To celebrate the start of the new series of The Great British Bake Off which starts on Wednesday 6th August 2014, we spoke to Chalon brand ambassador and finalist from the first series, Miranda Gore Browne, about her experiences on the show.
Miranda, with the next series of GBBO just about to start, it would be good to hear what inspired you to put yourself forward?
“I have always loved baking and when I saw the advert in Good Food magazine asking for amateur bakers to apply for a new programme, I was really excited and thought I would find out more. I had just stopped working at M&S and needed a new challenge. I thought the programme sounded a brilliant idea and something I would definitely watch so I filled in the application form and couldn’t believe it when after months of baking and testing and judging I was asked to be one of the contestants!”
What was your favourite moment?
“In the final, Mary Berry said that my cupcakes were “absolutely perfect” and she told me that I reminded her of herself when she was younger!”
What was your biggest challenge?
“Probably pastry week as it was really hot in the marquee and I found it hard to get my pastry as perfect as I had hoped it would be.”
What single piece of advice would you have for the contestants this time around
“Bake the things you love to bake and believe in yourself.”
Will you be watching it!?
“I am really looking forward to watching the series this year and wish them all so much luck!”
Would you like to share any of your GBBO recipes, as a special treat for Chalon clients!
“Of course! Here is the recipe for Queen of Puddings that I made on the show.”
Pudding week was great fun – we had to make lots of hot puddings. I made a sticky toffee pudding, a chocolate suet pudding, a strawberry and rhubarb crumble and Queen of Puddings. I did well in the judging and the judges particularly liked my Queen of Puddings…
Paul Hollywood thought it had a “fantastic flavour” and Mary Berry loved the crunchiness of the meringue on top.
If you are making a Queen of Puddings and want to get a really delicious flavour, it is important to use really flavoursome raspberries, unwaxed (preferably organic) lemons and, of course, the best quality, freshest free-range eggs. My mouth is watering. I think I might have to go and make one now!
Miranda’s Bake Off Queen of Puddings:
55g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 level tablespoon caster sugar
grated rind of small lemon
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons really good raspberry jam
300g fresh raspberries
for meringue: 2 egg whites
85g caster sugar
Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl with the sugar and finely grated lemon rind.
Heat the milk and butter until just boiling.
Pour over the crumbs and leave to soak for 15 mins.
Stir in the egg yolks and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a well buttered 1 pint pie or baking dish – choose a shallow dish if possible.
Place in centre of a moderate oven (350 degrees F or gas 4 and bake for 25-30 mins or until the mixture has set firm.
Carefully spread the jam over the surface of the pudding – if the jam is a little stiff it’s a good idea to warm gently first. This way the jam is less likely to break the surface of the baked mixture.
Squidge the raspberries over the top.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, sprinkle over half the sugar and whisk again lightly.
Then using a metal spoon lightly fold in the remainder of the sugar and spoon the meringue over the pudding.
Pile the meringue high and make peaks.
Return to the centre of the oven and bake just long enough to crisp the meringue – about 10 mins.