I was reminded on Timehop that around this time last year, season 2 of The Great Canadian Baking show premiered also with Cake Week, so it is great to see season 3 open up with the same theme. While the theme is the same, we have two new hosts in Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor of Baroness Von Sketch Show and also one new judge in Kyla Kennaley who joins returning judge Bruno Feldeisen.
We also have three contestants from my home province of British Columbia so I know who I am rooting for this season but also there is a baker from a province I have a soft spot for: Saskatchewan so I am also rooting for her.
So let’s see how the fresh set of 10 bakers did with “Cake Week”
The Bake: Lucky Number Cake.
The Time: 2 hours
What I would bake: My lucky number is 8, as seems like some of the other bakers. I would make a peppermint white cake with vanilla coconut buttercream. I wouldn’t make it in the shape of 8 but in the Mandarin character and call it my Bā cake. My decorations would dot it in red icing the number 8 written in different ways like alpha-numeric, roman numerals, and Russian
What the contestants baked and judges thoughts:
Of all the cakes, Chris and Mary Lou are the only ones that have flavours that appeal to me.
Andrea: Lucky number is 2 and she is making a lemon cake with Earl Grey buttercream. Bruno thought the cake could use more lemon but did like the Earl Grey butter cream.
Betty: Lucky number: 8 and her cake is a carrot cake. Bruno thought the cake was dry and Kyla thought the flavours were subtle.
Chris: His lucky number is 88 and his cake is Chocolate Espresso Raspberry cake. Kyla thinks the cake was moist but Bruno did not like the presentation.
Colin: Lucky number is 3, Cake is a matcha cake topped with shortbread cookies. Bruno looked the springiness of the cake.
Jasmine: Lucky number is 13 and her cake is a blood orange ginger spiced cake. Kyla loved the curd but Bruno thought the cake was underbaked.
Jay: Lucky number is 3 and cake is a salted caramel banana cake. Kyla noted that Jay went heavy on the icing but Bruno loved the combination of banana and salted caramel.
Jodi: Lucky number is 4 and cake is an apple spice cake. Kyla liked the balance of apple flavour and called the cake delicious.
Liam: Lucky number is 7 and his cake is a pistachio lemon cake with a rosemary buttercream. Both judges thought the cake was dry.
Mary-Lou: Lucky number is 7 and her cake is a chocolate cake. Both judges praised the ganache.
Nataliia: Lucky number is 8 and her cake is a Ukrainian honey cake. Bruno liked the flavour of the cake.
They Bake: Strawberry Roulade
The time: 90 minutes
How I would have fared: I have made a Jelly roll before and this bake looks like one. I think my issue is to get that swirl and my cake probably would have cracked too. I also probably would have added strawberries too on the middle if I was seeing other people do it and then start second guessing myself.
How our bakers fared:
5. Mary Lou
The Showstopper Challenge
The Bake: Provincial Flag cake and must be fancy
The Time: 3 hours
What I would bake: I am wondering I can crib from three differ flags. I lived in three provinces so I would like to do a three tiered cake of different sizes. The biggest size would be BC and that layer would be a chocolate cake with white fondant and decorated with blue icing to represent the blue wavy bits of the flag and have the sun surround it, the next tier would be Ontario as that was the next province that spent significant time in and would do a basic yellow cake and wrap that in red red fondant and try and replicate the flag, the smallest tier would be a Saskatchewan and would do a chocolate espresso cake and do a green and yellow fondant. If I have time I might hollow out the centre of each cake that as you cut into them, you get candies in the provincial colour spilling out. This is probably too ambitious and I would probably run out of time.
While this isn’t a provincial flag cake, I did make this chocolate cake with vanilla fondant and vanilla buttercream icing shaped like the Hockey Canada logo from the 2010 Olympics (see right).
What the contestants bakes and judges thoughts:
Andrea: Flag: BC. Cake: Cookies and cream icing covering a chocolate cake. Bruno says that the cookies and cream combination work.
Betty: Flag: BC. Cake: Genoise cake filled with fresh fruit. Bruno called the cake dense and Kyla noted that Betty needs some more finesse in her cake decorating skills.
Chris: Flag: Alberta. Cake: Canola sponge cake with a wheat grass buttercream and the cake would be in the shape of Alberta. Bruno liked the flavour of the canola but didn’t like the wheat grass and called it overpowering.
Colin: Flag: Ontario. Cake: ginger molasses cakes with a whiskey buttercream. Kyla says the cake tells the story of Ontario and Bruno liked the whiskey flavour of the buttercream.
Jasmine: Flag: Alberta. Cake: Brown butter cake or something she calls flapper pie. Bruno is now a fan of flapper pie.
Jay: Flag: Quebec. Cake: Maple cake with blueberry jam filling. Bruno noted the cake was leaning but liked the texture of the cake. However, Bruno noted a salty after-taste that takes away of the flavour.
Jodi: Flag: Saskatchewan. Cake: Raspberry lemonade cake with lemon curd. Bruno called the flavour spectacular but the cake was underbaked.
Liam: Flag: BC. Cake: coconut cake with mango curd. Kyla noted that Liam’s cake had too many elements. Bruno liked the flavour of the coconut but his cake too was underbaked.
Mary-Lou: Flag: Newfoundland. Cake: lemon chiffon cake with a lemon wild blueberry reduction. Kyla liked the balance of blueberry and lemon. Call her impressed.
Nataliia: Flag: Alberta. Cake: poppy seed sponge with a sour cherry jelly. Kyla called it a true showstopper with great flavours.
In the running for Star Baker: Nataliia
Star Baker: Nataliia
I just knew Betty was going home and while not surprised, I am sad to lose a fellow Vancouverite. but Betty admits that she wasn’t strong in cakes and it kind of shows with her basic decorating skills. I know that I have similar skill to Betty but I hope I would step up my game and practice everything prior to getting on the show.
At least my other BCers and my Regina girl Jodi is still around.
Also, I am liking Aurora and Carolyn. I tweeted when they first got announced as the new hosts that I was getting Sue and Mel (the original hosts of the The Great British Baking Show) vibes and I was right. One of the things I first noticed is that both do narration of the bakers and the bakes, something that didn’t happen when Julia Chan and Dan Levy where hosts. I don’t know why Dan didn’t do any narration but maybe it was because Julia had a slight British accent so that was why.
Next week is biscuit or cookie week and I think I would do well if I were in the tent.