Meet Our Team: Baker Duanne Watson
This week we had a chat with colleague and enthusiastic baker, Duanne! In his spare time, he whips up a mean cake, and is part of the popular Clandestine Cake Club. Read on to find out his tips!
Meet the Baker: Duanne Watson
How did you get into baking?
I think it was because I liked a challenge. My mom never baked, so it is not something I grew up with. When I joined the Clandestine Cake Club, it was a great challenge to come up with new ideas and flavor profiles. It is when I really started researching cakes.
What was the first thing you baked?
The very 1st thing was when I was about 10. I mistakenly thought that flour, sugar, eggs etc all came pre-weighed from the stores so I just added entire packs into a bowl, mixed it up and baked it. Let’s just say I think it still hasn’t biodegraded.
Do you have a signature bake? If so, what is it?
I think it would be my Chocolate Mud Cake. It is the one that gets requested the most for weddings and birthdays.
What could you not live without in your baking kitchen?
What’s your favourite thing/type of bake to make?
A flourless Orange and Almond cake. I discovered Yuzu a few years ago so love adding that into the cream cheese frosting.
What was your latest bake?
Have you ever had any baking blunders?
French macaron. I entered Baking Mad on Channel 4 and the challenge was macaron. Our kitchen is quite cold so try as I might (11 times) they failed every time until the competition where they were perfect and I won. I rushed home and made another batch and they failed again. It quickly brought me down to earth. I have not made them since.
What does your baking area look like?
Any tips for new bakers?
Get the basics right first. Then have absolute fun with flavours. Invest in an oven thermometer. It really can be the death of cakes if is not at the right temperature. And try and use the best quality products you can afford. It really does make quite a difference.
What are you excited to bake going forward? Any new products or techniques you want to try?
I am busy working on a baking/patisserie ebook. I am going to try dispel the myth that baking and patisserie is hard. There are some amazing shortcuts and you are almost always able to achieve amazing results.