Category Archives: Ramblings

2010 Roundup

Its fair to say 2010 has been one amazing year. I started off working as a litigation clerk for a bank, a job I really didnt enjoy, and ended up the year by basically becoming self employed about to embark on some massive changes. You could say that my life has turned upside down. I, slightly reluctantly, entered The Great British Bake Off and beyond all my expectations I only went and won! Along the way there was of course a lot of baking, many cookbooks bought (a practice I have had to stop, cant justify cookbooks with no income!) and a holiday to Paris. Since ive been too busy to blog the way I would like I thought I would do a roundup of my favourite recipes, cookbooks etc of the year. Continue reading


The Great British Bake Off – Series 2

Sorry for not posting much recently but I’ve been very busy, actually I’ll hopefully have some big news to share soon.  The Great British Bake Off was the best thing I have ever done, it lead to some amazing experiences and I had a wonderful time filming the show, which brings me to the point of this post.  The show is getting a second series and the BBC is looking for 10 more amateur bakers who love home baking and want to put there skills to the test, and steal my title! If you are interested and want to find out more email or call 020 7067 4876

If you fancy it but are not sure, I’m happy to answer any questions about the process you might have. Just leave a comment and I’ll answer.

To apply you must be over 16 on 1 April 2011. As an ‘amateur baker’ your main source of income cannot come from commercial baking in a professional environment and you cannot have ever worked full-time as a baker or chef. You cannot have acquired any catering NVQ or other professional catering qualifications in the past 10 years.

Further Info

– There have been a couple of requests for more info about the application and audition process so here is how it worked for me. This does not mean it will be the same this year but it might help.

The first stage was a paper application, which is quite long but nothing scary or out of the ordinary. This was followed by a phone call to get a feel for you and to flesh out what I wrote in the application. The first major part was the first audition, where you took some baked goods to a kind of mock judging with the judges, this was immediately followed by a screen test. After all this there was a bit of a gap but once everyone else had been seen you then heard if you got through to the final audition, a mini bakeoff to see how you coped with cameras and time limits. This was when you wait to find out the verdict. I cant remember the exact time line but I do know I applied in February and found out I was on the show in May. Filming took place over 7-8 weeks mainly on the weekends. Whilst that may seem not too intense, bear in mind you have normal life, recipe writing, and practice in between filming too. Yes it is intense but it is also a lot of fun and obviously, it can lead to exciting things so its well worth a go.

The Great British Bake Off

So the secret is finally out, I won The Great British Bake Off and it has been the most amazing past couple of days. I wanted to write a short post to say thank you for all the emails and support I have received over the last six weeks as the show has aired and especially over the last two days as the result was finally revealed. I have had to keep it a secret for so long that it was such a weight off my shoulders to finally be able to shout it from the rooftops. When I was watching the show even I felt nervous, actually I felt sick to my stomach. As I was watching I started noticing emails coming in and over the last 24 hours I have actually received so many it’s been so hard to keep up (most were just Twitter so didn’t need responding). Today my feet have barely touched the ground I started the day at 6.30am and was on way to the BBC for 7am where I had interviews with Gaby Roslin on Radio London, Chris Evans on Radio 2 then amazingly I even did a live tv interview on BBC Breakfast which turned out to be much less daunting then I expected. In total I think I did around 20 different interviews. Even though it was tiring it was amazing and fascinating and I still can’t quite believe it’s happening to me.

Continue reading

Ice Cream and a Book

Its funny but as I get older I seem to find more links from family in the past that involve food. I always knew my Uncles were Butchers (of sorts they sold mostly cooked meats) and that my Grandfather ran market stalls across lancashire selling meats as well as biscuits during the war, which were a luxury due to rationing. Recently though I found out my Great Grandfather was an ice cream man. I found this out after making my first ever batch of ice cream this past weekend. I had been waiting for my ice cream maker to arrive for what seemed like ages and when it did finally arrive last friday it went straight in the freezer and as soon as I could I whipped up a batch of Butterscotch Pecan from the amazing book by David Lebovitz – “The Perfect Scoop” which David had suggested in an interview on Continue reading

Treat to Myself


I have been wanting to buy a mixer for a long time and this weekend I opened my wallet and parted with my cash and treated myself to a lovely Kitchenaid Artisan mixer. Annoyingly in the UK for some reason they cost so much more then thy do in the US but now that ive got it I don’t even mind. Im so happy with it, to give it a test run (like I needed an excuse) I made a cake for my Brothers birthday. I was requested to make a red velvet cake after the success of my cupcakes. I used the exact same recipe but as originally intended as a cake. 






 I wasn’t really paying attention to the  time but everything seemed a bit easier  and i ended up with a little less to clean  up












As before I used the basic cream cheese frosting but I think was a little mistake. Whilst it tasted great it just wasn’t thick enough to hold up properly so next time I make this ill try the frosting recipe in the Baked book




In May im going to New York and im so excited I cant wait. I am however a bit of a list person and I like to plan ahead. Tonight I sat down with a slice of the cake and planned some of my trip. If anyone has any must do suggestions drop me a line or leave a comment