Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
23 Sep 2015
11:05 am

Facts you didn’t know about The Great South African Bake Off

Adriaan Roets

Not only did The Citizen get a sneak peek at the contestants who will be vying to win over judges during the first ever season of The Great South African Bake Off - premiering October 6 on BBC Lifestyle - we also managed to get some behind-the-scenes factoids on the show which only insiders and contestants know about.

  • Contestants arrived on set early August, and were only given a brief introduction how equipment on their stations works.
  • The 12 contestants found out in July that they will star in the show.
  • They had to submit recipes for various bakes before production started – and they had to stick to these recipes during the production of the show.
  • They were not allowed to borrow ingredients from other stations during baking challenges.
  • Contestant Dot Dicks was nicknamed Spaza Shop by fellow contestants during production. She is known to have everything anybody needs with her at all times. She even sold cupcake holders to some contestants during production.
  • All their baked goods were donated to a charity shop after production wrapped each day.
  • Judge Shirley Guy was approached to do a test to be a judge on the show, while fellow judge Tjaart Walraven had to audition.
  • Contestants were struck by the fact that during challenges, they often didn’t look up until the bell sounded that the challenge was over.
  • Contestants from Cape Town said they immediately experienced how the higher altitude at The Cradle of Humankind where the show was shot played a role in temperature differences.
  • Contestants believe that having their signature bakes judges is the worst part of being judged  – because it is something they are used to making and it is hard to have it be judged.
  • During production all the contestants stayed in a hotel in Randburg, even the ones that lives close by in Johannesburg. This was so all the contestants were bussed to the set at the same time to ensure no one was late on production days.
  • During production contestant Andrew Dore twerked on everybody.
  • The long hours of production (often over 12 hours) are about the same hours you would work had contestants worked in a bakery.

So what can viewers expect during the first episode? The 12 amateur bakers are put through their baking paces by judges Shirley Guy and Tjaart Walraven in the inaugural episode on October 6 at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).

The bakers enter the pressurised environment of the Bake Off tent for the very first time and go whisk-to-whisk in their quest to be crowned South Africa’s Best Amateur Baker. Episode 1 is all about cakes – from the Signature Bake challenge of twelve perfect and identical fruit cupcakes, to the daunting challenge of the mystery Technical Bake.

Experience, skill and ingenuity come into play as bakers tackle a Naartjie Chiffon Cake. The final challenge of the week, the Showstopper, requires bakers to pull out all the stops to wow the judges with their version of An Inside Surprise Chocolate Cake. There are surprises aplenty – some expected, some not!

Who will be crowned Star Baker and who will be eliminated from The Great South African Bake Off tent? Don’t miss all the hilarity, the drama and the fun as comedian presenters Anne Hirsh and Donovan Goliath take viewers on an unforgettable baking journey.