We are at the start of the fifth! season of The Great Canadian Baking Show. The only thing new this year are the bakers as hosts Ann Pornel and Alan Shane Lewis return along with judges Bruno Feldeison and Kyla Kennaley.
I once again applied for this season but unlike last year, where I got a phone call and unlike season 1 where I got an audition, I received nothing. Unfortunately, I can’t apply for a potential season 6 as my brother is getting married next summer so I won’t have the time off to commit to the show if I were ever to get one. Fingers crossed there is a season 7!
Taking a look at the bakers this season and where they are from, Ontario, like last season, is over-represented. I understand again that production-wise it was probably easier to get five bakers that are GTA or GTA adjacent to be part of the cast versus bringing more bakers from other parts of Canada. Other than the five from Ontario, we have one from Quebec, one from Nova Scotia, one from PEI (I think the first time someone from that province is on the show), one from Saskatchewan and one from BC (and from my hometown to boot!). I think for the first time, we don’t have any bakers from Alberta but we still haven’t had a single baker from one of our territories and I don’t think we had someone from New Brunswick yet. It would also be nice to see a baker from Northern Ontario or the Interior of BC.
Let’s meet the Bakers:
- Caron, Richmond, BC
- Stephen, Regina, SK
- Aimee, Ottawa, ON
- Dougal, Dartmouth, NS
- Marian, Ottawa, ON
- Alina, Toronto, ON
- Amanda, Westmoreland, PEI
- Kunal, Montreal, QB
- Steve, Aurora, ON
- Vincent, Mississauga, ON
As for the bakers I am cheering for this season is of course Caron from my hometown, Stephen from Regina (where I lived for a couple of years while getting my journalism degree) and Vincent. You probably noticed that I highlighted the three Asian bakers and that is not a coincidence. As an Asian person who grew up barely seeing themselves represented on screen, I am always happy to see myself reflected in my favourite TV shows and I always cheer for Asian contestants on any reality shows that I watch (i.e. The Amazing Race, The Great British Baking Show, Survivor, etc…).
The Bake: A twist on a pound cake
The Time: 2 hours
What I would bake: A coconut rice flour pound cake with added orange zest. Topped with candied orange slices, orange gl and toasted coconut curls.
What the contestants baked and judges thoughts:
Of all the pound cakes, the ones I want to try the most are Amanda’s and Steve’s because they all contain chocolate!!!!
- Caron: Hong Lemon Tea pound cake with lotus puff pastry.
- Stephen: Pandan Surprise pound cake with a sesame caramel brittle. Kyla called the presentation unique and Bruno said it was dry. Bruno called it messy looking but Kyla called it delicious and has all the components of a pound cake.
- Aimee: Rhubard and Earl Grey pound cake with a rhubarb glaze and ribbons. Bruno called the rhubarb ribbon the star
- Dougal: East Coast pound cake (maple cinnamon pecan) topped with a sponge toffee. Kyla says the cake was a bit try.
- Marian: Grapefruit and Blackberry pound cake. Bruno says the grapefruit brings brightness and the jam is the star/
- Alina: Carrot Crystal pound cake (carrot and pineapple). Bruno said it could have used more time in the oven.
- Amanda: Double-Decker marble pound cake with chocolate-coffee glaze. Kyla didn’t like how Amanda stacked the cakes and Bruno says the vanilla is too subtle.
- Kunal: Lemon Blueberry cream cheese pound cake topped with lemon buttecream. Bruno said that the cake was underbaked.
- Steve: Chai and Chocolate pound cake with mango curd and lime sugar. cookies. Kyla gave chef kisses to the mango.
- Vincent: Buttermilk and thyme pound cake with candied lemon slices. There was problems with the bake but despite that Bruno says the flavours was great.
Like last season, with time permitting in my schedule and ingredients and equipment required, I will attempt to make the technical bake in the time that the bakers had. I will document this over at my baking blog at: gotobread.wordpress.com and on my Instagram (@gotobreadbakery).
The Bake: Lamingtons (20 identical sponge cakes). An Australian jammy cake.
The Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
How I would have fared: It doesn’t look too complicated so I think I might do okay. I might not make it this week as my birthday is next weekend and I have my birthday cake to make. When I do make it, I can guarantee that I will run out of time when it comes to glaze the cake with chocolate and the coconut.
How the bakers did:
The Bake: A Fault Line Cake – a cake with a decorative crack in it so you get a sneak peek at what is inside.
The Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
What I would bake: I have no clue what I would make. Never heard of a fault line cake so I need to see what the bakers are going to make so I get an idea of what this cake is supposed to look like. Now that I see it, I might make it look like the Death Star and the fault line would be of the trench. The flavour would probably be mocha/
What the contestants baked and judges thoughts:
- Caron: Over the Rockies Fault Line cake with matcha cake and lemon curd. Bruno loved the combo of lemon curd and matca.
- Stephen: Ode to Geodes Fault Line cake made chocolate espresso sponge and salted caramel. Bruno said the cake was a bit salty.
- Aimee: Grand Canyon Sunrise Fault Line cake made with vanilla toffee cake with espresso buttercream and apple filling. Bruno liked it and Kyla said it was rich without being heavy.
- Dougal: Ideal Birthday Cake with chocolate and peanut butter. Bruno said the fault line is not defined enough and Kyla said the cake was sticky.
- Marian: Cherry Blossom fault line made with chocolate and stout sponge and cherry buttercream. Bruno loved the cake despite the cake collapsing.
- Alina: Checkmate Cake made with vanilla sour cream cake and Romanian sour cherries. Kyla noticed that some of the cakes were underbaked but the stuff that were baked had nice flavour.
- Amanda: Hummingbird Fault Line made with pineapple filled carrot cake. Bruno said the carrot cake was something you could have for all three meals.
- Kunal: Kintsugi cake made with black sesame sponge and grapefruit citrus curd. Both noticed the design was not what Kunal wanted. Bruno did like the flavour of the cake.
- Steve: Queen Bee cake made with Espresso and caramel cake. Kyla called it the bees knees. Bruno liked the toffee and how it made everything work.
- Vincent: Champagne Celebration cake with a delicate white chocolate collar. Kyla loves the collar and Bruno said it is missing some oomph.
Up for Star Baker: Aimee, Vincent and Steve
In danger of going home: Alina, Kunal and Marian
Star Baker: Steve
Going Home: Kunal
These are another good group of bakers where some let the stress of the tent get to them like Kunal and Marian. As for front runners, it looks like it is Aimee and Steve right now so my money is those two being in the final. I think it is too early for me to predict the third finalist. Next week is always my favourite week: cookie week!