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

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Thanks to the lovely anonymous poster for the hints on making the strawberry tree! I will definitely be making a Ferrero Roche or Quality Street one at Christmas! To make one yourself all you need it a 15cm wide flower pot, some strong tape and newspaper, some quick drying cement, a 40/50cm length, 2/3 cm wide wooden dowel, a 20cm diameter oasis sphere, some silver foil, ribbons to decorate, 5 punnets of strawberries and lots of cocktail sticks.

Cover any hole in the bottom of the flowerpot with thick tape, place on a sheet of newspaper, mix up the cement or plaster of paris and fill the pot three quarters full. Insert the dowel rod into the centre and hold upright until the cement sets (quick drying cement is essential otherwise you will be holding it for a long time!). When the cement has set, press the oasis onto the top of the dowel. Cover the oasis with silverfoil and decorate the pot and dowel with ribbons. Place a cocktail stick into each strawberry and press into the oasis as close together as possible. Although the strawberries need to be added at the last minute, make sure you allow yourself 30 minutes for doing this - it takes longer than you think as I found out!!!

Blue Peter eat your heart out!


Anonymous said...

The strawberry trees turned out fantastic.They look amazing.Maybe its time your anonymous poster introduced herself.I watched you on Masterchef and read your blog all the time.i live in ireland and am an avid baker desserts being my forte.I am getting married in a few months so the cake is my next project.Any advice or online shops for decoration supplies.J

Jane said...

This last Christmas Day my friend presented me with a stunning Christmas themed 'tree' for the centre of the table in much the same style as your strawberry tree. Once the basic pot and doweling rod is set in place it's the basis for countless ideas.

Beth said...

Great idea. Will def be doing a quality street one at crimbo!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,

Seeing your picture of the trees (which look great) reminded me of a wedding cake in the shape of a topiary tree which Katie Fforde wrote about in her latest book.

Not sure whether artistic imagination or real research, but the character made the cake by doing spherical shapes, putting the cake (already baked) on them and then icing to give illusion of whole sphere of cake...do you think it's possible?!

Just wondered if you'd attempted such a thing - I don't think I'd have the courage/ability!! :-)

Rita said...

This is such a good idea! I like the idea with the chocolates too.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Don't think Blue Peter could match this in a month of Sundays. Fantastic!