NZs Hottest Home Baker

Last night we had the première of the second season of New
Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker, or NZHHB as I shall put it from now on and I must
say it was an interesting watch. I only watched last year’s season when it was
on repeats in December and from halve way through, I will admit I got quite a
lot of laughs out of it, mainly from the host Colin (at him not with him) and
from those hideous aprons, I don’t know if they were trying to make them look
homely but the impression I got was that they looked like old pillow slips, tea
towels and table linens sewn together by thumb-less monkeys. So what happened
last night? I shall reveal all…..


Intro talking of woman from the city and country, in flats
and in heels and the narrator tells us how there is ‘even a man’!!!! as if this
is meant to be some big shock that a male can bake, isn’t the leading judge a

Jade Lipton is the new judge this year; she makes cakes, how
nice. And has her hair pulled back so tight that you can see her cerebral
cortex working away. Dean Brettschneider is returning judge, he is a global
baker (what does that mean?) and has 7 books, I will confess that I own one of
his books and it is quite good.

The contestants will compete for prizes, how original.

Opening sequence, where the contestants are all on kitchen
products, milk cartons, flour, and golden syrup: did they put ‘the man’ on the
honey jar for any particular reason…. Anyhoooo, they are all doing funny little
poses and look like they need a little help from multi-hosting talented Colin.
I must say I think it is interesting how both the shows he hosts kind of work
at extremes ends about food attitudes, just a thought.

 ‘They are going to
have to have some key baking skills to win’ Jade. Well that’s a given I assume;
better to have baking skills than sheep husbandry skills in a baking contest. Today’s
task is preparing ‘afternoon tea to impress’ in two and half hours, they can
make anything thing and as many as they want. Gretchen asks Dean what sweet
things he likes to eat and laughs when he says caramel, hmm a little flirty
maybe? Another contestant asks if the food needs to both taste good and look
good, ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

And their off, all making a million and one treats, these
guys really put out a lot for afternoon tea, one or two gingernuts anyone?

Throughout the challenge the following events unfold:

Paula ‘The crier’ forgets to put the syrup in
her syrup cupcakes and cries. ‘They want disasters on TV but why does it have
to be me’, she looks very red. The challenge ends and she cries.

Gretchen ‘The temptress’ bats her eyelashes at
Dean who tells her ‘come work for me any day’. Dean also thinks she is ‘cheeky’
to try and make macaroons that even some pros struggle with.

Stephen ‘The Man’ makes more desserts than
afternoon tea. Dean gets all blokey around him and mentions how they are the
only to males there – um, Colin? And his Bannoffy pie is ozzing.

Dyani ‘The Nester’, well she nests, as in
creates a heap of mess and clutter everywhere, to the point where things are
spilling and falling of the bench, so she can be comfortable. Hmmm. She seems a
little bit like she is away with the fairies too.

Catherine ‘The Farmer’, who lives on the farm
with hubby and her parents, is told by Colin how she has the same haircut as
him, she doesn’t look impressed and her pastry is very thick

Desiree ‘The Dyer’ is making just one lonely Red
Velvet cake which has what looks lie a 1/3 of a cup of food colouring in it and
could potentially be used as stage blood in Sweeny Todd. She also likes to talk
about how everyone else likes her baking so why shouldn’t they.

Carolyn ‘ The….well I’ll think of something in
the next episode ‘ is here cause she loves baking and really wants a new kitchen
but has also done a Red Velvet mix but done it the proper way

Chelsea ‘ The smiler’ is cooking for an army,
and huge portions, ‘I’m an Islander, we eat big’ (her words not mine). But she
has great time management skills and is funny, I like her.

Judge Jade seems to enjoy laughing at the
contestants in her interviews. Easy Daisy, they are just home bakers. But she
also has some good tips

Everyone talks of how baking is all about love,

Several of the women have ‘Home Executive’ listed under
their occupation; I think this is now the PC way of saying Housewife.

Judging is tough and Jade is brutal while Dean is a little
bit more forgiving, while the contestants watch the judges on a monitor in a ‘secluded
room’ with plenty of product placement in the background. One thing I have
learnt from watching cooking competitions is that the word ‘Rustic’ covers a
multitude of sins. And it is funny watching the judges try to comment politely
with food in their mouths.

The verdict is in, Colin feels a need to remind those of us
with failing memories who the judges are, and the top three for the day are
Gretchen, Catherine, and Chelsea. Gretchen takes the win; her food did look the
most professional and sound very yummy. Dean gives a cheeky brow raise as he
says her name and is named today’s Hottest (hmm) Home-baker for the day.

Our bottom two are Stephen and Desiree, my bet is on Desiree
going, they cant get rid of ‘The Man’ this early on. Desiree missed the mark on
the brief and ‘The Man’ had too many slip ups. And the baker going home today
is Desiree. She quite surprised, emotional about it and baffled as ‘Everyone
loves that cake’. So Desiree is Dejected.

Colin does this strange self-fanning action as he instructs on
next weeks challenge, which will be taking a recipe from both judges and enhancing
it to wow them with flavor and decorations.

All in all I’m enjoying the show (based on one episode), we
shall just wait and see what will unfold before us next week. I’m guessing,
more tears from Paula, more ‘Blokey’ behavior from ‘The Man’ and Dean, tight
hair-dos and sneaky seduction from Gretchen, oh you naughty girl.