Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has confirmed that the programme’s new series will see contestants take on a vegan challenge.
This year’s batch of bakers will for one week put eggs and flour to one side as they are tasked with creating something using ingredients that are in keeping with the animal product-free diet.
Explaining the decision, Hollywood said: “We wanted something different to represent what’s happening in this country.
“Veganism is something that seems to be growing. We wanted to represent that on Bake Off this year and that’s why it’s in.”
Hollywood, 52, was speaking ahead of the start of the second series of the TV baking competition since its switch to Channel 4 from BBC One.
Comedian Noel Fielding and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig will both return to the programme’s famous tent as presenters.
According to a recent survey by comparethemarket.com, 7% of the population now identifies as vegan. Meat-free food producer Quorn reported a 12% jump in half-year sales in July.
Hollywood laughed off suggestions about him becoming a vegan – but insisted that he and fellow judge Prue Leith were still best placed to judge the contestants’ efforts.
Hollywood said: “I think veganism is fascinating. You’ve got to judge on the same criteria as you would with a conventional bake.
“You can’t judge it and say ‘It’s OK, for vegan’ It’s got to taste good, period. And that’s how we judged it. We were surprised.
“If you’re a vegan or you’re thinking about it and worried abut how it is going to change your life, watch it and see. Because it fascinated me and shocked me as well a few times.”
Hollywood also revealed that he and Leith drew inspiration from Toksvig’s Danish heritage for another of the show’s challenges.
He said: “We’ve covered different weeks over the years and I thought Danish week would be quite apt this year, especially with Sandi!
“So we did get back to Sandi and say ‘give us some ideas for some things we could use’. It was a great week actually.”
The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday August 28 at 8pm.