The Stylist Cake Off is back this week to make everything biscuit-based, but how do you make sure you don’t crumble under the pressure?
To coincide with this week’s Great British Bake Off biscuit challenge, cupcake queen to the stars Lily Vanilli shares her top tips for novice biscuit bakers attempting to create the perfect crunch.
Her number one tip for novice bakers:
“Spend some time learning the basics and get a bit of background understanding of what you're doing when you follow the recipe, for example, why are the different steps of the method in place? Why does the recipe specify the temperatures of ingredients?
If you have read about and understood some of these basic things you immediately improve, and if you grasp them then you can go on to experiment successfully with your own creative bakes.”
The kitchen utensil she can’t live without:
“A plastic scraper! You can buy them cheaply & they are so helpful for so many things. It’s like a baking app for your hand.”
Most memorable bake:
“It’s so hard to choose! I never make the same cake twice so I'm always looking for something new - looking forwards rather than backwards. My favourite is usually the most recent so right now it's my friend Nova's wedding cake from last Saturday.”
What to do if you make a mistake:
“If it’s for someone else I always start again. I still eat the mistakes though!”
Lily’s biggest learning curve over the years:
“Learning to tear up the rule book a bit and start to trust my instincts - I'm a self-taught baker so it took me a while to accept that it was okay to go against the grain, I always felt like I'd sneaked in the back door somehow.”
What makes a good biscuit:
“It depends what you’re going for! There are some many kinds. fruity, crumbly, chocolatey, nutty, crisp, chewy - if you're going to have something so decadent then make sure it’s exactly as you like it.”
Her number one ingredient she’s using at the moment:
“Its summer so lots of fresh fruit, berries - white currants! its the best time of year for a baker, I feel spoiled.”