As it’s Great British Bake Off night, what better time to publish my interview with Glenn who took part in last year’s Bake Off. Glenn kindly agreed to meet me at the foodies festival to answer a few questions:
Tell me about these cricket cupcakes:
How did you hear about them? (I tell him I’ve seen them mentioned a few times on twitter from his show).
Well they have actually came up three times which is kind of unusual because the contestants don’t know what they’re going to get. I try to bake ahead of time because it’s an hour’s show & I think people would prefer to see a cake at the end of the show. So I bake a cake & we make the topping & icing & there’s a fortune cookie where people pick the topping but don’t know what they’re getting. They can get an absolute classic or something you wouldn’t expect like lime buttercream with salted caramel (it actually kind of works, it was really nice). One of the toppings that had a russian roulette element or Bake Off vs I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here was the caramelised crickets.
I did a job for Rentokil & made some cupcakes with crickets for them & it added an element of danger. People can pick them off & there’s plenty of icing so you don’t need it. If you do taste it, it tastes a bit nutty.
How has life been since the Bake Off?
It’s been brilliant! It’s been mental. When it first came out going anywhere was mental. Most of the bakers from last year went to the Cake & Bake Show in London, which was on whilst the show was still being aired. I think that will probably be the closest I’ll ever experience to seeing what it’s like being in One Direction or something! We were treated like royalty, it was absolutely insane. If we stopped for one second, crowds would form asking for pictures & our signatures & you couldn’t move as the crowd kept replacing itself. That was the absolute height of the complete bonkersness.
But since then it’s calmed down. Now people kind of recognise me but they don’t know what it is, just a positive facial recognition. A bit like “Do you work with my sister?” or “Where you on that train?”… I get a lot of that!
Do you miss working at the school at all?
I do but one of the things I loved most about school was actually that there was, for me, a slight performance element about it & I loved the assemblies. But I kind of get that now with the shows I’m still kind of getting one of the bits I loved most about teaching.
The Bake Off gave me the courage to do what I wanted to do 18 years ago. If I’d had the courage, I wouldn’t have gone into an industry, I would’ve either went to Drama School or done an apprenticeship in a kitchen. So in a funny kind of way, 18 years plus & the Great British Bake Off I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do.
What Gave you the inspiration for the tour?
Well I was doing demos, which I think it was a matter of course that bakers are invited to do that. A guy was listening to me being interviewed by my local radio station, Radio Devon, and he had the idea to put me on stage. A lot of people don’t quite know what to expect: is it a cooking show? a demo? what is it?
It’s a bit of a bonkers idea but we did it in January & it went really well! I enjoy doing it!
What’s your most favourite cake & the one you would never touch?
That’s actually interesting, especially the second part, what one cake would I never touch? Let me come back to you on that!
Favourite cake, I don’t know! Are you a music fan? Because a lot of music fans, film fans & foodie fans are a bit fickle with questions like that because it’s often the last one you’ve had. At the minute though, I have to admit, I’m loving all things salted caramel. I know it’s been around for ages but I just love the stuff!
And what I’m not very keen on cakes that are textured like jelly, like those Japanese cakes. It’s the slimey part of them that is the problem. I love the flavours, like matcha tea & other oriental cakes like Korean smothered buns but just jelly cakes? Not for me!
Glenn’s show is on at The Roxy in Edinburgh at 4pm until the 25th August so be quick if you want to head along!