20 Questions with Topless Baker
Not gonna lie, we’ve got a sweet tooth for Topless Baker! Self-taught baker and all round sweet boy, Matt Adlard talks Bake off, how he started his journey in baking and his love for lemon tarts. Full interview in Dear Boy 04 PLAY.
Hello Matt, welcome to the Dear Boy family! How're you doing?
I’m doing very well, I’m having a great time in a beautiful park and just had my photos taken!
Tell us a bit more about what you’ve been up to!
The biggest thing is that I’ve just got engaged a few weeks ago!
Congratulations! That’s big!
Thank you very much. Got my dog involved in part of the proposal, it was very cute and quite emotional. So that’s probably the biggest news. Also, I’m starting a podcast tonight all about Great British Bake Off which is obviously my favourite TV show. I’ve never done a podcast before, so I don’t really know what I sound like in people’s ears!
Oh, we will definitely be tuning in to that!
Oh thank you, it’s called Bake Off, Undressed. Just a little plug there! [laughs]
A lot of people find baking therapeutic, is that the case for you?
Umm, was it ever therapeutic? [laughs] Because I was so bad from the start, it wasn’t therapeutic for me. For me it was burning stuff and cakes that didn’t taste good. You spend so much money, time and effort on baking, all for it to come out really bad. It’s just so upsetting and it really hurts you. Failure is very prevalent for baking because it’s so specific, like one tablespoon of baking powder wrong and it’s a total disaster! So it’s probably not relaxing for me until I finish it and feel like I’ve nailed it. Only then I get this sense of pride and relief and joy. Like wow, this is gonna look good on Instagram! [laughs]
Have you got any advice for people who want to start baking as a hobby?
I would say failure is key! Failure in baking is so important. You’ll never make that mistake again because it’s so burned into you from that one time. The memory of putting salt in your mixture instead of sugar... from then on you’ll always double check that it’s the sugar pot and not the salt pot! So failure would be the biggest lesson. If you just succeed and nail everything, you don’t really gain that many lessons. So don’t be worried if you fail, it will be the best lesson! I still make mistakes now that I’m like, Aww c’mon! I’ve made that mistake before! But I’ve learnt my lessons! You’ll always eventually learn from your mistakes.
What’s your favourite flavour pairing?
You know what, this isn’t necessary a pairing but I love anything lemon! Lemon tart is just my all time childhood favourite food because my dad used to make it. When I finally got good at baking, lemon tart was the first thing I nailed and really got right. My dad was a Michelin star chef, so he knows his stuff. Once I’ve nailed his lemon tart and then made it better, I was like really happy about it.
Does the yellow shoot today make you want to go back and bake a lemon tart?
Yup, I’m craving some of that lemon now! Although, the cake I made for the shoot was actually lemon cake!
If you were on Bake Off, what would you absolutely dread as a challenge?
Oh, anything vegan! I would really struggle with vegan bakes, so anything with like matcha or gluten-free flour. Anything where baking ventures into like healthy territory, I would really struggle with! That vegan week would be my nightmare, I’m out! Just literally send me out the tent there and then!
You ready for some quick fire questions? Where is your favourite bakery?
Favourite thing to bake for your fiancé?
Thing you like least about baking?
What is one book that people should get to learn more about baking?
I can’t remember but my book’s gonna be better than all of them! [laughs] I really don’t think you need a book apart from mine to learn about baking, you can just learn from the internet!
Healthy bakes? Yay or nay
No! Oh my goodness, no!
Croissant! A well made croissant is dangerous!
What is your favourite cuisine?
Italian! Love Italian – pasta, pizza! I eat pasta basically everyday!
Favourite sports to play?
Current song you’re jamming out to now?
God is a woman by Ariana Grande. It’s really good! She just did the carpool karaoke and she just slays it! She is just fire!
You’re doing classes here in London, what’s next for you?
Yes, hopefully a cookbook in the works! Fingers crossed! Hopefully in Summer or Fall of 2019 which I’m quite excited about. I think it has quite a unique concept to a cookbook which all will be revealed!
Well, you heard it here first in Dear Boy!