Published On: Fri, Nov 8th, 2019

Coffee and cake with… Liam Charles

Great British Bake Off 2017 contestant, Bake Off: The Professionals co-presenter, star of his own Channel 4 show Liam Bakes, and Junior Bake Off judge Liam Charles shares his new recipes and chats to us about his brand new cookbook, Second Helpings…

Win Second Helpings by Liam Charles!

Liam Charles

Photography by Haarala Hamilton. Hodder & Stoughton 2019.

Hi Liam! You’re back with your second book Second Helpings and it looks every bit as delicious as your first! Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Thank you! Ermm I’ll say it definitely shows that I do have savoury muscles to flex, so there is a better balance between sweet, savoury, indulgence and, dare I say, healthy recipes. The quirky ideas and flavour combos are defo still a running theme – there is a clear connection between Cheeky Treats and Second Helpings.

Did you find it easier writing your second book and how is it different to your first?

Honestly, it was easier in one sense, but difficult in others. Formatting recipes and getting into the groove of writing them, yes that defo came easier. Making sure the savoury ideas are just as good as my sweet was the challenging part, but I think we have something really cool.

If you had to pick one recipe from the book that you think everyone should try, what would it be?

The sweet lasagne – I’m telling you… it’s insane!

We know your nan was a big inspiration to your creations on the Bake Off, where did you find the inspiration for the recipes in your new book and how has your repertoire developed?

Inspiration comes from everything really, almost the idea of ‘How would I like to eat during the week?’ vs ‘ How would I treat myself?’ Also my local area; being brought up in north and east London means you are exposed to so many cultures and different types of food.

Well… I think I know how to make a good choux pastry and that after Bake Off. Also, I think I know how to taste things better, my palate has broadened. I’m also a tidier baker… just a bit.

Liam Charles

Photography by Haarala Hamilton. Hodder & Stoughton 2019.

You were the youngest GBBO contestant in 2017, but this year many of the bakers are under the age of 30 – do you think baking has become more popular among the young?

If I’m honest, I think the interest from younger bakers was always there, it was just the case of giving us the opportunity to shine and showing to people that baking’s not just for older generations.

Any words of wisdom for budding bakers?

Once you learn the fundamentals of baking, run wild with your ideas and don’t let anyone tell you ‘no’. Take risks and express yourself. Yes, baking is a science, but it’s also an art.

We hear you’re judging the new Junior Bake Off, what can we expect from you now you’re on the other side of the workbench?

Honestly, I feel like I’m just the same as I was on Bake Off, I just make decisions now with Prue. I may give some ideas on how to improve the bakers’ showstoppers but yeah, same Liam, just on the other side.

You’ve gone from competing, to hosting and now judging… how do you find time to relax and what’s your favourite way to chill?

I honestly don’t know… nah, I’m joking! You do find pockets in the year where you can just chill out, you have to find the balance. I like to hang out with pals, play FIFA, go bowling, watch a cheeky podcast, listen to music and, of course, bake for fun. What’s your proudest achievement to date? Honestly, all of it because I feel like each thing has led to another, so it’s created this really cool knock-on effect, but if I had to pick… Liam Bakes is 100% up there!

What’s next for you?

WORLD DOMINATION! Hahahaha, nah I’m joking. You guys will have to wait and see!

Liam Charles

Photography by Haarala Hamilton. Hodder & Stoughton 2019.

Quickfire round

Sweet or savoury? Lol, I’m SW-AVOURY

Chocolate or caramel? CARAMEL

Cake or cookies? CAKE

Hosting or judging? Hmmmmm… both, both

Cheeky Treats or Second Helpings? THEY ARE BOTH MY BABIES SOOOO GET BOTH!

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