Martha is the Great British Bake Off’s youngest ever baker and, at just 17 years old, she combines baking with her AS Level exams and coursework, taking revision breaks to make a tower of profiteroles or a batch of macaroons. Martha is studying Food Technology, Maths and Chemistry and wants to make a career out of food when she is older, saying: “I may be in school, but my head is always in the kitchen.” She lives with her mum, dad and younger sister and their white labradoodle Alfie - who steals Martha’s bakes whenever possible. Martha’s earliest baking memory is baking rock cakes and pizzas with her mum. Working on the cheese counter at a supermarket gives Martha inspiration to try different cheeses and flavours in her bakes.
Martha is fascinated by the science of baking, such as why cakes rise, why choux pastry puffs up and what goes on inside bread to give it structure. She is determined to turn this fascination into a successful career as a food scientist and has bookcases full of recipe books that she reads cover to cover, tweaking and improving on the original recipes.
Martha entered the Rotary Club’s Young Chef of the Year competition in 2012 and won the first local heat as East Berkshire’s Young Chef of the Year. She went on to achieve second place in the Thames Valley heat - despite having set her oven gloves on fire, causing the kitchen to be evacuated…
Martha in her own words
When did you get into baking?
I got into baking when I was about 7 year old, mainly through my brave parents letting me loose in the kitchen and letting me bake and make a mess, with mixed results!
What sets you apart from other bakers?
Being 14 years younger than the next youngest baker, the obvious thing that sets me apart is my age.
Why did you apply to be on The Great British Bake Off?
My friends have always told me that I should go on the Bake Off, I just never believed that I’d ever be chosen. I’m still taken aback when I realise what I’m part of now!
Have you had any baking disasters?
I set my oven gloves on fire in a school cooking competition and the entire building was evacuated, right before judging. In an idle moment, I had accidently sabotaged the competition, so it was no surprise that there was outrage from the other kids when I received second place!
What’s the one thing that you can do better than anyone you know?
I’m excellent at procrastinating.
What’s your favourite thing to bake?
Who is scarier, Mary or Paul?
Paul only has to look at you for you to know he’s the scariest, although the thought of letting Mary down is equally as daunting.