Interview & cookbook giveaway: Miranda Gore Browne, Great British Bake Off

Miranda in action!
Miranda in action!

We recently caught up with Miranda Gore Browne, one of the finalists from the first season of the Great British Bake Off. Miranda baked her way into our hearts with her wonderful style of home cooking and her warm personality – I personally was a bit gutted she didn’t win! She’s got her first cookbook out now, called Biscuit, which is full of amazing recipes and I have THREE COPIES to giveaway! To be in with a chance to win, go to the bottom of the page…

Miranda is championing the Dream Tea campaign by Dreams Come True, a charity which makes wishes come true for ill children and teenagers. To host your own Dream Tea, check out the Dreams Come True website. The Awesome Women of Twitter are hosting one on 20th July which everyone is invited to! Tomorrow we’ll be featuring one of Miranda’s recipes to inspire you in case you’re thinking about hosting a Dream Tea.

Now, on to the interview…

You can win a copy of Biscuit at the bottom of the page!
You can win a copy of Biscuit at the bottom of the page!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I recently rewatched all of GBBO and I have to confess you were my favourite baker in season one!

How kind of you – most touched!

How has your life changed since appearing on the Great British Bake Off?

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 am working on another at the moment. I love teaching and sharing my love of baking with others.

Is Paul really as mean as he seems?

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.

Is Mary as nice as she seems?

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. I was thrilled when she said I reminded her of her when she was younger.

What, if anything, did you learn from Paul and/or Mary? Any tips to pass on?

Paul taught me to knead bread with olive oil instead of flour.

Mary showed me how to soften butter in a bowl of warm water – this is a fantastic tip and really makes cakes light and fluffy. I always do it now.

What did you learn from your experience on the Bake Off and would you recommend other people apply?

I learned to believe in myself and my baking more. I developed my own style of baking and had great fun coming up with new recipes. I learned a great deal about how TV programmes are made and it was a fascinating insight into a completely different industry. I would definitely recommend people apply to be on it.

Miranda with her other two finallists
Miranda with her other two finalists

Danny from last year posted a fairly negative piece about her experience – do you think appearing on the programme has had an negative impact on how you watch it?

I sometimes find it difficult to watch the programme because I only think of it as something I and my fellow Series One bakers are in. It feels rather odd watching other people going through a similar experience and I feel very emotional for them as I know how much it meant to me and how they are probably feeling.

Are you still in touch with any of the other bakers?

Yes, absolutely. We shared an amazing experience and catch up whenever we can – not easy as everyone is very busy!

Why is Dreams Come True special to you?

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.

What will you be making for your Dream Tea?

All of the recipes on the website, http://dreamscometrue.uk.com/dreamtea/ I had great fun coming up with my favourite tea-time recipes and great difficulty choosing as I have so many much loved recipes for tea-time treats!

If you could invite any five people to your tea party, who would you invite?

Five close friends or perhaps… Roald Dahl to tell fantastical stories, Hugh Bonneville to add Downton style, Michael Palin to share his adventures, Mary Berry as it would be lovely to sit quietly and share a piece of cake, Sue Perkins to make us all laugh and I am pretty sure she would help with the baking and clearing up!

Miranda in all her GBBO glory!
Miranda in all her GBBO glory!

What’s your favourite kitchen appliance or gadget?

I love my grandmother’s mixing bowl and my Kenwood chef but I couldn’t live without my timer and oven thermometer!

What’s your favourite thing to make?

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!

What’s your favourite thing to eat?

Something homemade that is made with love.

What would be your five top tips for amateur bakers?

  1. Weigh carefully (ideally with digital scales)
  2. Soften butter properly if the recipe asks for it (see Mary’s tip above)
  3. Always check the oven temperature is correct – use an oven thermometer
  4. Set a timer
  5. Use a flour shaker when rolling out biscuits, pastry or kneading bread (or use olive oil to knead bread instead!)

To win a copy of Miranda’s new book, Biscuit, enter below! Competition closes on 23rd June and winners will be announced on Twitter (and contacted directly) on 24th June! 

[contact-form-7 id=”5584″ title=”Win a copy of Biscuit by Miranda Gore Browne!”]

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