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, 29 September 2011

Today I am proud to introduce you to not 1 but 2 of my upcoming books - Popcorn and Milkshakes. I do hope that you approve of the covers - my favourite bit is the old fashioned school milk bottles on the right hand side of the Milkshake cover (I found them in a shop in Suffolk and was very pleased when they made the cover)! Both books are available to pre order on Amason although you will have to wait a while for delivery - release dates are March and April 2012!

Monday, 26 September 2011

My Dad is just back from a holiday to France. He is well trained! Wherever he goes he takes pictures of cakes and desserts for me and has just sent me this picture of a french patisserie for inspiration. I have to say I just want to dive in (like the Priest who ends up asleep in the window of the chocolate shop in the movie Chocolat after eating all the chocolate!)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Well you could have blown me down with a feather when I was told that my Gluten Free book was Delia Smith's Book of the Month on her website - what a true honour! I love Delia and have all her cook books so was amazed when my little book got a mention and such a nice review too - you can read it on the website by clicking here

"Book of the Month: The Gluten-Free Baker by Hannah Miles (Ryland, Peters & Small, £16.99)
There are, seemingly, increasing numbers of people who have an intolerance to certain food groups, and it always seems a shame that they have to miss out on enjoyable foods as a result. This book is invaluable for those with a gluten intolerance - and the recipes sound so good that those who can eat wheat will also enjoy the fruits of your baking!

I'm also impressed by the price: at a time when many hardback cookbooks cost £25 or more, this beautifully produced and photographed book by former MasterChef finalist Hannah Miles costs just £16.99. Baking - because it relies so heavily on wheat flour - is one area of cookery that's particularly difficult for coeliacs and those with a gluten intolerance to overcome. Hannah lists ingredients that contain gluten - even things like soy sauce and glace cherries are culprits - and she uses gluten-free flour in the recipes. These will appeal just as much to those who don't have a gluten intolerance: I loved the sound of Buckwheat and Cherry Cake; Pumpkin Scones and Raspberry and Chocolate Profiteroles."

What a lovely review!

Monday, 19 September 2011

A few weeks ago I reported on my brothers planned trip to the BBQ competition and the orange cakes he was planning on the BBQ. I thought you might like to see the final product and also pictures of the "Big Fatty" which appears to be some sort of meatloaf. Also the need for curly parsley also became clear - it was for pretty presentation and of course flat leaf parsley would not have done the job (well done Tracy - you were right on both counts of course!) Sadly a travesty occurred and they didn't win a single prize - I just can't believe it as those little cakes look delicious and given the fact that they were baked without an oven is really something! The bottom photo shows the orange cake production in full swing - they must have made a lot of cakes to get these 6 perfect ones to serve! I will ask my brother for the recipe so that it can be posted in time for next summer!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

This is a recent Royal Navy aircraft carrier cake I made - not the easiest of topics I have to admit but with a bit of silver lustre spray and some rice paper propellars it looked a bit like a ship! I was particularly proud of my royal navy flag which you can just about see next to the plane!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Doughnut recipe testing is in full swing. I now only have about 10 more recipes to do and in the words of a song from Eliza Doolittle ("By Jove I think she's got it") light fluffy doughnuts are now being produced in my kitchen - they even have the traditional white line around the centre. To say I am proud is an understatatement particularly given that my first weekend of doughnut making was a bit of a disaster - think stodgy balls of greasy dough and you wouldn't be far wrong! Luckily with a few hints and tips from a very kind man who works for a certain world famous doughnut company, I believe I have perfected the home doughnut! On yesterdays menu were rose petal doughnuts, coffee doughnuts, pecan pie doughnuts and coconut doughnuts. Luckily we were joined in our mamoth tasting session by Bree (who competed with me on Masterchef and I am sure would have got to the final had I not beaten her!) and her lovely boyfried Mark, some friends from the village and Mum and Mike. We also had pumpkin scones, pistachio meringues and coconut brownies - all new recipes being tested - talk about inviting people round to be guinnea pigs!!! Everything got the thumbs up which is good news! Can you hear the table in our new dinning room actually groaning under the weight of the food?