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Great British Bake Off 2013 winner Frances Quinn shares her recipe for success


August 13, 2014
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Now that the fifth season of The Great British Bake Off is underway, last year’s winner, Frances Quinn, reflects back on her time in the tent and shares her recipe for success for this year's baking contestants.

Dave Smith Photography Frances_Quinn for Audience Servs

"Try and enjoy the whole experience despite the inevitable stress of it all. Enjoy the moment of being in that tent and the opportunity to eat so many baked goods," she advises the hopefuls. 

Having experienced the highs and lows of BBC One's hit show, Frances knows all too well the stress that the novice bakers endure. "A certain biscuit tower collapsing didn't help with my stress levels, although when it actually fell I experienced more of an out of body experience in that tent!" she tells HELLO! Online. "I tried to focus and approach each bake with a sportsman frame of mine. It wasn't over till it was over and even if you'd done badly in the signature and technical you still had the showstopper to pull it back," she says. 

Despite being labelled as having "style over substance" by judge Paul Hollywood, Frances' secret ingredient has always been her creative ideas which are, "as vital as any ingredient" for the former childrenswear designer. "My ideas can come into my head either in a constant flow or at random times throughout the day and night. I find starting with a theme, key ingredient or word helps trigger an initial idea. I always try and keep a sketchbook handy to jot and scribble down my sketches and ideas to then refer and bake from," she admits.

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With a plethora of creative ideas, Frances also relies on her other secret ingredient- RESCUE remedy, which she even introduced to her fellow bakers while on the show. Similar to the variety of flavours in her bakes, Frances swears by the winning formula of the blend of Bach™ Original Flower Essences that are used in RESCUE remedy. In order to create the perfect bake, Frances shares top tips from her time with Paul and Mary.

"Less can sometimes be more. A simple cake can be elevated from ordinary to extraordinary with a swirl of ganache and a sprinkling of chopped and whole nuts."

"Equally the way you present your bakes can elevate them from ordinary to extraordinary-think shortbread Jenga!" she advises this year's Bake Off contestants. Since the final, which saw more than 9.1 million viewers tune into see Frances crowned the Bake Off Champion, the winner is still adapting to fame. "I still feel like me but can no longer linger long around the biscuit aisle at the supermarket, without getting recognised and my height gets commented on a lot! "You’re so much taller in real life," she reveals.

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Check out Frances' California Prune Pout Dodgers recipe here. A year on, Frances' success has gone from strength to strength.

The baker admits that winning GBBO has given her an extra boost of energy in and out of the kitchen. "I’ve always been described as a bit of a Duracell bunny but am now like one in headlights with a constant supply of rechargeable batteries required!

I’m just loving being able to do put all my ideas into practice and bake up my designs as a job rather than passionate past time. Collaborating and baking for people I’ve always admired and inspired is also really exciting," she admitted.

With a book in the pipeline, plans to bake at both food and music festivals in and around the country and collaboration on projects in the next six months, it is clear that being crowned Bake Off Champion was just the start of Frances’ promising culinary career. The second episode off The Great British Bake Off continues on Wednesday night at 8pm on BBC One.

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