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Q&A: Paul

Paul on the bakers that inspired him to apply…

What first inspired you to bake?

I was brought up in an era where there was home baking and cooking. I don’t like processed foods and have an appreciation of good food and good baking so this inspired me to learn it from an early age. I found that I loved it.

What has been your biggest baking disaster ever?

When I have tried recipes off the internet, and not by my usual go-to chefs and bakers.

And your baking triumph ever?

I have made a three-tier wedding cake for a friend, which was a beautifully moist victoria sponge with homemade strawberry champagne jam with champagne syrup and buttercream. I made a chrysanthemum bouquet out of sugar paste and it was the start of my sugar craft hobby.

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

Paul made me feel at ease and Mary was so nice. I was just nervous about messing it all up.

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

There have been many contestants that I have liked, but it was last year’ s Richard Burr that got me filling me in the application form. He impressed me for being just an ordinary bloke, a dad, baking at home, just like myself. I loved the fact that he had no frills but enjoyed the baking, and he was just a happy bloke.

I liked the bakers that just didn’t take themselves too seriously. I loved Chetna and Kate for smiling all the time. Mary-Anne was so inventive, Jordan was unique and just a lovely bloke. Norman stood up for what he liked. There are so many, which is why I love the show.

What is your biggest fear in the kitchen?

The cooker not working, a black out!

Quick questions…

Tea or coffee?  I like both, but for different times of the day.
White or brown bread? I like my own baked white bread, but will only eat brown bread if shop bought.
Chocolate or vanilla? Together!
Paul or Mary? Together!