Baking can make more people smile, says Great British Bake Off champ Candice Brown
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Candice Brown burst into our living rooms in 2016 as the winner of the Great British Bake Off, making a name for herself with exceptional cakes and an impressive collection of brightly coloured lipsticks.
Since her victory, she quit her job as a secondary school PE teacher, published a cookbook, competed in Dancing On Ice and started running The Green Man pub in Eversholt, Bedfordshire, with her brother Ben.
Brown admits owning a pub during the pandemic has been “tough”. Ever the optimist though, she adds: “We saw one of the worst things ever to happen to the world en masse, but we also saw the best side of people – people really rallied together.”
She has been doing her bit over the past few months, describing how she organised care packages for the village, making “close to 200 portions of cake”.
There’s no doubt something as simple as a slice of cake can bring joy – and Brown entirely understands why the act of baking has seen such an explosion in popularity as we all spent more time at home.
“Baking can be all-consuming, you get your head down into it and it’s a methodical approach,” she said. “It can make you smile, and make other people smile as well.”
From a personal point of view, Brown’s love of baking is very much linked to her mental health. “I only really spoke about my mental health last year.
“It’s something I had been dealing with and living with for five, six years now – including on Bake Off,” she said.
“That was one of the things I always said: baking was what I did, it was my happy place, it was my sad place; it was what I did when I wanted something to do with my hands.”
Despite being incredibly busy over the last few months, Brown made time for a weekly Instagram Live she called her “food technology” lessons.
The new series of Bake Off started on Channel 4 last week.