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an interview with ellie bee bakes.

for foodie tips and tricks, finding local (or faraway) gems and sharing recipes ideas, twitter can be a fabulous place to connect with like minded people. where else could you throw out the question "where can i go for afternoon tea in leicestershire?" and be met with a little list of lovely places, without anyone batting an eyelid. 

this brings me onto the great people i've met in the ever growing community of midlands foodies and food bloggers (other foodies you're amazing too, of course). one of the first was leicester based baker ellie of cake business ellie bee bakes - who creates brownies by post, bespoke biscuits for business, naked wedding cakes and hosts cupcake classes.

having been along to the leicester clandestine cake club and sampled her delicious bakes - i thought it was long overdue that i shared an interview with you about the girl behind the baking venture.

so tell me a little bit about yourself and ellie bee bakes...
my full name is catherine eleanor bee which often confuses people, but when i was looking for a business name ellie bee sounded cute and i’ve been called ellie for most of my life (i started hating the name catherine shortly after we started studying henry viii at school – i can’t imagine why!).

i started the business in september 2013 out of a need to do something for myself for once, having spent most of my life being a carer for family as well as professionally. i am 23 years old but already i have stumbled upon my own small café and the business is growing steadily.

how did you get into baking?
i’d like to say i have been interested in baking since childhood but that isn’t true. i did start baking and then got bored and made my mum finish what i’d started. my passion for baking started when i was around 15 and i realised that boys like food. if i made them something maybe i could lure them in somehow! since then i have baked my way through life.

what is your favourite sweet thing to bake? (and eat!)
my favourite sweet thing to bake is probably a battenberg cake because it’s super quick and when i’m baking for coffee shops i need something that’s done quickly and doesn’t take up too much space on the worktop. my favourite sweet thing to eat though has to be banoffee pie. i can’t help myself. 

how about savoury?
what is savoury? haha, i’m joking! i do have a very sweet tooth and i don’t do a lot of savoury baking, but i’ve found cheese scones are always a good staple. i recently made some sage and white cheddar scones which i’ve been told were very good (i don’t like cheese at all so i avoided them like the plague!).
what cakes and bakes are on your "to do" hit list?
i was recently given great british bakes by mary-anne boermans which is the most fantastic book. there’s a raspberry tart i’ve got my eye on most definitely.

if you were on great british bake off what would be your showstopper?
cakes are my ‘thing’ so i’d probably make a naked wedding cake, proud and tall with white chocolate lace hearts and plenty of roses and strawberries. 

what are the three kitchen gadgets/tools you couldn't live without and why?
without a doubt the first has to be my kitchenaid. not only does it make my life so much easier by doing all the hard work for me, it also is a lovely pistachio colour that i adore.

next must be a food processor. i can’t live without mine. i used to be terrible at making pastry and now the food processor does it all for me and i can pretend i’ve done it all by hand!

lastly i don’t know how i’d get my orders done in time without my zester. it’s such a little thing but it makes so much zest and is a lot easier on the hands than using a grater. it’s a worthy investment for sure.

any baking disaster stories you're willing to admit to? spill...
i don’t think i’ve had anything that i’d say was as bad as a disaster (or maybe i’ve just wiped them from my memory) but i did once have a numerical error with some chocolate that was quite funny. i was making a piñata cake which involved making a small cake, topping it with sweets, then covering it with a chocolate dome.

when i was making the dome i misread the recipe and used 500g of chocolate not 50g, so when it came to smashing the chocolate shell we had to get out a hammer from the garage. we were picking chocolate shrapnel out of the kitchen for weeks!

what's next for ellie bee bakes...?
in july i shall be starting a little café inside leicester business centre. it is open to the public but it mostly serves the businesses in the building. i shall also be working hard on my youtube channel which i aim to use for tutorials, funny baking disaster videos and guides around good places to eat in leicester.

i don't know about you, but i'm green with envy about ellie's pistachio kitchenaid and have already added a lemon zester to my shopping list...

find ellie on twitter over @ellie_bee42 

or online at www.elliebee.co.uk/ 


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