FHappy to have her parent’s pub build in Gingerbread as the showstopper in the 2016 series The Great British Bake Offhandjob Candice Brown swapping secondary school teaching for cooking After winning the show. She has since cooked on ITV’s today morning and in live food festival performances, and in 2018 opened his own pub in Bedfordshire with his brother. After opening up about his struggles with depression and recently diagnosed adhd, she now shares the recipes she makes in her toughest of times in her new book happy cooking, get out.
How would you describe your cooking book?
The way I’ve always done things and the way I’ve always dealt with my funny little mind was when my funny little mind was being unkind to me, when it was dark or happy or sad. The kitchen is where I’ve always gravitated and the place I still gravitate to. mental health It’s something I’ve struggled with for years and never really talked about it. I have always been ashamed of it and in fact now I have realized that I cannot be ashamed. I preach about people being proud of who they are and now this is me in book form.
Do you think people who know you from the bake off would be surprised to hear you struggle with mental health?
Now I’m opening up more about it, people always say it shows you never know what’s going on with someone. it was a fight till i was cookI fought before and now I am fighting, sometimes worse. People say that I feel like I have this together and I believe it but in reality they may not realize that maybe I was struggling to get out of bed that morning or that I was full that day. was kind of broken. I am high working and love my work but as soon as it stops and the mask slips it is a very different story.
The chapters in the book are unusual. For example, one is ‘food that takes care of itself (and you)’ and the other is ‘keep-your-hands-busy cooking’. What is the thinking behind them?
I was only diagnosed with ADHD last January. I’ve always been quite disoriented with things like latency and interruptions and the inability to sit still or concentrate, so I guess it always has been. But things weren’t great and I needed to put a hold on my mental health so I started seeing a psychiatrist. He wanted to run the test and after a few weeks, he said, “I think you know what it is”. Amidst all this, food is where I go to keep my hands busy when I need to get something done. That’s why I made Danish pastry for this because it’s a 24 hour process or made bread to do something yourself. My baking is not an award winning one. It’s not re-inventing the wheel – it’s how I do things.
Do you think people will be surprised to see that there are so many salty recipes in the book?
I wanted it to be more than a cake book. As much as I try, you just can’t survive on cake. Sometimes you need something more nutritious. So when you need food in 20 minutes and there’s no medicine on you, or you come home from work and you have to feed a family and your brain doesn’t have the capacity to do it for itself, there There are dishes for That. I love the food, its smell, the process of making it. I hope I have covered most of that in the book.
It also includes your recipe for a gingerbread house based on the famous cook Gingerbread Pub. Can anyone manage this?
Yes! It’s literally biscuit shapes studded with caramel or if you can’t caramelize, just melt the chocolate and wait for it to harden. If I can make a bigger version of this, I promise you can. And if it’s bullshit? Mash them all and put them on the bottom of the cheesecake.
What’s your fail-safe comfort food dish?
its chicken nuggets But I am not to blame for that either. I love them a lot. So apparently I’ve included a homemade recipe and it’s really simple and really delicious. Plus, my slow-cooking recipes are good. When you’re feeling the fuck, I’ll never reach a salad. i also include some Recipes It might remind you of school or your mom probably used to make because I think it’s very relaxing. But if you want something that’s pure delightful indulgence and grandeur, try my khachapuri, which are cheese-bread boats that contain eggs. This is one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten.
You even offer a recipe for toasties. What Makes the Perfect Toastie for You?
I’ve always put an egg in my toastie which raises some questions. You can kill almost anything in a Toastie. I love loading it all up, dribbling it from all sides and packing it with my favorite flavors. Something that always raises eyebrows is adding peanut butter but seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it with bacon and cheese. It’s a heart attack on a plate but it’s so good.
How attached are you to the food served at your pub, The Green Man in Eversholt, Bedfordshire?
I’m there a lot and I make all the puddings. If I’m not there because I’m away, I make pudding before I go when I can. They are all my recipes, they are things I know very well. People sometimes come and they’re surprised when I serve them or they ask if I’ve made something and I can tell them I got up at 6 in the morning to prove it. There are marks of flour on the ass.
Do you think pub grub gets a bad rap?
Pubs are now much more than a place to go out and face the mess. They are the center of the community, where you can go at 11am and get coffee and cake or pick up a sausage roll to eat afterward. They are really moving with the times and creating something that is great for everyone. If you want to come and sit at the bar and grab four pints and a sausage roll, absolutely do it. But just around the corner you can have three courses of really good pub food, a kick-ass pudding and incredible cocktails. Pubs are always changing and I love being a part of that industry.
What is one of your sweet recipes that you would recommend people try first?
My Double Decker Brownie is foolproof. It has chunks of nougat and chocolate Rice Krispies and is decadent and nostalgic. You can mix it up and switch things in and out. Brownies aren’t meant to be raised, they’re supposed to be sunken and puffy and delightful, so this is a good one to start with. If you don’t have any ingredients, add some more.
‘Candice Brown’s Happy Cooking’ (Ebury Press, £22) is out now.