The Great British Bake Off: Cakes
August 24, 2016 6:32 PM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Twelve new amateur bakers don their aprons and head for the iconic tent in the heart of the British countryside.

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are back, as are Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, who have devised 30 new challenges to test the bakers' knowledge, skill and creativity. The competition begins with cake week. The group first take on a British classic and are then faced with Mary's technical challenge - a popular little cake with a fatless sponge and tricky chocolate work. Finally, the bakers have the opportunity to show the judges what they can do with their showstopper. The best of the bunch will be crowned star baker, while one contestant will be leaving the tent.

description via bbc iplayer
posted by everybody had matching towels (35 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just came to post this to fanfare! The first episode doesn't get enough time to spend on all the results with so many cakes to cover, but it is still great to see so many people excited to just be there. I loved Mary's side-eye at Paul's crack about the gin.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:41 PM on August 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hooray for GBBO!
posted by bq at 7:41 PM on August 24, 2016


Hooray! Yet another season of delightful people baking and cheering for each other! Such a wonderful, warm show. (Yay also for being able to watch in near real time from Canada thanks to the VPN).

Selasi has to be a real threat, he's such a cool customer. A bit worried about Paul becoming a little too Hollywood with the quips, hopefully he tones that down. Not sure if the pheasant is an upgrade from the lambs.

Culture shock of the episode: East Asian flavours continue to be surprising to the British judges; matcha is not uncommon in desserts here, and yuzu wouldn't surprise foodies. Alvin in a previous series made a lot of hay from this.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:38 PM on August 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


This show is such an undiluted joy. Selasi is clearly a favorite, but Benjamina also shows a lot of promise. Candice wasn't good at receiving critiques from the judges - she kept finishing their sentences for them instead of listening.

Also, I love that there's a Harry Potter lookalike. In my headcanon, I've got Harry (Tom), Ron (Andrew), and Hermione (Benjamina) in the tent, and the lady who listens to the cakes - too cute! - can be Sybill Trelawney. And I hope Rav gets a chance to showcase his vegan baking skills. Good start to the season!
posted by stolyarova at 10:46 PM on August 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Stolyarova, I'm glad someone else made almost the same HP comparison I did while watching. Besides the kids my other early fave is, like everyone else, Selasi. I think he is the least anxious person ever on this show of worriers. And is Kate with her wild fruits and enchanted sparrows the new Ian? I'm so happy this show is back!!!
posted by ariadne's threadspinner at 12:38 AM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that whole thing about the matcha surprised me. Mary's reaction - that it tasted grassy - didn't, though. I think it tastes a bit grassy and I like matcha. (I do wonder how much Mary and Paul are supposed to play "voice of the audience", and ask questions about things that they are already familiar with.)

And Selasi, yup - his attitude was great. (Also I found that shot of him getting off his motorcycle and unzipping his jacket to reveal his suit really goofy and endearing.)

I was so happy for Benjamina and her showstopper, since she seemed to be having trouble with everything while she was baking it. There seemed to be a record number of people starting some part of that bake over.
posted by minsies at 12:52 AM on August 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tom rather endeared himself to me in the trailer for next week, in which he can be heard reciting the Litany Against Fear.
posted by Major Clanger at 1:25 PM on August 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


Oh yay! Binge watching all 6 seasons got me through last winter's depression. Good thing for fanfare or I'd have missed it. This is my comfort show.
posted by kanata at 5:30 PM on August 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I love this show. So happy it's back, and really grateful to the genius who is uploading it to Youtube for us Americans.
posted by suelac at 9:48 PM on August 25, 2016


So happy it's back, and really grateful to the genius who is uploading it to Youtube for us Americans.

Pssst... if you use Chrome, you should look into a plugin called Beeb...
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:43 AM on August 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Ooooh, that is brilliant, thanks so much!
posted by suelac at 6:42 PM on August 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Aw, just watching Extra Slice. Lee comes off as really sweet. I understand why he had to leave, but I wouldn't have minded seeing more of him.
posted by peacheater at 7:37 AM on August 27, 2016


Yeah, that whole thing about the matcha surprised me. Mary's reaction - that it tasted grassy - didn't, though. I think it tastes a bit grassy and I like matcha. (I do wonder how much Mary and Paul are supposed to play "voice of the audience", and ask questions about things that they are already familiar with.)

