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Shooting Star Baker: Steven

Congratulations to the winner of The Great New Year’s Bake Off, Steven!

Steven’s stollen was inspired by Stanley, his silver stag (try saying that five times fast). The stollen was flavoured with hazelnut marzipan, chocolate, berries and mixed peel and decorated with a shiny stag’s head. Paul was staggered by it, saying: “that dough’s perfectly baked. The hazelnut is stunning, it’s the king of the flavours in there.” Steven even earned himself a Hollywood Handshake.

Despite a slightly runny crème anglaise, Steven continued his winning streak in the Technical. Prue’s verdict on his snow eggs: “You shouldn’t be too pleased with yourself because you made the worst custard, but you did make the best meringue which is the difficult, tricky bit and your caramel was the best cage.”

For his New Year’s resolution showstopper, Steven vowed to be better at calling his friends and family with a telephone station cake just like his Grandma had. He went all out, making his own fondant icing and filling his chocolate, coffee and hazelnut sponge with salted cinnamon caramel buttercream. The effort paid off, with both judges praising its appearance. “It jolly well better taste good”, Prue warned. Well, she needn’t have worried. “You’ve produced something that tastes as good as it looks and that’s a very rare thing. I think you’ve done an exceptional job,” said Paul. Prue added that “those flavours are fantastic. They just follow one after the other, they hit your taste buds.” In fact, the cake was so good that Paul had to invent a whole new kind of praise, dishing out his very first Hollywood hug.

Congratulations to Steven, who lit up the tent like a New Year’s firework.

You can relive Steven’s victory, as well as old episodes of The Great British Bake Off, on All 4.