Q & A with The Hazlebury Kitchen15th August 2018
How long have you been baking and what made you decide to be a baker?
I started baking with my Grandmother who was designated baker for every occasion from birthdays to village fetes, using simple basic ingredients- the cakes were nothing fancy but always tasted divine! I started baking a little more seriously during university whilst studying Food Production Management at The Royal Agricultural University but I didn’t channel my energy towards it whole heartedly until I moved to South West London, where I named my cake company after the sweet road that we live on- The Hazlebury Kitchen.
Can you talk us through your style of baking?
I bake through my grandmother’s legacy- simple, wholesome, quality ingredients, always local where possible; the raspberries, blackberries and black currents are all picked in my mother’s Suffolk vegetable garden, my homemade elderflower cordial, apple juice and sloe gin make their way into the infusions. I use Billingtons unrefined sugar and raw organic cacao powder in my sponges. Using quality ingredients means that my cakes are trustworthy, delicious and somewhat nutritious!
Which baker has influenced you most during your career?
Mary Berry- who else!
What are your favourite garnishes to use when decorating a cake?
Nurtured in Norfolk’s edible flowers! They are just beautiful and it always surprises me how just many fresh, vibrant flowers are included in each box- and their shelf life is lovely and long as well; I often use left overs in my own salads and other savoury home suppers. They really do bring a cake to life- I see a buttercream wedding cake as a huge blank canvas and adding the edible flowers transforms the visual appearance into a stunning, colourful and natural creation! They also reflect my baking mantra- using quality, seasonal, local produce on the outside as well as the inside.
What is your favourite product to work with?
My mother-in-law’s eggs from her ‘rescue’ chickens- they have golden orange yolks and make the fluffiest sponges!
What does the future hold for you as a baker, what is your ambition?
I am loving the journey that my baking is taking me on; it is so very varied and opens my doors to the most amazing people. My job allows me to really utilise my creative side because every single cake I make is totally bespoke and I love working on projects that reflect the clients’ personality and individual flare. My next step would be to start growing my edible flowers but for the moment I am just enjoying each cake I make!