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There is a Facebook page to go with this website – Come and click on ‘like’ to keep up to date on news and goss!
I’m also on Twitter – @wotchers
You can send me a message!
There is a Facebook page to go with this website – Come and click on ‘like’ to keep up to date on news and goss!
I’m also on Twitter – @wotchers
A message from Amersfoort, The Netherlands. I am a colleague of Petra, your sister-in-law. I like to cook and bake too. I’m having a blog were I write the receipts and show my pictures from the food I produce.
Often I present my bakeries to taste to Petra. She follows my blog and she told me about your taking part in the contest at the BBC program. I am very curious about your participation and will follow the program. Also I will follow your blog in future and will try your receipts. If you dont mind I will refer to your blog when a publish a receipt on my blog.
I will tag your blog on facebook.
PS: My real name is Jos.
Hello neighbour, too lazy to pop next door! Like the blog and glad you put the sag aloo in, my wee one loves it! Big night coming soon!!!
IK WENS JE HEEL VEEL SUCCES MET JE BLOG!
FANTASTISCH DAT JE MEEDOET AAN HET BBC KOOKPROGRAMMA.
ELS PIERIK(VRIENDIN VAN JE SCHOONMAMA HENNY)
Hi! I can’t seem to see a contact email address for you. Do you have one – I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a quick blog interview, on my blog. Thank you! Becky
It’s me Cath Johnston from Cardiff College, Human Movement Studies! Bet you thought you’d never hear those words again. I have been avidly watching you on ‘The Bake Off’. Hugely impressed with how well you’re doing and that you’ve been sooooooooooo close to being ‘Star Baker’ on numerous occasions. Lovely to see you and hear your wit again. Be lovely to be in touch.
Drop me an email.
We enjoy watching you in the Great British bake off; love your enthusiasm, creativity, research. We wish you the best of luck, and lots of pleasure baking.
We did not exactly understand how you make your fluff pastry. It seems you devised your own approach to it, but … how ?
Am I right to understand that you speak Dutch ? Although we are french speaking Belgians, ik kan ook een beetje Nederlands spreken.
Cordialement, michel (Wépion, Belgium)
Dear Mary Anne
I am so impressed and enjoying watching you on British Bake Off, you are really great, but then you always were.
Don’t know if you remember but we went to same school and girl guides!!!! Happy memories……….
Would love to be in touch again
Joy Lewis xx
Hi Mary Anne. Jessica here at http://www.BakeMe.com HQ. Congratulations on making it into the GBBO final! We’re huge fans of the show and wondered if you’d be interested in doing a short Q&A for the site?
Many thanks and best wishes, J
As an inspirational and innovative baker and within handy distance of Ledbury (Herefordshire) I am contacting you on behalf of Ledbury Food Group to see if you would be interested in doing a baking demonstration for us. We are a group of enthusiastic foodies, passionate about local produce and seasonal recipes.
Promoting local producers, retailers, suppliers and inspirational individuals, we would very much like you to share some of your GBBO experiences, ideas and recipes and hopefully demonstrate one of your creations!
With Christmas just around the corner (!) we would be grateful if you could consider an opportunity before the festive period – we are certain that you have some crackin’ Xmas recipes and quirks to tickle the tastebuds of our local foodies, bakers and enthusiasts!
For more details and to discuss the practicalities please contact me on
@hollyrogerspr or email@example.com.
Many thanks Mary-Anne.
As an avid viewer of GBBO I for one would be thrilled if you would consider our offer!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Dear Mary-Anne – Love watching you on TGBBO and your sense of humour if so sharp. Am gutted to hear we missed the Butterscotch brulee tarts so am just wondering whether when you have time you could initiate us ??? Please Thank you
I’ve just read about your Twitter name, love it. I work in schools encouraging kids to cook and this week, I was in the New Toon, Livingston (near Edinburgh)It’s a traditional new town with the ubiquitous series of roundabouts, one of which was called Lizzie Brice.. I was intrigued. On the classroom wall, I was enlightened,”Ouch she was a crabbit old lady,” said the teacher but here is more information 🙂 :http://www.mcleman.net/kirkofcalder/witches.htm
Best of luck, my GBBO loyalties were a wee bit divided but now that the funny Janet has gone I’m 100% with you. Bonne Chance albeit too late I hope that you win, it’s grim being an also ran *said with feeling*.
I just wanted to wish you the best of luck for the final. You are a complete inspiration to me and I am definitely rooting for you.
I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed following your journey on The Great British Bake Off! It made
great viewing and your creations were stupendous!!!
Hi Mary-Ann well done for getting to the finals your ideas are very clever and I shall be attempting to do some.
A quick question where did you get the lovely huge basket for your final show piece? I really would love one of these for my knitting
From Holland, you didn’t win but my sister and i did vote for you. I do love your different recipes. I am glad you have à blog. And this weekend the mini cheese cakes are on THE menu. My 10 year old Son was realy disappointed that you didn’t win.
Greetings from the Netherlands
Anita and Wilma (my sister) Scholten
Love your blog and the way you write, hope you bring out a cook book!
Shame you didn’t win, we were rooting for you. You were the most inspiring and innovative. I will definitely be trying your recipes out on my three older sons and 5 year old daughter.
Congratulations for all you did during this contest. Your recipes are giving us many interesting ideas. Please keep up your blog. And … good cooking, good reading.
Michel + Martine
absolutely gutted that you did’nt win,you’ve been my favourite for weeks.
To my mind you were by far the most instinctive of the bakers and your taste combinations nothing short of sensational.I have never in my life read a blog before but when i heard,at the end of the programme ,that you wrote a food blog i immediately looked you up.WHAT A FIND.
I so look forward to reading all your blogs as,like you,i am very interested in food history and make many old receipts myself.
