Cape Town – It was all about the pie on The Great SA Bake Off this week and no soggy bottoms were the order of the day.
After three intense challenges Shawn Govender was one of two contestants whose pie didn’t make the cut.
The production and design manager’s party pies failed to win over the judges Shirley Guy and Chef Tjaart Walraven.
Shawn impressed the judges and viewers earlier in the competition when he won the coveted title of star baker in the first episode for his showstopping inside surprise chocolate cake.
We had a quick chat to Shawn about that first star baker win, his experience on the show and found out about the first thing he baked when he got home.
Channel24:You started the show off with a bang. What was it like winning that first challenge?
Shawn:I would be lying if I said that winning the very first star baker in the very first Great South African Bake Off was not amazing, but it’s a double edged sword you see. On the one side it gives you great confidence for what you have achieved. But that subsides very quickly when you realise that you now have to keep that pace and prove yourself on all of the other challenges. I definitely think that it added an extra dimension of stress for me going into all of the other challenges. But it was still the best feeling of pride I could have hoped for. It’s something I have for the rest of my life.
Channel24:How confident were you going into the challenges? What kind of pie baking experience did you have?
Shawn:I was completely not confident going into any of the challenges. The thing with baking is that you never know how it will turn out. There are so many factors that could affect your bake. The pie making challenge was exceptionally difficult for me. It’s not something that I bake often at home so there was still a lot of learning in the process. I am grateful for the judges guidance and doubt sometimes, as it made me question and improve my recipes as I went through the challenges. I would definitely give pies a bigger audience in my kitchen. I have always loved eating pies but never attempted them until I got onto the Bake Off.
Channel24:If you could do anything differently what could it be?
Shawn:Sitting on the comfort of my couch, I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to slap myself for the stupid mistakes I made. They were the simplest steps in the process which I overlooked but which normally affected the bake quite drastically. There is definitely a lot I have learned and I would change quite a bit. The main reason for me winning star baker in the first challenge was that I pep-talked myself into being calm and methodical through the challenge. The wheels just came off after that and I would definitely keep a check on myself if I had to do it all over. Yes, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Channel24:What have been some of your memorable moments?
Shawn:There have been too many memorable memories from the show. But the one thing that remains close to my heart is the friendships I have formed with the other bakers. They are truly an amazing bunch. Everyone is a winner in their own right. Winning star baker was the biggest highlight for me, but then putting out puff pastry that was flaky and crispy was also a great achievement for having done it for the first time on the show. When I sit back and think about it, just having stepped into that beautiful tent and working with and amazing bunch of people who put up with my nervousness and stress made this entire journey a memory to treasure. I loved it all
Channel24:What was the first thing you baked when you got back home?
Shawn:The first time I baked in my kitchen was a bit of a baking storm. It was my wife's birthday so here's what I put out in two days:
1. Caramel cheesecake with cinnamon popcorn and pecans2. Eggless orange cake3. Coffee and hazelnut Japonaise4. Turkish delight5. Strawberry and passion fruit tart6. Red velvet cupcakes7. Eggless chai cupcakes8. Toasted coconut marshmallow9. Mango, passion fruit and toffee macarons
So after that I have been taking it a bit easier. It was fun to bake and gave me an opportunity to let everyone taste some of the deliciousness from the tent!
Tune in for more baking drama Tuesdays at 20:00 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174).(Photos: BBC)
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