So yes, it happened The Great British Bake Off made the move to Channel 4 without Mary, Sue and Mel … but did we let this dampen our spirits?
Welcome to The Great McKee Bake Off 2017, our fourth competition to date, complete with a new challenge: to bake anything, as long as it was Easter themed.
So for those of you who do not know, The Great McKee Bake Off is (obviously) based off the highly popular (and now controversial) BBC soon to be Channel 4 TV baking competition: ‘The Great British Bake Off’ (GBBO). However, instead of entering what seems like one of the most stressful, but rewarding competitions on TV, we thought we would do our own little competition right at home, and yes we could not help but tweaking the name ever so slightly…
It was exactly the same setup as previous years: three judges score each bake on appearance and taste, totalling to an overall score out of 30. The judges do not know who has baked what, making it fair (and less chance of any bribes!)
So let’s find out a little bit more about each of the bakes:
Bake One: Easter Shortbread Chicken Coop.
This creation was put together by Sam, who has perfected the taste of her shortbread, and used this to build a cute little chicken coop. The house is entirely shortbread with various sweets and chocolate used to decorate.
Bake Two: An Easter Allotment Plot.
Using a Mary Berry recipe for her chocolate tray-bake as the base of her allotment plot, Bronwyn then went on to use chocolate buttercream and piped icing to create this sweet little allotment plot, complete with plenty of carrots and rabbits.
Bake Three: Double Chocolate Easter Egg Cheesecake.
Any chocolate lovers out there? This was the one for you! This cheesecake consisted of a crushed bourbon biscuit base, with a creamy chocolate filling, topped with whipped cream for egg whites and lemon curd for the yolks. Jessica did quite aptly comment that she began baking her cheesecake at midday, and finished at the turn of the century as her bake took a surprising 3+ hours to bake!
Bake Four: A Rabbit Spots A Giant Carrot.
This was my entry, and yes it did not quite turn out how I imagined it … awkward! My bake was made up from what was essentially one flat Rice Krispy nest for the base, looking like soil. The giant carrot was Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Traybake recipe modified into a loaf, with oranges substituted for lemons to match the icing – topped off with a shortbread rabbit’s face.
So, how did each of these bakes fair up against our three judges?
In fourth place was…
Bake Four! So I missed out on a podium spot with my bake getting 22.5/30.
Next in third was…
Bake Three! Well done to Jessica for taking the bronze with a score of 25/30.
Coming in second was…
Bake Two! Bronwyn who only narrowly took silver with 25.5/30, so well done!
And the champion, or shall I say the STAR BAKER of The Great McKee Bake Off 2017 was…
Cake One! Sam’s impressive shortbread construction wowed the judges with a score of 27.5/30!
*can you spot the pattern with the bake number and their ranking?*
The judges yet again said it was a tough competition and were overall impressed with the amount of effort that each baker put in. I can confirm as I am typing this that one of these bakes has been eaten entirely, and the shortbread house is unfortunately being demolished as well.
So that’s it for another year, how sad! We had great fun doing this, plus more fun eating each bake, everyone is already keen to compete in the next one to see whether they have got what it takes to be crowned Star Baker of The Great McKee Bake Off ! (I definitely could have written the script for GBBO with that ending!)