Leigh Francis Wins Star Baker!

Leigh Francis Wins
Star Baker!

This Sunday The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer was back again, putting celebrities to the culinary test. Our second round of celebs saw Danny Dyer (actor and TV presenter), Rhod Gilbert (comedian), Leigh Francis, better known as Keith Lemon, and Yinka Bokkini, a television and radio presenter from BBC Radio 1, enter the tent.

For today’s Signature Bake, the celebs had an hour and a half to bake a batch of 12 highly decorated biscuit people. According to Prue, the perfect batch would be buttery, rich, and consistent, with Paul deeming the Signature “a pretty straightforward task”.  The celebs used this challenge to draw inspiration from sports teams to Beyonce to Paul Hollywood himself, adorned with carefully placed seasonal coverings. Up first to receive Paul and Prue’s judgment, was Rhod’s ‘Paul Hollywood Calendar’, consisting of a gingerbread biscuit decorated with fondant icing. While highly decorated and imaginative, they were just short of underbaked. Up next, we had Yinka’s ‘Beyonce’ iced lemon biscuits. These drew inspiration from Beyonce’s 2016 ‘Lemonade album’, specifically music anthems ‘Formation’ and ‘Hold Up’. Paul praised Yinka’s consistency of design, while Prue deemed the baked goods a “beautifully, buttery flavoured biscuit.”

Next to receive judgment was Danny Dyer’s ‘Winning Team’ Iced Biscuits, featuring a vanilla sugar biscuit base and royal icing, donning West Ham’s home colours. Paul deemed these ‘abstract’ biscuits as a ‘decent’, imitating that of a shortbread. Then finally, Leigh’s ‘Characters I’ve Dressed As’ iced biscuits containing chocolate chips, cocoa powder and ground almonds received an “incredible” from Mr Hollywood himself.

The Duchess of Dough, Prue set this week's Technical Challenge of 9 elegant lemon fondant fancies adorned with sprinkles. This challenge really tested the technical abilities of the celebs, with the recipe not including timings and requiring a steady hand. With 2 hours to bake, Yinka had a shaky start, forgetting to add the almonds to her mix, unfortunately, she had to start again. Meanwhile, the other celebs cracked on with cutting 9 equal marzipan squares, and adding these to the cake, ready for the fondant icing. Now it was time for the judge's blind taste test. Up first, Paul and Prue took a bite of Leigh’s fondant fancies, which were lemony with a nice sponge. Then onto, Danny’s baked goods, the fondant topping letting down the otherwise brilliant bake. Yinka’s were up next, which were praised for their almondy taste. Finally, Rhod’s “radioactive” bakes were praised for their flavour and texture yet critiqued on their appearance. Leigh’s fondant fancies came out on top, bagging himself a technical challenge win.

Finally, onto the main event, the Showstopper. This week the celebrities were tasked with a rather personal challenge, which saw them having to create their biggest failure in a cake. The celebs took this as an opportunity to get reflective and creative. Leigh’s baked creation took inspiration from a snowboarding incident in his ‘Foot Cake’, made of chocolate sponge and a mint sweet to replicate his toenail falling off. Yinka’s vegan ‘Judgement Cake’ made of cacao and vanilla extract paid homage to her unused law degree. Next, Danny’s ‘DIY Disaster Cake’ made from vanilla bean paste, cocoa and coffee was reflective of a time he’d drilled himself into his very own wardrobe. Finally, Rhod’s ‘NYE Midnight Express Cake’ made from espresso, shortbread biscuit and coffee liqueur. Featuring an immersive element to Rhod’s bake the tent hosted a different type of piping to usual, with a mid-cake presentation from a man playing the bagpipes serenading the judges. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to bag Rhod the win. Leigh’s consistency throughout the Signature, Technical and Showstopper bagged him the Star Baker apron, with the other celebs not too far behind in some amazing Showstopper bakes.

Catch up on all Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off episodes now here.

Good news, you can get your very own Star Baker apron like winner Leigh from the Stand Up To Cancer shop, plus more Star Baker merchandise to look the part while baking up a storm. 100% of the profits go to Cancer Research UK in support of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.