Baking marathon Alice's downfall
Cake decorating is an art, but baking is a science, Chelsea New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker contestant Alice Arndell has learnt.
The Martinborough mother, who made the top three, was the latest home baker to be eliminated from the TV3 show last night.
Mrs Arndell has been baking since she was a child, when she marvelled at her grandmother's ginger gems while burning her own pikelets.
"At high school, home economics was my break from physics and chemistry ... and [my teacher] taught me the science behind baking."
This principle rang true during her time in the competition, with judge Dean Brettschneider instilling a need for consistency when baking.
"When you have been baking a long time, you start chucking stuff in, but you can't do that with baking, it's more of a process with measurements."
Though she has always loved baking, doing so in a hot, unfamiliar kitchen with a time limit and cameras in her face was a challenge. "I had watched the last two seasons and thought `That looks far too easy; I can do that'."
During the first challenge, where 20 contestants were whittled down to eight, Mrs Arndell said she was focused on not being the first person to be eliminated.
"That first day was really overwhelming. It was full on. I have never been near television [filming] before and I didn't know what to expect."
The challenges got increasingly harder as the competition progressed, and last night she was thwarted by a baking marathon, where contestants were required to make jam, sponge, biscuits, slice and scones within two hours.
The judges thought her sponge roll was too eggy and her scones too firm.
Since leaving the show, she has discovered she is able to bake faster, and is taking more risks.
"I'm definitely trying a lot more things, I have a lot more confidence to try something new. I now know enough to substitute this for that and change up a recipe."
Mrs Arndell has started a baking blog, aliceinbakingland.com, and plans to write a baking cookbook.
The Dominion Post