Bake off gets professional and the pressure is intense.

If it wasn’t intense enough watching the amateurs on the Great British Bake off, we now have the professionals at it as well. It’s amazing to watch them creating their masterpieces, desperately trying to outdo each other with baking skill and sugar craft. The designs are a bit ramped up from the amateurs but that’s partly because the Pros can use commercial equipment like the Lincat LMR9 6 burner gas oven, which you can take a look at here to be impressed, along with blast chillers and blast freezers.

What started this spin off show now in its third series?

Bake off started as a little time filler on the BBC during the summer schedule. Its success was a huge surprise and it has become a yearly must see event on the TV feature calendar along with Love Island, Strictly Come Dancing and Britain’s got talent.  Naturally the television producers and executives wanted to make similar themed programs so the spinoff Bake Off: The Professionals, originally Bake Off Crème de la Crème, was created to give those already in the fine catering world a chance to compete and show off their talent. It also provided interest in the amateur show to be maintained before the next series started.

The shows format is a little different. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were not used as experts, being replaced by three experienced professionals, two of which had appeared on the Great British Bake Off support programme “An Extra slice”. These were the extremely French Benoit Blin, Asian food expert Cherish Finden and Claire Clark. Along with this original trio the Celebrity Chef Tom Kerridge was the host. The difference between the Great British Bake Off and the Professionals is that the Pros are in teams.  The programme has undergone a few changes in that department. Originally it was a team of 5 members in 15 teams. This proved to be a bit hard to film so the teams were reduced to 10 in the second series. The current format features duos, so still team based but easier for the camera operators to record the action.

There has also been a change in presenting personnel. Tom Kerridge and Claire Clark did not return and the presenting was taken over by the measured and sardonic tones of Angus Deayton. He has not returned, as the show has transferred to Channel four.  The new presenters are the outrageous comic Tom Allen, who has also made numerous appearances on An Extra Slice, and a previous Great British Bake Off contestant Liam Charles.  Liam was a very popular contestant and is proving that he is also capable at presenting just as well as he is at baking. Benoit Blin is still there happily declaring “weeell, it’s not cooked!” and so is Cherish Finden, who generally starts each comment with “for me it’s not…” and producing incredibly intimidating stares.

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