TV Times - - Cookery Special -

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

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