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Great British Bake Off 2012: John Whaite is shock winner

Esme Riley
By Esme Riley Published on 17 October 2012

Last night's Great British Bake Off finale saw law student John Whaite crowned champion.

Great British Bake Off 2012: John Whaite is shock winner

John Whaite winner © BBC

Though he went into the final as the outsider, his impressive showstopper 'heaven and hell' cake nabbed him the title of Britain's Best Baker over James Morton and Brendan Lynch.

John, 23, Tweeted after his win was aired on BBC2: "It was an honour to be in the final with @bakingjames and @brendanbakes ! Those boys are revolutionary! Xx #GBBO."

He later added: "Thank you so much everyone! I'm still in complete shock, but you've all made these 10 weeks such fun ! Xxxx #GBBO."

In the final show’s climax, all three contestants were asked to bake a Chiffon sponge cake that gives a flavour of 2012.

John created a 'heaven and hell' cake to represent his struggles with his studying against the births of his nephews.

The hell part of the cake was a chocolate and orange sponge, while the heaven was made up of a collection of individual lemon and coconut meringue mini cakes that were placed on top.

Judge Paul Hollywood said: "You should be praised for the look of it. It is very professional. That really works. You have a perfect slice of cake."

And Mary Berry enthused: "It is stunning. What I like is when you cut it and see it on the plate it looks beautiful. The texture is perfect. It is rich and it is absolutely lovely."

While John's showstopper was a complete triumph, 21-year-old favourite James had a disastrous final round.

His five cakes - supposedly representing the United Kingdom - were too dry, with Mary telling him he was over-ambitious.

Brendan, 63, created a 'family reunion' raspberry and almond flavoured cake that impressed Paul and Mary, but failed to get them as excited as John's 'heaven and hell' showstopper.

The previous two rounds saw the boys create Pithivers, with James coming off worst because of his "soggy bottom."

They then were given the technical challenge of creating fondant fancies, but this time James' were deemed best.

Though Scotsman James had won 'star baker' three times throughout the competition, it wasn't enough and John really stepped up when it counted.

John told the Daily Mail: "I still can’t believe it. I was surprised to even get on the show. My legs went to jelly. I was really shaking when they said my name. My mum was really chuffed. She was crying."

John is now planning a career in baking and patisserie, hoping to take a course that'll lead him on his way.

He added: "Schools are very expensive so I am still working out about funds. But I am going to work hard and keep developing my skills.

"I’m still practising each day and putting together ideas for a cookery book."

by Esme Riley

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