No soggy bottoms from this star baker
"Good bake". "Nice crumb". "It's over-proved". "The gluten hasn't developed". Four years ago, only expert bakers would have understood these terms. Now, thanks to Paul Hollywood and his Great British Bake Off co-judge Mary Berry, they've become familiar phrases in millions of homes up and down the UK.
And it's not just Bake Off terminology that's been on the rise – the show has led to a staggering revival in home baking too.
"I can't go a day without someone coming up and showing me a photo on their phone of their latest loaf or cake," says Paul, 47. "I love it."
There's no respite on Twitter either, where celebrities including Fearne Cotton and Sarah Millican have taken to sending the famous baker pictures of their bakes, or asking for tips.
The chef, who was born in Cheshire and is taking a live baking show on a tour of the UK next spring – including a date in Plymouth – is now synonymous with baking. His Bread series and accompanying book were huge hits earlier this year and he's never been more in demand. Just two weeks after filming finished for Bake Off, he went straight to work on his latest offering, Pies & Puds. There's a book out now and a TV series will follow.
There's no shortage of mouth-watering recipes in Pies & Puds from basics like sausage rolls to pasties, bread and butter pudding made with croissants and cherries, and various types of pastry, from cheat's puff pastry, rough puff and beyond.
"I've twisted things, added new flavours, modernised classics and come up with a load of recipes that are beautiful to eat," says Paul.
"It's about comfort food, really, and I'm celebrating what Britain's good at – pies, puddings and pastries. Real autumn food too, so it's also perfect for the season."
The series will also feature a number of guests. "It's set in a kitchen and I've got guests in with me baking," says Paul.
"Food heroes, people like that, and I have a collaboration dinner where we cook and then sit down and eat what we've made.
"It's not as formatted as other shows I've done, it's much more relaxed.
"The main thing about everything I do is that I just love teaching. The idea that people are learning while watching and being inspired to try things themselves is absolutely brilliant."
Queen of Puddings
butter for greasing
600ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod
50g caster sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
75g slightly stale white breadcrumbs
100g raspberry jam
For the meringue topping
4 large egg whites
150g caster sugar
Heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4). Butter six 10cm diameter ramekins and divide the breadcrumbs between them.
To make your custard, put the milk in a pan, split open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife. Add seeds and pod to the pan. Slowly bring the milk just to the boil, then take off the heat. Whisk the sugar, egg and egg yolks together in a bowl. Pour on the hot milk and whisk well. Strain into a jug through a sieve.
Pour the custard into the prepared dishes and stand them in a large roasting dish, pouring in enough hot water to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the custards are set. Remove from the roasting tin and allow to cool.
If your jam is very stiff, beat to soften, or heat it slightly. When the custards are cool, spread the jam over them. Return the dishes to the emptied-out roasting tin.
For the meringue topping, whisk the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time, until you have a fluffy meringue with stiff peaks.
Spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and pipe it on top of the jam-topped custards. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the meringue is golden. Serve straight away.