Catching up with Benjamina Ebuehi from The Great British Bake Off
It was a pleasure to catch up with Benjamina Ebuehi, the mentor behind Mastering Cake and Master the Art of Cake Decorating. You may recognise Benjamina as a quarter finalist from the Great British Bake Off, where she wowed the judges with her show-stopping cake designs and technical baking knowledge. Benjamina has since gone on to become a food stylist, has founded The Sister Table with her sister Bonita, and is an Ambassador for The Luminary Bakery. We sat down with Benjamina, complete with a ubiquitary piece of cake and cup of tea, and got to hear what she is currently working on, as well as what’s coming up.
How did you start your baking journey?
BE: I’ve always loved food and I grew up being in the kitchen with my mum watching her cook. I had quite a sweet tooth and wanted to be able to make my own cakes and biscuits whenever I fancied, so I started out with the basics when I was a teenager and it just grew from there! Once I got to university, I started following lots of food blogs to get tips and recipes and would spend most of my spare time in the kitchen baking.
You were a quarter finalist on Great British Bake Off 2016. Can you tell us your all time highlight of being on GBBO?
BE: My highlight was probably week one as that’s when it all felt so real. Being in the tent for the first time, meeting Mary and Paul and all the other bakers was just so exciting. There was definitely plenty of nerves but I couldn’t wait to get going!
As the weeks went on, I became much more relaxed and grew in confidence with my abilities. I was stretched and challenged in so many ways and in some weeks was baking things I’d never heard of. GBBO really reminded me how much I loved food and baking and was a great platform for me to pursue a career in baking.
Who are you currently most inspired by in baking?
BE: I’m a massive fan of the chef Ottolenghi. His flavours are always so stunning and I love the creativity and vibrancy of his dishes.
You founded The Sister Table with your sister Bonita. Can you tell us a little bit more about the project?
BE: Bonita and I started The Sister Table wanting to create a community in which women could regularly meet, eat together and connect in beautiful spaces. We host monthly intimate brunch clubs for women as we believe that being around a table together and sharing food can be such a great way to build relationships. It brings about a real sense of inclusion and belonging which is so important.
The brunch clubs we’ve hosted so far have been incredible and we’ve met so many amazing women. We’re both excited to see how The Sister Table will grow – we’d love to be able to collaborate with other female run businesses, take it to different cities across the UK and also incorporate different workshops and classes.
You are an Ambassador for The Luminary Bakery. Can you tell us why you wanted to partner with them and a little bit about it and your role there?
BE: Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise based in East London providing training, community and employment for disadvantaged women in the UK using baking as a tool to do this. The work they do for women in their community is incredible and I wanted to be involved because I believe that we all have skills that can be used to help and benefit others. I teach some classes for the women on the course and also hold masterclasses at the bakery for the public.
BE: A top tip would be to always read through a recipe fully a couple of times before starting. Make sure you understand each step before diving in and that you have all the ingredients. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through making a cake and realising you’re out of baking powder!
I think it’s good to have one or two go-to recipes up your sleeve to whip out when needed. A Victoria sponge is a great one as it’s such a classic crowd pleaser and doesn’t take too long to put together. It’s also really easy to add your own little twists – try swapping out the jam for some lemon curd, adding some ground almonds or hazelnuts into the batter or throwing in some white chocolate chips.
Finally, what’s next for you? Any exciting plans you can tell us about?
BE: As always, I’ll still be baking loads! I’m working on hosting more baking classes and will be doing lots of brunching with The Sister Table!
Thank you Benjamina!
We can’t wait to see more of your wonderful brunches from The Sister Table.