Norfolk’s Great British Bake Off hopeful Kate Barmby reveals her baking secrets
PUBLISHED: 09:30 18 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 18 August 2016
The Norfolk nurse vying for Bake Off glory has revealed that her daughters pretended to be the presenting duo of Mel and Sue as she prepared for the competition.
Kate Barmby, 37, of Brooke, will be hoping to impress Great British Bake-off judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with her baking when the show returns to our screens on Wednesday.
And the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital nurse has revealed that her two daughters have been honing their presenting skills as they helped their mum prepare for the Bake Off tent.
“My daughters Lucy and Rebecca have taken their role as pseudo judges very seriously tasting and critiquing each recipe,” she said.
“They also enjoyed preparing me for baking with Mel and Sue by distracting me and asking me lots of funny questions whilst I was practising my recipes.”
Mrs Barmby is the daughter of a farmer and grew up on the family farm in the county which is where she learned her baking skills. Her mother taught her how to bake whilst she was still in a high chair and she spent her childhood watching cookery programmes, reading cookbooks and practising in the kitchen.
“My grandmother was also an enthusiastic cook but she refused to use scales and everything she baked had to include either a tin of soup or cornflakes,” she said. “What she lacked in skill she made up for in enthusiasm and although she may not have taught me as such she helped kindle my love of baking.”
The Brownies leader boasts that her sugar craft work is one of her particular strengths and she uses it to decorate her special celebration fruitcake which she always makes for special birthdays, weddings and Christmas.
With the bake off being a very tough competition, Mrs Barmby had to practise her recipes time and time again but as she was making so many bakes, her husband became her number one taste tester as people were getting suspicious.
The Great British Bake Off 2016 contestants:
Originally from Merthyr Tydfil, hairdresser Louise now lives in Cardiff with her fiancé Simon. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
Originally from Ghana, Selasi moved to the UK with his family 15 years ago and now lives with his girlfriend in London where he works as a Client Service Associate in a Financial Institution. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire
Lee started his working life as a builder but had a complete change of direction in the mid 1980s and went to study theology. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
Jane lives in Beckenham with husband Ray where she designs gardens for a living. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
Tom grew up in Rochdale but following University moved to London to pursue a career in education. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
Rav lives in Erith, Kent with his parents and is from a huge and extremely close family. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
Michael is from London but is currently living with four friends in Durham where hes studying Politics and Economics. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of Kate (no surname given), one of the contestants for this year's BBC1's cookery contest, The Great British Bake Off. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday August 16, 2016. See PA story SHOWBIZ GBBO. Photo credit should read: Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
Former primary school Head Teacher Val is originally from Conisbrough near Doncaster but now lives with husband Ian near Yeovil. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire .
Andrew is originally from Northern Ireland but currently lives with three friends in Derby where he works as an aerospace engineer for Rolls-Royce, designing jet engines. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire .
Born in North London, Candice grew up in the pubs her parents ran. She would always chip in when needed, be it pulling pints or mopping floors. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
Teaching Assistant, Benjamina has recently graduated with a 1st in Economics and lives in south London. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.
“I started off giving quite a lot of it away to friends and family but there was just so much of it that they were becoming suspicious as to what I was up to so my husband Dave made a stoic effort at eating the evidence and making sure nothing went to waste.
“But when it got to the point, much to my children’s delight that we were eating cake for breakfast we decided to buy a bigger freezer.”
Her rivals in the famous bake-off tent, where Nadiya Hussain baked her way to glory in last year’s competition, include a pastor and aerospace engineer.
She added: “Nothing compares to the anticipation of having a baby but the nervous excitement I felt walking into the tent on that first morning was certainly similar.”