The nation turned to baking earlier this year as we spent weeks under lockdown – and now we’re under similar restrictions, one top chef is offering his tips for culinary success.

David Atherton explains: “When it comes to perfecting a bake, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Choux pasty, a genoise sponge, or anything in between, there are three secret ‘ingredients’ that I swear by.”

  • Step one: Get to know your oven: Firstly, and in my opinion most importantly, is finding the right appliances for you. Your oven is your partner in crime and you should get as familiar with it as possible. Baking from the comfort of your own home gives you a much better chance of perfecting a bake, so get comfortable with your oven, how it works and its unique features, because they often have a lot to offer,” explained David, who suggests the Samsung Dual Cook Flex.
  • Step two: Get set, prep: A dramatic comparison but a surgeon wouldn’t start an operation without making sure all their equipment was in order – you should apply this to baking too! I always try to make sure that I have everything I’m going to need right in front of me before I start a recipe – timing can be everything with a bake so I don’t want to be running around all flustered while searching for the egg wash while my dough over-proves!
  • Step three: Practice makes perfect: It’s a cliché and not what everyone wants to hear, but you don’t wake up one day being great at baking! You have to put in the time and make mistakes in order to learn and improve. I’ve always loved to bake and cook, but trust me, my efforts haven’t always turned out well! Baking is a fun process and not all the enjoyment comes from eating the final bake. When I was competing, I’d practice my bakes ahead of time as much as I could (working full time). In fact, I think I made my Indian milk sweets at least 10 times and used a lot of milk, before I felt confident that it tasted good enough!

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