Double Disaster makes Rahul Bake Off Winner

Research scientist Rahul Mandal overcame two disasters to be crowned the unlikely Great British Bake Off winner.

Rahul, 30, was distraught when his icing bag exploded during the first doughnut challenge.

And he suffered an even worse catastrophe during the final showstopper task, to create an Edible Landscape, when his mixing bowl smashed, forcing him to start again.

Co-host Sandi Toksvig, 60, helped to calm his nerves and producers gave him extra time to finish the task.

But judges Paul Hollywood, 52, and Prue Leith, 78, were impressed with Rahul’s efforts and he beat his rivals Ruby Bhogal, 29, and Kim-Joy Hewlett, 27, to the title.

Rahul, who had been the Star Baker twice during the series, said: “When the glass measuring jug shattered I got such a shock because it came out of nowhere.

“It broke into a thousand pieces and went in everything so it all had to be chucked. It almost broke me and I really thought that was it for me. Fortunately I was able to prove that I could finish it.

“Sandi kissed me on the forehead and that helped calm me down.”

The finalists also competed outside the tent for the first time, baking bread on a campfire for the second task.

Rahul, from Rotherham, South Yorks, grew up in the Indian city of Kolkata and moved to the UK to study seven years ago — but kept his participation in the Channel 4 show quiet.

He said: “I have no idea what the reaction will be back home.

“An Indian paper published a story recently about me taking part, and the family were surprised as I didn’t really tell anyone, so they will get a shock when they see the result.

“After winning, at home I wrapped the trophy in a pillowcase, and I am quite messy, so it looked hidden amongst laundry in the linen cupboard.”


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