THE GREAT BRITISH FALCON BAKE OFF
Celebrate the semi-final and final weeks of The Great British Bake Off with us and past winner, Frances Quinn. Frances is a Quinntessential Designer Baker, the author of Quinntessential Baking and was the inimitable winner of The Great British Bake Off 2013. To mark this anniversary we caught up with Frances to learn about where life has taken her these past ten years, from getting married to how she’s making the most of our newly launched Baking Set products.
Enjoy a recipe from Frances for Jammy Biscuit Tiffin below and visit our Instagram page here to enter our giveaway, The Great British Falcon Bake Off, and be in for the chance of winning three of the newest products from our Baking Set.
Our newest products include our Bundt Tin, Cake Tin in all core colours, and Cake Stand in Pillarbox Red and Tarragon. For more of our Baking Set range visit us here.
How did you come to love baking?
I’ve always loved baking. I’m the youngest of 5, so food was always a big part of life growing up. The kitchen was very much an extension of the living room, to play, explore and eat in. I also have very fond memories of my Sylvanian family's bakery and me and one of my brothers making extra cherry bake wells and pastries from fimo! My Dad also owned an Independent Bookshop and would spend my time going between the children’s book and cook book section. Whether devouring the look of the afternoon tea trolley in the Ahlbergs ‘Mrs Wobble the Waitress’ or recipe books full of all different types of cakes and bakes. Looking back it was probably getting the job at Joules as their baby toddler designer that really elevated my love of baking. Taking it to a new level as I began to put recipes on their blog and create bespoke bakes for colleagues birthdays and selection meetings/launches. (The Secret Squirrel cake and concept was actually created whilst I was at Joules, long before GBBO. One of my colleagues, Susie, was nicknamed Squirrel. Whilst she was expecting her son, we named the bump Secret Squirrel and I created the cake for her last day, before leaving for maternity leave. That’s where the idea was born and Hugo, the original Secret Squirrel is now 11!) As a designer, my sketches and mood boards always included food. In fact I had a reputation for christening colour palettes, as they would often be inspired by ingredients and flavours. Today my bake’s and sketches also have elements of graphic and textile design within them. Being creative is at the heart of who I am, but my medium is now edible and I love having the ability of combining my ideas with food and ingredients.
It's been 10 years since you won The Great British Bake Off, how does it feel?
Both surreal and also very real! It’s allowed me to pursue lots of different opportunities and combine my passion for both baking and design.After winning GBBO, I published my first book Quinntessential Baking, http://francesquinn.co.uk/book/ with Bloomsbury and have worked with a diverse range of clients from the Tate, Design Museum, Sony Music to the BBC and Fortnum & Masons. I’ve also founded and presented ‘Baking Playlist’ which allows me to combine my love of music and artists together with baking https:// www.bakingplaylist.com/ I also hold two Guinness World Records for the world’s biggest Jaffa Cake and Jam filled biscuit! I’m always looking for opportunities to collaborate with brands and clients looking to innovate and inspire others.
Have you been watching The Great British Bake Off since?
I try to watch it when I can and love to see what new bakes and adaptations are created. It’s certainly a lot less stressful watching the challenges now than it was during my season and the subsequent few years after.
We have recently launched some new products to our Baking Set, do you have a favourite?
I absolutely love the Pillarbox red cake stand and bundt tin. Together they make the perfect pairing and even when not being used for bakes, look great out on display.
You were married this year and used Falcon within your colour scheme for flowers and food, do you have a favourite Falcon colour?
So, so many! But at a push I’d say pillarbox red, marie rose and spring green. I specifically picked colours that sat back with the Portmeirion palette. Portmeirion, was where we got married and is the most magical and colourful place in North Wales. I cannot wait to share all the photos of how we used and featured the jugs and tumblers to display the flowers (lego ones included!), bakes and give an overall sense of look and feel of the wedding. In fact I even took some of the tumblers with me to colour match the paint colours I used to paint the wooden table settings and display boards with. All of which were both colour and biscuit themed!
What baking recipes are you drawn to this time of year?
Cinnamon buns are my favourite bake and love the abundance of both the bake and spice at this time of year. I recently got back from visiting Scandinavia for a long weekend and was in my element with the amount of ‘Kanelbullar’ on offer. I’m also a big fan of all things crumbles and mince pies. In fact I’m looking forward to recreating my signature Christmas croissants and mince pie butter again this year. The latter is a game changer on toast, crumpets and Pantone. Oh and I love creating festive Florentines to give away as gifts too.
Purchase Frances Quinn’s cookbook, Quinntessential Baking, here.
JAMMY BISCUIT TIFFIN RECIPE
- 500g Jammy Biscuits
- 125g salted butter
- 500g white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 125g dried cranberries, strawberries, or both.
- 125g white chocolate, roughly chopped
Begin by pulling out and arranging your jammy biscuits in the base of a 24cm round falcon ware cake tin. You can follow the design in the photos or create your own layout. Make sure to use at least half the biscuits though, as otherwise you’ll have too little or too many to go in the base of the tiffin. If you don’t have another cake tin to leave the biscuits in, I’d recommend taking a photo of your arrangement so you can refer back to it, when you come to decorate the tiffin.
Chop the remaining biscuits up with a sharp knife or scissors and set aside to stir into the tiffin mix later.
Line a 24cm round falcon ware enamel cake tin with baking parchment, both base and sides.
Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, but don’t allow the base of the bowl to touch the water. Heat the chocolate, stirring regularly, until almost completely melted, then remove from the heat.The residual heat of the bowl will melt any remaining lumps. Stir in the lemon zest to combine.
Transfer and fold through the broken biscuits and dried cranberries. Mix thoroughly until everything is completely combined.Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer.
Melt the remaining chocolate to decorate the top, in the same way you melted the chocolate for the base. Pour over the tiffin surface and use a small palette knife to cover the entire surface.Tapping the tin gently but firmly on a flat surface also helps to create a smooth even layer. Once covered and level, begin to transfer and arrange your biscuit design on top. Chill in the fridge to firmly set. Once set, remove from the tin with the help of the parchment paper and cut into slices. It can help to bring the tiffin to room temperature before cutting, to avoid the chocolate being too cold and shattering rather than cutting cleanly.