‘ONE BAKER USED 32 EGGS IN A RECIPE’
Meet the tent’s fairy godmother, ingredients guru Faenia Moore
ake Off, quite literally, wouldn’t happen each week without Faenia Moore, the show’s home economist. she’s responsible for buying all of the bakers’ ingredients and ensuring they have the equipment they need and know how to use it.
‘it’s a case of asking, “Have you enough raspberries?” and, “do you know how the oven works?”’ explains Faenia, who also bakes Mary or paul’s technical challenge every week, ensuring it can be made in the time the bakers are given.
But there’s a limit to the amount of help she can give. ‘i can explain how to use unfamiliar equipment, but if they split their custard they’re on their own.’
Faenia and her team work in a preparation kitchen behind the main tent – contestants and cameras are banned from entering. ‘it’s a restaurantstandard kitchen,’ she tells us. ‘all the food is stored in huge plastic tubs – flour, sugar, chocolate, fridges stuffed with butters and eggs. we get through so many eggs – one baker used 32 in a recipe!’
The show is filmed over 10 weekends during spring, with the bakers staying in hotels close to the tent’s home – in the gardens of welford park, Berkshire. each day before filming, Faenia makes up individual trays with each baker’s ingredients on it. she says the average number of ingredients is 12 per bake.
‘i check those trays four times! i can’t miss anything out. it wouldn’t be fair.’
saying that, extras are sometimes needed as the bakers decide to add ingredients at the last minute. ‘sometimes they’ll
Bhave decided in the night that figs will make their bake and that’s where our food runners come in,’ she adds, explaining how someone will be stationed at a nearby supermarket every morning, ready to sprint down the aisles.
new ovens are used each year and Faenia and her team (who are first at the tent at 6.30am on filming days) test the ovens daily by baking a victoria sponge in each one.
and the washing up? ‘it’s all done by hand as dishwashers are too noisy,’ explains Faenia.
‘we have two sinks with an
“in” and “out” box. it’s pretty hideous for whoever’s doing it, so we all try to help out.’
of course there are perks to Faenia’s job. as well as the bakers’ leftovers, her prowess in the kitchen has soared after seven years of working on the show. Her best tip? ‘Measuring spoons – you can’t just sling things in when baking, you have to be precise. Thank you for teaching me that, Mary!’
Nobody can accuse the team of being all washed up