"I don't do fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, because that means flavour-free, and I like flavour," states Nadiya Hussain happily.

Of course, we already know this; you don't go and win Great British Bake Off by presenting judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with cakes made using chia seed egg substitutes - and arguably, no one has won in as much style as Nadiya.

Characteristically frank and open, Nadiya beat fellow bakers Tamal Ray and Ian Cumming in the BBC's 2015 Bake Off final, thanks to a combination of pure charm, fantastic facial expressions ("I didn't know my face did that by the way," she admits with a laugh), and a knack for inventive bakes that sent saliva ducts up and down the country into overdrive.

A year on, she's celebrating the launch of her first cook book, Nadiya's Kitchen ("My fourth baby"), has made the Queen's 90th birthday cake, and has her own TV show in the pipeline - the brilliantly titled The Chronicles Of Nadiya - exploring her Bangladeshi food heritage.

"I don't know," says the 31-year-old, when asked why people so instinctively warmed to her, during Bake Off and since.

"I don't even get it! Maybe because I just rattle on, talking to anyone like I've known them forever.

"The one thing my husband said when I went on was, 'You don't want to go on there and not be yourself. You're not an actress, you're not a showman, just go on and just be yourself', and that's what I do - I'm only ever myself."

The Luton-born mum-of-three, who wed husband Abdal in an arranged marriage when she was 19, struggles to get her shopping done these days without being accosted by affectionate fans.

"That's what it comes with," she says of the attention.

"Everybody I meet is always really positive and somewhere in the sentence there's always, 'We're really proud of you', and for people I don't know to say they're proud of me, that's a big deal."

Most impressively perhaps, this is the woman who made Mary Berry cry on national television. "No one's ever done that, but I have!" she beams, laughing. "I can't believe she cried."

Nadiya, who now lives in Milton Keynes, still talks to her Bake Off alumni almost every day ("We've got a group chat... usually for gossip"), and regularly sees Mary, while she often turns to Paul in times of bread-related need: "I'll ask him advice on a sourdough that's gone horribly wrong and he'll help me. It's not bad being friends with the best baker ever."

Weirdly though, she might be the queen of Bake Off, but she's not overly fussed by cake itself.

"I don't know if you've noticed, but I love confectionery," says Nadiya, who goes giddy over marshmallows and boiled sweets, "but when it comes to cake, I love making it because my kids and my husband love it, but I very rarely go for a full slice."

She prefers savoury to sweet, but explains: "My family, they're all into savoury cooking, but I'm the only one that bakes - I'm the only one that can give them that pleasure, so I'm not willing to give that up!"

If you'd like to cook like a Bake Off winner yourself, try one of these recipes from Nadiya's Kitchen...

Cod and Clementine 

(Serves 2)

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp fine sea salt
  • 200ml water
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 2 clementines, peel only, sliced
  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • 300g cod fillets
  • A large handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • Basmati rice, to serve

Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the crushed garlic and diced onion. Turn the heat down and cook gently until the onions are soft.

Add the tomato puree, salt and water. Cook for a further five minutes over a low heat.

Now add the turmeric, paprika and cumin, and cook gently for another five minutes. Keep adding small amounts of water if it starts to catch on the bottom.

Add the clementine peel and cook for 10 minutes, until the peel is soft and almost falling apart.

Use a potato masher to mash all the peel - breaking it up will intensify the flavour.

Add the fish, cover and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat.

Squeeze in the clementine juice. Once the fish is cooked, take the pan off the heat and sprinkle over the chopped coriander.

This dish is best eaten with hot basmati rice.

(Makes 12)

175g plain flour

50g wholewheat flour

2 1/2tsp baking powder

1tsp fine salt

275ml whole milk

1 medium egg

100g cottage cheese

75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

50g feta cheese, crumbled

1/2tsp wholegrain mustard

2tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1tsp ground black pepper

8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

25g pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.
Put the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and stir everything together.

Now add the milk, egg, cottage cheese, melted butter, feta cheese, mustard, dill and black pepper. Mix it all together and spoon into muffin cases.

Top each muffin with a little chopped sun-dried tomato and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Nadiya's Kitchen by Nadiya Hussain, photography by Holly Pickering, is published by Michael Joseph, £20.