IT was crunch time as Rory Sutherland chased his dream of becoming a baker by entering a major competition.
And now the sky is the limit for the Edinburgh Airport check-in agent after he signed an exclusive supermarket deal.
Rory’s recipe wowed judges who searched the nation for the next big thing in biscuits – and the 21-year-old is being tipped to make some serious dough when his Chocolate Orange Thins appear on Asda’s shelves in January.
He told today how he first started making biscuits at his family home in Corstorphine after discovering he was allergic to eggs, which prevented him from baking cakes.
Delighted with the results, he began experimenting with different flavour combinations, avoiding ingredients that many people can be allergic to, such as nuts.
Rory said: “When I started working at the airport people would bring in baked stuff and I thought I should contribute.
“They were putting in the effort so I thought I would too. I am allergic to eggs to I started to make biscuits instead and they turned out well.”
Rory, who was taught baking basics by his mother Fiona, has pledged to continue experimenting with different combinations, including chocolate and chili.
He went to Balerno High School and then Heriot-Watt University to study chemistry before dropping out of the course to work at the airport.
His recipe was picked for its “creativity, innovation and delicious taste” and was judged by an expert panel including high-profile baking bloggers from around the UK, representatives from Asda and the Border Biscuits team.
The biscuits earned him a £2000 cash prize plus the chance to visit the Border Biscuits factory to see his creation being produced.
He said: “I’m thrilled to win the Big Baking Bonanza and I can’t believe my recipe has been selected from all of the other entries. I thought my Chocolate Orange Thins recipe was unique and it uses on-trend flavours.
“My friends and family are big fans of it, so I’m really pleased that I have been chosen as the winner.”
Despite his success, Rory no plans to swap the check-in desk for the kitchen full-time and wants to keep his biscuit-making purely as a hobby.
“I know of chefs who have gone into the industry because they love cooking,” he said.
“They follow their passion and end up hating it so I want to keep it just for fun. I hope the biscuit does take off, but, for me, it’s more about enjoying the baking – and the taste.”
Rory’s creation includes butter, caster sugar, plain flour, semolina, orange zest and chocolate.
Lesley Ann Gray, brand and marketing manager at Border Biscuits, said: “We had a lot of outstanding recipes this year so picking an overall winner was really tough.
“We felt Rory’s recipe was very strong and would fit in with the Border Biscuits family.
“The flavours and textures work well and complement our existing biscuits and we’re looking forward to seeing it on the shelves in Asda.”