ric has presented two series of Baking Mad and also two series of Glamour Puds. He has also appeared on numerous TV shows including Masterchef: The Professionals, Mary Portas Queens of Shops and The Great British Bake Off. He is the author of four books Master Cakes, Cox Cookies & Cake, Home Bake and all published by Mitchell Beazley. His latest book - Tart it Up! Sweet and savoury tarts and pies is out now. He runs regular classes at his London cookery school. And he has provided us with ten top tips...
1 Study the recipe and list of ingredients and tools needed in advance and make sure you have them all to hand.
2 Clear the diary and send the kids/husband/wife away so you can concentrate and are not disturbed.
3 Use only the best quality ingredients for the filling. Remember the cake must taste as good as it looks. Must haves in my opinion - golden caster sugar, unsalted butter and Nielsen Massey vanilla extract.
4 Start with a very clean surface – when icing any dirt will show up on white icing so everything must be spotless.
5 Layout all your tools and equipment like a surgeon on a small tray next to you.
6 Follow the recipe step by step – do not try and improvise – baking is a science.
7 Always allow royal icing or painted details to dry thoroughly before adding the finishing touches such as pearl lustre or gold/silver decorating paint.
8 When doing an elaborate icing design that will take more than a few days to complete – use a fruit cake because a sponge cake will go stale after a day.
9 When making a wedding cake or a tiered cake for a special occasion, mix up the tiers to give the guests options. Think about using chocolate, lemon or even a carrot cake instead of using fruit cake for every tier; it’s much more interesting that way.
10 Don’t give up if it doesn’t work out the first time – keep trying – practice and experience is the secret to success. Of course it always helps if you are naturally artistic.
Why not start your baking adventure by checking out his youtube videos, we love the yummy Black Forest Cupcakes - great for a get together!