• Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Triumph in the tent for University of Edinburgh student

ByHazel Cranmer

Nov 26, 2020

On Tuesday evening, the Great British Bake Off final announced its 2020 winner. 

The baker was the youngest ever to lift the coveted cake tray trophy.

 He was the first Scottish winner crowned baking champion. 

He also happens to be University of Edinburgh Accounting and Finance student, Peter Sawkins. 

The final decision by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith was described as “the closest ever“ following a trio of challenges of custard slices, walnut whips and a tower of desserts showstopper. 

The broadcast saw Channel 4 earn its highest audience numbers “since modern records began“, at over 9 million. 

The BBC reported Peter managed to keep his success a secret from his university flatmates who eventually found out live with the nation, having hid his trophy in a box in his family’s kitchen for four months.

Despite being the youngest contestant of the 2020 cohort, Peter made sure not to be underestimated after winning star baker in the first week with his ‘cake bust’ of cycling legend, Chris Hoy. 

We later saw him pick up a second star baker in the semi-final and a sacred Hollywood handshake for an impressive cube cake in patisserie week. 

Forming a reputation as a meticulous planner and timekeeper, he earned the nickname “baby-faced assassin“ from Bake Off host, Noel Fielding, and for good reason. 

The signature bake was always designed to showcase the baker’s personality; be that a family recipe, or a favourite ingredient. 

By Tuesday’s final, nothing could be more signature than Peter making things doubly as hard for himself as attempting two types of custard rather than the challenge brief of one. 

Peter frequently incorporated Scottish themes and ingredients into his bakes – he won over our hearts early on with an Edinburgh skyline in his showstopper – and the final was no different, making Cranachan-inspired custard slices. 

Peter also stood out amongst the contestants with his numerous gluten-free bakes, a skill he honed from baking for his gluten intolerant brother. 

The Times reported in advance of the final episode that regardless of who won the 2020 title, Peter was already setting himself up for a ‘celebrity chef’ career, signing up with Champions Speakers, a talent agency that represents celebrity cooks such as Ainsley Harriott and former Bake Off judge, Mary Berry. 

He is set to earn significant fees as a brand ambassador and for appearances at private functions and exhibitions. 

But as Peter’s already said he plans to concentrate on finishing his degree first, we might have to get used to seeing him struggling in the library along with the rest of us. 

However, given a petition is now making the rounds on change.org calling for a university building to be named after him, this might prove a little difficult.                       

For many reasons, this has been a Bake Off season like no other. 

To ensure patisserie drama would reach our screens this year, the entire cast and crew isolated together for six weeks with multiple extra tents set up so the bakers could practise in-between filming – the ultimate Bake Off bubble. 

In the final, where usually friends and family are hosted at a garden party to hear the results, instead we saw the entire crew celebrating with the bakers. 

In the moving credits, we saw the show pay tribute to everyone “helping to get us through 2020“. 

For anyone hoping to uphold an Edinburgh University Bake Off legacy, you still have until the 6th December to apply for next year!