The Great British Bake Off: What Nadiya's cracked bowl can teach us about resilience and hard work

As Great British Bake Off contestant Nadiya's casket crumbled, viewers learnt an important lesson in how to move on from failure.

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After Dorret’s mousse-related disaster in episode one, Great British Bake Off viewers were faced with another heartbreaking bake fail this week, this time in the form of Nadiya’s failed attempt at a cayenne pepper biscuit casket full of fortune cookies. Millions of viewers’ hearts were reduced to mush as the 30-year-old took her biscuit bowl out of the oven to find it had drooped depressingly into a plate shape under the pressure. Nadiya was faced with two choices. Either throw an #AlaskaGate style tantrum and chuck the whole thing in the bin, or say the following: “Oh well. I’ll make a new one”. And so ran a well worn GBBO narrative, with the contestant rushing against time to redo her masterpiece to fit Mary’s high standards.

At first, we had high hopes. “It’s going to be rustic!” she said as the bake emerged from the oven, looking slightly blobby. But disaster struck once more, when Sue Perkins tapped and cracked Nadiya’s fragile bowl. “I can’t believe I did that. I’m mortified!” Said Sue. Nadiya just hid her tears behind a mask of laughter, and said “If I’m going home, you’re coming with me.” She remained perky, adding “I never go down without a fight. I’m going to go down making fortune cookies.”

Alas, her bake was brought before the formidable duo, who were sympathetic towards her tale of woe, particularly when she pointed out that she was “determined to offer a base, and some kind of a lid”. And did she stay in? Of course! Everyone loves a Bake Off sob story, even Paul Hollywood.

So what can we learn from #CrackGate? There’s no use fighting when the whole thing goes tits up. Whether it’s Sue Perkins prodding your unfit dough, or not getting the A-level results you were hoping for; don’t fret. Present what you have, which is hopefully spicy and delicious. True resilience is getting up and baking another day, or logging into clearing at the crack of dawn.

But frog cookie cutters? Well, that just takes the biscuit.

Helen Thomas is a freelance journalist and English student. She tweets at @helenthomascph

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