Turnhout resident takes his chance in the 'Bake Off' tent: “I try to avoid the simple”
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The ten participants are divided into two groups. The last group starts on Wednesday. One person is eliminated, the rest join the four best from last week.

“I got a sweet tooth by baking a lot,” laughs Dennis. “I used to never eat dessert at a restaurant, but that changed by delving into all kinds of desserts.”

He never often bakes the same thing at home. “I want to experiment, I want to have tried everything ever. Baking is interesting because I always have a new challenge. The first time I follow a recipe closely, the next time I give it my own twist with a different taste or texture. I make every recipe to my liking. At the end of the ride, the kitchen is in disarray. Cleaning up sometimes takes more time than baking itself. Because I work during the day, I have to bake in the evening. Late in the evening you don’t feel like baking anymore, so I leave it in the fridge overnight. Moreover, pastries taste even better the next day because then the flavors can combine.”

Baking takes time, you have to make time for it. “I am renovating a house, but most of the time is spent on baking. I have a habitable house. What I’m doing now are bonuses, like expanding the upstairs to additional rooms. I do most of the renovations myself, occasionally with the help of acquaintances. So that is not progressing quickly.”

File manager CM

During the day, Dennis works as a file manager at CM. “I deal with insurance applications for the CM Hospitaalplan, Medikoplan and the Hospitaalfix. Members can contact me if they want information or make a request.”

As a passionate baker, Dennis has been watching for years Bake Off. “I am someone who has seen all seasons several times. Each episode easily four times, with the notepad next to it. The first time I want to watch the program mainly as relaxation. Then I write down what they make, and what comments the jury gives and what techniques the candidates use. I get a lot of information from that that I also use in my own baking.”

Dennis calls himself his biggest critic and is not easily satisfied. “I was never stressed on set. The stress was already behind me in the run-up to the pre-selections. For that you had to bake something at home and have it tasted later on when you were away. I made a puff pastry construction. Just as I was about to finish baking, my oven broke down. On which I had to walk to a friend elsewhere in Turnhout through all kinds of weather. In retrospect, that was an ideal time to measure my stress level in a time-sensitive situation.”

Bold technique

The conditions in the tent are different from at home. “Other material, other devices. But I found that a challenge. You will see that I immediately used a daring technique, where it was all or nothing. It was delicate work, but I make it my trademark to avoid the simple. I also try to combine flavors. Think sour raspberry with sweet meringue and crunchy pistachio. Or I play with textures. For example, I look for the right note with extra crunch so that the mouthfeel is optimal,” says Dennis, who recently also opened a webshop where you can find all kinds of goodies.

The atmosphere was mostly relaxing. “I could sense how jury members Regula and Herman would judge. All in all, the recordings were less impressive than expected because everything went so pleasantly and sympathetically. I got to know baking friends, with whom I still exchange baking tips in a WhatsApp group.”

www.dionysosbake.be

Bake Off Vlaanderen, Play4 and Goplay, Wed at 9 pm

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