‘I’d be annoyed if I HADN’T WON’
Great British Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo lifts the lid on her baking success and reveals how being in the Army shaped her into the winning baker…
Sophie Faldo almost brought judge Paul Hollywood and host Sandi Toksvig to tears after being crowned the 2017 Great British Bake Off winner.
Smiling sweetly as she was awarded the coveted glass cake stand, Sophie – who remained composed throughout the 10 weeks on the C4 show – kept her cool once again.
However, the 33-year-old tells us it would have been a completely different story if she hadn’t risen to the occasion and bagged the first-place prize.
‘If I hadn’t won it, I would have been so annoyed with myself for not getting it right,’ she admits just hours after becoming the latest winner.
She adds, ‘I tend, in baking, to strive for perfection with a kind of military precision, and I want it to all work out perfectly.
‘I get a lot of inspiration from Michelin-style chefs and I love my bakes to have finesse.’
Sophie baked her way into the viewers’ and judges’ hearts from the get-go, landing herself the first ‘Hollywood Handshake’ of the series for her signature bake.
As the weeks went on, she continued to impress. Firstly, with her love for pâtisserie, which she dubbed ‘my thing’, and then with her incredible show-stoppers, including her yuzu (sponge cake) and her winning entremet (multi-layer cake), which she dubbed ‘Ode To The Honey Bee’. But, while she would have been disappointed if she wasn’t the show’s icing on the cake, the baking connoisseur wasn’t confident she’d win.
‘It was very surreal, and I hadn’t allowed myself to think that I could win it up to that moment in time when they said my name,’ she says.
‘You hear the judging for the other bakers and do calculations in your head.’
We’d never have thought Sophie’s former experience as an Army officer, and her current profession as a trainee stuntwoman, would have been useful for a baking competition.
But she tells us the skills required are very similar.
‘I’D LOVE TO WRITE A BOOK’
‘There is nothing like the Army for challenging you mentally and physically, and I really thrived on that,’ she smiles.
‘Life in the Army can be quite transient, but I enjoyed meeting so many different people and travelling.’
And just like in the Army, which Sophie describes as a ‘brotherhood’, she tells us she felt like part of a bigger ‘family’ with her fellow contestants.
‘As the weeks got to the end, we became a very tight support system for each other,’ she explains.
‘It’s lovely we have shared the same experience. It’s good to be part of the big Bake Off family!’
Luckily for Sophie, she was reunited with her Bake Off gang last week.
Taking to Twitter, she posted a picture of herself and her boyfriend, David, with the caption, ‘On the way to see all the other bakers.’
While Sophie admits she was ‘pleased’ with most of her bakes, in week eight she thought her Bake Off journey had come to an end after her signature and technical bakes received poor remarks.
‘I felt I could be going home, as I didn’t get as good judging,’ she confesses.
Nevertheless, she dusted herself off, taking note of the judges’ comments, telling us, ‘Paul and Prue know their stuff and I wholly trusted their opinion.’
So what’s next for the latest
GBBO star? ‘It would be wonderful to write a pâtisserie book,’ she says. ‘But let’s see what comes my way.’
Sophie found her military experience useful on GBBO Sophie was crowned the 2017 GBBO queen
The winning cake – Ode To The Honey Bee
Prue was 5,000 miles away in Asia when she slipped up