Since taking part in the first series of The Great British Bake Off, Ruth Clemens has caused a stir in the baking world! She has worked with major UK brands, demonstrated her skills at numerous events, contributed to your favourite magazines and even written a few books! We asked Ruth about her baking experiences and her latest book, Creative Eclairs…
When did you start baking?
“I started baking as soon as I could hold a wooden spoon! My mum was often in the kitchen cooking and baking and I loved to help.”
Having taken part yourself, do you still watch The Great British Bake Off every year?
“I do but it’s always a very emotional time for me. If I’m not careful I can get very involved in the trials and tribulations of the contestants, feeling their panic and sadness when things don’t go the way they expected – having been there I know exactly how it feels! It can be quite a harrowing time but I love the programme and love to see all of the ingenious bakes.”
What was the last thing you baked?
“A self-saucing chocolate sponge pudding for after our family Sunday roast. It’s very quick and easy and my boys love it!”
Which do you enjoy the most – baking or decorating?
“I enjoy them both but in different ways. The baking can always be a quick win – with little effort you can whip up something great to share. The decorating is more indulgent time for me – it takes longer, but is a relaxing and creative treat to make something really stunning.”
What’s your top tip for anyone making choux pastry for the first time?
“Measure your liquids and ingredients carefully for good results – using digital scales, jugs with clear measurement markings and even weighing out liquids. Then just follow the steps and you’re on your way.”
If you’d like to try making choux pastry, watch Ruth’s video below:
What do you love about éclairs?
“Very definitely their versatility – you can change a basic choux pastry into all sorts of shapes and sizes, and fill and top them with all kinds of flavours – there’s something for everyone.”
Do you know how many éclairs were made (and consumed) for the book?!
“An awful lot! I would estimate 500 but it could well be way above that! I have to add that I didn’t eat all of those myself – there was plenty of sharing done!”
Which are your favourite recipes from the book?
“The White Heaven éclairs are my personal favourite and definitely the ones I dream about eating, but for my boys it’s the Mango & Passion Fruit eclairs. I’ve also served up plenty of profiteroles with chocolate and salted caramel sauces at many family dinners already!”
What’s a good accompaniment for éclairs?
“For me it’s got to be a good cup of tea.”
Which is better – sweet or savoury bakes?
“I’d prefer to eat a savoury bake but I do find sweet bakes are much better for sharing and that’s the main reason I bake.”
Get your copy of Ruth’s latest book, Creative Eclairs, or check out her other books and downloadable recipes in our online shop. Find out more about Ruth and get free recipes, ideas and baking advice on her website too!
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