In Tuesday’s night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Mark was named Star Baker and Sura, was the fourth baker to leave the tent.
In week four of The Great British Bake Off our Bakers faced Chocolate week and the competition got hotter in the Tent as Judges Prue and Paul set three tricky challenges to test the remaining bakers.
There was a deceptively simple traybake in the signature, a technical packed full of chocolate and nuts, and finally, a celebration showstopper that pushed the baker’s skills with white chocolate to the limit. Unfortunately one baker was heading home.
At the end of the fourth episode Noel announced that Mark was the Star Baker and Matt had the difficult job of telling Sura that she would be leaving the tent. Paul said: ‘You are a good baker. I am really sad to see Sura go, that is a classic case - you cannot have a weakness in your baking if you are going to win the GBBO, and unfortunately we found the weakness this week.’
On hearing the result, Sura said: ‘ I am gutted, but what is done is done, I am not going to be bitter about it. I have had a great time. I hate white chocolate. I don’t think I will eat chocolate ever again!.’
Here Sura talks about her experience: ‘In chocolate week it was so hot and I had layers on, and it was unbelievably warm in the tent. Everything was melting, my face, the chocolate – everything. You couldn’t do anything about it, you just had to get on with it. It just wasn’t my week, that’s the nature of Bake Off, it’s a blessing and a curse as you are only judged on each week, and not overall. But it was my time to go, and I was fine about it as I felt that I had done my best overall.
‘However, it wasn’t my greatest baking standard for chocolate week, but I feel that I left with my head held high and I have taken away the best memories of a lifetime. How lucky were we as a group of bakers? We won’t have a Bake Off like that ever again.
‘The worst moment overall for me was in the first episode, when I was swatting the fly from my technical and I knocked over Dave’s creation! My heart dropped and I felt mortified and so upset for him, but he was so good about it.
‘One of my better highlights was Bread Week and I was really pleased with my Showstopper. Paul gave some really lovely comments and to hear that on Bread Week from him was quite special for me. I genuinely think Prue is such a lovely person, and the fact that she loved my Florentines and my mum’s special blend of tea. When I left I gave her what tea I had left so she can have some at home.
I didn’t expect to bond with the bakers so well, but I now have 11 new friends. It’s a special club that you are joining and I feel honoured to be part of it.
‘When I left the tent I felt I wouldn’t bake for a while, but it only lasted two days. As soon as I got home, I was itching to start baking again. Baking for me is more than flour, butter and sugar. It’s about love, and showing the appreciation for the people that are around you, it’s my therapy.
‘Everyone at work has been lovely and the reaction and response has been amazing, it does throw you off a bit when someone asks for a picture! I feel that the edit captured the essence of who I really am and I have enjoyed watching the show 100%. My husband watches it with me and he is literally howling with laughter, he has been loving it and the fact that it showed so many of my facial expressions some good and some bad!
‘He has been such a rock throughout the filming, so supportive and he held the fort at home while I was away, and I am eternally grateful to him. It allowed me to spread my baking wings a little and have some me time.
‘I had the greatest time ever and it remains one of the most amazing experiences in my life to date. It’s the best thing I have ever done for myself, and I will never forget it. This is the first time in my life where I have done something just for me and I feel like I am a winner from it.
‘My family are really proud and have been watching it. I usually bake a cake each week and sit down with a cup of tea and watch the episode. And then the next day I have to watch it again, as there is so much to take in. I can’t wait to see the rest of the series, I am just excited to see how my friends do from here on. Am sure it’s going to be a fun watch.
‘I am not sure if Bake Off has changed my life in any way, but it has been amazing and it’s reignited my love for baking and really shown me what I want to do in life and that is bake full time, as baking= happiness.
‘I’m going to see what is next for me, but I would like to write a few recipe books and share my love for Middle Eastern food and baking. It would be good to share the family secrets for successful Middle Eastern baking… and the ultimate dream is to study patisserie at the Cordon Bleu cookery school and then open my own bakery.
Sura will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday 16 October, Channel 4 at 8.00 pm.
Sura, 31, London
Sura grew up surrounded by family who offered food as a means to show affection, love and respect. The many Middle Eastern and Asian influences in her heritage – including Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and India – mean she enjoys experimenting with ingredients and flavours from all over the world. Never one to stick to a recipe, Sura loves to improvise in the kitchen and inject her bakes with as much personality as possible. She loves to work with fragrant and floral flavours such as cardamom, rose and orange blossom. She now lives in London with her husband and elderly grandmother. When she’s not baking or working, she can be found indulging her passions for travel, architecture and design.
Pictures: Duncan Webb at C4. DWebb@channel4.co.uk
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