From binned Baked Alaska to commandeered custard, The Great British Bake off has seen it’s fair share of scandalous bust ups in the tent – but just across the water, they’re far more forgiving…
The Great Irish Bake Off returned to TV screens for a third series this week and when disaster struck in episode one the stage was set for the mother of all confrontations.
The bakers were tasked with creating a ‘Memorable Moments desert’ to give the judges – food blogger, Irish Times Columnist and author Lily Higgins and executive pastry chef Paul Kelly – a taste of what they’re really like.
Secondary school teacher Damien had done just that, whipping up a pie that his granny used to make.
His Stranoffi – a twist on the banana and toffee classic – was his grandmother’s recipe, and evoked memories of gobbling down slices of the delicious creation on his way home from school on Fridays.
And he was all set to present it to the judges when fellow contestant Ailish put her hand straight through it.
Viewers braced themselves for a showdown of Bingate proportions.
Surely Damien would blow his lid?
But this is GIBO and sure everything, as we say in the homeland, was grand.
Not even the prospect of elimination from the competition could upset the cool, calm and collected Irish bakers: when Sandra McGarry, from Navan in Co Meath, made her exit she gave possibly the most wonderful interview of all time.
Who needs a Bake Off title when you can pinch a few fancy towels?
It’s not like GBBO, this Great Irish Bake Off. For one, the contestants only take on two challenges each week, with either a Signature and a Technical Bake, or a Technical and a Showstopper challenge deciding their fate.
The show has been running since 2013, when judge Kelly was joined by Ireland’s very own answer to Mary Berry, the incomparable Biddy White Lennon (yes, that is her real name). The foraging expert has since departed the series, but her legacy and the pair’s love of the word “moist” – Ireland’s answer to “soggy bottom” – will never be forgotten.
The Great Irish Bake Off airs on TV3 Ireland on Sunday nights at 9pm