So, Michelle: can you bake?
No. I can cook but I think cooking and baking are completely different things, like I’m very confident in the kitchen when it comes to lunches and dinners, but I’m not confident when it comes to baking, but I’m a massive fan of the show so I thought it would be a great challenge.
Who taught you to bake or cook?
My mum, she’s a really good cook, she was our school cook as well, so in primary school. She was always cooking and in the kitchen so I’ve always been interested in it through her.
What is your personal signature dish?
Cooking-wise, I like doing tapas dishes, because I like picky food, my signature dish would be gambas al pil pil - garlic chilli prawns, ah, so good.
Who do you want to impress the most in the tent?
All of them. I can’t pick out any of them in particular. I want to impress them all.
Who do you reckon is your biggest competition in the tent?
I think everyone is, there’s not one person I would say who is really bad at the minute, all the guys are very good at flavours as well. I tried all the flapjacks that they made which were all completely different but every single one tasted really nice.
Have you had any baking disasters before?
Yes, the first time I made flapjacks it was like granola, I forgot to put the sugar in, so I went through hours of mixing it and making it then I went to cut into it, and it fell apart.
What’s your strength in baking?
Definitely not timing, I’d say that is my weakness in baking, following instructions I’m quite good with.
Are you more likely to get a Hollywood handshake, or a soggy bottom?
Why are you supporting Stand Up To Cancer?
A lot of people are affected by cancer, I certainly am, my friend got cancer this year and she’s in remission now, and seeing someone so close to you, go through it at such a young age as well, makes you realise how important these charities are, and funding and stuff, for me it was very important to get involved.
Have you practiced your bakes for today?
I practiced the flapjack a few times, and the technical I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’ve practiced the meringue once, it went alright actually considering I’ve never made meringue before.
Are you competitive? Do you want to be star baker?
I’m not competitive, but I do want to do well in it and not come last, as long as I’m average or above average, I’ll be happy with that, I don’t need to be star baker.
How do you feel about the technical challenge coming up? Are you good under pressure?
No I’m not at all good under pressure, but I’m excited for it. This morning I was really nervous, but I had such a good time, and such a laugh, I can’t wait now for the next one, it was so much fun.
Are you a traditionalist or do you like experimenting with food?
I like traditional stuff I think, I like to keep things simple, when I try to experiment it doesn’t go well, don’t try and fix what’s not broken. My dad cooks beef in Guinness, I don’t know why he does that, he adds chocolate to his spaghetti Bolognese too, I’m scared about doing that, it would like chocolate Bolognese if I did it, he likes to make it look rich that’s why, so yes, my dad experiments but I don’t.
If you were a baked good what would you be?
I’d say an Eccles cake, only because I went to school in Eccles, and I grew up in a town next to Eccles, and Eccles cakes are my grandad’s favourite.