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Ugne’s Magic Moments

I have had a love of baking which has lasted for years, it has always been in my life, As a young girl in Lithuania I would be in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother learning from them, and now it has become part of who I am.  We lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere, it was idyllic countryside with organic homegrown vegetables, fruit and berries.  The jams and compotes were homemade and tasted great as the fruit grown outside our house.

I love baking for the family and my signature dish that I have mastered over the years has to be chocolate fondant.  It always comes out perfect, and chocolate is the best treat in the world for me.

When I walked into the tent for the first time, it was really freezing, but my palms were sweating, and I thought “oh my goodness, here are Mary & Paul and here we go”, but inside I had a rollercoaster of emotions. I had so many best moments in the tent, I enjoyed the journey from the beginning.  If I had to single out a moment it would be getting approval from Mary and Paul that really would make my day.  I pour my heart into my baking and when the judges praised me it gave me confidence and boosted my self-esteem.

My worst moment was the week I left, it’s a terrible moment when you know that your baking has failed, and your dreams are crumbling around you.  I did cry on screen and I want to cry when I think about it as it brings so much emotion back to me.   I got to five weeks and I do feel that it is such a great achievement, but the competitive side of me would have liked to have got to the Final.

I like to make healthy bakes, and if you do everything in moderation you can lead a healthy life, and still look good.  I am trying to use flour alternatives, less butter, and less refined sugar by using honey instead.  I am trying to make the bakes appealing at the same time as being a healthier option.

The bakers are such an amazing talented bunch, they are all unique in their own way, and it was a pleasure to get to know them and bake with them in the same tent.  We all keep in touch regularly, and we are a good support system to each other.

It was really hard work, but I would go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat.  I feel I have learned a lot from it.  I think I have improved my baking and learned to monitor my time better.  In the tent it was such a great feeling to know the bakers are there for each other.  It was a life changing opportunity.

At home each week I follow the theme of the episode and bake something relevant and then sit with the family and watch it.  Sometimes I have a glass of champagne to celebrate the episode, and I know from now on I will be toasting my fellow bakers each week and watching their progress intently.