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Q&A: Deborah

We nabbed Deborah for a quick chat…

What first inspired you to bake?

Doing home economics at school. My teacher, Miss Whittle, was thoroughly enthusiastic about baking and made it achievable for all of us.

What has been your biggest baking disaster ever?

It would be making a cake by following a recipe from a renowned chef; something I rarely do preferring to use them merely as inspiration. The recipe had too much baking powder in it but I still followed it blindly resulting in what looked like a volcano of ingredients. I could not believe I managed to make such a mess and I hate waste!

And your baking triumph ever?

I made all the party favour wedding cakes for my sister’s wedding that replicated her main cake, which was made by a friend. I managed to do them whilst living in a caravan between house moves. They were very well received and they are still a strong memory

How does the presence of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry affect your nerves in the kitchen?

I found Mary reassuring, like a favourite teacher, so I was keen to ensure she was happy with my food.

Which past Bake Off contestants have impressed you the most and why?

Jo Wheatley because she started her baking journey, it appears, from a similar perspective to myself and Brendan Lynch because he has an amazing amount of knowledge and I love his dedication to promoting baking in residential care homes.

What is your biggest fear in the kitchen?

Lack of time. At home I make sure I do not put myself under unnecessary time pressures so that I am happy with the results and can enjoy the process.

Tea or coffee? Coffee

White or brown bread? Brown

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

Paul or Mary? Mary