Vanessa, 48, Auckland

Mum of three Vanessa is the owner and manager of a skincare business, which she runs with her husband Chris. Vanessa has been baking for as long as she can remember, learning her skills from her mother, aunty and sister. Although she has an extensive baking repertoire, Vanessa is least experienced in dough and would much prefer to whip up a sweet treat.

Why did you apply for The Great Kiwi Bake Off?

Me and my family LOVE The Great British Bake Off!! I don’t have much time to watch TV but this is the one show that we all watch religiously, which in this day and age where kids would rather play Fortnite than watch TV with their parents, is pretty exceptional I’ve always loved to bake so couldn’t not apply.

How would you describe your baking style?

Very loose and relaxed…totally opposite to the Bake Off kitchen!

What is your signature bake?

Something citrussy – I love lemon cakes, lemon meringue pies, lemon curd, tarte au citron etc. But, I’m also pretty good at bread.

What home-made baking dish are you most proud of?

Lemon Meringue Pie and some of my breads…baguettes or sour dough probably.

What has been your biggest baking disaster?

I made my daughter a birthday cake one year which was supposed to be a Cinderella carriage, but it turned out to look like a brain – try and work that one out!

What do you think are your strengths in the kitchen?

I have a good understanding of the chemistry of cooking and I’m usually very relaxed in the kitchen.

If you were a baked item, what would you be and why?

Chocolate fondant…well-formed and “firm” on the outside but soft in the middle and tricky to control!

What would winning The Great Kiwi Bake Off mean to you?

I would love to win The Great Kiwi Bake Off. I want to show my children that I’m more than just the woman who cooks and cleans for them!