Hipster musician leaves Bake Off tent after Black Forest bungle


Professional musician Stuart Henshall admitted he was disappointed in himself after becoming the first contestant to be sent home from this year's The Great British Bake Off.

The 35-year-old hipster baker was eliminated from the BBC cooking competition last night after failing to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with his experimental take on a Black Forest Gateau, which he made using beetroot. But he doesn't plan to adopt their more traditional recipes in the future.

Henshall's exit came as Ladbrokes said it had suspended bets on a contestant amid fears the winner's name has been leaked.

The bookmaker had a flurry of bets for one contestant whose odds started at 12/1 and were reduced to 6/1, 3/1 and then evens.

Reflecting on his experience, Henshall said: "In the future I will make Black Forest Gateau my way - in the show I covered it in Italian meringue and I put beetroot in it.  Maybe I should have made it in more a traditional way for Mary, she is awesome and I have followed her recipes for years and Paul's but hey, I'm not that traditional myself. They are both inspirational, and my personal heroes - even if they didn't like my cake."

He admitted: "My worst moment was definitely being the first to go out, after the excitement of getting there; somebody has to go first and overall it has been a great experience, without a doubt.

"I felt disappointed in myself initially after leaving in the first episode, as I felt I didn't perform as well as I could.  I just hope I don't disappoint people in my life - but it's onwards and upwards!"

Henshall got off on the wrong foot by giving his signature bake Madeira cake a thick caramel glaze, which stuck Hollywood's teeth together, and the judge told him: "The flavours are all wrong, really."

And his showstopper was not enough to save him, despite fellow contestant Dorret Conway being sure she would be going home when her gateau failed to set - leaving a collapsed mess on a cake stand, and the 53-year-old accountant from Preston in tears.

Despite getting the boot after just one week, Henshall wonders if he will be recognised for his distinctive style.

He said: "It will be weird if I am recognised, I have been known from my band, but to be seen in such a different light will be very new and exciting.  If I don't wear my trilby perhaps I won't be recognised!!

Marie, a 66-year-old Scot who has lived in Paris, was crowned the first star baker of the series. Hollywood declared her Madeira cake "perfect".

A Ladbrokes spokesman said about the suspension of betting: "When you see a run of bets like this for one contestant at the expense of everyone else that can be a sign to suspend betting for a bit to assess the situation, and that's exactly what we did."

Many of the bets were placed in shops around Ipswich, although the contestant is not known to have links to the town.

Several of the bets were the maximum the bookies would take for the show, and 90% were placed on one contestant.

Ladbrokes said that several customers came in and asked to place the highest bet possible on one contestant which raised suspicion.

The suspension will not affect bets already placed.