ON THE COVER Nadiya Hus­sain

The BakeOff champ has all the recipes for suc­cess, no mat­ter what the culi­nary oc­ca­sion!

My Weekly - - Contents -

The Magic Of Bak­ing

Nadiya may have found fame when she won BakeOff but it was long be­fore that when she first dis­cov­ered her tal­ent.

“I dis­cov­ered the magic of bak­ing the first time I saw my Home Eco­nomics teacher mix flour, eggs and sugar to­gether and put them in the oven. My pas­sion for bak­ing was def­i­nitely sparked at that point.

“How­ever, I didn’t re­ally start bak­ing se­ri­ously un­til I was 21 and got mar­ried and re­alised that my hus­band loves cakes. I thought, ‘Well, if he eats it, I’ll make it!’”

Com­fort Food Clas­sics

She maybe able to cook up all kinds of de­li­ciously de­light­ful treats in the kitchen but, like most of us, Nadiya has sim­ple, un­so­phis­ti­cated de­mands when it comes to com­fort food. “Cheese and mar­mite is al­ways a win­ning com­bi­na­tion – I think be­cause I spend all day cook­ing, com­fort food usu­ally con­sists of things I haven’t made my­self. A packet of pick­led onion mon­ster munch gets me so giddy! “How­ever, if there’s one dish that re­ally says com­fort and re­minds me of home, then it’s in­stant mashed potato with but­ter and cream and lots of salt with half a can of Heinz tomato soup poured on top. It’s the most de­li­cious thing! When my kids are sick and I ask them what they want, they al­ways say, ‘Mashed potato and soup please, Mummy.’ Al­ways!”

Her Favourite Cake

Un­sur­pris­ingly, from a woman who’s even baked a cake for the Queen, no party is com­plete un­til there’s a mas­sive cake on the ta­ble.

“Re­gard­less of the cel­e­bra­tion, there has to be cake. And not just your av­er­age shal­low cake – it has to be a su­per high cake, al­most tee­ter­ing on the brink of fall­ing over. The kind of cake you need a din­ner plate to serve just one slice!

“My kids love my straw­berry rip­ple tower cake. It’s about eight lay­ers of cake with Ital­ian meringue sand­wiched be­tween each layer with freeze dried straw­ber­ries. The top is dec­o­rated with fresh straw­ber­ries so it’s kind of like this Eton mess-meringue-pavlova-cake-thing!”

“Re­gard­less of the cel­e­bra­tion, there has to be cake!”

Spreading The Love

Nadiya has a spe­cial Christ­mas tra­di­tion which in­volves shar­ing some of her de­li­cious home bak­ing with her neigh­bours.

“Ev­ery year, just be­fore Christ­mas, I make a mas­sive batch of Bis­cotti with the kids. We wrap them up with cel­lo­phane, tie them with rib­bon and then we stand out­side our front door with all our lit­tle pack­ages of bis­cotti. The rule is that what­ever doors we can see from our front door gets a packet of bis­cotti.

“The kids do what most kids do and say, ‘Are they go­ing to give us any­thing back?’ and I tell them ‘No, you don’t give presents to get.’ They’re still learn­ing!”

Cook­ing For Fam­ily

Nadiya re­ally loves to cook for her fam­ily – es­pe­cially tra­di­tional food from South Asia. “Be­ing South Asian, I love a good curry so when the fam­ily all come around that’s what we’ll usu­ally have. There’s a big pot of cumin rice and I’ll cook up a big chicken ko­rma with a sim­ple cu­cum­ber salad. Af­ter that, we’ll of course have a cake so high you can see if from a satellite up in space! “When there are so many of us to­gether, it’s about hav­ing a few things on the ta­ble – but a lot of it!”

Fes­tive Cook­ing

“My fam­ily come over to my house – there are about 28 of us – and I cook every­thing. My four sis­ters don’t like to come empty-handed though, so they usu­ally bring some­thing, even if it’s last night’s left­overs! “There is al­ways so much food, there are no words to de­scribe the glut­tony. There is al­ways enough for us to have lunch and then let it all sit at the ta­ble to get cold. Later, we’ll be back to nib­ble on the cold food. “I hate wash­ing up so I al­ways make lots of things in ad­vance, like Brus­sel sprouts and roast pota­toes, and freeze them so I don’t need to scrub roast­ing dishes on Christ­mas day!”

Nadiya’s BakeMea Fes­tive Story (il­lus­tra­tions by Clair Ros­siter) pub­lishes in hard­back on Oc­to­ber 7, 2017, £14.99 from Hod­der Chil­dren’s Books A cake fit for a Queen!

Nadiya and her fam­ily

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