Ciao! Bake Off’s first ever Italian week sees seventh baker booted

The Great British Bake Off said “ciao” to Yan as she became the seventh baker to be eliminated from the show during the first ever Italian week.

The 46-year-old scientist from north London praised her wife of 17 years for her support during the competition, and for keeping her grounded when it became “overwhelming”.

Yan, who described the Italian theme as a “bootcamp for bakers”, struggled while making classic Sicilian cannoli in the signature challenge, her pastry offerings pretty much falling apart in judge Prue Leith’s hands.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The Great British Bake Off’s Yan (Love Productions/Channel 4/PA)</figcaption>
The Great British Bake Off’s Yan (Love Productions/Channel 4/PA)

In the technical challenge, which saw the six remaining bakers tasked with having to create the perfect margherita pizza, Yan came in fifth place due to underbaked dough.

And in the tricky signature challenge – dubbed “pure murder” by Leith – Yan’s batch of 24 sfogliatella, shell-shaped filled pastries from Campania, failed to impress.

Judge Paul Hollywood critiqued them as “quite raw”, and Leith said she was “a bit disappointed” in them, and that they were a “mess”.

Yan said of her experience in the series: “From the very moment I stepped into the tent, and started competing against so many great bakers, it really lifted my game.

“It’s about making yourself better, and we all wanted to nurture our talent collectively.

“I had such great support from friends and family. Marian is my wife of 17 years. She keeps me grounded, and has been my marshmallow throughout the whole experience.

“At times it’s been a bit overwhelming for me, but she has constantly kept me grounded.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Yan (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)</figcaption>
Yan (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

“I bake every other day using my Muvver sourbread starter – I called it that because she is the mother of all my sourdoughs.”

Yan, who moved to the UK from Hong Kong when she was two years old, said that of all the things she produced in the Bake Off tent, the mango steamed pudding was “the closest to my culture”.

She admitted that she thought she would leave the process much earlier, and is overjoyed to have made it to week seven.

“To get through to seven weeks is an amazing achievement,” Yan said.

“I really thought I was leaving in caramel week, episode four, so I was so pleased that I got to episode seven.”

Speaking of the immense heat in the tent as the bakers tried to create their Italian delicacies, she added: “It was the hottest day of the year, and it was the longest day of the year, in more ways than one for me.”

At the end of the episode, Steven – who had impressed the judges with his “proper showstopper” sfogliatella and who came top in the technical challenge – was named Star Baker for the third time.

The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.

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