.

“When I announced to my team at work that I was going to be on Bake Off, everyone was totally shocked. There was a mixture of confusion and excitement and they all wondered how I had kept it a secret for such a long time. They have all been watching the show and supporting me, and I have had so many positive messages coming through.

“I am from Sheffield and have lived here all my life. It’s got to be one of the most friendly cities in the UK. My nan and mum are so proud of me, and last week my mum at work got asked for an autograph of me. My dad was dead excited when he heard I was going in. We are all a close family, and speak most days, they have been a great support.

“I will be watching each week with my dogs Oscar, Daisy and Ruby – and of course my fiancée Kelly. We will be getting married next year on the Amalfi coast, and all our friends and family coming out. I am hoping to get some of the Bakers out there too!

“Watching the programme tonight, I remade the Tray Bake, and this time it worked out and got good feedback from everyone. The dogs get a few scraps, and even they liked it! Seal of approval.

“I will continue baking at home, being on the show has made me experiment with new flavours, new bakes. I am not really expecting anything to happen, but if it does it’s a bonus. I always wanted to go on the show to have a go at baking in the tent, and I had the best two weeks of my life.

“It just wasn’t my weekend to be baking chocolate in the tent. I’m really going to miss everybody. But I just can’t believe I even made it onto the show in the first place. Just little old me who like, bakes in his kitchen, started with his nan, taught himself. But hey I was still in the Bake Off, I still went into the tent, I still had Paul and Prue try food I’ve baked – which is literally a dream of mine.”

Luke will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday 7 September Channel 4 at 8.00 pm.

Luke Thompson, 30
Some of Luke’s earliest memories are standing on a mini stepladder so that he could reach the worktop to help his Nan bake. He has been baking independently since he was a mere 10 years old, making Victoria sponges, fruit cobblers and chocolate cake for his family. Now, inspired by early morning cookery shows and his travels throughout Europe and North America, he has tried his hand at almost every baking discipline going. His minimal and clutter-free attitude to life is reflected in the things he creates – his bakes are clean and precise.

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