Sunday, 20 March 2011

Battle of the Cake Shows

There has been an explosion of cake related programmes hitting our screens. The leading heads of these programmes happen to be: "Ace of Cakes", "Ultimate Cake Off", "Cupcake Wars" and "Cake Boss". I am not complaining, I mean who doesn't like cake.

Ace of Cakes paved the way in 2006 and has lead to this revolution of frosting covered cake perfection. This is a show that in makes every programme the focus of a week in the life of a specialised cake shop headed by Duff Goldman. The programme has a well groomed essence to it with ten seasons behind it, every year it does get better because it has to to get people to watch it, and this is great. I have lots of problems with the programme though, the main problem is the cakes- they aren't really that good: if you look up the price of them on the Internet they cost a couple of thousand pounds which is ridiculous for cake which is 50/ 50 when it comes to whether there amazing (R2D2 made out of cake sort of amazing), or simply a bodge job that barely gets a mention on the show. One of my biggest problems with the whole thing is Duff himself, at the start (in the first few seasons that I watched) he is bearable and you find him to be just the cake dude, but then after a while you get the picture that he is just this barrel of annoying, money grabbing ego obssesed geek who barely ever makes any of the cakes but still manages to get the glory.

Cupcake Wars is a lot more bitchy than the other cake programmes and at the same time it is the most boring. The idea that the teams in the programmes simply have to make a batch of cup cakes is just a bit unshocking and unamazing. Still its a good laugh and the competitive element is great.

Cake Boss is amazing in the sense that it is Ace of Cakes but ten times better. Cake Boss started in 2009 and it is about family run bakers that speacialises in amazing cakes run by Buddy Valastro. It is better in the way that the cake shop is a working bakery already and that they have been doing the same as Ace of Cakes for years. The cakes are ten times more amazing (in most cases) and the skill involved is ten fold. The way that it is family run is interesting to the programme because it creates a great comedy value that is not forced or weird like in Ace of Cakes.

Ultimate Cake Off beats hands down when it comes to the actual cakes because unlike those created in Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes the contestants don't have a matter of days to make a cake but instead they only have several hours. Of course the programme is contrived and even the judges, that are the same every week, have no real connection with the audience (something that could be changed by getting hold of John and Greg from Masterchef). Anyway that cakes are amazing and bringing them together in so short a time is also amazing. The best bits have to be when the cakes fall over.

Therefore I conclude if you want some original, slightly annoying cake fun watch Ace of Cakes. If you want to see competition watch Ultimate Cake Off or Cupcake Wars. Finally Cake Boss wins hands down, enjoyable fun with Buddy and all his family of cake makers.

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