Introducing…Martha Collison

Martha Headshot 1This is Martha Collison.

Age: 19.

Youngest ever contestant on, and star of, Great British Bake Off.

Waitrose Weekend’s baking expert.

Author of Twist: Creative Ways to Reinvent Your Baking (HarperCollins) £16.99, published on 14th July.

And – most recently – appointed afternoon tea advisor for The Gatsby Club at The Championships, Wimbledon.

There’s nothing quite like an indulgent afternoon tea and we’ve enlisted Martha to help us treat you to the very best during your visit.

During every afternoon of The Championships, Martha will be taking afternoon tea to a whole new level with four delectable cakes twisted and designed exclusively for the Gatsby Club.

It’s safe to say this is how excited we are about the prospect of eating all – and we mean all – of her delectable treats.

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But who, you may ask, is the real Martha Collison? We asked a series of very important questions to find out.

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Who is your baking role model?Heston BlumenthalHeston Blumenthal doesn’t always spring to mind when you first think baking, but I really value his scientific take on food and how he investigates how ingredients work. Mary Berry has to be thrown in there too, and baking for her on GBBO was a bit of a dream come true!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love food and eating out, so I gather inspiration from various cafés and supermarket trips. I also do a lot of internet research, looking out for new trends and using Pinterest and Instagram to gather ideas.

What is your favourite thing to bake?
A tricky one – but always has to be a dark, sticky chocolate fudge cake.

The first thing you ever learnt to bake?
I used to bake Rock Cakes for my family when I was 8. They really were as pleasant to eat as the name suggests…

Worst baking nightmare?
We have a bouncy labradoodle at home who used to take great joy in stealing items from the kitchen work surface when we weren’t looking. Taking a big bite out of a wedding cake practice was definitely his finest hour.

What’s your signature bake?
Chewy salted caramel brownies.

If you were a cupcake, what flavour of cupcake would you be?
Coffee flavoured – because I pretty much run on caffeine!

What’s your baking style in three words?
Modern, flavour-focussed and chaotic

What’s your favourite part of afternoon tea? (sandwich, scone, or dessert)
I think my heart will always reside with the cakes and delicious desserts (make sure to save room!).

What’s your choice of tea (or coffee) to go with your afternoon tea?
Got to be Earl Grey, for me.

Scone or sco-e-ne?
It’s scone for me!

Favourite tennis player?

Heather Watson of Great Britain hits a forehand during the Women's Singles second round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia at Roland Garros on May 25, 2016 in Paris, France

Heather Watson – great to see a young British tennis player succeeding.

Best sporting moment?
Andy Murray winning the Gold Medal in the London 2012 Olympics has to be my favourite moment. Watching him finally beat Federer in straight sets in front of his home crowd – astounding!

Best piece of baking advice you have to give?
Don’t be afraid to invest in the best quality ingredients you can afford – they will make such a difference to the finished bake.

Best piece of baking advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t open the oven door when cakes are baking! A change in the oven atmosphere can cause cakes to collapse in the middle.

Which kitchen utensil could you never do without?
Palette knife

Who’s scarier Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood?
The idea of disappointing Mary is definitely scarier!

When did you first discover your love for baking?
When I was around 8 I was given my first cookbook to work through, and I haven’t looked back since. My collection of cookbooks has grown and grown, now amounting to near 100.

Who did you learn to bake from? (e.g. mum/grandad)
My mum started me off on the basics, but baking has never really been big in my family. I wanted to change that, which is why I started baking so young.

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