CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Berkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Toby Waterworth interview and recipe

PUBLISHED: 12:44 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:19 26 October 2015

Toby Waterworth: our baking star from Woodley

Toby Waterworth: our baking star from Woodley

MAUREEN MCLEAN

Great British Bake Off’s Toby Waterworth lures readers and editor Jan Raycroft with his Christmas tarts after Mary Berry had to say ‘No’ to his somewhat unusual Angel Cake

We’ve all had those cringe moments that leave one thinking ‘Why on earth did I do that?’ Fortunately, very few of us have our blips exposed to an avid audience of millions.

But for Toby Waterworth that’s what happened on The Great British Bake Off.

Having got through the BBC show’s rigorous application process from 13,000 keen amateur cooks, Toby joined a dozen other contestants ready for the scrutiny of experts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and the critical viewers glued to the box.

The technical challenge of producing Mary’s Angel Cake, to go alongside his spiced and iced carrot cake and showstopper of tiered chocolate for the first episode should have been a cinch for Toby. At 30, the freelance web programmer from Woodley, Berkshire, had been baking for most of his life.

But he did something so inexplicable and uncharacteristic that Toby knew before the announcement that he would be leaving the show at the earliest stage: he mistook salt for sugar when lining the cake tin. The result was a cake with a rather unfortunate taste, with Hollywood advising Berry to avoid it.

Over a lovely pub lunch in the Duke of Wellington, Twyford, with all the right ingredients, Toby is now able to laugh at this ‘curl up and die’ moment. Indeed, the merriment is such that we both end up with tears in our eyes. In pretend ‘headmistress mode’ I demand to know what on earth he thought he was up to.

“That was an absolutely ridiculous thing to do, particularly, you know, when someone did it in a previous year,” chuckles Toby. “It’s something I probably wouldn’t repeat in goodness knows how many attempts, but there it is – I did it. My head said, ‘Ah, okay, sugar’, so I used what was in the bowl and somehow blanked that it was salt.”

Then there were the knives where he seemed close to chopping off fingers, but wasn’t the only contestant in need of sticking plasters: “The professional knives are really sharp. You think you have sharp knives at home until you are using the real thing and are unfamiliar with them,” he explains.

He goes through the technicalities and dilemma of whether to line the tin or not, and how something over-rode his instincts. “But once it was done I knew my time was up. Afterwards I had this memory of a sympathetic Mary Berry ruffling my hair, but wasn’t sure that really happened until I saw it on television.”

With a shy, winning grin and doe eyes, Toby seeks a sign of similar understanding from me. “I’m a bit of a mummy’s boy,” he suggests. So I decide to adopt him on the spot, with his new aunty and photographer Maureen McLean, and we will eat as many of his cakes as possible.

What’s more we will get our readers to share this trust, hence the exclusive recipe on these pages, with all the pinches of salt in the right places.

His statement turns out to be a poignant one when you discover that Toby’s early memories are of a home filled with the lovely smells of baking. Dad David, originally from Devon, is described as ‘a scone master’ and Toby recalls following his mother Pam about when aged about five and how she taught him to cook. Sadly, Pam died from cancer in 2008 and Toby hopes that any profile he gains from appearing on the show will help to raise funds for research.

Toby’s baking skills developed so that by the time he was 10 his efforts were picking up prizes at Woodley Horticultural Show. He claims that some WI members complained that he shouldn’t be allowed entries in the adults section!

“The best bit was that if you won you got this little brown envelope with some money in, and I would spend it straight away on more ingredients.”

He’s kept in touch with the other Bake Off contestants, enjoying a ‘sleep over’ with seven others at the home of Christine Wallace in Didcot (she fell at the quarter final stage when a meringue failed to impress), where each brought one of their amateur baking treats to the party.

Now it’s your turn to follow an exclusive recipe Toby has created for readers. He’s tested the ingredients and method several times at home, we’ve eaten the results. Enjoy!

