My castaway this week is Candice Brown.

This is a lovely episode, chatting to the wonderful and impossibly glamorous Great British Bake Off winner. It was yet another opportunity for me to obsess over all things bake off as Candice was the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2016.

Born in North London, Candice grew up in the pub that her parents ran – the very pub that she sculpted out of gingerbread for her famous showstopper on the show. Taught to bake by her grandmother, Candice makes the kind of food you really want to eat. With her degree in Sport, PE and Community Studies, Candice was a secondary school teacher when she applied for GBBO and managed to juggle the two even during filming. Candice has now taken a break from teaching, has realeased her first cook book called Comfort and is currently in training before she is due to star on Dancing on Ice. 

It has been said of Candice, “if you are what you eat, no wonder Candice brown is so sweet”! Which I think has to be the nicest quote I've ever heard said of anyone. But I was completely charmed by how lovely Candice was, and how non of the fame seems to have affected her. She is down to Earth, bubbly and very gracious about all the amazing things that are going on in her life. 

Lots of Candice's food memories are linked to her amazing sounding grandmother, who was clearly a brilliant woman. I love the idea of Candice baking jam tarts with her granny, perching on a stool so she could get to the right height for the table. Jam tarts are such a classic and I really hope that's the kind of granny I will be too.

Plus we discover that both Candice and I have quite a severe mac and cheese obsession. A harmless obsession for anyone other than our waistlines, and perhaps the zips on our trousers. We bonded over a mutual appreciation of the fact that Mac and cheese is now served as a side dish in many restaurants. Whoever dreamt that up is a hero.

There are lots of delicious dishes in her selection today including a first time appearance for her choice of sandwich. Such a classic choice, and I can't believe it hasn't come up before. 

Let me tell you that recording this in the afternoon on a Friday was a mistake. Big mistake. Huge. I’m surprised you couldn’t hear my tummy rumbling on the recording. Candice's book is truly delicious. There are so many wonderful looking dishes in there that just scream comfort, and I will definitely be giving lots of them a go. Not least a macaroni pie which just sounds amazing. It goes without saying that I am a big fan of the double carb.

I thought it was really interesting to hear how you go from winning the GBBO to turning it into your career and what that process looks like. Candice’s luxury item makes me laugh! I just love the thought of Candice sort of masquerading as a coconut on the island – covered in her coconut lotion. 

Have a listen to Candice's episode here:

Thank you for listening, and don't forget to have a look at the recipe inspired by this week's episode. x