Nadiya Hussain is no stranger to cooking on camera, but she’s still got the same twinkle in her eye that made us all fall in love with her during her time on The Great British Bake Off. We’ve seen her do so much that I was half-expecting to walk into this and see some of the same rehashed, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nadiya’s infectious energy and inventive recipes are alive and well, and still feel totally fresh.
She puts funky spins on familiar dishes (well, mostly familiar dishes, as us Americans may have to take a moment to google what a toad-in-the-hole is) both sweet and savoury, unafraid to mix unexpected flavours. The reason Nadiya Bakes works so well is that she’s as excited to be there as we are, as delighted by her ingredient combinations as any viewer might be.
I chuckled at her description of lavender and lemon doing a “THING” – getting married and having babies – and smiled when she fawned over her own food. She’s not using fancy, pretentious language the way so many chefs do or agonizing over details. “I love the sizzle sizzle,” she says at one point, as she sprinkles spices into a pan. I mean, who doesn’t?
She closes her eyes and smiles when she tastes her creations, seems tickled by the end result in every time; she truly wants to share her joy with the rest of us, which is what makes Nadiya Bakes so ridiculously charming. This is a woman who seems to absolutely love what she does for a living, so why shouldn’t we love it, too?
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