You may have recently seen that Colin, of Colin’s Time to Bake, tried his hand at making our delicious Blueberry Cheesecake! If you missed it then click here to check out the video! We caught up with Colin to ask him a few questions about his baking, his inspirations and his plans for the future! 

Colin's Time to Bake Vegan HippoHow did you get started with your YouTube channel? Where do you take your inspiration from?

It was March 2014 and I needed to do something besides working. I didn’t have any hobbies since I moved to Manchester, and spent a lot of time at home. I had some M&S vouchers for Christmas that I hadn’t spent, so I thought I would go and see what I could buy. I decided I would get a cake tin and some other baking stuff and make a victoria sponge. Since I had never made one before I did a Snapchat story of my adventure. People seemed to like it. Then I discovered I could edit it together and put it on YouTube. My first video is SO awkwardly filmed. I continued filming through Snapchat and editing until I realised I could film properly on my digital camera. My friend Amelia also informed me that I should move the camera horizontally so it fills the screen. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing.

I used to have musical interludes where I would dance while whatever I was baking was in the oven. That’s what gave me the idea to do my first musical parody baking video – Shortbread – which is set to No Scrubs by TLC. I recorded the song, then lip synced it on Snapchat for everyone. Then did it again for YouTube. By this point I had somehow baked something each week since March. I decided to rebrand as Colin’s Time to Bake after that. Then when Bake Off started that year I baked alongside them and did whatever their technical challenge was. I am totally addicted to the whole process of baking, filming, and editing.

I get inspired by loads of things. Mostly what everyone at work wants to eat, they get most of my baked goods. It’s the main reason I started baking vegan, I know a lot of vegans. I also get inspired by what’s on TV- I’ve done baking videos inspired by RuPauls Drag Race, Gilmore Girls, The Walking Dead and, of course, The Great British Bake Off. My favourite thing to do is a parody musical bake, where I take a song and teach you to bake. I love a good dress up, creating a character, deciding what baked good will fit the song, re-writing the words of the song. I have SO many ideas in my head, including a six part murder mystery that I STILL haven’t finished. I always forget I am just me in a tiny kitchen. When I discovered Green Screen (which is basically a sheet I tape to the cupboards) I went wild with it and always look for an opportunity to use it.

Have you always been into baking? Or is this a relatively new passion of yours?

I used to bake shortbread occasionally, but I only really got into it when I started baking on YouTube. Over 140 baking videos later and I am still going. Britt AKA She Who Bakes, came to visit me just after I did my first video and she taught me to make brownies. She’s been a huge inspiration and help to ALL of my questions and troubles, especially when I made my first vegan attempt with a carrot cake. I was SnapChatting away and suddenly got loads of texts from her, she noticed that I had mixed up some ingredients. I thought that shortening was short crust pastry. I honestly do NOT know how I made that mistake. Basically I blended in raw dough with sugar to make icing. It did NOT taste good and neither was it edible. She found it the most hilarious thing, I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s my favourite mistake, and even now, when I use vegetable shortening in my vegan bakes, I still chortle away at it. You can watch that video too.

If I am honest, I had no idea I COULD bake, I just thought it was something you REALLY had to know what you are doing. When I baked alongside the Bake Off IColin Vegan Baking Vegan Hippo realised that I could make anything, as long as the recipe is clear and you read it through properly – I have made so many mistakes from rushing ahead.

What are your thoughts / feelings about veganism?

Veganism makes sense as a diet and a way of life, and with everything its a choice. I always understood how food works from a farm to the table, as I grew up in the top of Scotland and have family who own a farm. I always knew where meat came from, where vegetables came from and how the world relies on farming to create the food sources we have. I think with everything it’s down to the information out there, people are opening up to the idea and becoming more aware of what is in their food and the journey it has made to get there.

I always thought baking vegan would mean complicated recipes with really expensive ingredients. I was very surprised when I found out it’s not. The science is a little different, but it works and the flavours are the same. I think that everyone deserves to have their own choice, and I am lucky to live in a country that gives me the options for the choice.

What has been your favourite dish to create for your channel so far? And, which dish have you found the most challenging?

My favourite thing to bake has been the Oreo Cheesecake. I made it for my Frozen Sing-A-Long musical bake and I could eat it EVERY day. I have since re-made it (using another Frozen song, obviously) with the vegan cream cheese from Sainsbury’s instead and it tastes exactly the same.

The most challenging thing I have ever made was the Prinsesstårta from Bake Off in 2014. Surprisingly enough it is my most viewed video, even though I had NO idea what I was doing. What you are watching was the first time I ever made it. I always film my first attempt at the Bake Off challenges – which is why they sometimes don’t work (I’m looking at you, Baguettes and Lace Pancakes!). I love that I can make mistakes and have disasters during the Bake Off because it takes the pressure off thinking up ideas and making sure it turns out perfect. I am not here to reinvent the wheel, I don’t really have the passion to make a new way to bake a chocolate cake, I am all about the adventure of baking. Oh, and the dress up!

What do you do with your time when you’re not creating tasty treats for your channel?

Working, mostly. I have been very unsuccessful at going to the gym lately, and you can see the progression of my tummy since I hit 30. I will keep trying to get fit, I ran a marathon four years ago and have no idea where it all went wrong! Hahaha I just need a goal I can’t get out of.

Any exciting plans for the future?

I have become self employed and make commission cakes and whatnot, so we will see where that takes me. I like creating the grand cakes, with all the icing and sculpting. Mostly, I am thinking about what I want to do with my videos and what new musical bake I can do. I have a collaboration with a local bartender who makes vegan cocktails coming up. It’s inspired by the Vegan Hippo Blueberry Cheesecake, so stay tuned for that. My dream is to do a video with Kermit the Frog or Cookie Monster, any of the muppets really. If that ever happens, I will be delighted. Ill probably cry. If anyone out there knows Kermit and wants to show him my videos, please do!

Contact The Vegan Hippo

Why not visit us today? If you have a query or a question simply get in touch.

52 Rupert Street
W1D 6DS London

Phone Number: 020 7734 8574