This week, TVNZ announced our very own local version of The Great British Bake Off, The Great Kiwi Bake Off. Tara Ward comes in hot with her predictions of what it could possibly be like.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a croquembouche helmet for the past few years, you’ll know that The Great British Bake Off is one of the most delicious treats on television. We are not worthy of this idyllic hour, in which 12 amateur bakers compete to impress in a variety of tricky baking challenges.
The Bake Off is the kind of show that makes sick cats feel better. It’s a perfectly balanced feast of kindness and creativity, where the biggest drama is when a Swiss Roll collapses or there’s no room in the freezer. Every episode sees amateur bakers rising like a banana loaf on steroids, overcoming adversity to whip up culinary masterpieces like a Bavarian clock tower made of shortbread or a lion made from bread dough.
Friends, today is a wonderful day, because TVNZ have stood at the reality TV altar and blessed us with our very own Bake Off. Build it and they will come, Mary Berry once said in that movie about baseball, and now TVNZ are looking for twelve brave New Zealanders who’ll enter the marquee of dreams to bake their way to a paradise made of butter and sugar.
Each week one Kiwi baker will be eliminated, their hopes and dreams collapsing like a chocolate cherry mini-volcano cake pulled from the oven too soon. Only one will win the The Great Kiwi Bake Off crown, which FYI is probably made from Edmonds flaky puff pastry and covered in hundreds and thousands.
But without the Union Jack bunting and the feral squirrels running through the picturesque English countryside, what exactly will The Great Kiwi Bake Off look like? I thought about it during the time it took me to inhale three chocolate mini rolls, and I think you’ll agree that the results are as conclusive as the time Diana made a swan out of meringue.
I’ve got all my spongy ladyfingers crossed that we’ll see Sky Towers built from lolly cake and covered in chocolate hail, or 3D sculptures of Kate Sheppard made from hokey-pokey ice-cream and lamingtons. I want Pikelet Week, Feijoa Week, Maggi Kiwi Dip Week… in fact they could chuck all those Kiwi treats together for a Showstopper Challenge that would really blow our national identity out of the water.
Let’s hope there are challenges involving a sausage sizzle, a Spaghetti Pizza theme, and an entire episode dedicated to the sumptuous delicacy that is the roll – cheese rolls, sausage rolls, salad rolls. Roll up, roll out the barrel, roll me into the corner and cover me in sticky toffee pudding, because I am hoovering down every last morsel of The Great Kiwi Bake Off until all that’s left are the tiny crumbs of my lonely, floury existence.
There can only be two:
Bake Off is possibly the best job in television, nay, the entire world. The two judges get paid to eat a shit-ton of delicious baking and they only need to chuck out a few key phrases like “over baked”, “great buns” and “sadly, you’ve got a soggy bottom”.
However, they must also perfect Mary Berry’s rare laser eye stare, a steely glare that reduces bakers to a messy puddle of whey and emotions. Please refer to the terrible time Luis suggested Mary Berry ice her own cake with a miniature pipette. RIP Luis.
Possible Kiwi candidates:
Chelsea Winter: queen of the cookbook, her triple chocolate brownie recipe saw me through many a dark winter’s night/hot summer’s day/early breakfast when I couldn’t be arsed making toast.
Josh Emmett: melting both hearts and chocolate from Cape Reinga to the Bluff.
Mary Lambie: it’s a long shot, but she was the owner of a Subway franchise which makes a bloody good double chocolate cookie imo. Also, don’t get me started on the glorious state of that Honey Mustard dressing *brings fingers to mouth and smacks lips*
Annabel Langbein: I’d bet my whisk, my oven gloves, in fact my whole junk drawer filled with 18 blunt knives and a broken sieve that Annabel appears on The Great Kiwi Bake Off. No reason for this assumption, I am literally a lion of bread staring into the abyss.
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