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, 27 February 2013

Yesterday was a lovely day at the shoot for my new Gluten Free book.  Here are Iona, Bill and Bridget all hard at work discussing positioning the cheese straws!  The final photo looked lovely but you will have to wait for the book to see it.  Next were mozzerella and pesto puffs (I was roped into making the puff pastry!) and chilli bake with a lime and polenta crust.  Such a lovely day out!  I am now so excited to see the book once it is finished xxx  It was a real trip down memory lane to see Bridget again as she worked on my very first cook book 365 cakes and cookies - 13 books ago - my word that does seem like forever ago!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

It seems like a long way off until this book is released in August, but I am delighted to be able to share the cover of my next Gluten Free book with you.  This is my first savoury book and it seemed very strange not to be whipping up cakes and cookies.  Instead I was making Toad in the Hole, Pork Pies, Beef Wellingtons, Leek tart to name but a few of the recipes inside.  It was certainly a challenge with gluten free flour but one I really enjoyed. The book is in photo shoot at the moment so next week I am off to London to the studio - really looking forward to my day out!  For any nut allergy sufferers, the vast majority of recipes in this book contain no nuts.  The book is available to pre order on Amazon.http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Savory-Gluten-free-Baker-Intolerant/dp/1849754292/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1361437163&sr=8-3

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Have you ever had one of those days when your cooking goes wrong?  It doesn't happen to me that often luckily but yesterday it happened in a spectacular fashion.  My friend Susan came round yesterday evening as we wanted to prepare Semlor - Swedish lent buns which is their pancake equivalent for Shrove Tuesday.  We have been planning this for a while now and were both looking forward to a baking evening together.  Peter and Susan used to live in Gothenburg and have raved about these cardamom buns filled with whipped cream and almond paste ever since I have known them.  My expectations of a delicious culinary experience were high.  Two nights ago I had a dream that we were making the buns and the yeast kept foaming all over the kitchen. I think I should have taken this as a sign.  We followed the recipe to the letter but the dough was really hard and not elastic at all.  Still we persevered thinking that it was perhaps meant to be this way as maybe Swedish dough is different.  Alas, we then put it in my Kitchenaid mixer to knead and it broke the glass bowl into large pieces!  One hour of cooking and nothing to show for it as the dough now had glass fragments in it.  We were both so sad, although did manage to see the funny side of it eventually.  So instead of our cardamom buns, we had a quick change of plan and instead  made Semlor inspired pancakes - cardamom pancakes with almond paste, whipped cream and blueberry and cardamom compote.  They were very tasty and although not quite what we had planned, the evening turned out well in the end!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

It is always as very exciting day when the first copy of one of my books arrives, but the arrival of Cheesecakes was something a bit special.  I knew that the book was going to be lovely but it has far exceeded my expectations.  The photography is just stunning and Steve Painter did an amazing job making 60 cheesecakes look so different.  The book is not out until next month but I thought I would give you a sneak preview of some of my favourite pictures - trifle cheesecake, jelly and custard cheesecake (with a pink wafer biscuit base) and valentine mergingue and cherry cheesecakes!   I hope you like them as much as I do.  The book is available to pre-order on Amazon now and is out next month xxx