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Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 27 November 2007


Today Steven and I are off to a channel 5 programme Cooking the Books. Masterchef David was on the programme a few weeks ago as well - you may have seen him! We have been asked to cook a dish from one of our favourite cook books so I have chosen Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi's Return to Tuscany - this is their fig and orange upside down cake and I am pleased that it doesn't look too far off the picture! It smells really yummy and to be honest I would quite like a slice now, but I can't imagine turning up with a half eaten cake would go down well. The cake does not contain any butter, margarine or milk so would be good for someone who is allergic to dairy products.

Giancarlo's Fig and Orange Cake
7oz granulated sugar
4 figs and 2 oranges
41/2 oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
4 1/2 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 orange
3oz caster sugar
1 vanilla bean
1tsp ground cinnamon (this was my own addition - I hope GC doesn't mind but I am feeling so Christmassy at the moment that cinnamon is going in everything)
grated zest of the 2 oranges

Place the 7oz caster sugar in a saucepan with 2 tsp of water and heat until the sugar is melted and goes golden brown (it will take longer than you think!). Pour the caramel into the base of a flan or tart tatin dish (8inches). Thinly slice the figs and peel and slice the oranges and layer then in patterns on top of the caramel. Whisk the eggs until they are doubled in size and then gradually add the sugar. Whisk in the baking powder, zest and cinnamon and then gently fold in the flour. Pour the batter on top of the fruit and bake in a moderate oven for 20/25 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then place a plate on top of the dish and invert - be careful as there is hot caramel which may spill.
I then made a syrup to go on top (as there looked to be a clear syrup drizzled over the cake in the photo and I wanted to make it look identical) - simmer the juice of an orange with the 3oz sugar and vanilla pod until all the sugar is dissolved and it is thick and syrupy. Drizzle over the cake and serve warm or cold.

5 comments:

PG said...

Oh, when is it being broadcast, do you know? I don't watch much TV, but that would be well worth watching!

David Hall said...

good luck on CTB - you will need it!

guess what me and Cerys are making this afternoon? this very cake. except we have no figs so migh experiment with some dried fruit, prunes?

x

vida said...

Hannah, honey why did you just ask... I have the answer... here's what you do (this is what I do all the time) you cut yourself a slice and enjoy it... then you fill the gap with berries all beautiful and tumbling out, then you tell them that you wanted them to see the texture of the cake inside... they think you did them a favour!!! It's a win/win situation!!! Vida x
I am here for you... x x x

Marie said...

I was in the studio audiance of the program last Tuesday. I had been asked to bring one of the recipes from my own book. So I did. I brought my Celeriac, Apple and Stilton soup. It was a very interesting experience seeing how they put the show together. Let us know when your episode is being broadcast!

Maryann said...

Hannah, This cake sounds wonderful!