Kitchen Quiz Episode 3: Jeni Iannetta (Bad Girl Bakery)

For our latest insight into the lives of our incredible and inspiring authors we journey back up to the stunning Scottish Highlands to pay a visit to the original bad girl baker, Jeni Iannetta. 

Picture of Jeni Iannetta of Bad Girl Bakery

Jeni’s wonderful, award winning Bad Girl Bakery is situated at Muir Of Ord where she dishes out the most unapologetically generous and indulgent cakes, bakes, biscuits and savouries.

Interior of Bad Girl Bakery

Lucky for us all she has been using some of the downtime during the lockdowns of the last year to write her first cookbook cunningly entitled Bad Girl Bakery. You can now pre-order the book direct from us on our website.

OK stick the kettle on and perhaps cut yourself a slice of cake. It’s time to hear from The Bad Girl Baker herself.

Q. Hi there Jeni. So was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: So, this is going to sound cheesy and like I’m trying to suck up, but it’s absolutely true! It’s the Parlour Cafe Cookbook. It’s not just the recipes; it’s that  someone I knew opened a food business and published a book. Gill has been a total inspiration and one of the reasons I now work in food. I love her book mostly because the recipes are fantastic and while her food is nothing like mine, the colours, textures and variety are something I’d like to think we had in common. 

I own over 200 cookbooks (at the last count) At home, I’ve been a massive fan of Nigella. I guess it’s that notion of indulgence and comfort in simple, easy to follow recipes.  

Most recently, I bought a couple of fantastic American baking books: Brave Tart and Weekend Baking. American baking is fascinating and these two are great examples. 

cover of the Parlour Cafe Cookbook
Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: It would have to be my Kmix. I’m a huge fan. It’s the most used piece of kit in the bakery (even more so that our beautiful industrial mixers, which I also love). The Kmix is lovely and gentle, easy to control and a real work horse. I’m slightly embarrassed to say we only buy them in our corporate colours.  You definitely don’t need one to bake, but they make life a lot easier.

I have a favourite pallet knife too.  I’ve have it for years  and it came from my mum, and it has a lovely old wooden handle.  All of us want to use that one! 

Pic of Kmix food mixer
Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

A: Ooft. Too difficult!

My brother in law, Niall who has an incredible music collection, makes us playlists for the cafe that has all the families favourites in there. My favourite still remains the one he made for our opening. It’s got over 12 hours worth of tracks (over 200) from things to break you in gently in the morning, to things to get you through the clean down and we play it still, 4 years on. Marlena Shaw, Marvin Gaye or Groove Armada for a slow start Sunday.

For clean down it’s got everything from Toots and the Maytals, Primal Scream, James Brown and there’s even a bit of Beyoncé in there.

Here is a link to the playlist.

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: That gives me the fear! There’s nowhere I love baking more than in our bakery. It’s light, bright and beautifully laid out and that’s where my favourite spatulas and palette knives live! It sounds so cheesy, but we’re surrounded by a team we love. It’s my favourite place to bake.

Pic of Bad Girl Kitchen
Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: Ohhh, that’s tough. I guess I’d say ‘Hold your nerve’ a lot! In baking, sometimes things look bad before they look better! Like when you’re making a brownie: the mixture goes through a slightly split, grainy stage before it transforms into a smooth, glossy batter. It’s still my very favourite moment in baking.

Oh, and read the recipe and weigh out everything before you start! 

Thank you so much Jeni! Such inspiring stuff. Can’t you just feel her energy, enthusiasm and love for cooking? We can’t wait to show you her cookbook very soon!

Book Cover of Bad Girl Bakery

The book is out in November but you can pre-order here right now and guarantee that you are one of the first people to grab a copy.