Every year we are tantalised by delicious breads, incredible towers of gorgeous cakes and delectable treats just waiting to be tasted.
That’s right, Great British Bake Off is back and the judges can look forward to tasting all the incredible goods their contestants have in store – and all the nightmare mistakes the famed Bake Off tent can offer.
And with a new cohort of contestants ready to try for the coveted Bake Off cake stand, there is one question on fans’ lips.
Who are the new GBBO contestants?
One fact about Antony: He grew up in India, where he learned to bake with his father, and he is “adventurous” about flavour.
Most likely to see: Sweet and savoury combos
He says : “All of my friends back home in India will be really surprised I’m on GBBO. They have known me to be a singer in a choir, a two piece band but never as a baker, so it will be interesting to see their reaction.”
Who has inspired you? “As a little kid I was always in awe of my dad who made the best Christmas cakes and pizzas back home in India.”
Which Judge did you want to impress most? “I surely wanted to impress both Blue eyes and lovely Prue. Prue takes the cake on this one with her wealth of knowledge in the food industry. So her taste buds were top priority.”
Sweet or savoury? “ I think sweet with a savoury twist like a mango chilli jam š or a saffron swiss meringue buttercream.”
Favourite bake? “A lovely eclair with an interesting melt in the mouth filling topped with an exciting glace on the top.”
Job: Full-time parent
One fact about Briony: She was inspired by her Nan’s baking wisdom to get serious about baking in 2013, and uses YouTube tutorials to help her learn specific techniques.
Most likely to see: Classics
She says: “If I was to make an illusion cake, I’d make a bouquet of flowers in a decorative vase. Made from fondant and buttercream, and 12 red roses.”
When did you start baking? “I only really started baking in 2013, so not that long ago.”
How did you find it in the Tent, that first morning? “ The most exciting and terrifying moment of my life!”
How will you watch the first episode? “I will be watching it with friends and family and Iāve promised to make the signature bake each week to have while we watch.”
Sweet or savoury? “Sweet, every time! I have such a sweet tooth.”
Favourite bake? “Victoria sponge, an oldie but a goodie!”
Job: Full-time parent
One fact about Dan: He is a self-confessed “perfectionist,” and begins every creations with the aim of making it not just delicious, but also a thing of beauty.
Most likely to see: Spruced up family favourites
He says: “I bake in the little spare time that I have, and often work on bakes over the course of several days. I never work to strict time constraints like those in the tent, so that was a real challenge for me.”
Who encouraged you to apply? “Iāve wanted to take part in The Great British Bake Off for a while, and didnāt need much encouragement! My husband has been my biggest supporter throughout the experience.”
When did you start baking? “My mother taught me to bake when I was a small child, but I had a renewed interest about six years ago when we decided to have a family of our own.”
Which Judge did you want to impress most? “Whilst Paul tends to be more harsh in his critiques, Prue is equally discerning; I knew I would need to impress both of them.”
Whatās your Desert Island Dish? “My desert island dish would probably be a simple pain de mie ā I donāt think I could live without bread!”
Hometown: County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Job: Countryside recreation officer
One fact about Imelda: She is one of four siblings and grew up learning to cook and bake from her mum in the family home, and is still surrounded by a big family.
Most likely to see: Traditional
She says: “If I had to invent a new crisp flavour, it would be chocolate and cheese onion, itās the best sweet and sour combination.”
Who has inspired you? “ Iāve been fortunate to grow up in a family of bakersā¦ my mum, my grannies and my aunties are all handy in the kitchen. My mum in particular has been such an inspiration. I love sitting down with my aunties even now and having a good chinwag about recipes weāre using or new things theyāre trying.”
Sweet or savoury? “ Sweet. Always. My sweet tooth is my absolute nemesis and if there was one thing Iād change about myself that would be it.”
Favourite bake? “Bread. Sweet or savoury bread is the bizz. There is nothing in this world like freshly baked breadā¦.white loaf, sour dough, fruit loaf, wheatenā¦bread is amazing! Is there anything better than bread and butter?!”
