Candice Brown has had a whirlwind year since winning Great British Bake Off. Here she talks pavlova, Paul Hollywood and shares a delicious recipe from her debut book, Comfort
How’s life been since you won Bake Off last year?
It’s been crazy, busy and completely amazing! I’ve had the most fantastic opportunities and feel so very lucky to be a position where I am able to do something I love.
There are lots of baking books, how is Comfort different?
There really are a lot out there and so many incredible ones – my shelves are groaning under the weight of my collection! I want the book to be something that starts off as mine, and then as people use it, change things around, swap ingredients etc. it becomes theirs.
The new series of Great British Bake Off has just started, any predictions about the new format?
I think it will be incredible. I can’t wait to see it and welcome twelve new people to this amazing little Bake Off family I’m now part of! Prue is fab and Noel and Sandi will bring the fun and humour needed when things get stressful – which they always do! Paul is just brilliant and always will be.
You grew up in a pub, how has that affected your approach to food?
Pub grub will always be one of my favourite types of food – wholesome meals served in big portions! My mam was amazing in the kitchen, she definitely taught me how to cater for the masses, should I need to! Her and my dad were a great team.
Earliest food memory?
Visiting the seafood stalls in Edmonton and then going back to my nan and grandad’s house. I’d be sitting on the floor eating a pint of shell on prawns, my grandad had cockles, dad would be eating jellied eels and nan always went for crab sticks. That was a happy place for me.
Your ultimate comfort dish?
Macaroni cheese. If I see it on any menu I have to try it, even if I’m not hungry!
Your favourite ‘show off’ bake?
Something like a huge pavlova is great as you can prepare all the elements in advance, then pile it all together when you’re ready to serve. Meringue with a mound of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and raspberries, topped off with passion fruit curd – I don’t think there’s much better than that!
What do you love cooking with at the moment?
Savoury wise I cannot do without smoked paprika, I love it in everything! Chorizo is amazing too, it can really brighten up a dish. In terms of sweet, it has to be lemon zest or British strawberries – simple but perfect.
Anything you really hate?
I detest peas and am not a huge fan of tomatoes either!