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Q&A: Ian

The Dalal Lamai’s personal photographer on his biggest baking triumph…

What first inspired you to bake?

No meal felt complete without a pudding and although I used to be happy to eat shop made puddings and cakes I soon realised that if I wanted something decent I had to make it myself.

What has been your biggest baking disaster ever?

I think it was a jam roly-poly which we nicknamed the Coelacanth. A Coelacanth is a grey fish that is often known as a living fossil since it has been around since the time of dinosaurs. The jam roly poly somehow just turned into a rather prehistoric looking grey lump. Then we had to clean all the beef suet off the pan that had leaked out – the final grim, grey insult from the pudding.

And your baking triumph ever?

Many years ago my wife worked in South Sudan for Médecins Sans Frontières. Before I left, I cooked a tinned pineapple crumble. It wasn’t my finest bake but the fact it was made in a DIY bodge of an oven, and that a crumble had probably never been baked for hundreds of miles around, made it my most satisfying.

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

I would have to pick Richard Burr – he was consistently good and relaxed.

What is your biggest fear in the kitchen?

Setting fire to it!

Quick questions…

  • Tea or coffee? Coffee
  • White or brown bread? Brown
  • Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
  • Paul or Mary? Neither – I’ll do my own thing!