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The Great British Baking Show Celebrates Challenge

Great British Bake Off

An exceptionally intelligent and creative young baker recently brought to my attention The Great British Baking Show, a talent competition that challenges amateur bakers to create confections that are often complex and obscure, using just ingredients and vague descriptions. Ok, this young person is my son. But still, the show is fascinating.

This is a 10-week elimination competition that tests the baking skills of 12 ordinary people (no pros here). What I like about the concept is that it requires contestants to know a little bit about a lot of different things. For example, if you don't have a clue what a Danish pastry is, then you'll be behind the eight ball when they ask you to make one. If you've never heard of clafoutis, well, what is your game plan going to be?

Creativity also counts. Contestants have free rein when it comes to what direction they want to go in with the recipe. You can choose savory or sweet, and fillings and end designs are not specified. If you can make it work, you can win. And the reward at the end of the competition? It might surprise you to know that there is no cash prize. The carrot for those who participate is the exposure they get, and the potential millions in book and endorsement deals. Other perks include the opportunity to work with top chefs and bakers and launch lucrative careers in the food industry.

And if you don't think the competition is difficult, take a look at this episode aired during "botanical week". What would you do with those instructions?

Embrace the challenge, and as always, Happy Baking!

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