I think she's just generally very Euro-trad when it comes to baking, which can go either way. She'll always balk at anything with any ingredient as outlandish as a peanut or a coconut, for example, but on the other hand was completely blown away a while back by a Filipino contestant's pineapple upside-down cake, which was new to her, but is a perfectly bog-standard staple of midcentury North American cuisine. (I suspect the recipe must have been printed on a Dole or Del Monte can at some point.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I continue to be super amused by the time they were both baffled by the crazy combination of... peanut butter and grape jelly.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:39 PM on August 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Mary got Paul back with "we don't eat them that way in the south" about the Jaffa cakes.

Such a fun show! Looking forward to next week already.
posted by mogget at 10:39 PM on August 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


We don't _have_ grape jam in Britain, and putting jam of any kind in a peanut butter sandwich is just clearly wrong. Putting peanut butter in things other than sandwiches is also pretty unusual here.

Jelly is something else altogether.
posted by emilyw at 11:17 AM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure, but you've HEARD of it. (And grape jelly as used in PBJ isn't jam - I'm not sure I've had grape jam - American jelly is made of juice, sugar, and pectin, making it more like a very loose-set UK jelly than a jam, though it is used like jam.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:24 AM on August 28, 2016


Jelly in the UK is the stuff they call Jell-O in the US, set with gelatin. I'm not sure what UK folks would call grape jelly - I grew up in India not the UK, but my instinct is still to call it jam, not jelly.
posted by peacheater at 11:37 AM on August 28, 2016


Sure, but you've HEARD of it

Barely! Until pretty recently the only way to hear about such things would be to read American kids' books and those were few and far between. It doesn't surprise me in the least that a lot of Brits, especially older ones, would never have encountered a popular culture reference to "grape jelly" or connected it up with jam, and even people who have wouldn't necessarily bring it to mind if you introduce the concept in the context of a cake flavour rather than a sandwich filling.

grape jelly as used in PBJ isn't jam

YOU don't call it jam. Over here most people would call it jam.

making it more like a very loose-set UK jelly

UK jelly is that brightly coloured artificially flavoured substance that kids eat at birthday parties.

People from the WI or who like reading technical cookery books might use jam/jelly the way you do but it's more of a technical term, not an everyday usage, and completely ambiguous with the gelatin thing even then.
posted by emilyw at 12:18 PM on August 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


Funnily enough, nobody eats Jell-O at birthday parties in the United States. Cakes, yes, cookies, yes, cupcakes, almost ubiquitously. Jell-O? Kind of weird.
posted by stolyarova at 12:27 PM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


YOU don't call it jam. Over here most people would call it jam.

What I mean is, there are two distinct forms of jam-like substance in the US, one of which is akin to the jams which are sold in the UK and which we, also, refer to as jam, and the other of which (jelly) is pretty different. We have both strawberry jam and strawberry jelly, but grape jam is not very common compared to grape jelly.

I know UK jelly = American Jell-O, but American jelly is sort of like a transitional substance between jam and Jell-O.

I just feel like Brits are hearing about grape jelly and imagining some sort of pulped grape substance with like chunks of grape in it, when it's more of a set grape juice suspension.

Funnily enough, nobody eats Jell-O at birthday parties in the United States. Cakes, yes, cookies, yes, cupcakes, almost ubiquitously. Jell-O? Kind of weird.

The majority of Jell-O I have consumed in my life was consumed at college parties and was full of booze.

In the US Jell-O is also kind of synonymous with hospital food, because it's easy to digest - you expect a tray of food served to a person in a hospital bed to have a little cup of Jell-O on it. Does that association exist in the UK?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:36 PM on August 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't associate jelly with hospitals. As far as I know it's eaten in two situations: with icecream at children's parties, and in trifle.

