Le jaffa cake fiasco: global Bake Off fails
The Great British Bake Off, as you know, is Britain’s leading cultural gift to the world – it is screened in 196 territories and the format has been copied in 20 countries. But what unspeakable monstrosities and unbeatable eatables have come out of foreign ovens as a result? Let’s find out.
Le Meilleur Pâtissier
Biscuit week was not a success on France’s answer to Bake Off last week. Contestants were each asked to make 36 jaffa cakes. Could they? Oh, dearie me no, they could not. When Marie Antoinette suggested revolting French peasants eat cake, even she couldn’t have meant those.
Maybe the fiasco was due to philosophical confusion. “More jaffa cakes, Jean-paul?” Simone de Beauvoir was fond of asking. “But, cherie,” Sartre would retort. “How can they truly be cakes if they come from the biscuit aisle?”
Le Meilleur Pâtissier (title translation: The Best Pastry Chef) takes two hours and features a camera in the oven. Which makes it sound like an intentionally unwatchable Jean-luc Godard film.
In the delightfully giddy Turkish Bake Off (title translation: Give It Up to the Oven), contestants danced while they baked, showing an endearingly cavalier stance to health and safety. But in one episode they had to make burgers, which is just a nonsense.
Det Store Bagedyst
The losing contestant at the end of each episode of this Danish version (title translation: The Large Baking Contest) has to jump into a nearby lake fully clothed, which is one way of stopping them blubbing to camera. As a result, there is at least one soggy bottom guaranteed each week. In one especially ludicrous episode, contestants were asked to make a dessert for a bachelor party, and one made buttercream buttocks and fondant figures having it off under the covers. Poor show.
Dolci in Forno
In one episode of this Italian version (title translation: Sweets In The Oven), a contestant got so fired up he hurled eclairs at the camera and nobody thought to clean off the cream, making the rest of the programme resemble the murkiest sequences in Blue Planet II.
Das Große Backen
Each contestant hangs pictures of their family and friends on their fridge, which is sweet. Not to be outdone by the rude Danes, German Bake Off (title translation: The Great Bake) once asked contestants to make 50 Shades of Cake. But even the results of that round weren’t quite as disgusting as one contestant’s cake of raw mincemeat and gherkins. Stuart Jeffries