The great British bake off
Always a highlight of the autumn season is watching 12 great bakers go into a tent and bake some of the most outrageous cakes, breads, patisseries that you’ve ever seen! And this years Bake Off has given us more excitement than most. The challenges set have been new, innovative and left some of us running to the shops to try and find the supermarkets own version!
Us Brits aren’t exactly known for our bakes! You look to the French or the Italians for inspiration. We clearly never created ‘les Misérables’. But that hasn’t stopped us from creating some unusual food in the past. Such as Clanger! Half savoury, half sweet… Never heard of it either, not sure I’ll want to make it, but still very interesting to see the variations you could make!
This year’s bake off looked at different areas to give us their weekly inspiration. From Caramel week (ohh the stroopwafles!) to Victorian week (good old Clangers), to Italian week (cannoli, but one did not do it the Sicilian way!)…. The food journey has been exhilarating! There was even Pizza as a technical challenge… It’s true that when living in France I did have a dessert pizza with pear and chocolate, but its rare to get dessert pizza here… Anyways, they made a Margarita…
There are other Bake Offs!?
The great British bake off is a British staple! Can’t exactly get anymore British than this right? Imagine my surprise when I was told our neighbours over the channel have their own bake off! Le Grand Bake Off! Ok, that’s not actually the name….. ‘Le meilleur pâtissier’ Not too bad a name I guess. But it’s crazy to think that there’s more than one bake off! The tent looks exactly the same, the set up, the ‘technical challenge’ element. Even the work stations are identical. Looks like after the British Bake off finishes each year, we auction off the tent for a few months.
The bake off arrived in France in 2012 and looks like it has gripped the nation…. As well as neighbouring Belgium… Bet they love chocolate week over there! They have used the Great British Bake off as their inspiration which aired two years before Le meilleur pâtissier’. Let’s hope the participants of Le meilleur pâtissier don’t have a Cornish Pasty challenge!
This made me think…. Who else could have a Bake off spin off?! Well… Ireland for one! The Great Irish bake off only lasted for 3 seasons though. Brazil have ‘Bake off Brazil’ (Mão na Massa) which started in 2015 and is going well. There is also a Great Aussie Bake off (Clearly there is a BBQ week with this show!) Canada have the Great Canadian Baking show, even America has the Great American Baking show! Worse still, the Americans had Paul and Mary (our two partners in crime on the BBC version) as judges for season 1 and 2.
So, looks like a whole host of us are baking crazy! The great thing about this show, is it shows you a whole host of culinary delights from across the world. There is normally a wide selection of participants, with varied heritages that normally use a ‘grandmothers’ recipe. With some technical challenges, the hosts might take a little trip to the town/ city where the idea came from to give you a bit of background. This year the visited a town in Netherlands where the Stroopwafel was created (you might’ve seen my excitement about this charming bake earlier in the post). Never have I wanted to visit Netherlands so much! Luckily British supermarkets do sell Stroopwafels, but I feel a trip to Netherlands to see the real deal is needed.
If you haven’t seen the final episode of this year’s Bake Off… Where have you been?! I won’t take a page out of Prue’s book and announce the winner for you all, but I will say this has been a very enjoyable Bake Off. With the Bake Off over for another year, I think I might see if I can watch Le meilleur pâtissier. They made headlines earlier in the week for their insane Halloween creations… so pourquoi pas eh!