Richmond bakers survive scare to make it to the final of Britain's Best Bakery

Darlington and Stockton Times: GRAND FINALIST: Alex Franks of The Angel's Share GRAND FINALIST: Alex Franks of The Angel's Share

A NORTH Yorkshire bakery survived a fondant fancy fright to make it through to the grand final of a television talent show.

Tonight's (Tuesday's) semi-final of Britains Best Bakery tasked the four remaining contestants with making an afternoon tea menu - consisting of a tasty loaf, a Chelsea bun and a fondant fancy - for the Chelsea Pensioners.

The Angel's Share bakery, based at The Station, Richmond, used poppy seeds, black treacle and locally brewed ale to make their Lancer Loaf, which proved a hit with both the pensioners and the judges.

They scored a similar success with their take on the Chelsea bun, made with dried fruit soaked in Yorkshire tea.

But Alex Franks and Di Dinsdale of The Angel's Share almost came unstuck with their fondant fancies.

The bakers chose to make two different flavours - a vanilla and raspberry fancy and a chocolate and whisky version - and the ambitious attempt almost cost them.

Although the pensioners praised their efforts, judges Peter Sidwell and Mitch Turner said the quality and finish of the fancies was not what they had come to expect.

However, their strong performance in the bread and bun tasks was enough to see them through to the last three.

Mrs Franks spoke of her relief, adding: "We are absolutely delighted to have got through, but I think it was a very close thing and we know it was by the skin of our teeth"

The grand final of Britain's Best Bakery will start tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4pm on ITV, with a market sale challenge. The final will continue for the rest of the week.

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