Great British Bake Off 2015 champion Nadiya Jamir Hussain said winning the contest made her feel like “a giant”– despite her small stature.
The stay-at-home mum walked out of the Bake Off tent “a much stronger, confident person” after being crowned winner of series six, beating Ian Cumming and Tamal Ray in the final.
She said: “I went into the tent as the smallest baker at 4 ft 11 in but I walked out feeling a giant.”
The baker, who has become a social media sensation for her expressive face, said she hoped people would remember her baking abilities.
The 30-year-old from Leeds said: “I really hope that I have not become known more for my facial expressions or my eyebrows than my baking!
“I had no idea that this would become a talking point on social media.
“It’s all a bit of fun and not to be taken seriously, and I think it reflected what was going on in the tent.”
Nadiya impressed in the signature bake with her iced buns, half of them cardamom and almond, and half nutmeg and sour cherry.
Mary Berry called them “lovely”, while Paul Hollywood added: “Both of those tick the boxes.”
A batch of raspberry millefeuille also earned her first place in the technical challenge.
In the showstopper challenge, she created a My Big Fat British Wedding cake to make up for not having one at her marriage in Bangladesh.
She said: “The showstopper was a celebration cake – and as I never had my own wedding cake I wanted a proper iced wedding cake.
“I bought a sari that was red, white and blue, in the colours of the Union Jack, and I decorated my stand with that.
“My husband Abdal’s favourite cake is lemon drizzle, so I decided to make that.
“At the very end of the filming I took the cake out to my family’s table and we all had a slice.
“So my husband and I did get our wedding cake after all.”
She said she had not imagined getting to the final in her “wildest dreams”.
She said: “On the day itself it was really still and quiet inside the tent.
“There was a real sense of calm and concentration, it wasn’t just the bakers’ last day -–it was everyone’s last day.
“We all had a slight sense of sadness that it was all coming to a close.
“As they announced the winner, all I remember is not wanting to look at anyone, so I looked down at my shoes, my heart was racing in my chest and I could hear it thudding in my head.
“I remember seeing that my shoes were covered in flour, and when I heard my name, I covered my face with my hands as I didn’t want anyone to watch me cry.”
Luton-born Nadiya hid the trophy so no-one would know she had won.
“I wrapped it in many layers of brown paper, put it in a suitcase and hid it under the bed in case anybody saw it,” she said.
“Now it can come out and take pride of place in our living room.”