I love the holidays and enjoy baking during this time the most. When I had the time, I used to bake up a storm making a whole bunch of Christmas cookies but not nearly as creative as our bakers.
Following in the footsteps of the The Great British Baking Show’s own holiday special, the Canadian version is bringing back bakers from season 1 and 2 to participate in three holiday-themed challenges.
Welcome back to the tent: James (season 1), Vandana (season 1 runner-up), Timothy (season 2) and Megan (season 2 runner-up).
The Bake: 12 cookie ornaments of any flavour as long as it can be held up by a ribbon or string.
The Time: 2 and half hours
What I would bake: 12 days of Christmas earl grey cardamom sugar cookies. Although, I probably would have made something similar to what Vandana made.
What the contestants baked and judges thoughts:
Everyone’s sounded amazing but I would love to try James’ and Megan’s.
James: Gin and Tonic sugar cookie Christmas card ornaments. This was a big hit with Kyla who really loved the gin and tonic. Bruno and Kyla both loved the whimsical piping that James did on the cookies.
Vandana: Orange cardamom sugar cookies. The judges loved the ornate design and said it looks professional. However, Bruno wished it had more flavours and Kyla said that the cardamom flavour could have come out more.
Timothy: Alpaca Santa and his loyal elves chocolate rosemary sugar cookies. Kyla really loved the cuteness of Timothy’s decorations and Bruno wondered where was this in season 2. Both loved the flavours.
Megan: Apple cider toffee sugar cookies made into Christmas balls and one even looked like a snow globe. Kyla and Bruno loved the design and ambition. The two also loved the flavours.
The bake: Challah
The time: 3 hours
How I would have fared: After watching what the bakers went through, I think I might have done decent and figured things out. I thought the braiding would be my issue but it looked like the bakers had good instructions to follow so I think I would have been fine.
How our bakers fared:
The Showstopper Challenge
The Bake: Holiday village that must contain a cookie element, nougat and a confectionary piece.
The Time: 4 hours.
What I would bake: I would do a Christmas lighting ceremony in the town square next to a gazebo made out of gingerbread cookie, the main tree out of sugar cookies and its lights would be a wine gums. The “snow” on the floor would made out of nougat.
What the contestants bakes and judges thoughts:
James: Village of the Nisse featuring almond nougat, lebkuchen and praline Christmas tree. James’ village did not turn out how he envisioned but that being said Bruno liked the mushroom look and that the chocolate was tempered. Bruno also liked the flavour on the lebkuchen. Kyla liked the ratio of fruit and nut in the nougat. Unfortunately, Bruno had a hard time chewing the praline Christmas cookies.
Vandana: Holiday Village by the Sea featuring spiced chili chocolate cookies, pistachio and macadamia nut nougat and pineapple ginger truffles. Bruno called the design enticing. Bruno thought the cookie could have been spicier and wanted more nuts in the nougat. Kyla liked the ginger in the truffle and wanted that type of flavour seen in the rest of the village.
Timothy: Fort Santa featuring homemade candy canes (call me impressed), cherry pecan nougat and toffee cookie with maple meringue elves. Both judges were impressed with the homemade candies and loved the maple meringue cookies. While the judges thought the nougat was firm, the both loved the cherry flavour. Kyla called the display magical.
Megan: Christmas on the Slopes. Made with berry and nut nougat, caramel stones, peppermint marshmallow and toasted coconut cookies. Kyla noted that Megan executed her village that she envisioned in her mind. Bruno liked the flavour of the cookies. Kyla said the flavour of the nougat was lost because it was so tough. Kyla thought that the marshmallow was like eating a cloud.
In the running for Star Baker: Everyone
As soon as I saw what Timothy did in the showstopper, I pretty much knew he was going to win. Also, it was nice seeing season 3’s Colin as the musical entertainment and season 2 winner Andrei and season 2’s Menling congratulating Timothy.