Laura and The Great Bake Off
Laura Aagaard Nielsen from Healthcare Flow Projects and Services is this year part of the cast for the Danish television show, the Great Bake Off! The show was shot during late spring with gruelling weekly cake-making elimination rounds, and it is slated to run across the Danish screens this autumn, premiering on September 24.
If you know Laura, you might want to ask: “Why did you sign up for The Great Bake Off? I had no idea you liked to bake.” But to Laura, baking is like mathematics - a formula to follow, an equation to solve. Laura sees a clear parallel between her love for maths and physics and her excitement for baking, and it is her project-management skills that enable her to fulfil this passion for fine bakery.
And while Laura steadily refuses to reveal the winner, she is happy to share her experiences combining colleagues and cake development.
“It’s all about having a realistic plan and a solid overview of the process. Those are also essential skills for my work at Systematic, and I’ve applied them 1:1 to The Great Bake Off – Seriously, planning is the no. 1 reason I have been able to bring some pretty loco ideas to life.”
- Laura Aagaard Nielsen
Colleagues in cake and crazy
Deconstructing cakes into science and structure makes it no less of a creative process, and to come up with unexpected concepts for her cakes, Laura used a method for idea generating that she learned when studying engineering:
“First, you have to allow all imaginable opportunities – all your wildest ideas. Then, you slowly begin to close some doors, depending on what is possible when considering time, money, and what is actually physically possible,” she says.
Laura’s colleagues have been excited to help with this process, and according to Laura, her team has been important sparring partners.
“When I needed a waterfall of ideas, my colleagues were always excellent at coming up with completely crazy solutions that I somehow still ended up using – in a modified version,” she smiles.
Planning is key
The secret to carrying out those wild ideas is having a detailed plan for the project.
“It’s all about having a realistic plan and a proper overview of the process. Those are also essential skills for my work at Systematic, and I’ve applied them 1:1 to The Great Bake Off – Seriously, planning is the no. 1 reason I have been able to bring some pretty loco ideas to life,” she says.
As expected, Laura’s colleagues were quite eager to assist with the taste testing as well.
“From time to time, they have been exposed to some very peculiar cakes, but I can’t go into details about what they were,” Laura laughs. She admits that her colleagues have endured a lot of cake talk from her during the filming of the show.
“Yes, my colleagues now know the difference between mousse and ganache, and if you woke them up in the middle of the night, all of them would be able to tell you how to properly temper chocolate”, says Laura and sends a heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported her during her baking adventure.
“I am grateful for all those who listened, contributed with fresh ideas, granted flexibility on my work tasks, and even 3D printed the customised cake tins. You were all part of making this fast-paced process a trip to remember,” she says.