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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

Kate Barmby on The Great British Bake Off. Photographer: Mark Bourdillon

Kate Barmby on The Great British Bake Off. Photographer: Mark Bourdillon

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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, one of the contestants for this year's BBC1's cookery contest, The Great British Bake Off. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.Kate Barmby, one of the contestants for this year's BBC1's cookery contest, The Great British Bake Off. Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire.

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.”

(L-R) Back row: Candice, Kate, Benjamina, Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Michael, Lee & Louise. Front row: Andrew, Tom, Val, Selasi, Jane & Rav

  - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Mark Bourdillon(L-R) Back row: Candice, Kate, Benjamina, Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Michael, Lee & Louise. Front row: Andrew, Tom, Val, Selasi, Jane & Rav - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Mark Bourdillon

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.

“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.”

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