Joining me for todays Q&A is the lovely Claire Goodwin! Claire lives in Cheshire, where she works as a speech and language therapist. She has been baking since she was 11 years old. Both her mother and grandmother were wedding cake decorators and her father a chef.
Claire sadly left the tent in week one but left a fab impression with her sweet disposition and bright personality!
How has life been since leaving the tent?
As I left on the first weekend, I had the summer to myself really. Previous to the tent you do lots of recipe development once you know you are in the final 12. Prior to that it is all auditions and interviews. A really hectic time really. Between leaving the tent and the press releases a week before the first transmission it was quite a lull really with the exception of filming the final at Welford Hall and the filming of my Extra Slice. During the summer I was able to plan and design my website with a lovely web company and gear myself up for what the production staff kept saying would be the ‘madness’. It was only when the press releases came out a week before that everything started to get really hectic and the realisation of how big all of this was hit me. Even though I went in the first week, I was so proud to have been part of it.
What one memory from being on the Bake Off will stay with you?
I have so many, but one that stands out involves Sue Perkins. When I had finished my Swiss Roll (which did not look like that at home) I stood back and looked at it. I wasn’t happy. I had battled with my ganache splitting and going bitty (I made that ganache five times in the tent, desperately hoping the cocoa content of the chocolate would miraculously deplete each time) I split the bloody thing rolling it up roll and then I had manically started tried to decorate with fondant what I hoped would be a beautiful rustic orange tree and a few leaves and oranges, dusted with lustre dust. Anyway, Sue came over and said ‘Why is there a Claw on your Swiss Roll’, accompanied by Freddie Kruger type movements and a few horror movie noises. I started laughing and joined in with the claw movements. Then, every time I looked down at my horrifying Swiss Roll, I knew I was going home. I’ll send you a pic of it!
If you had stayed on GBBO, what week would you have rocked?
A few of them. I had a cracker of a recipe for bread week, which involved stuffing a full English breakfast into a loaf and calling it The Great British Breakfast Loaf. It’s bread week this week so I’m making it. I’ll put it up on my website when I have taken some pics. I really thought my pies were great too. I did a recipe for self saucing puddings that I was particularly proud of which was sticky toffee pudding with a melting penuche centre. I’ll pop the recipe up on my site on pudding week. I felt so disappointed that I didn’t get to show the judges what I really could do!
Do you still keep in touch with the other contestants?
We talk every day. We have our own little virtual chatroom. We also meet up when we can and are going to meet up in September. Also I will be seeing them for the final Extra Slice filming too. It’s been an awesome experience. I have met so many lovely people and all of the bakers I admire individually for differing reasons. I suppose without Bake Off we would be a bit of a Motley Crew but we are a little bit like a family now.
Claire’s chocolate and cherry cakes.
What was the best thing that happened during your experience?
I think being able to have the opportunity to write has been awesome for me. The Bake Off has given me a little audience that likes to read my ramblings on my blog posts. There are only a few at the moment, but I am planning to expand my website as much as I can over the coming weeks.
1. What is your favourite thing to bake?
A lovely fluffy white loaf
2. Define your baking style in three words.
Creative, inventive, therapeutic
3. What is the best advice you have been given?
Keep talking, no matter how small your problems may feel like they are to others, keep talking.
4. Sweet or savoury?
A little from column A and a little from column B. Don’t restrict me!
5. Finish the sentence: “Baking, to me…”
Baking, to me, relaxes my brain and feeds my soul.”
Thank you so much for joining me Claire! You were awesome and I look forward to seeing what you get up to next!
You can keep up with Claire’s latest goings on at www.baketherapy.co.uk and on Twitter – @bake_therapist
Tonight is bread week on Great British Bake Off! I will be, as always, live tweeting throughout the show so join in the conversation with me here or on Facebook!