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Bake Off: The Professionals’ Cherish Finden: 'The truth really hurts!'

Bake Off: The Professionals
Bake Off: The Professionals

No-nonsense judge Cherish Finden on why this year’s Bake Off: The Professionals is one of the toughest yet

Another batch of nervous pastry chefs will be put through their paces by formidable judges Cherish Finden (opens in new tab) and Benoit Blin in the new series of C4’s Bake Off: The Professionals.

Here, Cherish Finden tells us what to expect from Bake Off: The Professionals…

Have the teams impressed you this year?

Cherish Finden: "Yes, I think they raised the bar. We have a mixture of competitors from different establishments ranging from those with their own patisserie to those working in a five-star hotel. I was blown away with some of their new techniques."

Has anything surprised you?

Cherish: "Yes there were things I was intrigued by and different types of ingredient I never expected to taste in this competition like Jerusalem artichoke."

In the opening episode, you ask them to add a new spin to miniature classics - fruit salads and strawberry tarts...

Cherish: "You might think that a strawberry tart is easy. But I can assure you that the simplest thing is the most difficult to achieve. It is hard to make it perfectly for us!"

Tom Allen in Bake Off: The Professionals

Host Tom Allen chats to the contestants in Bake Off: The Professionals

Have you had any memorable moments this time on Bake Off: The Professionals?

Cherish: "I liked the showpiece based on the world of magic where some of the contestants dressed up and put on a show. But another time, one of the showpieces smashed down to the floor even before we judged! My heart went out to the contestants and I really felt for them. I wanted to put on an apron and jump in to help!"

MORE: Bake Off: The Professionals will return to C4 this month (opens in new tab)

Do you find it hard when you have to be tough with the contestants?

Cherish: "Well, we like to be mentors so that hopefully they pick up as many tips from us as possible. But we do understand that the truth really hurts!"

Bake Off: The Professionals returns on Tuesday 26 May at 8pm on C4

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.