I don't think we eat jelly at real children's parties any more, they're all pizza and cake. But it's a sort of archetypal party food, along with sausage rolls. There's an old song/chant about "Jelly and icecream, when Thatcher dies".
posted by emilyw at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


We don't really do grape flavoured stuff here. Maybe the odd sweet but definitely not grape jam.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:34 PM on August 28, 2016


Here are the ingredients in Smucker's grape jelly: CONCORD GRAPE JUICE, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, FRUIT PECTIN, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE. Note the lack of actual fruit. Welch's brand is more popular, but they don't list the ingredients on their website; I imagine they're exactly the same.

Compare Smucker's grape jam: CONCORD GRAPES, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, FRUIT PECTIN, CITRIC ACID. I am surprised to learn it even exists. Welch's also makes one, apparently. I can't imagine anyone has ever bought it on purpose; it has terrible reviews right there on the Smucker's website, all complaining about the runny consistency.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:27 PM on August 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


P.S. I know we're supposed to be talking about baking, but since we've gone straight from "perfectly bog-standard staple of midcentury North American cuisine" straight to jell-o, it seems only right that someone should shout JELLO SALAD!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:07 PM on August 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I also found the utter unfamiliarity with PB&J by Paul and Mary amazing, but to emphasize how much of a standard it is in America, I can go to the store right now and buy pre-made frozen PB&J sandwiches with the bread crusts removed.
posted by LionIndex at 7:52 PM on August 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


a Filipino contestant's pineapple upside-down cake, which was new to her, but is a perfectly bog-standard staple of midcentury North American cuisine.

I really, really thought they were going to criticize him for lack of originality with that cake since I also think of it as something that comes straight from Connecticut circa 1955, so I was also pretty floored when they seemed to love it and how unique it was.

I was just a tad surprised in this episoide when they were unfamiliar with yuzu and matcha, but I don't have a good base here (I for one grew up in southern California, am a foodie, and am of Asian-American heritage, all of which I'm sure are positively correlated with knowing what yuzu and matcha are).
posted by andrewesque at 6:49 AM on August 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Green tea is fairly well known here I think, but as a tea you'd drink not as a flavouring nor known by the name "matcha". I've been to enough Japanese restaurants/seen enough imported Japanese sweets to know what matcha is, but even I had to look up yuzu.

As for pineapple upside-down cake, I have no idea how that was "new", I had it in primary school in the 1980s. I thought it was a common British cake.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:13 PM on August 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you loved last year's bake-off or well, cakes and family and eyebrows, you should absolutely watch The Chronicles of Nadiya which aired after Bake-Off (I think it'll be just 3 episodes?) and has Nadiya going to Bangladesh to explore her roots and baking and cooking things and talking about family, food and culture and generally being wonderful and tiny and very-Nadiya.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:00 AM on August 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd put whipped cream on Jell-O (see also: Jell-O salad, divinity), but ice cream is a new one on me. Sounds delicious, albeit messy (melted ice cream slick on stiff Jell-O).
posted by stolyarova at 1:23 PM on August 30, 2016


The jelly/jello is meant to be all shivery and wibbly wobbly, not stiff!
posted by emilyw at 1:52 PM on August 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


No! Not my old Dad!
posted by Going To Maine at 8:08 AM on September 1, 2016


Oh God, so many dropped items! I nearly had three separate heart attacks watching that one.
posted by merriment at 3:00 PM on September 1, 2016


The hipster coffee shops in Sheffield (UK) have started going crazy with matcha as drink and a flavour in everything over the past couple of months. Previously, I think I'd only ever encountered it via seeing it high on shelves in specialist tea shops. It seems to be becoming fashionable, but it's definitely not a traditional or mainstream thing in the UK.

I'd never even heard of yuzu. Maybe I've seen them in asian groceries and assumed they're lemons? Intriguing.
posted by metaBugs at 3:01 AM on September 2, 2016


It's on Netflix now! Yay!

I didn't even notice the Harry Potter thing, but now it's ALL I CAN SEE.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:41 PM on March 6, 2018


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