Hometown: Newport, Wales
Job: Blood courier
One fact about Jon: He loves a showy bake ā and a showy Hawaiian shirt too ā and loves wowing friends and family with his creations which often see him experimenting with new techniques.
Most likely to see: OTT themed bakes
He says: “One of the things I have learnt through this process is donāt make anything too complicated, so I think my illusion cake would have to be a breakfast, a full Welsh! So bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding and lava bread.”
Who encouraged you to apply? “My wife, Debbie ā I could not have done any of this without her.”
When did you start baking? “Iāve been cooking for 15/16 years, ever since I would try and cook a romantic meal for Debbie when we first got together! The baking came after that as I just loved to try and create new things.”
What is your signature bake? “I love to make marshmallows!! However, I am also known for my elaborate and fun cakes, for parties. My favourites are the āsevered mummyās legā (AKA raspberry roulade) for Halloween and a giant Prosecco cake for my wifeās birthday last year!”
Hometown: West Yorkshire
Job: In-store sampling assistant
One fact about Karen: Karen began her love affair with baking during the 15 years she and her husband owned a house in France. Now, she can knock up foot long eclairs to rival any French bakery.
Most likely to see: Multi-tasking… at speed
She says: “I was approaching 60 and I found it really liberating to do something like this. As you get older you feel less inhibited, and think does it matter if you make a fool of yourself.”
Who encouraged you to apply? “ I dared myself to start the application process as my first challenge to celebrate my 60th birthday year. My daughters helped by proof reading for me and putting in some punctuation and full sentences as I get carried away writing at speed – as I do baking at speed and doing more than one thing at a time!”
When did you start baking? “ As a child of maybe eight or nine my Mam started training me to be a housewife (she failed) so she taught me the very basics – how to fold in flour in cakes and how to keep pastry tender – that type of thing. Then it was a big gap of many years before I tried some less typical everyday stuff.”
Whatās your Desert Island Dish? “It would have to be one of my Rich Fruit Christmas cakes, a massive one maybe several tiers so it would keep us going and not go off while we wait to be rescued.”
Job: Mental health specialist
One fact about Kim-Joy: Kim-Joy was born in Belgium to an English father and MalaysianāChinese mother, she grew up in London, studied in both Bristol and Leeds, and now lives in Leeds with her partner.
Most likely to see: Experimenting
She says: “None of my family really bake, itās just me that bakes. My friends have always wanted me to apply, but I didnāt feel confident enough to apply until this year.”
When did you start baking? “When I was a child I used to have to make mince pies at Christmas, and I hated mince pies. But everyone else raved about them! So I started realising that baking was a way for me to fit in and to make people like me, and essentially that is what we all want!”
What is your signature bake? “For special occasions I like to always create something new! Iām not really a fan of making the same thing twice unless Iām tweaking it in some way.”
How will you watch the first episode? “Iād be tempted to make the showstopper again but maybe a miniature version. I love miniature things!”
Job: Civil servant and house/techno DJ
One fact about Luke: He has been baking independently since he was a mere 10 years old, making Victoria sponges, fruit cobblers and chocolate cake for his family.
Most likely to see: Using celebrity inspiration
He says: “I love to have music playing and always have my sous-chef (aka my dog Oscar) waiting patiently by my side for something to drop on the floor that he can eat before I have a chance to stop him!”
Who has inspired you? “My nan literally bakes every day (not even joking) so she has been a massive inspiration. Iāve always been a massive fan of Jamie Oliver too and when I was a teenager he inspired me to get in the kitchen and I vividly remember wanting to be just like him!”
Favourite bake? “I absolutely love making bread ā all types of bread. I find it amazing how you can take such simple ingredients like flour and yeast and mix them together to create something so tasty and delicious.”
Are you looking forward to seeing yourself on television? “Iām absolutely dreading seeing myself on TV, Iāll be so embarrassed. I just hope everyone watching at home can understand my heavy Yorkshire accent ā wouldnāt surprise me if thereās subtitles on the screen whenever I talk haha!”
Job: Software project manager
One fact about Manon: She was born and raised in France, but it wasn’t until she moved to London as an au pair when she really got into baking.
