The postman has just delivered a parcel. Normally when he knocks it is boxes of boring files for work but today it was a completely unexpected parcel from my dear German friend Maren. You may recall the lovely picture of poppy seed cheesecake that appeared on my blog a few months ago. I faithfully promised to post the recipe when I had discovered how to make "Mohn Bak" (Poppy Seed Paste) at home, rather than using the packets from Germany. This has proved more difficult than I imagined! Maren and I have been e-mailing backwards and forward as the pastes I made never had the same texture as the packet mix - they are too crunchy and just don't work. My parcel today contained the solution - Maren has found the piece of equipment I was lacking - A poppy mill!!! I can safely say that I must now have every kitchen gadget under the sun! I am hoping this is the answer to the paste.
It has a great recipe translation on the box which made me smile - "How to make poppy-filling (pie) - one recipe from 105 years old book of recipes. Poppy to mill and then boil with milk. To cool and join suger. To make filling more thick, give please milled gingerbread. Further you can give succcessive: rum, cinnamon, muscat, honey, plum jam, lemon crust, clove". Perhaps this is why I have been going wrong. Anyway off to the kitchen to experiment!
The parcel also contained some other lovely baking goodies, some poppy seed chocolate, vanilla sugar, marzipan carrots and zebra chocolate rolls, cake candles with hearts and shamrocks on and napkins (and some packets of Mohn Bak just in case I still can't make the poppy seed paste work) Thank you lovely Maren - your parcel made me smile so much!!
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