Luis Troyano Interview – GBBO, MCFC and carrot cake

An interview with 2014 Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano about GBBO, supporting Manchester City, his new book, and his tasty carrot and cardamon cake recipe. The Poynton based baker recalls standing in the Kippax, Uwe Rosler and a cake for Yaya's birthday

Luis Troyano Interview – GBBO, MCFC and carrot cake

Great British Bake Off 2014 finalist and Manchester City fan, Luis Troyano gives us a low down on life after the show that changed his life, supporting the blues and a tasty carrot cake recipe for Yaya Toure’s birthday!Luis Troyano

You may have seen Luis Troyano on the Great British Bake, where he reached the final in 2014, but did you know he’s a Manchester City fan.

I caught by with the Poynton based baker to discuss GBBO, Manchester City and is future plans, including his new book, Bake it Great (Pavilion) which is out now. Luis also gives us one of his recipes for a carrot and cardamon cake for Yaya Toure’s next birthday!

Luis, why do you support Man City?

I was taken to the games from an early age, simple as that. I remember standing in the Kippax in my early teens, really magical days.

What was you first City game?

City v Liverpool, 1979. City lost 4-0. It prepared me for the many years ahead as a City fan! 😉

Which is you favorite City game?

City v Gillingham, Second Division play off at Wembley. What a game. Every emotion covered, luckily I was one of the ones that stayed in the stadium.

Who is your City idol?

Wow that’s a difficult question. I think if I had to pick one player I absolutely used to love watching it would have to be Uwe Rosler, complete legend.

Maine Road or the Etihad

Maine Road, fond memories both at and around the stadium before and after the games.

Why did you decide to go on GBBO

I thought it would be fun and a change from my everyday life! To be honest, I never ever expected to walk into the tent and actually take part. The first day there was really surreal, almost dream like.

I learnt so much from the experience, it was simply amazing and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is considering taking part.


Luis with Mike Summerbee at the City Comic Relief bake off at the academy

What were your Best and Worst moments on GBBO

Worst, definitely self-saucing puddings. I knew I had a dodgy recipe and I’ll never forget Paul (Hollywood) just staring at me whilst dribbling the horrible thin sauce off a spoon in front of me. I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Best, star baker bread week.

What have you been doing since Great British Bake Off? Are you now a full time baker?

Wow, where do I start? My life has been turned upside down in the most amazing way. I gave up my old day job and now focus on baking activities.

I was very privileged to get the opportunity to write my own recipe book so that took quite a lot of time to do. The book is called Bake It Great and is published by Pavilion.

I also hold afternoon teas at the Farmers Arms in my home village of Poynton on a regular basis, I make all the cakes. I have a really full diary teaching people how to bake at Seasoned Cookery School and Cheshire Cookery School as well as working at many of the food festivals around the country this Summer and Autumn. You can view my schedule of where I’ll be on my website,

Long term, I would love to have my own bakery, something I’m currently investigating.

Paul Hollywood’s a Liverpool fan, was there much football banter in the GBBO tent? I can see Mary Berry as a Millwall Ultra!

Ha, yes there was the odd bit of banter. He never held the fact I’m a City fan against me though….or at least I don’t think he did!

Finally, and I have to ask, do you have a Birthday Cake recipe from your new book you can share for Yaya Toure’s next birthday?

My Carrot and Cardamom cake from my book Bake It Great makes a great birthday cake. I mean who doesn’t like a carrot cake?! It’s spicy and ever so moist.

Luis’ new book Bake It Great is out now

You can make the layers a couple of days in advance and just keep them wrapped in cling film until the day you need them. Then just assemble and decorate the cake which takes no more than an hour. I think Yaya would approve.

Luis Troyano Carrot & cardamom cake recipe

This is the daddy of all cakes as far as I’m concerned.

It is said that the carrot cake dates back to medieval times and was originally known as a carrot pudding. Carrot was used as a sweetener in Britain when sugar was hard to come by. Nowadays sugar is also used, but the carrot gives the cake an amazingly moist texture.

My two-layered version includes raisins and a mixture of different spices in the sponge mix. It is completely shrouded in a cream cheese frosting, and topped with candied walnuts and pecans.

Luis Troyano Carrot and Cardamon cakeServes 10 (or 1 x Yaya Toure)
Time required: 40 minutes prep; 20 minutes to decorate
Baking time:  30–35 minutes, plus cooling
Optimum oven position and setting: below centre and fan
Essential equipment: Two 23cm/9 inch non-stick springform cake tins, greased and lined with non-stick baking parchment

340g carrots, peeled and finely grated
200g seedless raisins
8 green cardamom pods
3 large eggs
150g caster sugar
50g soft light brown sugar
180ml corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
180g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
1½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp ground ginger

For the frosting 
600g full-fat soft cream cheese
300g icing sugar
250ml double cream

For the candied nuts 
150g granulated sugar
150ml water
30 walnut halves
30 pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/ 320°F/gas 4.

1) Squeeze out any excess liquid from the carrots and place them in a bowl. Stir in the raisins and set aside. Crack open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds to a powder, using a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Weigh your empty mixing bowl and make a note of it.

2) Put the eggs and both sugars into the bowl and whisk for 4–5 minutes until thick and the whisk leaves a thick ribbon trail when lifted out. Add the corn oil, vanilla and orange zest, and beat well for a minute.

3) Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Gradually add this to the cake mixture, beating well between each addition until well mixed. Don’t overwork the mixture. Fold in the grated carrots and raisins, using a large metal spoon, until evenly mixed.

4) Weigh your bowl again and subtract the weight of the empty bowl. Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins by placing them on your scales when pouring it in. Place both tins in the oven on the same shelf.

5) Bake for 30–35 minutes. Check the cakes after 30 minutes: a skewer inserted into the centre should
come out completely clean and the cakes should have shrunk away from the sides slightly.

They may need a couple more minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the candied nuts

1) Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Tip in the nuts and simmer for 15 minutes.

2) Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. Using a slotted spoon, lift the nuts out and place them on the baking sheet to dry.

To make the cream cheese frosting

1) Place the cream cheese in a large mixer bowl and whisk until fluffy. Add the icing sugar and whisk until well mixed and smooth. Pour in the cream and whisk until it becomes thick yet spreadable. Take care not to over-whisk, or it could split.

To assemble the cake

1) Place one of the sponges on your serving plate or cake stand. If it has a slight dome, place it upside down and it should flatten. I don’t trim the tops of cakes like this as we can easily hide the dome with the filling and decoration. However, feel free to do so if you want to.

2) Spread an even layer of the cream cheese frosting, about 1cm/½ inch thick, over the sponge.

3) Place the second sponge gently on top. Using a palette knife, spread the remaining frosting around the sides and top of the cake to cover it completely. (If you put it on a cake turntable, you can make a really cool swirl pattern using the tip of your palette knife and spinning the cake while you move the knife slowly towards the centre.)

4) Using a fine sieve, give the cake a really light dusting of cinnamon, then place the candied nuts on the top in a concentric design.

Keep this cake refrigerated. It will keep for 2 days.
Luis’ new book Bake it Great (Pavilion) is out now.


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