23/08/2012 16:56 | By Stuart Dredge, contributor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

The Great British Bake Off: app review

Rolling pins at the ready for this stylish cookery app.


Great British Bake Off app review (© Random House)

What is it?
The official companion app for The Great British Bake Off, the BBC homebaking contest that's about to start a third series.

Coolest feature
Jam. Sponges. Crumbles. Beef and red wine pie. And a chocolate hotpot. This app is all about the lip-smackingly delicious recipes on offer.

Platforms
iPhone - £2.99

Review
When The Great British Bake Off was first pitched as a TV show, it was hard to imagine a contest for home-bakers revolving around pies, bread and pastries would turn into a huge hit on Twitter.

Yet it did, with the power of the second screen (i.e. people tweeting from their sofas about cakes) making The Great British Bake Off a bona-fide word-of-mouth smash.

Now, with a third series about to air, there's an app for that. It's the work of book publisher Random House, which makes the official books for the BBC's show.

That said, the app isn't for use while watching TV. Instead, it's a straight recipes app, offering 50 of the tastiest recipes from Random House's two GBBO books (which, in turn, came from the last two series of the show).

Great British Bake Off app review (© Random House)

The recipes are divided into five categories: Cakes, Biscuits, Bread, Pastry and Puddings. Each recipe comes with an overview (including a "skill level" star rating), a list of ingredients and step-by-step cooking instructions.

A search function lets you filter the recipes in different ways: by baker, occasion, ingredient or difficulty, and you can star recipes that you like to store them as favourites for speedy access.

Who wants to get floury fingers all over their shiny iPhone screen, though? Like some other cooking app developers, Random House has thought about this: if you lay your iPhone flat and tap a 'touch-free' button, you can wave a hand back and forth above the screen to step forward and back in recipes.

There's also a nifty shopping list feature, which enables you to add individual ingredients or everything from a particular recipe, for quick reference in the supermarket.

Social features include the encouragement to take photos of your bakes and share them on Twitter or Facebook - complete with a #GBBO hashtag in the former case.

The app doesn't go further than that on the social front, for example pulling in tweets about the show as each episode airs. That said, most fans will probably rather see them using their main Twitter app, rather than one devoted to a single show.

Hopefully there'll be recipe updates during the series, to ensure new creations cooked in the shows are makeable at home too.

In the meantime, The Great British Bake Off is a polished cookery app with plenty of tasty treats to explore. The proof of its ultimate quality, of course, will be in the eating...

5 stars

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