The Great Australian Bake Off

Bake Off recap: Ready, set, bake!

The Great Australian Bake Off has returned for season three. So preheat your ovens, bust out your bundt pans, and buckle up for television’s greatest baking battle. Here's the low down on ep one. 

On your marks, get set... BAKE!

Matt Moran’s put his bodybuilding career on hold and Maggie Beer has taken time out from the verjuice farm to return to The Great Australian Bake Off shed for another season of cakes, pastry, and innuendo-filled banter from our hosts Mel Buttle and Claire Hooper.

“I feel like I’ve just stepped into a fairytale,” muses amateur baker Barb, perhaps sensing that the crew spent countless months building the Shed out of gingerbread. Cost-effective? No. Weatherproof? No. Delicious? Yes.

Matt announces that “the key to a good bake is presentation”, forgetting that ingredients and timing are definitely more important.

Dave introduces himself as “a chartered accountant by day and a cake decorator by night”, launching what will undoubtedly become Marvel’s next blockbuster franchise.

Emma explains that her cake is inspired by her one-eyed cat Mischa. She must be feline good about her chances (sorry).

Emma’s not the only baker taking inspo from the animal kingdom. “Growing up, my grandma had six peacocks,” says Raeesa. If only we had a marble cake for every time we heard that sentence on telly…

Max is French, and he’s got the accent and apron to match. We’d tell you more about Max, but our brains have been fried by Matt’s champagne comedy. Come on, Matt. That joke was a bit matcha.

The Signature bake challenge comes to an end without any major dramas (Matt’s jokes notwithstanding), and Dave’s impeccable piping skills get him a thumbs up from the man himself.

But we’re sure you all agree, Emma is the real hero here:

Maggie’s setting the first Technical Challenge of the year: 24 choc-dipped madeleines – or, as she insists on calling them, Maggie-lines. She’s such a diva.

Faced with the messiest bench in the shed, Marcus explains that he gets his best kitchen cleaning done when he’s busting out moves to his fave dance tunes. Then he treats us to this jazzy number, which should absolutely qualify as his Showstopper bake and immediately nab him the Star Baker crown.

Every Technical bake is fraught with danger, and this one is no different. Our bakers grapple with the following harrowing questions:

  • Is the butter burnt enough? (Nope!)
  • Is the batter airy enough? (Nope!)
  • Should Max change the method because he’s French and the French invented madeleines? (Nope!)

After a blind tasting that involves Matt and Maggie breaking lots of madeleines apart, Raeesa is declared the winner, while poor Marcus finds himself in last place. He’s still the best dancer in the Shed though.

“I want creativity and emotion to go wild,” says Maggie, announcing the ultimate children's’ birthday cake Showstopper AND perfectly summing up how we feel when we write our Maggie Beer themed poetry on quiet, rainy weekends.

Michelle's volcanic island - follow her recipe here

After a rollicking judging session where Matt both amputates and decapitates Robert’s chocolate lady and Maggie declares that Marcus’s volcano isn’t going to harm any villagers, the judges must pick their Star Baker AND bring down the hammer on the first eliminated contestant.

It’s a bittersweet moment (baking reference!) made sadder when we realise that Michelle forgot to include a miniature marshmallow Jeff Goldblum on her volcano island. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Robert's Dolly Varden cake - follow his recipe here

Robert’s doll Showstopper has won the day and, perhaps thanks to the power of his headband/bandana, he’s crowned Star Baker. Unfortunately for Jessica, her teapot turned teacup was on the weak side, and she says her goodbyes.

Join us next week as we see bread, we see bread, we see bread.

Keep up with the baking mayhem on The Great Australian Bake Off, Thursdays 8.30pm on Lifestyle. 

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