Creative baker Kim-Joy tells us where she gets inspiration for her cakes and why she loves scrapbooking…
If you’re missing your weekly baking fix, the joys of the gingham altar and the promise of a Hollywood handshake, fear not! We caught up with one of our all-time favourite contestants from The Great British Bake Off, Kim-Joy.
She may have been pipped to the post for first place, but Kim-Joy made some of the most creative and brightest bakes of the series. Since leaving the show Kim-Joy has not only made baking her full-time job, but she has her own baking book – Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes To Make You Smile.
Possibly the sweetest (see what we did there!) baking book you’ll buy this year, it’ll bring a bit of kawaii into your kitchen and inspire you to make cakes that burst with colour and creativity. After all, what cake can’t be improved by putting a smiley face on it?
As a special treat for Mollie readers, we’ve got one of Kim-Joy’s recipes inside issue 110 – the cutest cat meringues – and she’s taken over the Mollie Makes Instagram account! Check out our Takeover highlight for a peek into her daily life.
But first, get to know the brains behind those beautiful – and tasty – creations. When we caught up with Leeds-based baker Kim-Joy, she still couldn’t quite believe how her life has changed since taking part in the competition. Over a slice of cake, we discovered where she finds inspiration, if she’ll be watching this year’s show and what she makes when she’s not waiting by the oven.
Hi Kim-Joy! The bakes in your new book look amazing – where do you get the creative inspiration for your recipes?
I look on Instagram and online a lot. I follow a lot of artists and other bakers and get very inspired by them. Also sometimes it’s just things I come across while I’m out and about. I try to jot down ideas when they come up so I don’t forget!
What’s been your biggest baking disaster and your proudest bake?
I’m proudest of my space turtle chocolate melting sphere bake on The Great British Bake Off, as it went so well and it was the moment I started feeling confident in myself. My biggest baking disaster? Hmmm… I tend to try filter those out of my brain so I don’t remember! It was probably my naan breads on the Bake Off in week three, which should have gone well because I love making naan breads!
How has your life changed since taking part in Bake Off?
It’s been incredible, I’ve got to write my baking book, create recipes for The Guardian – so many more opportunities are out there and I have so many ideas for things I’d like to do! Plus people recognise me and chat to me which is nice.
Are you still in touch with anyone from your series?
All us bakers have a WhatsApp group and keep in touch regularly, though we don’t have much contact with the judges really!
Will you be watching the new series, and if so, will it be hard to see new people in ‘your’ tent?
I’m so excited about the new series! The contestants were announced the other day and I got such a buzz from it. I’m excited to feel their emotional rollercoasters – and be relieved that I’m just chilling on the sofa!
What’s your favourite memory from your time on Bake Off?
Ooh, getting to the final and seeing my friends and family there. That was incredible.
What’s your favourite thing to make apart from cakes – are you very crafty?
I like painting and I writing letters – when I get time! I do enjoy crafting and putting together my scrapbook. I also love playing card games and board games and have made some casual games for friends in the past, but nothing ‘proper’! But would love to create my own card game themed around baking.
What does making mean to you?
It brings me joy and makes me feel content and useful.
And finally, what are your top tips for creative baking?
Do what you enjoy, turn your mistakes into new ideas, and practice!