It’s mid-December in Harrods and a young woman is making red velvet cupcakes while a growing crowd of Christmas shoppers look on, intrigued by the pretty teen who talks through the recipe like a pro. It’s little wonder: Amy-Beth Ellice has been baking since the age of 3, and last November, she got the chance to make her publishing debut with Amy’s Baking Year. The book, which was written when she was 16, is a sweet collection of traditional and unique recipes for every season and will go down a treat with those new to baking. TCé caught up with Amy-Beth after her demo to find out what inspires her and where she’d like to take her budding career:
What was the first thing you remember baking when you were young?
I remember my first thing I made was biscuits. I have lots of memories making them. I still make them today and I have the same recipe in my book. They were shortbread biscuits and I’d decorate them with icing.
Was it always your intention to take your baking further?
It’s been a massive part of my life, since I was tiny. So it’s just been a natural progression. And when I was 14 I got my book deal. I approached a few publishers and I think because of my age they were really supportive and they loved my ideas.
What would you say are the advantages of being a young baker?
(Baking) could appear less intimidating because I’m young. So younger people might relate to me more, that like baking or may want to start baking. If they see my recipes they might think, if she can do it, so can I.
What inspires your baking? What makes it unique?
I like to make both traditional recipes and then adapt them so I make my own inventions. So I’ve got something like Red Velvet Cupcake ice cream, so I like to do unusual things people don’t think of.
You do music and you’re studying fine art. Have your goals changed now that you’re developing your name as a baker?
I still really am interested in music. And if I did decide to go to university it would be to do music. But at the moment I’m just focusing on my book and hopefully I’ll have a few more books.
Somebody asked you a question during your demo about which other food personalities inspire you and you mentioned Nigella Lawson. What is it about her that inspires you?
She’s so calm when she cooks and bakes. She makes it seem so easy and she has a lovely manner. I think that’s what I love about her.
What will you be focusing on in 2015?
I have lots of ideas for future books, so hopefully I’ll be on to the next one.
How would they be different?
I’d like to stick with baking for the moment, but in the future I’d like to move into cookery – I love cooking as well. I love to make homemade soups and I love healthy cooking.
For more info about Amy-Beth Ellice, visit www.amybethellice.com