Belfast Telegraph

Bake Off's Martha Collison shows how you can eat yourself happy

Ex-Great British Bake Off contestant Martha Collison tells Ella Walker why it's good to tuck into your favourite treats

Some days, you just have to have a whole bag of giant chocolate buttons or a huge slab of cake. Sometimes, nothing will do except a hunk of bread covered in molten cheese, or a gooey chunk of brownie.

We all have irresistible foodie cravings every now and again, but former Great British Bake Off contestant Martha Collison has turned hers into a book.

The Berkshire-born baker was just 17 when she entered the Bake Off tent in 2014 (she came fifth, and remembers how "it was quite a stressful juggle of, 'Should I be revising for my chemistry exam, or baking more doughnuts?'").

Now 20, Crave is her second recipe collection, following on from last year's Twist.

It's packed with delectable treats, split into time brackets so you can select a bake that's achievable in the time you have to spare, and avoid dashing to the shops for a family-sized bag of Doritos, just for you.

Here's Martha's guide to satisfying your cravings.

You can't eat cake for every meal, you've got to have a balance

"The food in Crave is not food that you make every day, it's just for when you have that pang, and you really feel like something cheesy. It's not a recurring thing - it's not like every day I feel like cheese and Marmite sausage rolls."

Eating should be about making yourself and those around you happy

"I don't think food shouldn't be associated with guilt. You have to be responsible, but I also think food should be fun - it should be about sharing and bringing joy."

It's easier to justify snacking on cookies if you've gone to the trouble of baking them yourself

"In those moments when you just want something (to nibble), there's more satisfaction to be found than just opening a packet - you're rewarded for your craving a lot more when you spend the time making it yourself."

Making food you love can do amazing things for your wellbeing

"You're creating something from scratch. It's almost the same satisfaction as if you've painted something, with the added bonus that, at the end, you can enjoy it yourself or give it to others. There's so much to gain from baking, more than just having a slice of cake at your grandma's house."

In Spain, the cuisine is geared towards satisfying cravings

"I think the tapas mentality is quite similar to (the idea behind) Crave. It's about having something small, having it quickly and enjoying it with friends."

But Parisians know about food and passion as well

"I went to Paris when I was a child, and I remember hardly noticing the food. But I went back recently and found it amazing. There'd be an array of pastries, and the love that goes into every single baguette, the sheer quantity of food in shops - it was amazing."

In need of a quick treat, but can't think what to scoff? It has to be cheese

"I just can't get enough."

  • Crave: Brilliantly Indulgent Recipes by Martha Collison is published in hardback by HarperCollins, priced £16.99. Photography Laura Edwards

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