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

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

You may recall a while ago I made a 60th Birthday cake for my friend Lucy's mum. It was a dainty two tiered birdcage cake that Lucy somehow managed to transport all the way to the Scottish boarders on the train! As a thank you present for the cake (and it really really wasn't necessary) Lucy's Dad treated us to afternoon tea at the Dorcester. Oh my! Now I have sampled a lot of afternoon teas in my time at all sorts of places - some posh, others not - but I can safely say I have never experienced anything like tea at the Dorcester's Promenade. It was heavenly. Delicate sandwiches (caraway seed bread cucumber sandwiches were my favourite - the aniseed and cucumber worked so well together), a pannecotte infused with orange pekoe tea, scones with clotted cream and preserves and a selection of dainty cakes (my favourite the tonka bean coconut macaroon - yum yum). The best part of the whole afternoon was the effort they made for Lucy who is allergic to gluten. Not only did she receive plates of gluten free sandwiches but also gluten free scones and a whole plate of cakes - delicious macaroons and semolina cake but also two pots of fruit - one a tropical mango and kiwi salad - the other strawberry puree layered with whipped cream. These last two were just inspirational and looked so pretty and I will definitely serve these to anyone who comes here for tea in the future who is allergic to gluten. It was such a special treat and I really loved it. Thank you Lucy's Mum and Dad! We also popped to Waterstones at Piccadilly and they had my book! It was an exciting moment!


Marie said...

What a wonderful time you had with Lucy! I would love to take tea at a place like that. It is my dream. Dreams do come true so I imagine one day mine will too!! I still think your book is amazing! I am SOOO impressed with it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have it signed by you.

The Curious Cat said...

I love the Dorcester - I once had dinner there when Aiden Byrne was the chef there. We were doing his first cookbook so it was free! Yummmmmmm... xxx

Ruthiekins said...

I have this book. :)
I was rather surprised to find you on blogger!

Just thought I'd let you know that, after my exams are over, I'm going to try some of the cakes and cookies in the book.

I'm rather excited!

I also wondered whether white ready to roll icing would work the same as fondant, as fondant uses gelatine, which I wont eat, or if there are vegetarian fondants available?

Thanks in advance.
Ruth :)