Why did you want to try vegetables in cakes?
'I thought, if carrots work, why not other starchy root veg?
wanted to lower the calories in cake but I'm against artificial sweeteners
and I don't cook with margarine. The first vegetable I used was beetroot in chocolate fudge cake on Cook Yourself Thin. I remember Richard and Judy tasting it and being both delighted and scandalised by what I'd done! It's this element of surprise which makes cooking, and life, fun.'
How do children react when they find out what's inside the cake?
'I'd brought my chocolate and pistachio cake which was full of courgettes to a picnic. I got chatting to a five-year-called called Henry and I told him the cake was full of courgettes. Without any prompting, he reached over the picnic mat, got the cake, opened it in half and asked me where they were! I said, 'Exactly, they're not there.' '
How did you come up with the recipes for your book, Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache?
'I had to create 80 recipes, everything from scones to sponges to brownies to steamed puddings, all using vegetables. It took a year and between three and 14 attempts to get each recipe right. It was a brand new concept - no-one had ever made steamed sponges with turnips - and gluten-free food in particular is largely ignored by the 'fun food' market too.'
Check out all our vegetable cake recipes here