Oh my God.
Close the lounge room door. Let the top button out on your jeans so your muffin top can hang freely. Pour yourself a cup of tea and get ready to fight intense dessert cravings. Because The Great Australian Bake Off is back and it’s enough to turn even Michelle Bridges away from the treadmill and towards the tiramisu.
The Aussie version of the blockbuster British show is HERE, guys. And it’s got new hosts and new judges and cakes and cream and ALL thing things that make you go hmmmmm.
The hosts are Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle, the former of which is so delightful I would like very much for her to win, despite having not baked a single thing. She deftly handles the scripted puns like “who will rise to the top?”, and the rest of the time looks genuinely so fricking excited to be in a room full of cakes that you can’t help but want her to be your best friend.
OH, and the contestants. The first girl we meet has a thick British accent. Are the producers hoping to trick everyone into thinking it’s the British Bake Off so 9 million people will watch? Do we need to be EASED into this Australian version? Are they hoping by starting with the British one we will barely notice the other 11 Aussie ones?
There’s a strange guy who bakes with a headscarf on and a parrot on his shoulder (hygiene be damned). There’s an experimental cool chick who looks like she’d put vegan bacon in a chocolate mousse. There’s a CWA lady with great 80s hair and transitions lenses. And then there’s Pete the doctor. “I cut my baking paper like it’s a surgical incision,” he says proudly. Except he’s not wearing gloves or scrubs so I make a mental note to not have him perform surgery on me.
FIRST BAKE TIME!
The judges, Matt Moran and Maggie Beer, who, if they ever got married would be BeerMat, tell us that the bakers need to bake their signature cake.
I’m thinking chocolate cakes, banana cakes, sponges. I’m thinking a carrot cake with an inch of cream cheese icing, a fork, my bed and about five minutes alone time.
Alas, bakers are trying to impress. Hence we are subjected to “creativity.”
Like cake with a parsnip in it.
Candied vegetables? Parsnip? You’re not trying to trick fussy toddlers into cramming more vegetables into their day. You’re just trying to make a cake.
The bakers are given TWO HOURS to bake, cool and ice an entire cake from scratch. Which is impressive given most humans would struggle to get to Woolies and back with a pre-made mud cake by then. But then, these guys are PRO’s, so they will nail it.
THIS IS AMAZING.
It’s cake wreck central.
The bakers of these abominations manage to remain fairly calm even though I’m certain they are crumbling with cake shame on the inside. I can’t help feeling for them because they are undoubtedly great bakers who have had a bad day with a new oven in an unfamiliar environment……BUT…….