Most likely to see: Extraordinary icing
She says: “When me and my best friend came to England, Bake Off was one of the first shows we watched together on TV. My best friend and flatmate, and my closest girlfriends that have always rooted for me and supported me throughout my baking journey.”
When did you start baking? “I grew up in a family where food is E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G so from a very young age me and my sister would always help mum or grandmas preparing the food and also desserts. But I seriously got into baking when I came to the UK where I fell in love with cake decorating and cupcakes.”
Sweet or savoury? “I always have a second stomach for pudding. But bread and butter would always be my top craving when I am hungry!”
Favourite bake? “My favourite thing is to work with icing, so anything that involves icing.”
Job: Research scientist
One fact about Rahul: He grew up in Kolkata and moved to the UK at 23, with both countries inspiring hi ‘East meets West’ style of baking.
Most likely to see: Classics with a twist
He says: “Colleagues I knew during my PhD donāt have a clue that I can bake. Back in India I didnāt bake either. All of them and actually myself are surprised that I made it into the tent.”
When did you start baking? “Even as a child, rather than watching sports, I enjoyed watching cookery shows. I never baked when I was in India. My baking journey began in the UK about five years ago when I was feeling lonely. The first cake I made was about two years ago, when my parents visited the UK for the first time.”
What is your signature bake? “I like the simple classics, sometimes with a little twist in it. My colleagues love my Lemon drizzle cake and its cousins like Lemon and cardamom drizzle cake, or lemon and elderflower drizzle cake – they like them a lot.”
Sweet or savoury? “Savoury for sure. Even last night I had a piece of lemon drizzle cake, but then felt like I need to have something else. So had a bit of left over curry.”
Job: Project manager
One fact about Ruby: Ruby lived with seven male housemates and university, and her love of baking flourished from cooking and baking for them.
Most likely to see: Brilliant breads
She says: “Baking and music go hand in hand at home; I will always have music blaring, so itās a pretty lively affair. I donāt like people stepping into my kitchen at home trying to āhelpā, itās my zone ā let me do my thing and then after you can enjoy the treats!”
When did you start baking? “I only really caught the baking bug around the end of 2016. I remember making a black forest cake and looking around at the kitchen which looked like a total bomb site but this gorgeous cake sitting amongst the mess and it didnāt look too shabby!”
Which Judge did you want to impress most? “Letās be honest ā Paul hasnāt smiled since like 1983 so he wasnāt on my radar to impress! I really wanted to impress Prue though, I have admired her for a long time so was super keen, possibly borderline needy ha ha.”
Favourite bake? “Aside from cake, I absolutely love making bread. Something so satisfying and rewarding from spending hours on mixing, kneading, proving, shaping, proving and finally baking (fully aware I sound like I have no life but carbs are life).
“I could easily live off leftover Christmas dinner sandwiches drenched in homemade gravy for the rest of my life!”
Hometown: West Midlands
Job: Retired air steward
One fact about Terry: Terry loves to use the spoils from his own microbrewery and allotment in his bakes, as well as his background as a prosthetic technician to add a bit of science.
Most likely to see: Cakes with a kick
He says: “I have made a few illusion cakes in the past, but I would like to make an inlaid wooden box, like a jewellery box, inspired by my love of carpentry. The inspiration would be my love of antiques, I collect a lot of junk!”
What is your signature bake? “I make a double chocolate and cherry gateaux with amaretti and thatās a firm family favourite.”
Favourite bake… and your Desert Island Dish? “My favourite bake to make is a rich Game Pie made from pheasant, duck or venison as a winter warmer pie. If I was stuck on a Desert Island I would want something to cheer me up like Tipsy Tart which would have lots of brandy so it would keep it preserved and keep me going.”
Are you looking forward to seeing yourself on television? “I am not really looking forward to seeing myself. I have a motor home, I might just escape somewhere!”
You can also take part in your own Great British Bake Off sweepstake – download your Mirror GBBO sweepstake for free.
The Great British Bake Off returns on Tuesday, August 28 on Channel 4 at 8pm.