A cup of tea with Miranda
We caught up over a cup of tea with our Dream Tea ambassador, Great British Bake Off finalist, Miranda Gore Browne to talk all things baking.
Tell us about your time on Great British Bake Off? Any highlights?
Being on the show itself was a highlight. There are two things that have stuck with me: I was thrilled when Mary said I reminded her of her when she was younger and Paul Hollywood loved my pretty decorated biscuits and said they could be served at The Dorchester Hotel.
What are Paul and Mary like to work with?
Paul is very fair but understandably has very high standards. He pushed us to get even better at our baking and praised us when we achieved.
Mary was and, continues to be, hugely supportive to me. She is such a lovely person and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to work with her.
Are you still in touch with Paul & Mary and the other contestants?
Yes, everyone's really busy so we don't have a chance to meet regularly. We did all meet at the BBC Good Food Show in November which was fanastic!
What did you learn from being in the GBBO, both baking specific and life lessons?
- It taught me to always give things a go. I honestly never dreamed I would get onto the programme, never mind reach the Final.
- Keep practising and never give up – I mastered so many new skills and always tried to do everything as well as I possibly could.
- Most things can be fixed ... if things weren't going to plan when we were being filmed baking, I would try to keep a smile on my face and come up with a solution!
- Seize every opportunity and try new things.
- Be yourself – I used to worry about whether the judges would like things I made but I grew in confidence and made the things I loved hoping they would love them too!
- How has life changed since GBBO?
- The GBBO has had an incredible impact on my life. Baking is now at the heart of everything I do. I have had my first cookbook, BISCUIT published and my second book, Bake me a cake as fast as you can will be published by Ebury this August. I love teaching and sharing my love of baking with others.
Any top baking tips?
- Weigh carefully (ideally with digital scales)
- Soften butter properly if the recipe asks for it – Mary showed us how to soften the butter by chopping it into small pieces and putting it into a bowl of warm water.
- Always check the oven temperature is correct – use an oven thermometer
- Set a timer
- Use a flour shaker when rolling out biscuits, pastry or kneading bread (or use olive oil to knead bread instead!) adding too much flour changes the recipe and can make biscuits tough or bread dry.
What's your favourite thing to bake?
I can't possibly choose just one thing! Something chocolatey. Cakes and biscuits, meringues and eclairs, millionaires shortbread. I really love baking things that I know will put a smile on someone's face – My absolute favourite thing must be making birthday cake for one of my children – I have three children so three birthday cakes every year!
Why are you supporting Dreams Come True?
Being in the final of the GBBO, having the chance to write cookery books and make baking my career is a dream come true for me. I know how important dreams are to my children and I feel very privileged to be able to be part of making other very special children's dreams come true.
Author: James Gunn
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