Amy Cutmore, Ideal Home’s Girl About Tech meets Richard Burr, a finalist on The Great British Bake Off to talk ovens, baking and kitchens.
How do AEG’s Steam Bake ovens compare to others you’ve used?
My favourite thing is that you no longer have to ruin a baking tray if you want to get water in your oven. Normally if I’ve put water into a baking tray it’s quickly become rusted and knackered out. Now they have inserted an element which makes the steam rise so it makes it a much cleaner process. The difference a steam bake oven and a normal oven is just a better quality of steam. If you are chucking water in an oven you are using the whole of the oven to generate steam. The fact that these ovens have an element underneath means you are getting an excellent hit of steam.
What other gadgets do you never bake without?
I cannot live without my stand mixer.
The first thing you ever cooked?
Pancakes – I used to get my Dad to flip them for me!
What’s the story with the ever-present pencil behind your ear?
I have become pretty well known on TV for having a pencil behind my ear. They are my business cards now!
What’s a good show-stopping bake for a less confident cook?
If you are not that confident with baking then the easiest thing is a traditional WI-method Victoria Sponge.
What have you been up to since the Bake Off finished?
I got the chance to do a book which was a great experience. I’ve been running around showing off! I’ve done some baking for London Zoo. I did a birthday cake for a guerilla last year which was fun. And in December my wife had our 3rd baby, so we’ve been busy!
Do you have an unfulfilled baking ambition?
If I had my time again I’d have made my wedding cake. Maybe if my wife and I renew our vows I’ll make a cake!
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Can you give us one really amazing baking tip?
If I had a tip for anyone who wants to start baking I would say don’t focus on your finished product. Whenever people are making or building something they have a crystallized view of what they want to achieve and if they don’t achieve it they feel like they have failed. Baking is an organic process, things happen, so have fun with it.