Kitchen Challenges

Like many a home cook, we cannot help but be inspired to dive into the kitchen and try out something we've seen on television. Whilst there are more cooking shows that you can possibly count, two in particular have stood out with their seemingly down to earth, achievable challenges. Safe in the knowledge that no one is actually judging us, we're working our way through this delicious and sometimes dastardly collection of deliciousness...


Britain's Best Home Cook

Claudia Winkleman hosts as Mary Berry, Dan Doherty and Chris Bavin put ten of the nation's best home cooks through their paces. Each week they cook an ultimate dish and the judges vote on their favourite with the winner(s) getting the advantage of picking the food item which needs to be showcased in the next dish. Those who haven't impressed the judges during the invention test, cook again in the elimination round and one cook unfortunately heads home.

We've challenged ourselves with making the 'ultimate' challenges from each episode - see how we are getting on:

Series 1
Ep.1 - Ultimate Burger - Barbecue, Bacon and Blue Cheese Burger
Ep.2 - Ultimate Fish Dish - Cod with Braised Lettuce and Peas
Ep.3 - Ultimate Pie - Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie
Ep.4 - Ultimate Roast - Roast Pork
Ep.5 - Ultimate Chocolate Pudding - Self-saucing Chocolate Mud Pud
Ep.6 - Ultimate Sharing Platter - Spanish Tapas
Ep.7 - Ultimate Cocktail Party - Eurovision Party
Ep.8 - Ultimate Main and Dessert


Great British Bake Off

Amateur bakers compete against each other in a series of rounds in an attempt to impress the judges with their baking skills. The signature bake allows the bakers to show their own flair by making a tried-and-tested bake. The technical challenge, set by one of the judges, shows the bakers drawing on their skills to produce an unknown bake from a basic recipe. The final challenge is the showstopper which gives the bakers the chance to show off their talents. At the end of all the challenges one contestant each show is awarded Star Baker and one baker unfortunately heads home.

Originally presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as the judges it was broadcast on BBC Two for series 1-4 (2010-2013) then, due to its growing popularity, the show moved to BBC One for series 5-7 (2014-2016). A new deal for the production company saw the show move over to Channel 4 for series 8 (2017) with Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding taking over as the presenters, and Prue Leith replacing Mary Berry as the new judge.

We've challenged ourselves with making the 'technical' challenges from each episode - see how we are getting on:

Series 1
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Victoria Sandwich
Ep.2 - Biscuit Week - Scones
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Cob Loaf
Ep.4 - Pudding Week - Hot Lemon Soufflé
Ep.5 - Pastry Week - Cornish Pasties
Ep.6 - Final - no technical challenge

Series 2
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Coffee and Walnut Battenberg
Ep.2 - Tart Week - Tarte au Citron
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Focaccia 
Ep.4 - Biscuit Week - Brandy Snaps
Ep.5 - Pie Week - Miniature Pork Pie
Ep.6 - Dessert Week - Chocolate Roulade
Ep.7 - Patisserie Week - Iced Fingers
Ep.8 - Final - Sachertorte

Series 3
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Rum Baba
Ep.2 - Bread Week - Plaited Loaf
Ep.3 - Tart Week - Treacle Tart
Ep.4 - Dessert Week - Creme Caramel
Ep.5 - Pie Week - Hand-raised Pie
Ep.6 - Pudding Week - Queen of Puddings
Ep.7 - Sweet Dough Week - Jam Doughnuts
Ep.8 - Biscuit Week - Chocolate Teacakes
Ep.9 - Patisserie Week - Fraisier Cake
Ep.10 - Final - Fondant Fancies

Series 4
Ep. 1 - Cake Week - Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd
Ep.2 - Bread Week - English Muffins
Ep.3 - Dessert Week - Floating Islands
Ep.4 - Pies and Tarts Week - Egg Custard Tarts
Ep.5 - Biscuits and Traybakes Week - Tuiles with Chocolate Mousse
Ep.6 - Sweet Dough Week - Apricot Couronne
Ep.7 - Pastry Week - Religieuses
Ep.8 - Unconventional Ingredients Week - Hazelnut Dacquoise
Ep.9 - French Pastry Week - Charlotte Royale
Ep.10 - Final - Pretzels

Series 5
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Cherry Cake
Ep.2 - Biscuit Week - Florentines
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Ciabatta
Ep.4 - Dessert Week - Tiramisu Cake
Ep.5 - Pies and Tarts Week - Mini Pear Pies
Ep.6 - European Cake Week - Prinsesstarta
Ep.7 - Pastries Week - Kouign Amann
Ep.8 - Advanced Dough Week - Povitica
Ep.9 - Patisserie Week - Schichttorte
Ep.10 - Final - Victoria Sandwich, Tarte au Citron and Scones

Series 6
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Frosted Walnut Layer Cake
Ep.2 - Biscuit Week - Arlettes
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Baguettes
Ep.4 - Dessert Week - Spanische Windtorte
Ep.5 - Alternative Ingredients Week - Gluten-Free Pitta Breads
Ep.6 - Pastry Week - Flaounes
Ep.7 - Victorian Week - Tennis Cake
Ep.8 - Patisserie Week - Mokatines
Ep.9 - Chocolate Week - Chocolate Soufflés
Ep.10 - Final - Mille-Feuille

Series 7
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Jaffa Cakes
Ep.2 - Biscuit Week - Viennese Swirls
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Dampfnudeln
Ep.4 - Batter Week - Heart Shaped Lacey Pancakes
Ep.5 - Pastry Week - Bakewell Tart
Ep.6 - Botanicals Week - Fougasse
Ep.7 - Dessert Week - Marjolaine Cake
Ep.8 - Tudor Week - Jumbles
Ep.9 - Patisserie Week - Savarin
Ep.10 - Final - Victoria Sandwich with Jam and Buttercream

Series 8
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Chocolate Mini Rolls
Ep.2 - Biscuit Week - Fortune Cookies
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Cottage Loaf
Ep.4 - Caramel Week - Stroopwafels
Ep.5 - Pudding Week - Molten Chocolate Puddings
Ep.6 - Pastry Week - Pastel de Nata
Ep.7 - Italian Week - Pizza Margherita
Ep.8 - Forgotten Bakes Week - Cumberland Rum Nicky
Ep.9 - Patisserie Week - Misérable Cake
Ep.10 - Final - Ginger Biscuits

Series 9
Ep.1 - Biscuit Week - Wagon Wheels
Ep.2 - Cake Week - Le Gâteau Vert
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Garlic Naan
Ep.4 - Dessert Week - Raspberry Blancmange with Langues de Chat biscuits
Ep.5 - Spice Week - Ma'amoul
Ep.6 - Pastry Week - Puits D’Amour
Ep.7 - Vegan Week - Vegan Tropical Fruit Pavlova
Ep.8 - Danish Week - Æbleskiver
Ep.9 - Patisserie Week - Torta Setteveli
Ep.10 - Final

Series 10
Ep.1 - Cake Week - Angel Cake Slices
Ep.2 - Biscuit Week - Fig Rolls
Ep.3 - Bread Week - Floury Burger Baps
Ep.4 - Dairy Week - Maids of Honour