Two pastry chefs from Cardiff bakery Gin & Bake were crowned the winners of Bake Off: The Professionals last night (27 July).
Michael Coggan and Andrew Minto beat Julien Plumart and Elise Gerard from Julien Plumart café in Brighton and Kevin Miller and Maria Vittoria Bernardo from the Lanesborough in London on the final of the Channel 4 show.
The winners impressed judges Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden with their creations, which included a Met Gala-inspired chocolate hat decorated with butterflies and flowers, served alongside 24 gem-shaped chocolates and a tonka bean and roasted hazelnut caramel.
For their final challenge the chefs were tasked with designing an edible centrepiece for an awards show and two desserts to serve 30 people each. Coggan and Minto created a croquembouche made up of coffee crème pâtissière-filled choux buns covered in caramel, served alongside a raspberry lychee petit gâteau and a milk chocolate, malt and hazelnut dessert.
Finden said their petit gâteau was "the best dessert I tasted today" while Blin praised the pair's consistency.
Coggan and Minto, who were made redundant during the pandemic but found new jobs at Gin & Bake over the last year, described the win as "emotional".
"Even getting to the final to me was an achievement, to win was just next level," said Coggan.
A total of 12 pastry chef teams from restaurants, hotels and other businesses competed in the 2021 series.