Just when you thought The Great Kiwi Bake Off was over, a bunch of celebrities took over the tent to raise money for charity. Tara Ward ranks their performance, poo biscuits and all.
Sound the klaxon, wrap yourself in puff pastry and dive into the jelly lake of your wildest dreams, because the best gift you’ll get this Christmas is Celebrity Bake Off NZ. It’s a claim I’ll fight to the death over (preferably while wrestling in Art Green’s jelly), because nothing sums up the festive spirit better than Paula Bennett checking her biscuits and uttering the immortal words: “They look like little poos”.
Poo chef Paula joined Dave Fane, Toni Street, Jackie van Beek, Bree Tomasel and Art Green in the GKBO tent for a Christmas charity special, and together they sparked so much joy that I nearly combusted. First up was a $10,000 Technical Bake of 12 Ginger Kisses (“Cream it! Pipe high, not wide!” Sue Fleischl suggested, helpful advice for a variety of holiday activities), while the Showstopper Challenge (worth a snazzy $30,000) was a 3D biscuit scene of a fond Christmas memory.
Paula’s biscuit scene was a desert island hangover, Bree’s featured a pair of giant gingerbread boobs. “If that’s not my Aunty Julie with those great big knockers, I don’t know what is,” Bree said. The nation salutes you, Aunty Julie.
The tone was set the moment Bree tripped walking up the steps into the tent, and it was merrily downhill from there. Dave Fane passed the time with a Rubik’s Cube, Toni Street stuck her arm inside a piping bag like she was inseminating a tall cow, and stunned Mum and Dad Fleischlschneider clung to any last crumbs of dignity. When Bree presented her ginger kisses plonked on a plastic tree, Lady Sue fretted over the number of cookies on the plate. Listen, a biscuit bush is a true Christmas miracle, let’s all eat a poo puff and chillax.
Jackie van Beek was crowned Star Baker, but everyone was the winner on the day. Six random celebrities had been thrown into the mixing bowl of life, and somehow, like Dave Fane’s pork flavoured biscuits, it turned out beautifully. “Kindness is the best present you can give this Christmas,” Dave reckoned. Kindness, or maybe a pair of gingerbread boobs. Up to you.
Sadly, like a piece of coal at the end of your stocking, we must rank these brave bakers for absolutely no good reason. But first, special mention must go to Hayley Sproull’s “I’m going to send these two National voters out of here” outing of the judges prior to the first challenge. Dean went on to eat Paula’s gingerbread head. Make of that what you will.
6) Dave Fane
Best quote: “It was great coming last. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Dave Fane should be outraged at how things turned out, because covering his plate with everything but the required baking was the work of a visionary. Dave’s bakes were post-modernist symphonies, multi-layered statements about our past, present and future. His work belongs in a museum, or at the very least, a temporary display in a suburban Countdown. “They don’t tell me what to do!” he shouted about the judges. “Don’t eat it! Save yourselves!” he later screamed. Give the man a Michelin star, ASAP.
5) Bree Tomasel
Best quote:“I think I’m gonna get a haemorrhoid.”
Sweet, sweet Bree Tomasel. Light of my life, joy of my heart, maker of the finest gingerbread boobs you’ll see this side of anywhere. Once she worked out what a tablespoon was, Bree was off. Off like her dodgy cream, but as she said, “I’ve eaten off stuff before, and I’m okay”. You’re more than okay, Bree Tomasel, because what is living without taking even one slippery trip down the curdled highway of life?
4) Paula Bennett
Best quote:“Are we actually baking today?”
Oh my sweet and savory scones, does Paula Bennett ask “are we actually beehiving today?” whenever she enters Parliament? Jury’s still out, but Paula’s cunning plan to cream the competition by doubling the recipe backfired when she realised she didn’t have enough ingredients. “Typical National Party, promising everything and under delivering,” Dave Fane heckled, but Paula moved on to build an impressive 3D biscuit scene that Sue called “a masterpiece”. Send it straight to the poo(l) room.
3) Art Green
Best quote:“Is this how it’s supposed to be?”
Please invite me to your lake house. I love jelly too.
2) Toni Street
Best quote: “Great technique: it’s called chuck and dump.”
Some might say Toni Street was robbed, having won the Technical Challenge and then baking a biscuit Christmas tree that actually looked like a tree. Others might say only a fool would think a fondant Santa Bear could win over two ardent National voters. The truth is out there, and it’s probably hiding behind Aunty Julie’s gingerbread knockers.
Winner: Jackie van Beek
Best quote: “Turn the focker up”.
Jackie came into the GKBO kitchen wanting to make good choices, and her best one was throwing her entire cream mix in the bin, wooden spoon and all. Jackie’s Arthur’s Pass biscuit mountain was tall and her tent triangular, and the judges were sold. Our star biscuit whisperer might have smelled her baking and said “oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no,”, but we say, oh yes, Jackie van Beek. OH, YES.