Top tips for beginner bakers by Luis Troyano

Luis Troyano, Bake Off finalist 2014, reveals some of his quick-fire baking tips…

Luis Troyano, Bake Off finalist 2014, reveals some of his quick-fire baking tips… 

Luis Trayano: Bake Off finalist 2014

Q. Luis, what’s your favourite thing to bake and why?

Bakewell tart because it has so many different elements – pastry, cake filling and decoration.


Q. What’s the one thing everyone can learn to bake no matter how unconfident they are?

Start off with a really simple Victoria sponge cake.


Q. What’s the one trick everyone can use to make baking a pie easier?

To make a really great pie pick your favourite ingredients, assemble them and then cool them in the fridge for a while before you bake them.

Our favourite: Apple Pie

Q. How do you avoid a soggy-bottomed pie or tart?

To avoid the dreaded soggy bottom always blind bake your case first [which means pre-baking the pastry before baking with the filling].


Q. What’s the best tip for making pastry and why?

I always think it’s easier to make pastry using a food processor. It means you don’t handle the pastry much and you can pop it straight into the fridge.


Q. If you only had 20 minutes to prepare an amazing dinner party dessert, what would you do and how would you do it?

I’d pick some bananas, dip them in batter, fry them then make some custard.

Banana Fritters

Q. What should everyone have in their cupboard to make good last-minute puddings?

Cupboard staples should always include butter, eggs, sugar and flour because you can make so many different things with them.


Q. You’re very inventive with puddings such as Irish cream doughnuts. Do you experiment a lot to create unusual bakes and do you recommend people experiment themselves?

I would always say you should learn the basics and then put your own twist on them. That’s the best way to experiment.


Q. Along with the many other things you do, you teach people how to bake these days. Have you ever taught anyone who couldn’t bake at all? How did you help them?

I teach lots of people who can’t bake. Once you’ve shown someone how to do something and they’ve seen it, then it’s easy for them to do it as well.