Child welfare officer Sandy Docherty has become the fourth contestant to leave The Great British Bake Off after serving up sloppy desserts.
The 49-year-old from Yeadon, who has been among the favourites to win, left a sour taste in the mouth of judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with her runny creme brulees and raw cheesecake.
Ms Docherty said: “My creme brulee not setting was gobsmackingly shocking. There was no one more surprised than me when Paul cracked it and it wasn’t set. It’s never happened before, and I should have trusted my gut instinct and raised the oven temperature.”
Hollywood called her brulee custard “soup” and joked she must have forgotten to turn the oven on, while her unusual liquorice flavouring did not go down well with Berry.
While preparing the pastry base for her baked cheesecakes in the Showstopper challenge, Docherty had said: “When you’re at competition level, you’ve got to get it right. I don’t want Mary and Paul saying that I haven’t tried, I want them to say, ‘This is so beautifully crisp and buttery’.”
But her three cheesecakes ended up too unstable and heavy to even stack on top of each other, and her bases were branded “raw” by Hollywood.
But Docherty, a child protection and welfare officer at Titus Salt school in Baildon, is holding on to one of her more successful bakes in the competition, during biscuit week.
She revealed: “Mary has always influenced my cooking, and her tray bakes always come out right, she is the queen of cooking, and her books are a kitchen staple.
“When Mary said my biscuit Showstopper was breathtaking, I won’t ever forget that wonderful feeling, it will be one of my all-time highs.”
The mother-of-one volunteers running an after-school cookery club for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and thinks all youngsters could benefit from learning cooking as a basic skill.
She said: “I would like to teach cooking as a craft in school rather than it being a qualification.
“The kids I work with will do one evening class a week in the winter. It teaches them to experiment and try out the flavours. You teach them the basic skills and then they get to experiment and try other things, it’s very rewarding.”
And Docherty revealed she would like to do more TV.
She said: “The cameras didn’t really faze me - I ended up loving them - I want more cameras in my life! I didn’t find them intrusive but I wish they were kinder to my laughter lines!”
Docherty’s failed cheesecakes helped save Alvin Magallanes from going home, as he also had a bad week, with disappointing creme brulee and cheesecake and dry meringue in his Spanische Windtorte that put him last in the technical challenge.
Adventurous cook Ian Cumming was named star baker for the third week in a row.