Here's What Happens When You Try To Bake Along To “The Great British Bake Off"
A piece of cake, it wasn't.
The technical challenge is often the hardest part of Bake Off.
So we thought we'd try to bake along.
Time to introduce the contestants!
Ailbhe is BuzzFeed UK's lifestyle editor and a rusty baker.
Ryan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News, American, and completely in over his head.
Scott is BuzzFeed UK's entertainment editor and is scared.
Here are the rules:
1. Everyone has an hour and 45 minutes to complete the technical challenge – the same amount of time as the contestants in the show.
2. No do-overs. If you lose an egg, you lose an egg.
3. You must spend some time "talking to the camera" about your baking journey.
Ailbhe begins by reading the recipe diligently.
But it isn't long before disaster strikes.
She presses on, making a bit of a mess.
"I have no idea how the contestants manage to keep their stations so clean. At this point, there was flour everywhere, empty margarine packets on the floor, and I had already used three different spoons. I hadn't even begun to beat the mixture!"
There is a technical hitch.
"We didn't have an electrical mixer. Or even a wooden spoon. The only piece of equipment was this silicone spoon, which was not particularly effective. I used all my upper body strength, but as you can see, there were some big blobs of marge left in the mixture."
Finally, the cakes go in the pans.
And they're baking!
The cakes are springy to the touch.
"I was searching for some hilarious innuendo-laced aside to make at this point, but I was obsessively concentrating on the cakes."
The next challenge is making the frosting.
Once more, there is a technical hitch.
"I cannot quantify how much I whinged during this section. I complained that we didn't have an electrical whisk. I exaggerated, saying that trying to whisk this icing with a balloon whisk was like trying to dry clothes with a mangle. 'Look at all the Industrial Revolution did for us,' I proclaimed. 'We don't have to live like this any more'.
"Despite my whinging, and some truly sweaty egg-beating, my icing did not form Mary's 'soft peaks'. Ryan quipped: 'The cakes aren't the only thing getting hot in this kitchen.' I was unimpressed. How do they drink tea on the show when it's so hot?"
It's time to decorate.
And here's the end result.
And here's what the contestants thought.
Average score: 6.6/10
Ryan surveys his ingredients thoughtfully.
And jumps into the challenge!
Remember, a chef's most important skill isn't cooking, it's improvising!
The cakes hit the pans as the clock keeps ticking down.
And we're off!
"Like any man on his first time, I was sweaty and nervous, but ultimately excited, and just hoping I got the timer right so nothing came out too soon."
It's not over yet – up next we have the frosting.
Oh my, looks like we've had a bit of a hiccup.
"The recipe called for two egg whites and I only managed to keep one of the egg yolks out of the frosting. So, in Great British Bake Off style, I decided to panic, have a meltdown, and then just say 'fuck it' and crack on."
Tension is high in the kitchen.
But cooling cakes prevail!
Don't be afraid to put some muscle into it.
"The frosting was supposed to be this nice thick white stuff; I basically made sugary jizz."
Now, put it all together.
Don't forget to decorate.
And voila, our "cake" is finished!
And here's what the contestants thought.
Average score: 5.5/10
Scott checks the recipe 5,764,578,587 times.
And he starts freaking out about the ingredients.
But he soon gains some confidence.
And the spoon falls apart so much it's practically becoming part of the cake mixture.
But before we know it, these things are in the oven.
And finally, the cakes are cooling.
Scott has "absolutely no titting clue what an 'egg white' is".
Scott gets stuck into whipping the frosting.
And he decorates the cake with gusto.
And before you know it, the cake is complete.
In a blind taste test, here's what our independent judge had to say:
"It's a bit gritty. It's a bit sweet. There are really big lumps of sugar. 5/10. "
Here's what our contestants thought.
Average score: 6.25/10
And lastly, here are our cakes compared to top three winners from Wednesday night's episode.
Scott: "Nearly every single contestant had a grainy cake, which comforted me because my cake was grainy. But there's no answer about how to get rid of the graininess! I want to know!"
Ailbhe: "I don't feel too bad about my cake, it was a tricky recipe overall! Yeah, my icing was rubbish, but I firmly believe that if we had an electric whisk all my troubles would be solved."
Ryan: "I now have a pretty interesting understanding of how these people feel. It's a tricky cake to make not spongy. That being said, I used my hands like a real baker, not a machine-using pro."