Bake Off is Back!
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 | Georgina@thevanillavalley
The Great British Bake Off has returned at it's new home on Channel 4! Paul Hollywood has returned with new judge, Prue Leith, and new presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig plus 12 new eager contestants.
How did the newbies do and has the Bake Off changed?
So far the new contestants seem a fun and interesting bunch, with bags of personality and a fantastic amount of skill. Many of them have already shown a talent for baking, a flair for flavour or an eye for detail. Favourites are already emerging for us here at The Vanilla Valley with Flo, Kate and Steven being in the top three.
The first task for the bakers were fruit cakes. Here bakers got their first chance to showcase their baking ability, aiming not to bake a soggy cake, as well as showing they can choose good flavour combinations. The biggest tip we took away from this challenge is to remember to squeeze the moisture out of your courgettes before adding them to your cake! The bakers largely excelled in this challenge with not one but two bakers receiving a Hollywood handshake, and the first baker to forget to turn their oven on!
Next up the bakers were tasked with making Swiss rolls. This technical challenge tested some of the bakers more than others, on both bake and flavour, however the only major disaster was un-whisked eggs. Remember to read the instructions carefully!
The highlight of the show was undoubtedly the Showstopper challenge. The aim was to make an illusion cake; bake and decorate a cake so it doesn't look like a cake, a mammoth challenge of baking and decorating skill in the first week, which maybe suggests they won't be going easy on these bakers this series. These bakers however took to the challenge with enthusiasm and imagination, cooking up some great ideas and really pushing themselves to excel. The bakes ranged from Russian dolls to a bowl of ramen (or banana-ramen), a stack of pancakes to a champagne bottle. We were most impressed of course by Steven's BLT chocolate and hazelnut cake, not only does it sound delicious, but looks so convincingly like an actual sandwich.
The first Star Baker of The Great British Bake Off 2017 was Steven, who excelled in many of the challenges, and the first the leave the tent was Peter.
The Vanilla Valley crew have largely been quite pleased with the start of this new series; not much has changed, other than the addition of adverts and changes of judge and presenters. The format hasn't changed with the same challenge structure, music and bake off tent being used, the show felt as familiar as a warm blanket. Prue has shown she can give good, constructive criticism and Noel and Sandi have offered good humour in their chats with contestants, however less of this was shown as compared to Mel and Sue, hopefully there will be more in the episodes to come.
Did you tune in last night and will you be tuning in for biscuit week?
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