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This year's 'GBBO' contestants

Great British Bake Off contestants series 5 - food and UK recipes

Clockwise from top right...

Richard, 38

When he’s not fishing, diving or cycling, you’ll likely find this action man tending his vegetable patch or whipping up something sweet for his daughters. He’s keen on using veggies in his bakes so we reckon there might be some rivalry with Iain over whose carrot cake is the most moist.

Chetna, 35

Chetna moved to the UK in 2003 from India, where she was born and worked as a fashion designer. We’ll have to wait to find out whether she’s as handy with a whisk as a sewing machine, but we do know that she’s passionate about using Indian flavours to spice up traditional British cakes. Sounds like a winning combination to us.

Martha, 17

Move over Ruby Tandoh, there’s a new whippersnapper in the bake off tent. At just 17, Martha is the competition’s youngest ever baker and is still studying for her AS levels. We don’t know how she juggles English essays and perfecting choux buns, but this budding pastry chef must be the master of time-management.

Diana, 69

This season also has the bake off’s oldest contestant, Diana. As the daughter of a dairy farmer in Shropshire, she grew up baking with the womenfolk in her family and joined the WI at 13. She became a WI judge at 20 – that’s an awful lot of Victoria sponge competitions – and says her proudest baking moment to date is making her daughter’s wedding cake.

Norman, 66

Norman eschewed the life of a baker – his father’s career – for that of a sailor in the Merchant Navy. As a proud Scotsman, he’s keen to revive the kind of baked goods his father would have enjoyed and even contacted some of his old apprentices to pick their brains.

Iain, 31

This Irishman’s bakes are full of far-flung flavours, thanks to his parents’ passion for organic ingredients and his globetrotting glory days. He now works as a construction manager in London, arriving to work laden with his latest bakes (which will usually contain vegetables - watch out Richard) to fuel colleagues for a day of heavy lifting.  

Luis, 42

Both of Luis’ parents are Spanish, which might explain the graphic designer’s penchant for fresh produce (his uses ingredients grown on his allotment and honey from his beehives) and inventive flavour combinations.

Enwezor, 39

Enwezor is half Nigerian and half Japanese so we’re hoping his bakes will have some exoticism about them. He’s only been baking seriously for three years, but already runs a group for amateur bakers in Portsmouth via Facebook. Will he show his inexperience in a soggy bottom?

Kate, 41

If anyone can deal with the pressures of piping bags and precision oven timings, it’s Kate. The (super) woman baked 15 Christmas cakes last year – she must have had a lot of dried fruit on her hands – and single-handedly organises a street party every year for her family and neighbours.

Nancy, 60

Nancy might be retired but her jam-packed schedule of cycling, growing vegetables and tending to guinea fowl and turkeys frankly sounds exhausting. Her baking is influenced by French patisserie, after she and her husband renovated a house in southern France. Bonne chance!

Jordan, 32

Jordan is an IT manager by day, mad scientist by night. He’s only been baking for three short years, but already has a sourdough starter – affectionately called ‘Yorick the Yeast’ – and plenty of experience making hybrids of bakery items, like the pretzel croissant.  Will his gimmicks be a winning formula or prove too much for Mary and Paul?

Claire, 31

Seeing as her mother and grandmother were wedding cake decorators, you might say Claire has baking in the blood. She likes to painstakingly decorate her cakes so let’s hope she doesn’t get lumped with the ‘style over substance’ label.

Pictures source: © 2014 BBC

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