From squirrels to boiled egg on toast, cakes have never been so quintessentially quirky as Frances makes them and now the nation is getting a visual treat each week as she showcases her skills.
Frances Quinn first started baking when she was a little girl and is now using all the creative skills she has learnt over the years as a contestant on this year’s Great British Bake Off television series.
Frances, who lives in Harborough, beat off and whisked away 14,000 hopefuls to make it onto the prime-time programme, shown on BBC2 at 8pm on Tuesdays.
As well as being a talented cake-maker, using recipes where creativity is at the core of every bake, the 32-year-old is also a clothing designer for Harborough firm Joules Clothing.
The show is presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc and sees 13 amateur bakers compete to impress judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
On Tuesday’s episode, the second in the series, she survived to make it through to the next round. It was bread week and Frances made chocolate and chilli-tipped matchstick bread sticks.
Frances told the judges that wordplay was her thing and impressed them when she produced a giant matchstick box in which she presented her bread sticks.
Following her bread sticks, which were sadly not to the judges’ tastes, Frances pulled off a blinder in the technical challenge where contestants had to make muffins with little instruction on how to do so.
Frances looked delighted when she was told that she had finished second in the test.
She also impressed in the final challenge where contestants were set free to unleash their creative skills on yeast.
Her two dough plaits earned positive feedback and a smile from the judges.
During the course of the show, Frances appeared calm and collected and even joked about the muffin obsession that was leaving many contestants hot under the apron.
During the opening episode of the series on Tuesday last week Frances got off to a flying start, earning praise for her secret squirrel cake featuring a chocolate and hazelnut squirrel hidden inside marble cake tree trunks.
The National Trust tweeted that they were big fans of Frances due to her use of the squirrel and her Facebook page was filled with kind messages and praise for the creative-minded baker.
Frances will next week be battling it out with the 10 remaining contestants.
She says on her website: “My creative process always starts or ends with an idea, design or concept that I often find easier to express by ‘drawing’ on my imagination.
“Sketching up designs and pairing them with a recipe helps to feed both mine and other people’s creative appetite before I even reach for a spoon.
“It’s the impact, response and buzz that comes from baking that makes it fun.
“To surprise, inspire and bake memories and experiences for people is for me the icing on the cake!
“My key ingredients are a dollop of randomness, a teaspoon of wonder, a pinch of eccentricity, a drop of serendipity, a handful of curiosity, a fluid ounce of fun and all mixed together with quintessential quirkiness to produce a deliciously different bake.”
For more information about Frances, see her website and blog at http:// francesquinn.co.uk.