One of the contestants in this year’s season of The Great British Baking Show is a left below-knee amputee named Marc Elliott. We’re tracking his progress through the season, while sharing favorite recipes from limb-different bakers in the Amplitude community.
And just like that, it’s over. Marc faltered in the Showstopper for Episode 8 (Desserts), with a few relatively minor defects to his apple jelly cake with chocolate and strawberry mousse. It was far from a catastrophe, but the competition stiffens at the quarterfinal stage, and his offering was pretty clearly the weakest of this week’s lot. And so off he goes, two episodes shy of the Finals.
We didn’t see it coming. On the contrary, we thought Marc had established himself as a rather formidable title contender, and we weren’t alone: Heading into the quarterfinals, data guru Nick Ahmed had Marc rated as a 3:1 favorite to win the whole thing. Nonetheless, Marc exited with tremendous grace and a ton of new fans, whom he consoled with a heartfelt letter after his ouster. His baking career is hardly over; on the contrary, it may only be getting started. If you haven’t followed him yet on Instagram, his handle is @marc_o_bakes.
This Week’s Recipe: Pumpkin Rolls
Our last entry in the Great Amputee Bake Off comes from Natasha Dillow, whose uplifting story you can watch here. The short version: After Dillow’s insurer denied coverage for a hand prosthesis that would allow her to resume her career as a cake artist, some local high-school kids learned to 3D print (using templates from e-NABLE) and created a device for her, gratis.
“I was so discouraged three years ago when I became an amputee,” she says. “[I feared] that I wouldn’t be able to bake or decorate cakes ever again. I am a multiple amputee, including my right hand and my toes due to necrotising fasciitis. My in-home bakery, Sweet Art By Tasha, is my dream.”
Dillow describes her pumpkin rolls as her most-requested treat. “This recipe always keeps me busy during the holidays,” she says. Here it is, just in time for Thanksgiving. Speaking of which—a giant thank-you from us to all of the bakers who shared their recipes with us in the Great Amputee Bake Off. We’ve linked all the recipes at the bottom of this post for easy reference. Happy eating, everyone!
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp butter (room temperature)
1/2 container Cool Whip
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1) Mix eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and sugar well with electric mixer.
2) Add cinnamon, baking soda, and flour, and mix until well incorporated.
3) Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper and spray with cooking spray. Spread batter evenly.
4) Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
5) Let roll cool for five minutes, then spray with Pam and place on dish towel and roll gently from left to right. Leave in towel and let cool.
6) To make filling, whip cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with mixer.
7) Fold Cool Whip by hand, then refrigerate filling for 25 minutes.
8) Unroll cooled pumpkin roll gently, and carefully peel from towel.
9) Spread frosting evenly, then re-roll to create finished treat.
Previous Amputee Bake Off Recipes:
Espresso Martini Madeleines by Briony May Bakes
Excel Sponge Cake by Aver Cakes and Pastries
Moroccan Yogurt Pound Cake by RonyRon
Chocolate Eclair Cake by Angie Heuser
Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup by Broken Breadhaus
Very Carroty Carrot Cake by @cy_eats
Lemon-meringue Pie by Stump Kitchen