Lanlard: Men are good at baking because...

Lanlard: Men are good at baking because...

Your cakes are always very exquisite. What has your most challenging creation been?

Earlier this year, I was commissioned by someone from the Middle East to make a wedding cake that was over 3½m tall. It was the biggest cake I'd ever made! We sent over tonnes of cargo.

I was there for five days with my chef to finish up the cake. It was an amazing experience.

I've been baking professionally for over 25 years.

I still love it because people come in interesting requests.

I'm known to say "yes" to everything, but as soon as they leave, it'll be, like, "oops, how am I going to do it?"

But that's what keeps me excited.

Why are there so many male patissiers?

Men are very good at baking because they are very precise people. I've seen that at many baking classes I've taught at my London school where the ladies think that because they're good in their kitchens, they can do my recipes.

They'll go, "oh, a little bit of this, a little bit of that", and so their cakes go wrong.

The men, however, will dissect the recipe properly and take great care when measuring their ingredients.

There's this guy in one of the episodes of my show who actually brought in a carpenter's level to make sure his cake is levelled.

I always say that men approach baking as if it's their set of Lego toys, where they need to follow the instruction manual step-by-step.

You've baked for quite a few celebrities including the late queen mother (of Britain). Who is the one person you'd like to bake for most?

Queen Elizabeth. I've met many British royals, but I have yet to meet the Queen.

I actually did something for her Jubilee last year. A magazine asked me to create a Jubilee cake.

The palace people read about it and called me to bake it for them because they'd like to taste it. The Queen did have it for afternoon tea and even gave us a beautiful, handwritten thank-you letter.

I'd like to have a big order from her. (laughs)

She's got great chefs and I know them very well. I think they need to give me more jobs. (laughs)

I'm sure she'll have a big birthday soon, so she should have my cakes.

What is the one ingredient you can't do without?

Edible glitter. Any simple dessert can be changed with just a sprinkle... the world is always better with edible glitter! (laughs)

Who is Eric Lanlard?

Born
1968, in Brittany, France

Baking career

Trained as pastry chef in Le Grande patisserie, Brittany

Apprentice chocolatier at Arens-Scheer, Luxembourg

Joined the Roux brothers Albert and Michel in London (1989), later becoming their head pastry chef

Opened Laboratoire 2000 supplying cakes to posh London department stores (1995)

Opened Cake Boy, a cake emporium, cooking school and cafe (2005)

Host of BBC cooking show Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard (2012)

Watch him on

Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard 2, BBC Lifestyle (StarHub Ch 432), weekdays at 9.15pm


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