In The Great South African Bake Off tent, 12 amateur bakers have taken part in 27 challenges over nine weeks, trying to whisk, roll and bake their way to glory creating delicious treats such as decadent and elaborate chocolates cakes through to retro swiss rolls. But there can only be one winner. Zola Nene and Tjaart Walraven have crowned Bianca Breytenbach as South Africa’s best amateur baker from the latest series of the hit BBC Lifestyle show. She entered the finale alongside Johannesburg resident Desmond Solomon a construction and HR consultant and Simmi Ramnarian a receptionist from Durban.
Bianca, a 30-year old Social Worker from Cape Town, proved and piped her way to Star Baker with a leopard print tipsie tert inspired opera cake that stunned the judges in both its look and its taste in the Signature Bake challenge. Then following the Technical Challenge of making the choux pastry based Paris Brest Cake, it was with her final bake that Bianca really set herself apart as this year’s winner. Her ‘scrummy’, according to Tjaart, dark chocolate, coffee and hazelnut occasion cake simply was a showstopper. Finished off with a melting chocolate ball, the stunning cake had both judges reaching for more with big smiles of enjoyment.
On being crowned this year’s winner, Bianca said, “I am simply blown away by this. I can’t believe I have won as you can see from my reaction on being announced the winner by Anne. The Great South African Bake Off has been an amazing experience full of excitement and I am very grateful! This year all of my fellow bakers were just fantastic and I am so proud of all of us- there we some tough times but we made it through! I know that I have made some friends for life in the tent!”
“I am celebrating my win with another milestone in January as I am getting married. It really is going to be moving from one delicious whirlwind to another. Being able to experience two such highs really has made me the happiest person.”
Judge Tjaart Walraven on Bianca being named this year’s winner said, “What a year this has been in the Bake Off tent. We really have seen some standout bakes and some that are perhaps better left forgotten like the custard slices. Bianca really proved her credentials as a fantastic baker as the weeks went on and really is a deserved winner. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching her grow in confidence and skill in the kitchen and know she will continue to get even better as a baker. Congratulations Bianca, you have been simply divine.”
New judge for series three, Zola Nene said, “Bianca is certainly a worthy winner and has produced some very memorable bakes this series. Even though the clock has not always been her best friend, she has continuously persevered and delivered some great looking bakes, throughout the series. I am thrilled to have seen her grow as a baker, week after week, and congratulate her for being crowed the winner. Well done Bianca, you really are a Star Baker!”
Kully Kaur-Bains, Head of Programming South Africa, BBC Worldwide commented, “It is fantastic to see that The Great South African Bake Off has been such a hit again this year with our BBC Lifestyle audience and that Bianca, such a worthy winner, was crowned this year’s Star Baker. Congratulations Bianca, what an achievement.”
Throughout the series, The Great South African Bake Off has helped BBC Lifestyle to become the number one channel in its competitor set on DStv’s platform. Series three has so far reached nearly 5.5 million viewers in South Africa for episodes one to seven*.
Produced by Rapid Blue, The Great South African Bake Off is locally supported by associate sponsor Huletts and product sponsor Snowflake. The Bake off format from Love Productions has been licensed to 26 countries around the world including Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Thailand and Mexico.
Profile on Bianca Breytenbach:
Hometown: Cape Town
Occupation: Social Worker
When/how did you get into baking?
I really got into about three years ago when I offered to bake a friend a cake for her daughter’s first birthday.
What’s your signature bake?
Friends and family say my best bake is my carrot cake.
What type of baker are you?
A messy one! I like to have a recipe on hand but will push the boundaries most of the time- adding a tad bit of this and an extra bit of that.
What’s your most memorable baking disaster?
We all know the quote: “the dog ate my homework”…… well my dogs ate my cake work. I returned home after work one day to find that I left a chair out at my work station and the dogs managed to jump up and help themselves to all of the gum paste elements that were drying for a beach/ surf themed baby shower cake the following afternoon, nightmare.
How would other people describe you?
Compassionate and kind mixed together with strength and courage.
What are you most nervous about in the competition?
The time limits and not being able to successfully execute one of the Technical Challenges.
If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
It would definitely have lots of different jewel coloured layers on the inside, be covered in a dark