Behind the Scenes at Maid of Gingerbread

image by Will Patrick

image by Will Patrick

This week, I’ve had some SUPER exciting filming going on in the studio for a project I can’t wait to show you! Although I can’t tell you exactly what we were filming and why just yet - all will be revealed soon - I thought I’d take you behind the scenes and show you general bakery life anyway, and a little more about what happens at Maid of Gingerbread. Are you ready?!

It all started with a gingerbread circus.

I know, I know - everyone’s origin story starts with a gingerbread circus, right?! I’m hardly unique in this regard…

I studied Southeast Asian music originally, but I come from a family of bakers. One year I was back at my parents’ looking for a good circus big top cake design when I came across the old templates my mum used back when she made me and my brother gingerbread houses. I decided to adapt the templates to create a gingerbread big top - then, once I realised the inside was going to be hollow, my mind started running wild (no pun intended!) I quickly realised I could create a whole biscuit-y circus to go inside, like Cadbury’s animal biscuits jumping through Party Rings. From then on, I was hooked.

I think of my designs as gingerbread sculptures, more than bakes.

Although I ensure that every single one of my bakes is delicious (thanks to my secret spice mix - but here’s a hint, it includes ginger) I think of myself less as a baker and more as a designer who happens to work with food, glorious food! My favourite part of the process is constructing the sculptures once all the pieces are baked. I was really into woodwork when I was younger - you may be surprised to find out I actually use a lot of the same tools and techniques in gingerbread! For example, I file down all of my gingerbread pieces, and I often drill into them too - just with a top of a chopstick rather than a Black & Decker. To check out my essential gingerbread making toolkit, head to this blog post, and to find out more about how to build a perfect gingerbread sculpture, head here.

I work from my bakery in Hackney, and take a lot of my inspiration from London.

As well as the necessities (a giant oven, fridge, sink, and work surfaces), my studio is filled with a veritable collection of decorations, icing colours, cutters, and all the bits I need to make my gingerbread sculptures and fortune cookies pop! I also have a lot of artwork lining my walls, as well as a poster reminding me to drink more water (always.) I’ve always been drawn to interesting designs, especially patterns and details, and love finding these in all sorts of buildings too! I’m always snapping photos of gorgeous buildings on my walks around the city, or when I’m moving my narrowboat down the river. If you’re looking for some architecture inspiration, I pin a lot (and I mean, a lot!) on my Pinterest board!

I love people smashing my food up.

No, seriously! One of the many reasons I love gingerbread so much is that you have to smash it in order to enjoy it - it’s the only way. This is a delicate slicing-free zone! I truly believe food is there to be enjoyed, and encourage people to play with my food however they can. The crazier the brief, the better!

So that’s me! Hope you’ve enjoyed the peek behind the biscuit-y curtain. Head over to my instagram to see what’s going on currently in the studio - and if you want to make an enquiry, just pop over to my contact page!