Nancy Birtwhistle has defended her decision to cook her specialty ‘Ebola and lime’ cake for the final of the Great British Bake Off.
The retired GP practice manager explained that she chose to include the notoriously tricky ingredient in a desperate attempt to outclass firm favourite Richard Burr. “I was racking my brains trying to think of something I could do to really impress the judges while also liquifying their insides,” she said. “Then I thought – why not Ebola? It’s tricky to get hold of, as well as very difficult to cook without denaturing the complex virion and rendering the virus completely harmless, but I thought I was up to the challenge.”
The three-layered gluten-free cake with a fatality rate of around 90% was Nancy’s own design, perfected in the weeks leading up the final using a saliva swab from Sierra Leone. When Nancy told the judges what she would be cooking, they were dubious. “Ebola and lime?” said a shocked Paul Hollywood. “Of course you’ll have to be very careful not to let the lime overpower the ebola, it’s a tricky one.”
On tasting the cake, Mary Berry pulled a sceptical face, before breaking into a smile. “I have to say, I wasn’t convinced to begin with,” she said. “My mother always used to make ebola cake for Sunday afternoons and I remember it as being awfully stodgy. But this is so light, the lime tang really brings out the subtle hints of nucleocapsid components.”
At the time of writing everybody in the tent was succumbing to the symptoms of ebola. “You could say this cake is to die for!” said Sue, winking at the camera, before frothing blood at the mouth. “Yes,” said Mel.