Meet the Maker: Bakery Number Eight
We recently caught up with Megan from Bakery Number Eight to talk about all things gooey and delicious.
When did your love of baking begin and what inspired you to set up your own business?
My love of baking started surprisingly early; my grandmother was a huge inspiration. She was actually a pioneer of sending cakes by post, much to the delight of my university housemates when the delicious dense chocolate cakes thudded on our doormat!
I’ve wanted to start a business for a long time. Things finally clicked this summer when I baked a batch of stem ginger cookies for a friend's birthday and they were devoured in record time. Great tasting cookies do seem to make people remarkably happy and receiving these as a surprise gift takes it to the next level, and everyone needs a little boost right now.
We understand travel is one of your greatest passions and the inspiration for many of your flavour variations. Which has provided you with the most inspiration?
All over the world - it’s so hard to name just one continent, let alone country! The design is undoubtedly inspired by a minimalist Japanese / Scandinavian style. North American cookies have the most remarkable, soft texture, so I’ve attempted to replicate something similar while introducing more unusual flavours from other parts of the world, such as the distinctive Japanese matcha and creamy white chocolate. Last year in Argentina, I visited a patisserie chef’s kitchen and I fell in love with the dulce de leche desserts there. Watch this space for more flavours.
How would you best describe your baked treats?
Being British, I naturally find it very difficult to champion things I have created! Every review has been remarkably encouraging: Michelin-starred chefs have complimented the flavour balance and so many people have described the cookies and brownies the best they’ve ever eaten! I’m very happy with that as, although I care a lot about the design too, I wanted to concentrate on perfecting the recipes and taste, as that is what people remember and keeps them coming back!
How long does it take to perfect a new recipe?
A surprisingly long time! I had a brief few weeks in the early days where I couldn't bear to eat another bite of cookie after making one recipe 9 times! Unsurprisingly, I have a lot of willing friends and family who are always happy to sample new recipes. It’s well worth the effort to know the recipe is the best it can be.
If you got a place on the next Great British Bake Off, what would be your ‘Showstopper bake’?
Haha, I prefer to stay firmly behind the camera! For a letterbox friendly showstopper, it would have to be our tasting box, with a mixture of stem ginger, NYC triple-chocolate and Japanese matcha cookies, along with rich triple chocolate fudgy brownies. The overall look, feel and experience of receiving this Bakery Number Eight box in particular (and obviously the taste) does seem to make people very happy!