Baking Impossible

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A scene in Baking Impossible.
A scene in Baking Impossible.
Photo: Netflix


Baking Impossible




3/5 Stars


Top bakers and engineers team up to build edible creations that must taste delicious and survive intense engineering stress tests to win $100 000.


If I hadn't become a journalist, my next career choice would have been an extreme baker. It has always been my dream to work for the Cake Boss and participate in every themed baking competition show Food Network has to offer. Still, even I have grown tired of the recent baking shows on offer.

From the Great British Bake Off (and SA Bake Off) on BBC to Nailed It on Netflix – all the baking competitions feel like they belong in the same WhatsApp group. However, Baking Impossible has brought a new recipe to the kitchen and coined a new word I think many bakers will be using.

Conceived by former Great British Bake Off contestant Andrew Smyth – who is also an aerospace engineer and presenter – the premise of the show pairs innovative bakers with the niftiest engineers to compete in designing and baking creations that are both delicious and made to survive intense engineering stress tests.

Host, entertainer and pun master of the show is American musician Justin Willman. Alongside Smyth on the judging panel are baking experts Joanne Chang and Dr Hakeem Oluseyi, an astrophysicist and current professor at the Florida Institute of Technology. This is the first tick Baking Impossible earned in my book. More often than not, judging panels – for most competition shows, not only baking – are made up of people who are there either because of their celebrity status or because they have merely dabbled in the competition genre and consider themselves in the know. This show, however, has a judging panel that is made up of professionals in both the baking and engineering world. These judges actually know what they are talking about and give credible advice when something doesn't quite work out or go according to plan for the contestants.

The second tick in my book goes to the originality of this show and the effort put into following the premise while still making things fun, exciting and worth watching. Merging baking and engineering to make what Smyth has coined as 'bakeneering' is something totally new, and wow! The finished products these baker and engineer teams create are seriously out of this world. From fully functioning robots that are totally edible to floating ships made of cake and gingerbread skyscrapers that can withstand any earthquake - innovation is the name of the game. The contestants waste no time in showing what they can do.

While I thoroughly enjoyed watching this baking competition show, there are a couple of negatives on my snag list. Firstly, the way the show's timeline is structured makes no sense to me – the contestants are given anywhere between 9 to 13 hours to complete a mission. Yet, after revealing the winners and losers of the mission, they go straight into the next mission. Thus they never change clothes or show a new day. Obviously, each challenge has to take place on a new day, and the judges appear in different outfits for each mission, signifying this. So, why make it seem like time doesn't change or move forward for the contestants? It just seems weird and did distract me a little.

The second negative is that I would not recommend binging this series. It is something to take in small bites of two or three episodes to snack on when unwinding. Although each mission is different and more challenging than the previous one, I did get a little tired six episodes and six hours in.

Minor negatives aside, Baking Impossible is the freshly baked good in the kitchen waiting to be tasted. It's perfectly cooked, with good texture with just enough zing to keep you going back for more.


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