The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) has become a well-known TV show in households across the UK, and Pluto were lucky enough to speak to 2015 contestant and Preston resident, Dorret Conway.
Dorret studied Business and Spanish at UCLan and even lectured in the subjects at the university, but she is most well-known for her appearance as a contestant on this year’s GBBO.
As a fan of the show from series one her family have been encouraging her to apply and when series 6 came around she did. “I didn’t tell anyone I was applying and then afterwards it had to be kept secret so not many people knew.”
Although Dorret left in the third week of the show she still has so many memorable moments both on and off screen. “My stand out baking moment has to be winning the technical challenge on week 2 when we had to make the arlettes because I actually managed to make them exactly as they were supposed to be.”
Dorret first started baking at secondary school as a compulsory subject. “We did a lot of baking and I loved it! It was definitely one of my favourite subjects.” She said. One of her favourite things to bake are desserts for dinner parties she throws with her husband.
Her inspiration for desserts come from restaurants they eat at and cooking shows like MasterChef, as well as her collection of recipe books.
Having a sweet tooth means she is usually torn between all of the desserts on the menu but Dorret’s feel good dessert is a bakewell tart.
Baking is something fun to do but with many students on a budget it isn’t always realistic, but luckily Dorret has some tips for students.
“Many recipes were created to use food that is slightly past its best e.g. bread and butter pudding so baking is a great way to make your money go further and avoid having to throw food away.”
Her tips include getting kitted out with basic essentials. Bowl, baking sheet, wooden spoon, rolling pin, muffin tray and asking family and friends if they have an items they can donate to your collection. But you can also improvise, glass tumbler are perfect for cutting scones and biscuit dough.
Dorret also suggests to start with simple bakes. “Choose things sweet or savoury that don’t need a lot of gas/electricity to cook or expensive ingredients, and don’t take lots of time to prepare.”
An easy recipe Dorret would advise starting with is scones as they are “quite quick to make, cost effective and you are likely to have the ingredients. You can make sweet or savoury scones and they are great any time of day and can be toasted when they have just lost their freshness.”
Her final tip for getting into baking is to approach it as a hobby. “Make things you actually like eating.” You can also bake with friends to share the cost.
Many people see baking as sweets and treats that are essentially unhealthy but Dorret believes baking can be healthy as well.
“For me healthy eating means having a balanced diet consisting of food with high nutritional value made with good quality ingredients.
“When you bake or cook for yourself you are in control of the ingredients and can control the amount of fat, sugar and additives in your food.
“There are lots of great things to bake – sweet and savoury – that tick all the healthy food boxes.” She added.
Although Dorret did not make it to the next round of the show we wish her all the best of luck in her baking and we hope to try her arlettes one day.
The Great British Bake Off in on BBC One every Wednesday night at 8pm or you can watch it on BBC iPlayer.