Keep in touch with Toby on Twitter at 
@bake_down – join his 6,000 followers.

---------------------------------------------

Recipe - Spiced Orange Brownie Tartlets

This is a delightfully indulgent and versatile recipe that allows you to flavour according to mood or occasion. Here the celebration of Christmas is invoked with orange zest and warming spices. You could easily omit these for a simple but lovely chocolate tart, or instead add a layer of sea-salted caramel or fruit. Feel free to buy a good-quality butter pastry. You can serve the tart with cream or ice cream.

Ingredients

Pastry:

230g plain flour

115g very cold unsalted butter

50g golden caster sugar

1 egg + 1 yolk, beaten

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

***

Orange Caramel Sauce:

Juice of 2 large scrubbed oranges, Zest of 1

Juice of 1 lemon

75g golden caster sugar

Knob of unsalted butter

***

Brownie:

75g 75% dark chocolate, chopped

110g lightly beaten egg

65g golden caster sugar

30g soft dark brown sugar

15g plain flour

15g cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

Zest ½ scrubbed large orange

4 x 9-10 cm loose-bottom tart tins

***

Method

To make the pastry, dice the butter and rub into the flour, salt and sugar with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs. Mix in the egg and the vanilla with a knife using a cutting motion until it starts to form wet clumps, then carefully bring together into a ball without kneading. Flatten into a disc, wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for one hour.

When chilled, flour a work surface and roll out, one at a time, four pieces of dough to the thickness of a pound coin, 3mm. Cut out circles bigger than the tart tins and carefully push into the tins, leaving an overhang. Gently prick the pastry with a fork and line with paper or foil and baking beans/rice. Chill for 30 mins. Pre-heat oven to fan 170.

Meanwhile make the sauce by bringing all the ingredients save the butter to the boil and then simmering for 10-20 minutes until the mixture has darkened and become a viscous caramel. Stir in the knob of butter and set aside.

When chilled, bake the tarts for 15 mins, remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5-10 mins at fan 160 until the pastry is firm and slightly golden. Cool and then trim the overhang.

For the brownie mixture, melt the chocolate in a microwave in 20 second bursts. Cool. Whisk on high the egg, vanilla and sugars until light, pale and frothy, at least one minute. Carefully fold in the chocolate until fully combined, and then the remaining ingredients. Divide between the four tarts and bake for 11-13 minutes until risen and firm on top but still wobbly/squidgy within.

Serve immediately with the warmed caramel and cream/ice cream.

0 comments

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 12:00

Robby Jenks, head chef at The Vineyard in Newbury shares a recipe for his Devonshire cod

Read more
Yesterday, 11:56

The Blackbird at Bagnor has a nest we can all settle in, courtesy of the engaging patron

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Berkshire really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It may be known for its regal connections, but Windsor is also home to a number of restaurants and pubs fit for royalty. We round up some of the best…

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Stoke Park’s chef has his first cookbook out, so you create culinary masterpieces at home to impress family and friends

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Buckinghamshire really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best locations for afternoon tea across Berkshire

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Celebrate tastes from around the world with our pick of Berkshire restaurants, ranging from European and African, to South American and Oriental

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

Foggs has something tasty for people of all ages and a perfect spot for the littler ones to enjoy a taste of foodie treats

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

We select our top Berkshire spots to enjoy eating and drinking while watching the world float by

Read more
Monday, April 30, 2018

Katy Eachus and her pub expert companion Monty sniff out some dog-friendly dining venues across Buckinghamshire

Read more
Monday, April 23, 2018

Adam Smith is creating some extraordinary dishes at Coworth Park so Maureen McLean visited to experience the little luxuries the chef himself likes to enjoy

Read more
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Five A Day project provides a welcome boost for healthy eating and those who lovingly grow the produce and flowers

Read more
Monday, March 19, 2018

It’s wonderful that so many of us have pretty pubs on our doorstep – or at least within walking distance – and here are some of our favourites to complete the perfect day out

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Berkshire Life weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Property Search