Nadiya Hussain, a British-Bangladeshi mom of three, has this evening been crowned winner of the British institution that is the Great British Bake Off.
The 30-year-old wowed judges with a lemon drizzle wedding cake in the final Bake Off – declaring that it would have been the cake she would have made had got married in the UK rather than in Bangladesh where they don’t do wedding cake.
She even incorporated some of the jewels from her wedding dress in the cake.
The bubbly, Luton-born baker had been the firm favourite to win the prize and had even received the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.
“I’m never going to put boundaries on myself ever again” she said after her win.
“I’m never going to say I can’t. I’m never going to say maybe”.
She had been the darling of Social Media throughout the series, winning a huge fan following and even sparking fevered debate in the press.
The 4-foot-11-inch Nadiya was nicknamed ‘The Little One’ by judge Mary Berry and was a viewers favourite, not least for her remarkable range of facial expressions, earthiness and a megawatt smile.
And she had a fantastic wit to boot.
After one of her challenges was unsuccessful, she deadpanned: “I produced what they wanted. Just the ugly version”.
Above all, she won over fans by being a simply great baker – unlike the (fabulously talented) alchemists and experimentalists who surrounded her.
Nadiya’s South Asian heritage also inspired her to infuse some of that world into her baking, including featuring such “exotic” ingredients as cardamom and coriander.
That headscarf also appeared to endear her to Britain, even though she was worried that it would be a problem for some viewers.
“I was nervous that perhaps people would look at me, a Muslim in a headscarf, and wonder if I could bake,” she told Radio Times last week.
“But I hope they’ve realised I can. Just because I’m not a stereotypical British person, it doesn’t mean I’m not into bunting, cake and tea. I’m just as British as anyone else and I hope I’ve proved that.”
On Wednesday evening she did just that.