Andrew Smyth from GBBO & The Wonders of Bakineering | Knead to Know #5

The Great British Bake Off finalist Andrew Smyth joins us for an interview At The Counter to talk all about baking, musicals, and #bakineering in this week's Knead to Know!
Knead To Know with Mia Brabham and Andrew Smyth

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Happy almost St. Patrick’s Day! This week on Knead to Know we are celebrating big with some of my favorite Irish food memories as well as Irish baker, engineer, and Season Four Great British Bake Off Finalist Andrew Smyth — but first — we have a LOT of questions. Do grapes belong on pizza? Are Reese’s really Reese’s without the chocolate? Is Irish Potato Candy even Irish? Stay tuned, because we’re answering it all on this week’s episode of Knead to Know!

To get in the holiday spirit, join me in making my Authentic Irish Potato Farls for breakfast while you listen — and hopefully even laugh a little. If you love the show, don’t forget to subscribe, rate five stars, and review — let’s get to #1!

Baking On St. Patrick’s Day 

Nearly 33 million people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year! According to Bake Magazine, 57 percent of Americans celebrated the holiday in 2020, and consumers spent approximately $6.1 billion on St. Patrick’s Day! I wonder how much of that was spent on dying rivers green in the U.S., and just how much was spent on bakery treats! It’s such a joy to see people participate in the holiday despite worldwide lockdowns last year, and hopefully the same will go for this year. Irish Soda Bread, anyone?

Is Irish Potato Candy… Irish?

Speaking of “Irish” treats: Insomnia Cookies has introduced its Irish Potato Cookie, inspired by Irish Potato Candy, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The interesting thing here is, Irish Potato Candy is neither Irish nor is it any part potato. It’s actually a traditional Philadelphia confection that is made up of confectioners’ sugar, coconut cream, and coconut flakes that is rolled in cinnamon to look like a potato.

The treat is rumored to have been developed in the late 1800s or early 1900s by an Irish Immigrant here in America, but it doesn’t have roots in Ireland itself.  Irish Food Historian Regina Sexton said that the cinnamon coating is indicative of American taste, which Mia and I have lots of fun talking about. As far as regular old potato candy (mashed potatoes and peanut butter), Mia and I had never heard of it until now — but Mia’s willing to try anything once. Let us know if you’ve ever had Irish Potato Candy or potato candy!

The New Great Celebrity Bake Off Cast Is GOOD

BIG NEWS! The latest season of Great Celebrity Bake Off has released its cast, and it is good. The celebrity iteration of The Great British Bake Off will include stars like KSI, Daisy Ridley, Rob Beckett, Tom Allen, Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall — and Mia’s favorite — James McAvoy. But the full list of celebrities goes on! Apparently, one of Tom Allen’s creations gets stuck at the bottom of the freezer, and at some point, he also says “I am so embarrassed, I could die.” It’s okay Tom, we’ve all been there. The series starts on Tuesday and raises money for Stand Up To Cancer, so be sure to tune in! But first, stay tuned to THIS show because we have Great British Bake Off alum Andrew Smith on for a super fun chat!

Meghan Markle’s Humble (Humphrey Yogart) Beginnings

If you were breathing last Sunday, you probably watched Oprah’s eye-opening interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry along with 17 million other people! There were a lot of important things to unpack there — like unfair treatment in regards to race and mental health — but a lesser and more lighthearted bomb dropped was that Meghan Markle’s first job was at a frozen yogurt shop called Humphrey Yogart. A fun tidbit for you: it still exists and you can visit it in Sherman Oaks today! Mia is so sweet to bring up Cookies and Cream Frozen Yogurt, but I think Team BBB may have to treat ourselves to a little outing!

Naked Reese’s Cups?!

Last week we mentioned an entirely different Reese’s story, but there’s more where that came from! Reese’s is coming out with naked Reese’s cups! The candy brand is on fire with new iterations of its traditional treat, and recently announced the “most extreme, peanut buttery version” of its iconic cup —  WITHOUT CHOCOLATE COATING. Yes, that means it’s all peanut butter folks! Mia debates… is this really even a peanut butter cup anymore? So what do you guys think? Is a full peanut butter cup still a Reese’s?

Bananas For Pancake-Covered Bananas


#Mini #BananaPancakes 🥞 Cute + delicious 🥲 #minipancakes #pancakecereal #foodtiktok #foodie #pancakes #foryou #fyp #homecooking #easyrecipe

♬ original sound – The Hunger Diaries

Tik Tok strikes again, and this time, with Pancake. Covered. Bananas. Yes, you heard right! Not pancakes with bananas on top, but bananas covered in pancake batter topped with maple syrup, Nutella, or nut butter. You just cover banana slices in your favorite pancake mix, put them in a buttered pan over low heat, and bake on each side until golden brown.

These look absolutely delicious to both Mia and me, but it raised an interesting discussion: some people have never had bananas on pancakes!

“Goo-Goo” For Grapes On Pizza?

Now for a complete pivot: let’s talk about grapes! Chef Jamie Oliver sparked a debate when he shared a recipe with grapes on pizza! He called it his “favourite speedy sausage pizza,” which includes — get this — veggie sausage, red onion, sun-dried tomato paste, and then… seedless red grapes. He made a poll, and 65 percent were NOT down for this ride. Mia likes grapes, but the onion and grape combo… not so much.

As for me, I put grapes in all types of things — from my Grape and Rosemary Focaccia Bread to my Crunch Grape & Almond Cakes. Would you all eat grapes on pizza? What’s your favorite pizza topping?

At The Counter With Great British Bake Off Finalist And Irish “Bakineer” Andrew Smyth

Great British Bake Off finalist Andrew Smyth

Irish baker, aerospace engineer, and Season Four Great British Bake Off finalist Andrew Smyth sat down with our host Mia Brabham to talk about everything under the sun (quite literally) — and I promise you — it’s so much fun that you’re going to get a good laugh.

Not only has Andrew baked a rotating jet engine cake for Prince William, but he’s also the creator of #bakineering, which are live scientific baking presentations in which he uses baking and desserts, such as baked Alaska, to explain processes and occurrences in space. He even tells us some of the parallels between living in space and living on Earth during COVID-19, which is super cool.

As far as Great British Bake Off, he tells us about a funny-but-terrifying moment that never aired and fills us in on whether or not the cast from the tent keeps in touch. Where does he go in his head while he’s baking? Was it weird to bake in front of that many people? Do the bakers actually stop baking when the timer goes off? You’ll have to listen to find out! 

Until next week — Subscribe & download wherever you listen to podcasts!

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Chloe Sophia Hernandez
Chloe Sophia Hernandez
3 years ago

I used to bake at the age of 1-2 years old with my mom
And now I am 10 and adore baking.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook