Now that the Great British Bake Off is back on our screens, the nation has fallen in love with baking all over again – and the owners of Bedford’s only French boulangerie and pâtisserie are thrilled.
Géraldine Perrier Latour and Diana Woo opened Délices last year after moving from Paris and love watching the BBC programme.
“I’m amazed at what the contestants manage to make in such a short space of time and all the interesting ideas and flavours they come up with” said Diana.
Géraldine said: “Everyone’s doing really well and we both love Candice.
“She can be quite emotional but it shows how much she cares about what she bakes.”
A passion for baking is what brought Géraldine and Diana together - they met in a bread making class at the École de Boulangerie et de Pâtisserie de Paris.
Diana had also trained in pâtisserie and when the bread course finished, they decided to combine their skills.
“It was the right time for us both” explains Géraldine.
“In Paris I was an architect, but then I moved to England to do an economics course and met my partner, Gregory, who is from Bedford.
“Ironically, one of my friends had also moved from Paris to Bedford and she told me the only thing she missed was the French bread.
“That was my lightbulb moment.”
It was also time for a change for Diana, who gave up her job as a climate change analyst to train in pâtisserie.
She said: “I used to bake when I was a student to help me relax, so it’s something I’ve always loved.
“When Géraldine suggested I moved back to Bedford with her and open our own shop I thought, ‘why not?’”
Now the two of them are hoping the return of the Great British Bake Off will inspire people to visit their store for something a different lunchtime snack.
Everything is baked freshly on the premises and customers can watch Diana and Géraldine first hand through a feature window.
“To those starting out baking, don’t let your dough prove too long otherwise it will lose its elasticity – and once it’s baked the bread won’t have much volume” says Géraldine.
As for creating delicious pâtisseries, Diana recommends using the best ingredients and never cutting corners.
She said: “Don’t try to substitute double cream for fat-free cream – you just won’t get the same results.”