Every baking show needs funny/awkward hosts, and this Bake Off couldn't have chosen better than Nimsy and Pippa (aka Rita Boersma and Shanan Custer, a comedy/improv dream team). They were joined in the tent this week by cookbook author Sir Teddy Crouton, whose first book is titled Hard Things in My Mouth (setting up lots of double entendre jokes throughout the show). They banter amongst themselves and with the bakers, all in silly British accents.
|bakers Meadow (Heather Meyer) and Evelyn
(Jim Robinson) with their showstoppers
(photo courtesy of Strike Theater)
The bakers each begin at a table filled with baking staples, as well as items they brought in. Watching their process, I was a bit surprised when they put their cakes into convection ovens (which may or may not have been on at any given moment) and it began to smell great (the tantalizing combination of sugar, butter, flour). They explained their bakes to the hosts as they were busy preparing and mixing during Act I, and Nimsy drew a little cartoon representation of the planned cake. They continued working during a brief intermission and into Act II, as the cakes came out of the oven and the decorating began (with everything from egg shells to runts). While this was going on, the hosts took a call from the Queen (voiced by Mike Fotis, co-creator/director of the show with Shea Roberts Gyllen), and interviewed a previously eliminated baker (the always hilarious Lauren Anderson). But the best part is when the cakes are done, and the hosts bravely consume what is put in front of them. Edible, mostly. Tasty, sometimes not so much (vegemite!), sometimes surprisingly so.