Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

An ode to Tamal Ray, the breakout star of this year's Great British Bake Off

8938280.jpg
Amy Adams

Stylist’s Amy Adams explains why she champions Tamal Ray – the full-of-flavour breakout star from this year's GBBO

Last week, Tamal Ray was crowned star baker after seven weeks in the tent.

It had been on the cards for a while and finally, Victorian week belonged to the trainee anaesthetist. His game pie got the second Paul Hollywood handshake of the series, his fruit bread was described as a ‘nice cake that’ and his Charlotte Russe was a twin-jelly layer feat of engineering.

Tamal admitted that becoming star baker had been one of his secret aims of the series – along with not getting voted out in week one and making something tasty (so modest!).

But we think Tamal could go a lot further than this.

Here’s five reasons why we think the 29-year-old would be a worthy winner of this year’s Great British Bake Off (and you won’t find one mention of his little chuckle or twinkly eyes…).

2015 The Great British Bake Off contestants

This year's Great British Bake Off contestants

Full flavour behaviour

To quote Mary, Tamal’s bakes tend to be “cram jammed full of interesting things”. His biscotti featured physalis berries; his biscuit box was star anise flavoured and his latest flash of inspiration was using ras el hanout (Mary: “I beg your pardon?”) in his Middle Eastern game pie.

Sometimes you get a little insight into where the flavours have come from – for instance, his fennel and rosemary pulled pork vol au vent was inspired by a sandwich he had two years ago.

In his own words, “It was one of the top two sandwiches of my life. I think about that sandwich quite a lot.” 

Tamal with other The Great British Bake Off contestants

Tamal concentrates on his next bake

The science bit

Who’d have thought being a trainee anaesthetist would stand you in such good stead for baking?

But as well injecting his baked goods with a syrup-filled syringe at any opportunity, Tamal clearly has a head start on the science side of things.

Always on-hand to give us a tidbit of information, Tamal’s pearls of wisdom range from the merits of cooking crème brulee in a bain-marie, and why it’s important to have steam in the oven while baking baguettes.

We’re taking notes, Tamal.

Tamal Ray, gluten-free pitta bread, The Great British Bake Off 2015

Tamal making gluten-free pitta bread

He’s not perfect

It hasn’t all been plain sailing. Tamal had issues in bread week, almost getting stroppy in the gluten-free pitta bread technical challenge (“let’s just say this has not been my favourite technical”) and coming second to last. He put sesame seeds on the inside his flaounes, when we all know they should be outside…

Plus he claimed his polenta cake syrup had 50% grapefruit juice, 50% blood orange juice, and some honey… “So it’s not 50% of the others. Argghh, maths!”

Anyone for anaesthetic?

Tamal Ray, 2015 contestant, The Great British Bake Off

Week seven's star baker Tamal Ray

Going the extra mile

Thinking of topping your cheesecake with hazelnuts? You’d probably crush them, maybe caramelise them at a push. Tamal? He skewers them with cocktail sticks, dips them in caramel and leaves them to hang off the edge of the table so the caramel drips off in shards.

This is no cookie cutter baking. He built an entire bicycle of bread (a Bread-cycle, oh Tamal!) complete with basket of chai-spiced buns. And he even made bunting for his Arctic roll on the train to the Bake Off.

And finally

He phoned his mum when he got star baker. Enough said.

Related

lucy_foster.png

The Stylist Cake Off Competition Week 7

IMG_6271.JPG

Baking with pastry: Tips from the BIY baker, Richard Burr

IMG_6206.JPG

The Stylist Cake Off Competition Week Six: Frangipane Tarts

IMG_6157.JPG

The Stylist Cake Off Competition Week

IMG_6122.JPG

Tips for sugar-free baking from Sophie Michell

IMG_5494.JPG

How to make a perfect baked cheesecake: Hummingbird Bakery founder, Ta

cyril_paul.jpg

How to bake the perfect loaf: Baking extraordinaire Cyril Blevanus

IMG_7943.JPG

Cake connoisseur Lily Vanilli shares her top tips for baking biscuits

IMG_5495.JPG

The Stylist Cake Off competition Week Three: Baked cheesecake

Comments

More

MP brings House of Commons to tears telling of childhood rape

“Rapes happen because of the rapist, not because of the victim.”

by Amy Swales
09 Dec 2016

Craig Revel Horwood apologises for controversial rape comments

The BBC has been urged to sack the Strictly judge

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Dec 2016

Adele has been crowned 2016’s biggest Youtube star

Sorry vloggers.

by Amy Lewis
09 Dec 2016

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

Emily Ratajkowski steps in for Santa while Taylor Swift's cat shares the spotlight

by Nicola Colyer
09 Dec 2016

Kate Moss takes centre stage as Elvis Presley in new tribute

"Anything for Elvis"

by Amy Lewis
09 Dec 2016

Isla Fisher praises Donald Trump as an inspiration to “orange people”

The actress also mocked Melania Trump for plagiarising Michelle Obama’s speech.

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

Keira Knightley on daughter’s four-letter reaction to Trump victory

19-month-old Edie sums up our feelings perfectly.

by Amy Lewis
08 Dec 2016

Danish aid worker tops list of world’s most inspiring people

Anja Ringgren Lovén is saving the lives of abandoned children in Nigeria

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Dec 2016

Rihanna: “We don’t need to be putting black women against each other”

Ri-Ri responds perfectly to rumours that she’s been feuding with Beyoncé.

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

Lauren Graham – aka Lorelai Gilmore – on finding love with her co-star

The Gilmore Girls actor admits it was their love of reading that brought them together

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016