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Q&A: Ugne

Ugne reveals what inspired her to bake…

What’s inspired you to bake?

I was brought up in rural Lithuania with small farms all around us. My family baked a lot and all the produce used in the bakes was always fresh and straight from the land e.g. the flour was ground at a small mill down the road, the berries/nuts and fruits from our land.  Everything tasted delicious as the quality was superb. These early memories of my family’s home bakes is what originally inspired me along with the great modern day bakers from Europe and the US. I am big on the quality of the ingredients in my baking as it defines the taste, texture et al.

What has been your biggest baking disaster ever?

It doesn’t matter how skilled a baker you are, you will always run into a disaster from time to time.  I am known for being experimental with my baking and this can be risky.  Where there is risk there is an element of possible failure, but if you pull it off the final product can be phenomenal!

I think my biggest disaster so far was my first ‘go’ at making Macarons – BIG fail and they ended up something which replicates a Tuile!  Making the perfect Macaron is an art in itself!

And your baking triumph ever?

I think my biggest baking triumph was to make bakes good enough to be considered to be on the GBBO!

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

At the start of filming the first episode it is fairly daunting, but you are so focussed on getting your bakes right, you don’t worry about Paul and Mary hanging about.

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

Without a doubt for me it was Frances Quinn – she was always really imaginative/creative with her bakes and she had a good understanding of how to put ingredients together so that they work.

What is your biggest fear in the kitchen?

A bake can quickly be ruined by over or under baking so it is forever testing. If you lose focus in the kitchen it’s easily done so I am forever conscious of not over or underdoing my bakes!  It can be costly!

Quick questions…

Tea or coffee? Coffee
White or brown bread? Fresh Home Baked Granary – my way!
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate – no contest!
Paul or Mary? Team Mary!