Nancy Birtwhistle

Probably one of the biggest highlights of mine and Stacy’s day on Friday at the BBC Good Food Show was meeting Nancy Birtwhistle the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2014.

We had the pleasure of listening to her talk about her experience on the show and her life outside of the Bake Off.

What a lot of people don’t know is that Nancy first auditioned to appear on the series previous in 2013 but was unfortunately unsuccessful. However this extra year helped her really perfect her skills which is clearly why she was then picked to go on the show and end up winning.

Despite the success that Nancy has had, she still enjoys the simple things in life. She made us laugh when she said every morning she is up hoovering her kitchen and cycling to the shop. Much to the embarrassment of her children!

We were desperate to find out all the juicy gossip from the show and we were informed that prior to the show Nancy had to go through a series of gruelling auditions which at the time seemed tough however for her, they were really worth it!

We were invited to ask some questions and one lady asked how to make good meringues. Nancy’s response was simple, make sure you have a low pre heated oven of 120 degrees Celsius and ensure you put the sugar in gradually. When you have finished baking keep the meringues in the oven with the door open preferably overnight. This will ensure they are most delicious!

When asked about all the cooking gadgets Nancy’s husband makes for her, she told us about a most recent piece of equipment made for Easter. This was an egg stand that had a handle so it could be carried around. Perfect for Easter egg hunts with the family.

We were both able to get our questions answered and we got two fantastic responses…

Q: With the technical challenges, were there any weeks where you just wanted to give up with any of them?

A: I used to find myself so often at the front of the tent and there is nobody to copy off of, whereas if you are at the back you can sort of have a look around and see what everybody’s doing but when you’re at the front you can’t. The worst technical challenge for me was where Chetna had made something very similar in the signature challenge, it was a sort of bread thing and everybody’s was raw. Of course the instructions are really vague, it just said egg white, icing sugar and lemon juice to decorate. I thought this is straight forward, it’s a royal icing so I made this and I was the only person in the tent who made this! The other’s painted the egg white on the bread and then drizzled on lemon juice and icing sugar which is what you were supposed to do but mine was an awful crispy and hard royal icing on the top! How I didn’t get the bullet that week, I don’t know!

Q: What’s one piece of equipment in your kitchen you couldn’t live without?

A: Electric hand whisk. I’ve got a table top mixer, but to be honest it takes too long to wash up and I use it for bread but I don’t wash it up in between! The bowl is usually left quite clean! But an electric hand whisk I use for everything. I use it for cake making, I use it for mashed potatoes, to thicken up cream, I have it out all the time. The table top mixer is fine and so many people say to me they really want one but I rarely use mine!

It was absolutely brilliant meeting Nancy and finding out all the gossip! What a lovely lady and a very worthy winner!


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