The Jubilee, the Olympics, after we all thought we couldn’t take any more national pride, here comes the cherry on top. Dust off your pound-shop Union Jacks, because The Great British Bake-Off is back! If anything, the Jubilee and the Olympics were just a big warm-up for this.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, I’ll keep it brief: 12 amateur British bakers, compete inexplicably in a tent (There’s a perfectly good manor house right there, guys) and must complete three tasks each week, the one who bakes the shittest cake/loaf/scone/whatever goes home. The judges are Mary Berry, a wisened old cookery guru who just gets to eat cake all day, and Paul Hollywood, whom the show cheekily refers to every week as a ‘Master Baker’ [pause for laughs.] It’s presented by Sue Perkins, a cheeky and none-threatening lesbian —think something akin to a British Ellen— and her long-term partner in crime Mel Giedroyc, which I actually spelled correctly first time.
The bakers must make a version of an “Upside Down Cake” to their own recipe. This is the most vital part of the show, if not the whole series, because this is where we decide which contestant we hate the most. I tend to hate the show-offs and the idiots, but go with your instincts.
☞ First up is Ryan, the camp Chinese guy who is making a Kumquat and Orange Polenta Upside Down Cake. Hollywood thinks this is a ‘dangerous’ decision. Personally I consider driving without a seatbelt a ‘dangerous’ decision, so each to their own.
☞ Stereotypically repressed Asian matriarch Manisha is making a Vanilla, Peach and Raspberry Upside Down Cake, but is being grilled for using golden syrup instead of making her own syrup, which I guess is the Olympic equivalent of everyone kicking off about Team GB having aerodynamic cycling helmets, either way:
☞ Least favourite alert! This is Victoria, she looks a bit like a gone-wrong Clare Balding and I think she is probably a Tory. The show describes her as a ‘Career woman’ who lives alone in Somerset which is basically the same thing as calling a gay man a ‘Confirmed Bachelor’. She is clearly very rich in a way that only Not-Having-Children-Because-You’re-A-Massive-Lesbian can afford, but she doesn’t seem to mind because her cakes are her ersatz children, which is just as well because she’d be a really fussy mother. She’s making a Pear and Pecan Upside Down Cake, and she would like you to know that she roasted her own pecans. This bitch really needs to crack open a box of cake-mix and have a wank or something, it would do her the world of good.
☞ Natasha is up next, I am biased towards her as she is a big Caribbean woman, and there is something about big Caribbean women that makes me want them to hug me then feed me. She is doing a Pineapple Upside Down Cake with a Caribbean twist, which if advertising has taught me anything, is just a regular pineapple upside down cake bathed in Lilt and Malibu.
☞ Least Favourite Alert! Where as Victoria was the show-off, Stuart is the idiot. He is making a TOMATO upside down cake. Mary Berry gives her best Nick Hewer face to show what we all think ’bout dat.
☞ Favourite Alert! James is an adorable Scottish hipster who is putting Parsnips in his cake. Nepes and tatties n’all that. People need to stop fuxxing with the classics and putting veal and gherkins in their cakes or some shit. Anyway, think about honey roasted parsnips, that’s not the worst thing you could put in a cake I guess, the worst thing to put in a cake would be…oh, I don’t know, a tomato. He is making a Parsnip, Pear, and Pecan cake.
OH NO! Stuart, that idiot, has forgot to put his tomato jam in his cake. And by tomato jam he means ‘relish’ and by cake he means ‘sandwich.’ It’s okay though, he decides he’ll just brush the “jam” on top of the cake at the end and no one will be the wiser. You can’t polish a turd, Stuart.
☞ Sarah-Jane is a vicars wife. She’s 28, though she dresses like she’s 48, and she’s dryer than Ryan’s polenta cake. BOOM, I went there. She’s making a Pear, Chocolate and Hazlenut upside down cake, which is not the worst.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, Manisha’s golden syrup is going all over the place which prompts her to shout at the oven like the Y U No guy.
☞ This is Cathryn, she has a face like she is perpetually awaiting the result of a biopsy. We have our first bit of bake-tent bitchiness where ‘confirmed bachelor’ Brendon says “Don’t underestimate this lady, she keeps on saying how nervous she is, but actually she’s very determined.”
IT’S FLIPPIN’ MADNESS. It’s time for everyone to turn over their cakes with varying degrees of success. Stuart’s tomato cake has turned over well but he has one major problem: he put tomatoes in a cake. He brushes the jam on regardless. Most people’s cakes have turned over pretty good, but eternal worrier Cathryn almost gives herself an embolism when hers comes out ‘untidy.’ Manisha’s cake is decapitated when all the fruit topping sticks to the lid of the cake tin and Adorable Hipster James leaves his until the last 30 seconds because he’s not sure it’s cooked properly. Riveting.
Ryan’s Polenta Cake
Mary: ‘A little solid for me.’
Hollywood: ‘Far too dry.’
Cathryn’s Apple and Hazlenut Cake
Hollywood: ‘The texture, the flavour the crunch…gorgeous.’
Mary: ‘It’s Scrummy.’
Danny’s Plum, Ginger and Orange Cake
Hollywood: ‘Slightly over-baked’
Mary: ‘At least there are no soggy bottoms.’ (Oooh Matron, etc)
Sarah-Jane’s Pear Chocolate & Hazlenut Cake
Hollywood: ‘It’s a little over baked…’
Mary: ‘But you can really taste the pears, which is a good thing.’
Peter’s Pear, Muscat & Chocolate cake. (Who the eff is Peter?)
Hollywood: ‘The chocolate cake is delicious; but I can’t taste the pear.’
Mary: ‘Unfortunately, we’ve lost the wine.’
Victoria’s Pear and Pecan cake
Hollywood: ‘I love the way you’ve built the structure of the pears.’
Mary: ‘Very professional when you look at it.’
Manisha’s Peach Raspberry & Vanilla cake
Mary: ‘I had a worry that it’d be too sweet, and it’s not at all.’
Natasha’s Pineapple and Passion Fruit cake
Mary: ‘It’s quite unusual to see passion fruit warm.’
Brendan’s Plum, Sour Cherry & Walnut cake.
Mary: ‘It does look so inviting’
Hollywood: ‘That’s delicious.’
John’s Toffee Apple, Orange & Cranberry cake
Mary: ‘It tastes really good.’
Hollywood: ‘I’m actually struggling to find something to have a go at.’
Stuart’s Tomato Disaster
Adorable Hipster James’s Pear, Pecan & Parsnip cake
Mary: Very brave to put that parsnip in, even though we can’t find it. (Sue steps in here to kiss some ass and says she could definitely taste the parsnip and it was delicious…)
Well that is the judging over for round one, in the next recap, our bakers must try their hand at a Rum Baba, and fucked if I know what one of them is.