Le jaffa cake fi­asco: global Bake Off fails

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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.

Ver Fi­rina

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

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