Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Cake, culture and competition

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The fourth series of the Great British Bake Off has just begun on British television. On this show, twelve people compete in making cakes, biscuits and bread, hoping to be crowned the best amateur baker in Britain. Over 5 million viewers watch the baking competition every week and people love to talk about it at school, at work and in the family home. So why is this reality TV programme so popular in the UK?

The contestants on the Bake Off are a group of people of different ages and occupations who all love to bake in their spare time. This means that the show attracts a varied audience and provides entertainment for all the family. Every week, people watch to find out which contestant will be given the title of ‘Star Baker’ for their excellent baking and who will be sent home from the competition.

The show also makes people laugh. The presenters of the programme are two comediennes, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. They are famous for their silliness and are always making jokes with the bakers while they are preparing their cakes. There are often funny accidents in the kitchen when cakes do not go the way that the bakers planned. The comments from the judges are entertaining too: the professional baker Paul Hollywood sometimes gives harsh criticism whereas Mary Berry, a famous food writer, always finds something encouraging to say even if the cake is horrible!

The Great British Bake Off is very comforting to watch because it presents an idyllic view of British culture. The competition takes place in a tent decorated with colourful flags, in the grounds of an old English house. Home baking has always been an important part of UK culture and recently the trend for making cakes and bread at home has risen. For example, decorated cupcakes have become a huge craze in Britain and abroad. The recent economic recession made it necessary for many families to cut back on their spending but baking is an activity that can bring a lot of pleasure for very little money.

I don’t usually watch a lot of television but I watch The Great British Bake Off every week. I think that it encourages lots of young people like me to bake regularly. This week I made chocolate chip cookies and French macaroons!


Do you like baking? What's your favourite type of cake or biscuit? 


MALINE's picture
MALINE 27 October, 2013 - 19:24

I love cakes I wish I could bake them,I´ll just have to eat them. :-)
My favorite cake is three milk cake and impossible cake.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 28 October, 2013 - 03:35

What’s impossible cake? I’m curious! I know a lot of different types of cake but this one’s a new one for me!
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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EleanorC's picture
EleanorC 15 October, 2013 - 16:38

I've missed watching The Great British Bake Off. I tried to make scones yesterday but they were terrible!

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Gana1's picture
Gana1 1 October, 2013 - 21:32

My family never expected from me to cook or bake,sometimes they say to me,you need to learn how to cook it's embarrassing not to know,although I do surprise them I make some cookies and cakes ,but that doesn't happened very often. :)))

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learningenglish282's picture
learningenglish282 29 September, 2013 - 14:57

i like cupcakes, i really want to know how to bake a cake. My mom doesn't know how to bake either :)) but she can cook many great dishes. maybe i will attend a cooking class to learn how to cook after i graduate from High School :]

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HereWeGo's picture
HereWeGo 29 September, 2013 - 11:18

I have never baked anything. I told my mother: "Mum, can I bake/cook something?" and she told me: "I still can cook, so you don't need to do that. Mothers often say: You should try to cook something taste, but my mother doesn't like to see me cooking. She thinks that I'm not as old as It need to cook. But many of my friend can cook.

P.S LearnEnglish Teens, thanks a lot. This page is great. I've had problems with talking with people, but now, I think It' s not a problem. I can talk almost without mistakes. I Love this page!

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ellen's picture
ellen 28 September, 2013 - 16:05

Yummyyyyyyyyy its view very tasty.
i like very much baking. It is very amazing.
My favorite type of cake are ~pakhlava~ AND ~Azerbaijan national cake is Shakarbura~.
Really very nice sweet cake.I would like to offer you a dish of food to come and it's delightful.

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Hanna's picture
Hanna 28 September, 2013 - 10:28

I like baking and I do it well) I like to bake cakes, cookies and biscuits. My signature dishes are eclairs with chocolate and rogaliky(they are like croissant but made with yeasted dough). Also I help my mom to bake cakes for my and my relatives birthdays.

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sailor moon's picture
sailor moon 26 September, 2013 - 16:11

i love biscuits especially the biscuits with butter.
i also love the chocolates. they`re so delicious ! ymmy !!!

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 25 September, 2013 - 19:37

I like baking and I actually can bake some tasty cakes. Nothing too complicated, simply, but tasty. My favourite type of cake is chocolate cake and I can make it. I also can make fruit cake, yougurt cake and peanuts cake.

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Moldir123's picture
Moldir123 23 September, 2013 - 18:21

i have never bake anything, and my mom often scolds to me, and says " you already 17 years old, and you have never bake something for us, it's so terrible, imagine that you would marry during the next 3- 4 years, i think you want to disgrace me, because you even can not cook something tasty and original!" these words are driving me crazy! i must to train, have some practice and try to bake something cool!

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 24 September, 2013 - 13:05

OMG your mother is the same as mine, Moldir. She often complains to me about me can't make a good meal. Then she always asks me what happens if I get married in the next few years. Well I haven't thought about it so far. I feel I'm just a kid. And my mom always worries about my job, my husband in the future.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 24 September, 2013 - 05:34

Hi Moldir123! Maybe you can ask your mother if you can bake something together? Then you can watch how she does it and get involved too. And you'll have a delicious cake you can eat and share, too. :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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