Chatting with Alice
Alice Shields is one of our primary recipe developers and our resident baker! Whether it’s sweet treats with a twist or a spiced bread, Alice conjures up a delicious recipe. We’ve spoken to her about her love of food and baking.
How did you become so interested in food?
I have always been surrounded by baking and cooking. My grandparents used to own a bakery in Preston, Lancashire and I remember the highlight of my Saturday was popping in for a free iced bun.
Who inspires you?
My Mum is the person that inspires me the most. She is a great cook and a fantastic baker. She has a large cookbook collection that I often spend hours rummaging through. My favourite birthday cake is the one that she makes-vanilla sponge filled with homemade jam and covered with melted chocolate- I call it the ‘Shields classic’.
Do you consider cooking more of an art or a science?
I thinking cooking is an art, baking is a science.
What do you think about all the different food shows that seem to be everywhere?
I think it’s great that cooking and baking are so accessible these days. I love watching food programmes, I think they are a fantastic source of inspiration and a great way to keep up with new food trends.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start baking?
Relax and have fun! I find if I’m stressed or in a bad mood my bakes never turn out as well.
Baking is notorious for being difficult, how do you not get defeated by it?
You learn by your mistakes and practice makes perfect. If something goes wrong you can always turn it into something else- overcooked sponge can be turned into delicious cake pops, bread that’s gone wrong can be transformed into crunchy croutons.Once you know the basics you can have fun with different textures and flavour combinations.
What’s one rule in cooking or baking you always stand by?
Make sure you measure things accurately.
View some of Alice’s recipes here.