My background is a mixed bag. I was born in Glasgow, Scotland and I studied for a BSc degree in mathematics & business before working for a major pension company. I took time out to have a family, but damaged my back & was unable to go back to the workplace.
Having a creative, artistic, enquiring mind, I had to concentrate my mind with something that could occupy me but be productive too. I had not grown-up learning to bake like so many people have. So with more health problems, & an intolerance to artificial sweeteners, (that are in everything by the way, not just diet foods & drinks), I decided to stop relying on processed & convenience foods so much.
From there I started watching The Great British Bake Off & Anna Olson on TV – ALL THE TIME! Having an academic background and love of science, I put my all into learning how to bake and make things from scratch.
Using that enquiring mind, I wanted to learn why things worked and what caused the fails (believe me no baker has never had any fails and I had a lot!). But we learn from mistakes and fails.
However, after trying out lots of recipes I soon realised that for beginners at least, most recipes are very poorly written. Many online recipes are not tested enough, resulting in a lot of fails for people. Too many recipes are too short or condensed, and not easy to follow. Some recipes don’t even have a photo!
From this came my decision to start a blog with baking lessons & a mission to provide thoroughly tested and detailed recipes for beginners. On 12th September 2018 my website was born.
My Blogging Journey
My mission is to teach you to be the best baker you can be. I aim to do this with a decent and well tested recipe as a good starting point, instead of a recipe that will make you fail if you do not have the knowledge of how to avoid it.
In My Lessons & Recipes, there is:
- ALWAYS photos of the bake
- ALWAYS process photos
- ALWAYS thorough instructions
- ALWAYS clear explanation of terms
- ALWAYS alternative ingredients/equipment suggested & where to buy in different countries
- ALWAYS ingredient/size/temperature conversions
- ALWAYS hand-measured & tested conversions
- ALWAYS detailed videos & not 30 second photo ‘videos’
- ALWAYS realistic times to make quoted
- ALWAYS tell you where problems can occur
- ALWAYS tell you how to avoid problems/how to recover
- ALWAYS honest reviews of other recipes I tried
- ALWAYS happy to help, teach & cheer on!!
- Started blog in September 2018
- Set up Facebook group Easy Online Baking Lessons in 2018
- Became admin for large Great British Bake Off (Great British Baking Show) group, with a British & American/Canadian following. Cultivated fantastic relationships, as well as helping 100s of people with their questions/problems.
- November 2020 changed to new platform for websites but had to start over with adding the content. (Had that not been the case, there would have been 350 recipes on the site by now)
- November 2023 setting up new theme & framework for the site, making much more user friendly & fast for my bakers. Online live lessons coming end of 2023.
2022 Interview – by food blogger, bakery owner, food blogger & writer Deanna Martenez Bey, (who has written over a dozen books) and this is featured on her website. Read my baker interview on Deanna’s Recipe Box website.
2023 BBC Interview – September 2023 I was asked to talk on BBC Radio Northamptonshire, about baking & my Great British Bake Off Facebook group. This was nerve wrecking but also fun. I took part in & won, a Bake Off quiz and was named ‘Saturday Night Super Star’! You can hear the interview, at the half-way point on, Daisie-Belle’s Saturday Late Show (27/09/23)
2023 Awards Nomination – September 2023 I was nominated for best online baking lessons platform in LuxLife’s Food & Drink Awards 2023. In November the winners will be announced. So be sure to check back!
My biggest achievements to date, are successfully working with so many beginner bakers (and even some experienced ones), helping them to succeed and overcome problems they were having.
I feel very proud when I see my bakers using my recipes & advice & having success, (for some people for the very first time in many years). I know a few people who have told me that they only were able to make good British scones with a perfect rise after reading my tutorial & watching my video, despite them been baking for 3 decades.
I absolutely love, to see the progress of my bakers and my Baking Family!
I have received such lovely, and positive feedback about me as a baker, teacher and for my specific recipes. You can see a few testimonials below & on the home page, as well as feedback on the Readers’ Pics & Feedback page.