To celebrate the release of Great British Bake Off winner, Candice Brown’s cookbook, Comfort, we caught up to chat about all things baking, big plans to cook for Adele and what it’s like to bake for Mary and Paul.
So, tell us a bit more about your cookbook, Comfort?
My cookbook is all about the food that makes you feel warm and cosy inside. Ultimate comfort food and recipes that bring back memories, sparks nostalgia and makes you want to dive straight in with a spoon before it’s had a chance to even cool! Every recipe has a story and a reason behind it. I love food and I hope that Comfort shows that and makes people love my food too. I encourage people to change the recipes to suit their taste or what ingredients they have available. Baking and cooking shouldn’t be worrying, it should be fun and flexible.
The book is full of beautiful flavour combinations, where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you, I am so proud of it. I wrote and made every single recipe myself – that was really important to me to do that and I just love them all. There are recipes from my Nan in there, ones I’ve picked up from my mam, Liam’s mam and from various trips and travels. Inspiration comes from anything – from a market, a cocktail menu, what’s in season at the time, cravings or requests from family and friends. My brain is always ticking over thinking about how I can use a certain ingredient.
Here at The Happy Foodie we’re obsessed with cookbooks. Can you tell us a bit more about the favourites in your collection?
You and me both! I have so many of them I just love them! My ultimate prize possession is a recipe book that was my Nan’s – it’s called Country Farmhouse Cooking and is about fifty years old. It has all of her handwritten notes and recipes in there too. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible is such a good one for beginners and then to progress through as there is something for everyone and of course if you want to bake bread then look no further than the man himself, Mr Hollywood and How to Bake! Dinner wise you can’t go wrong with a Jamie Oliver or Tom Kerridge book.
We’re curious, who’s more intimidating to cook for, Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood?
Ha! Well actually they’re both quite different. I didn’t feel intimidated, but I didn’t want to let Mary down and then I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of Paul. I wanted to show them both what I could do.
What’s your favourite comfort food?
Depends what mood I’m in really, but I can’t actually say no to Macaroni Cheese. I just love it. Mam used to make me frozen batches to take to university and now if it’s on a menu, I have to try it. I call it research! Another is something like Toad in the Hole or just a big, fat stodgy Yorkshire Pudding soaked in gravy. That or pie and mash – I’m from north London so it’s in my blood.
Let’s play foodie Cluedo. You can cook one dish, for one person, in one location. Who, what and where?
Oh I love this. Ok – one dish would be my beef and ale pie with a suet lid, mash and gravy and I would cook it for Adele at White Hart Lane. We would then take a trip to Camden and have a pint and some pork scratchings in the Hawley Arms. That would be the BEST day!