She’s the Queen of edible cuteness, and one of the most- loved Great British Bake Off (GBBO) contestants of all time. Now star baker Kim-Joy is back with her latest cook book, and just in time for Christmas.
If you're a fan of Kim-Joy recipes you'll be familiar with her signature style. Her latest book ‘Christmas with Kim-Joy' pays homage to this, delivering delicious delights for the festive season. Brimming with cute and colourful creations, from penguin bao buns to marshmallow seals, we exclusively catch up with Kim-Joy to get the low down on her baking Christmas cook book and more...
Congratulations on your exciting new book ‘Christmas with Kim-Joy’ can you tell us a bit about it?
Thank you, I'm really excited about it. It's festive, full of colour, and of course features every single cute festive animal I could think of!
It also has lots of step by step images, so that the decorating process is clear. I want to encourage as many people to bake as possible, so they can always bake but leave out the decorating. Or do what I do - decorate a few and leave the rest to eat whilst you decorate! Got to keep your energy up whilst baking after all.
It's just a really fun book whilst also being informative, I'm really proud of it.
Baking has become a popular hobby during lockdown. Do you think there’s a wellbeing element to it too?
Definitely. Baking gives you a comforting structure to follow with step-by-step recipes, but then there's also the creative part, where you can express yourself.
Plus, you get a wonderful tasty bake at the end - one that you know you've created with your own hands, and there's such a big sense of achievement. It's a tangible outcome that you can't deny.
And then there's the added boost to your feeling of usefulness when you share some of your baking with others. Gifting others your bakes gives you just as much joy as it does to the person eating them - if not more!
Baking is also such a mindful activity, as you can get lost in it and forget about your worries. You're so focused on weighing the ingredients right, mixing them in the right order and baking them for the right amount of time. It also helps how it touches on all your main senses, and that association between the smell of baking and feeling 'at home'.
In your book you emphasise the importance of having fun when making and eating food. How important is this, especially to families with young children?
Having fun with food is what it's all about!
This goes back to what I was saying before, that baking should be relaxing - because it is essentially a relaxing hobby. Though I understand that for baking to be relaxing and fun, you've got to have the time for it.
I know parents with young kids can sometimes get stressed with it because of the mess and not having tons of time (which is totally understandable). But if you can set aside some time - even if it's not that often - and focus on the moment, it can bring so much happiness and great memories.
We’re also obsessed with cute Kawaii style, which can be seen in our kids tableware collection, especially our Tea Party kids plate. If you could have a tea party with anyone, who would it be?
Oh I would have to have a tea party with Totoro (the Japanese cartoon character), that would be such a dream.
(The Munchy Play Tea Party Plate)
And finally, who is your favourite GBBO contestant in the current series!?
It's sooo hard to pick a favourite. They all seem like a really likeable bunch, as they're great at casting, and bakers tend to be nice people.
I instantly related to Sura because she’s a cat lady like me, and she doesn't like to run - which is also me. I also like Mark L and Marc and Laura! They seem like such genuinely nice people you'd want to hang out with. Rowan and Linda too - I wanted to watch them more. And Lottie. And Hermine…..and Peter, and Mak, and Dave and Loriea….. I like them all basically!
You can follow Kim-Joy and her awesome creations @kimjoyskitchen on Twitter and Instagram.
Christmas with Kim-Joy is out now (Quadrille, £15). Photography: Ellis Parrinder. Be sure to add it to your Amazon Wish List!