The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off GBBO is back again! This is undoubtedly the most popular baking show in UK and last year’s final was the most watched TV program in 2015.  Each year twelve amateur bakers battle it out in the baking tent over ten weeks. The contestants come from all walks of life reflecting the truly diverse nature of UK. In fact, last year’s winner Nadiya Hussain is a UK born Muslim young mother of Bangladesh origin and is proving to be very popular with the British public ever since she won the title. Her followers are now dubbed Nadiyators.

今年期待巳久的烘焙比賽節目The Great British Bake Off GBBO 這個星期終於在英國BBC開始。這節目極受觀眾歡迎,去年決賽一集更是英國全年收視率最高的節目。十二位來自英國不同角落的參賽者,男女老少,英國本土及不同種族人士也有,正好反影英國的多元文化社會。像去年冠軍正是一位孟加拉裔英國出生的穆斯林年輕媽媽。她獲獎時的感性說話帶給大家共鳴, 深受英國公眾歡迎,早幾月前更被邀請為英女皇烤焗生日蛋糕。

Each week the contestants are given three tasks. In the Signature Bake they have to blend in their creativity and personality to a traditional bake.  The Technical Challenge is where they have to use their experience and skills to bake from a very basic recipe provided, and the Showstopper is where they have to pull out all stops to wow the judges with an impressive bake.

One of the judges, Paul Hollywood is more of a Mr Difficult to Please on the show. His coveted Paul Hollywood Handshake is probably one of the highest accolade one can get other than winner the actual competition. The other judge Mary Berry, sometimes called Mary Queen of Cakes is best known for her comment about soggy bottom in cakes. That’s something you definitely want to avoid when baking! A few years ago, the then 78 year old wore a floral bomber jacket from Zara on the show. This immediately caused a frenzy and very soon the jacket flew off Zara’s shelves like hot cakes.

十星期的比賽中,每星期都有三個挑戰。在Signature Bake 中參賽者需要在傳統糕點中加入他們的個人風格。Technical challenge 要憑經驗和技術依照大會提供的非常簡單食譜烤烘成品。最後的Showstopper要使出渾身解數製造令人眼前一亮的作品。

比賽其中一個評判 Paul Hollywood要求高比較嚴謹, 不常稱讚作品。參賽者夢寐以求的Paul Hollywood Handshake是他對作品的欣賞,可說是除了冠軍寶座外, 比賽中可得到的最高榮譽。另一個評判Mary Berry是著名烹飪達人,更被稱為Mary Queen of Cakes. 。若蛋糕底部烘烤得不好而得到她Soggy Bottom評價就麻煩噢! 幾年前,當時七十八歲的Mary 穿著一件Zara出品的花花外套, 令到網上起鬨。而這件外套也很快被搶購一空。

Unlike some American or Australian baking shows I’ve watched, GBBO is relatively calmer. There is no head on elimination with everybody else cheering on, and there is no frantic rushing around with the hosts shouting and screaming at the top of their voices. The beauty of GBBO is the reality of the competitors, the occasional baking slip ups and the great sense of British humour. A simple yet effective recipe.

GBBO較一些我看過的美國或澳洲烘焙節目相對平靜。它沒有參賽者在傍高聲吶喊為雙人淘汰賽打氣的環節,也沒有主持人大聲鼓勵和參賽者四處奔波的瘋狂場面。 GBBO有很舒適的在家感覺, 讓觀眾很容易不知不覺投入比賽中。間中一些烘烤小趣事加上簡單英式幽默點到即止, 確是一個不可多得的娛樂節目。


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