Meet the Blogger and GBBO Contestant: Holly Bell

Today’s blog post continues the series of blog interviews that began with an interview with Urvashi Roe a couple of weeks ago, and continued last week with an interview with Mary-Anne Boermans. Today, I’m very excited to be interviewing Holly Bell! If you’ve been watching the Great British Bake Off, you will have seen some amazing, beautiful-looking dishes made by Holly, with some very interesting flavour combinations. Not only is she a very talented bake-off contestant, but Holly also has a blog with some very yummy looking recipes and can be found on Twitter, where she tweets as @HollyBellMummy.

If you live in the UK and haven’t yet watched any episodes of the Great British Bake Off, why not catch up on BBC iPlayer before watching the next episode on BBC2 next Tuesday at 8pm. What do you think about the Great British Bake Off so far? Who do you think is going to win? Which of Holly’s bakes was your favourite? Leave a comment below this post and let me know!

Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed, Holly, and welcome to my little blog!

We’ll start with some quick-fire questions…

Starters or dessert?

Both. I’m a piglet. But if pushed then starter.

Fruit or chocolate?

Do I even need to answer this? Okay then… chocolate of course!

Cheese or cheesecake?

Cheese every time. The bluer and smellier the better.

Blue or green?

Green. Please see my celebration cake, pesto quiche and lime meringue pie for evidence of this little obsession.

Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood … no just joking about the last one – you don’t have to answer!

Mary. Sorry Paul but she’s the OBE of the baking world!

Congratulations on getting on to the Great British Bake Off this year. It seems like a pretty friendly atmosphere on the show, particularly compared to other cooking shows on TV. What was it like and has anyone recognised you in the street in the last couple of weeks since the show started airing?

The Bake Off was great fun but incredibly hard work. I learnt a huge amount from the judges and fellow contestants. It feels like a dream now. A very good one! As for being recognised -three times so far. Each person has asked me about Rob though; the little heart breaker!

How has being on the show changed you as a baker (if it has)?

The show has given me lots more confidence as a baker and also made me try recipes I’d never previously have even looked at. Pork pie with quails egg anyone?

Where did you find inspiration for your recipes on the Great British Bake Off?

I developed a lot of recipes specifically with my son Charlie in mind. He’s a huge fan of baking, both the past time and the eating.

You have an awesome blog. How did you get into blogging, and what is your favourite recipe on your blog?

I started blogging when I went on maternity leave before having my youngest son. I have always loved food, writing and experimenting with recipes and suddenly had a little time to indulge myself. My fave recipe? So hard but probably sausage rolls with homemade sausage meat (take a peek here and here). You can’t beat a good sausage roll!

Apart from your own (!), which blog (or blogs) are your favourite or particularly inspire you?

So many great food blogs so I will only name one to keep this shorter than 1000 words:

I love Recipe Rifle with a passion. Esther Walker is the Head Girl of blogging. I would have had a massive crush on her at school.

And finally, in one sentence, what advice would you give an aspiring blogger?

Write about your true passion, whatever that may be and DO NOT obsess over viewing statistics!

* Disclaimer: I’ve chosen to interview Holly Bell, and to talk about The Great British Bake Off, because I love the programme. I’ve not received any kind of compensation for this interview. All of Holly’s answers are copyright to her, and you will need to contact her if you want to replicate them in any way.

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