‘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…

Reveal - - Style File - Grace Henry, So­phie Cock­er­ham

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.


‘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

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