Winning the very first season of Great British Bake Off, Edd Kimber has gone on to become one of the country's most-respected and successful bakers.
We caught up with Edd to find out just what he's been up to lately, his new book, this year's Bake Off and more. Read ahead to see what he had to say in our new and exclusive interview!
Do you still keep up with Bake Off today?
Of course! I always say you couldn't make a show more perfect for me. It's such a simple pleasure; it's funny, it's cake, it's just a very happy, easy-to-watch show that's full of delicious baking!
Who do you think has what it takes to win this year?
Funnily enough, this is the first year that I don't know who wins before the final had aired. I think it's very close, but I have a feeling that Chetna might take it. She has been baking some really interesting recipes this year, and seems to have a strong point of view - which I really appreciated.
How much of an impact do you think the show has had on modern-day living? A lot more people seem to be baking now!
Oh, I think that has been the most obvious impact. Supermarkets and department stores constantly mention that the show has had an effect on sales of baking ingredients and equipment, and from my own experience I'm being sent more and more tweets of people's bakes, which is just lovely to see!
You're the new resident baker for The Alan Titchmarsh Show, how were you approached for this new role?
I have been on the show a handful of times before over the last few years, and we were talking about my going on to promote my book when they asked if I would be interested in actually becoming the resident baker.
Was it an easy decision to make to join?
Absolutely; it's a great show to be a part of. The team is great and Alan is a natural presenter. I was thrilled when they asked me to be a part of the show in its final series.
Your new book is to be released this year as well - can you tell us a little bit about that?
The new book 'Patisserie Made Simple' has been a labour of love. I have loved France and French baking since I was little, so I revelled in writing it. I travelled across France to research different recipes and I had the best time putting them all together. It is by far the work I am most proud of, and I think it is a beautiful book that I really hope people will love.
How important is it for you to use quality ingredients?
It's very important. Quality ingredients of course taste better, and it doesn't always have to mean using the most expensive. I have sat on enough taste test panels to know that the fancy luxury brand isn't always the best quality. Using what you prefer the taste of is the best way to ensure that what you make, you will like.
You've worked very closely with Flora on this - what have you gotten up to and learned so far?
I actually visited an oilseed rape farm in Cambridgeshire recently to meet one of the farmers who supplies Flora with the 100% British rapeseed oil it uses in its products, which was a lot of fun despite it being a very rainy day. It's nice to know that when I'm using Flora products I'm baking something delicious that also helps British farmers thrive. I was shown how to make margarine on the farm, too. I didn't realise it was so simple; it's basically a blend of seed oils, buttermilk and seasoning, which surprised me.
Finally, if you could only bake one thing for the rest of your career, what would you choose and why?
Now that is a tough question. My favourite bakes tend to change depending on my mood of what I'm working on. Right now I'm sat in my favourite coffee shop and for some reason I'm craving a silky smooth chocolate tart. So, right now, that's my answer!
Check out Edd's recipe for Cheesy Scones here.
Tagged in Great British Bake Off