Published On: Fri, Jul 17th, 2020

Coffee and Cake with… Juliet Sear

Baking expert, food stylist, star of her own TV show Beautiful Baking and best-selling author Juliet Sear chats to us about new baking trends and more…

Juliet Sear

Hi Juliet! You’ve had such a successful career in baking – from running your own cake boutique and baking for celebrities, to writing your own books and presenting your own TV show – where did it all begin?

It all stemmed from my love of savoury food, throwing parties and gatherings and getting friends and family together. I used to manage pubs and bars and work in kitchens. Once I had my first child, I threw a huge party for him and we invited about 150 people and, along with catering for it, I decided to make a cake too. I caught the bug for cake decorating then as I thoroughly enjoyed making it.

This was about 22 years ago! I started making cakes for fun. I had three kids under three so was off work for a long while, and I started a small cake making business from home. I’d bake in the night when they were all in bed. It all started from there. In those days there was no YouTube etc, and baking was still seen as really old fashioned, so I taught myself from novelty cake books and practiced until I got better.

I also used to go to the Southend Sugarcraft guild at a Salvation Army church and was taught all the old-school cake decorating techniques by some fabulous ladies. I then adapted what I’d learned and started to develop my own style which had a much more modern approach.

We loved watching ‘Beautiful Baking’, what did you love most about creating the series? (Please tell us you’re bringing it back!)

Ooohhh I just LOVED making the show! I love doing TV like This Morning so to get the chance to do my own show was really a dream come true! I think what I most loved was going around the country and meeting some amazing food producers and people who work in baking.

I love seeing how other people do things with baking and cake decorating; there’s so many ways to do things, so it’s really fun to learn how other people are doing it, and also find out about brilliant new places or products. I also loved having my friends visit in the kitchen and generally have loads of fun AND bake with a brilliant crew and team.

I really would love to bring out another series… it went down really well and it was fantastic to see so many people baking recipes from the show and sharing them on social media… so fingers crossed they let me do another one!

juliet sear

You come up with such creative ideas, where do you get your inspiration from?

All over the place really! I get loads of inspo from nature, flowers, foliage, animals – all sorts really! I love to play around with presentation, especially on savoury food too, not just cakes.

Quite often I dream about a cake idea then wake up and thankfully remember it and give it a go. Also I get inspo from art and interiors too, like gorgeous wallpapers, fabric textures and prints.

Are there any exciting new baking ingredients you’ve recently added to your baking cupboard?

I’ve got some gorgeous new extra dark maple syrup from Billington’s – it’s so divine. It’s got a lovely deep intense flavour and is excellent for baking!

Do you have a favourite cake decorating technique and why?

That’s a hard question… it depends on my mood really! I do love hand-painting and hand-piping as it’s lovely to spend time on a cake and really be creative. However, if I’m pushed for time, then it’s not as enjoyable as rushing those things always leads to disappointment so I’d say if I have plenty of time, hand-painting and piping work.

For a quick idea I just love doing a pouring ganache and adding on some edible flowers or berries.

What’s your go-to dessert when you’re short on time?

Meringue with cream and fruit.

What do you predict is going to be the next big trend in the cake world?

I think Terrazzo will be a big cake decorating effect this year.

What advice would you give to budding bakers who are dreaming of a job in the industry?

Find your own style. It’s a hugely crowded market and now with social media there’s tons of good businesses, so you need to find something that makes you stand out… and be prepared for LONG hours!

This one might be a tricky one… what’s your proudest achievement to date?

Definitely the TV show I would say! What’s next for you? Hopefully another show, lots more work with This Morning (I love doing the show, it’s such fun!) and I’m working with Plant-based News too as my three kids are vegan, so I’ve been doing lots more plant-based baking lately!

Quickfire round…

Sweet or savoury? Savoury

Cookery books or cookery shows? Cookery books

Baking or decorating? Decorating

Simple bakes or showstoppers? Showstoppers!

Cake or chocolate? Chocolate

 

To see more of Juliet ‘s creations… follow her on Instagram @julietsear

Recipes by Juliet Sear

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