Many,many congratulations on making the finals.You have a new fan!!
I am an Italian who just saw your recipes on the Great British Bake Off program.
I just wanted let you know that I enjoyed and learned from your experiments.
You definetevily have a particular kind of eye for mixing techniques.
Your sense of humour makes watching you cooking such a pleasent experience.
I hope BBC will offer you soon a program – they should!
Hi Mary-Anne, so sorry the finals didn’t go your way 😦
I was rooting for you for weeks – I just loved your whole outlook on the dishes you created and have been inspired greatly by you.
Congratulations for getting to the finals – you really deserved it.
I will continue to be an avid follower of your blog and look forward to being inspired even more!
Congratulations on the Great British Bake Off, loved your recipes 🙂 Just found this blog…. off to browse through it…..
Hi Mary-Anne ,we are from Ireland, myself and my 3 girls were watching every episode, Well Done, we enjoyed your creativity. You inspired my kids to be more spontaneous and reading more cook books. We have some also in German, what makes for a great multi-culturell baking experience. Thanks again and good luck from Sas & girls
Hi Mary-Anne. I just wanted to say a huge thanks you. I have a massive passion for all things bakeable. I even dream about food. (Really i do). But after watching this year’s GBBO and reading your blog i have decided to start my own blog, I’ve never really done anything like this before and I haven’t told any friends or family. I don’t think anyone will ever read it but at least it’s out there now. It is only in the very early stages but i have absolutely loved every second of writing down all the sugar goodness that is flying around in my head, (instead of just eating it!!)
So thank you
You most definitely inspired me to do something about my obsession
Hello Mary-Anne can you suggest me a good recipe book only for biscuits? If it`s a very old one I don`t mind historical recipes are great!!! Thanks so much!!
My name’s Coral and I’m 15.
I watched you in The great British Bake off, then my sister then showed me your blog.
I love your recipes so much!
I love baking, and was hoping of starting up a blog like yours, but with entirely lactose-free recipes, as I follow a lactose-free diet.
If you have any tips for starting up a blog, I would love to hear them!
Thank you! I look forward to any future recipes you post!
Oh my – I am SO excitied by this site! Caught GBBO on the last two minutes, so watched the whole series back to back on iplayer! Completely hooked, and from the very first moment knew that your style, results, wit and humour were right up my strasse! I want to cook like you!! I shall be trying many of the gorgeous, innovative recipes here with gusto and glee – absolutely everything you cook looks inviting and deliciously devour-able (is there such a word?). Thank you SO much for the inspiration, and for sharing your well researched and re-vamped recipes. So very well done on the programme too and best of luck for your future (I echo the idea of a cook book – bagsie amongst first in queue!) Pippa
My name is Alexandra Mitsoura and I watched the Great British Bake off religiously. I am so excited that I spotted your blog. This makes me so happy!!
I love your attitude towards baking. Experimenting, trying new things. I have learned so much from you. I hope to become a perfect baker experimenting and such.
I do hope you create a cookbook. Make that a request actually!!! =)
Looking forward to new recipes….
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING YOU DURING THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF.
Sending wishes from Aberdeen….
Hope you keep in touch!!! 🙂
p.s. I’m Greek so thank you for opening my horizon to new recipes s I more used to Mediterranean food!
It has been lovely to watch you on the TV. I’ve often wondered what you id after Singapore. I downloaded the series, as I now live in HK. Still teaching! You are doing far more exciting things and extremely well. I was so disappointed that you didn’t win as everything you made looked delicious and definitely how food served should be. Yummy! Watching you reminded me of your wonderful sense of humour and amazing intelligence. I would love to hear from you.
Keep baking/cooking and stay happy.
Love Ruth (Long Hair) x
Enjoyed watching you on Bake-off very much and particularly your connection with historical recipes and unusual methods and ingredients.
I’ve been catering on a low key basis for some years but I’m just revving up my business and as part of an event last week decided to give your Apple rose tarts a go. Well what little stunners thay are! As someone with very little manual dextrity it was a pleasant surprise to find out how easy the apple flowers were to create. Our clients voted them their favourite of the day – so that’s nice for you to know. For your interest, due to one of our clients having an allergy to citrus, I made the tarts without any lemon and thought that they maybe over sweet, however thay were just fine. And finally, these little apple posies are very photogenic aren’t they…can send you pics of our creations to add to your collection.
Anyway happy baking – mulling over what to make next and I like the look of the oaty slice for tomorrow.
All the best
It was a joy watching you on the Great British Bake Off. My Brother really wants to try the pork pie recipe that you did on the show. Unfortunately I can’t find a suitable baking tin with the deep flat -ish sides. Any help in naming the one on the show or recommending one would be much appreciated. Thanks vey much.
Wotchers Sarah! Don’t splurge on some designer baking tin – make your own baking rings (see Muffins recipe on the blog) from tins of (for example) processed peas. Not only do you save money, but you get the freedom to choose tins of whatever size you like to make pies whatever size you like. Hope this helps! 😀 M-A
Thanks, never would have thought of tins. That is an amazing idea. Have a great Chritsmas.
Hi, Your recipe for Seedless Raspberry Jam is beautifully simple but there’s a typo a couple of times where u say that it needs to reach 205 C…should read 105 C. Thankfully, i caught the error and my jam turned out gorgeously 🙂 Not even sure if 205 C would be possible !!
Good save! Many thanks for that, JM 😀
enjoyed watching you on the great british bake off and also love receiving your time to cook blogs. I was wondering if i could trouble you for cooking advice, I run at work a muffin scheme once a month and this month the theme is luxury christmas muffins,
i was short on some ideas so my collegue came up with chocolate, orange and brandy muffins. is it possible to have all three of the above in a muffin, I’m not sure if it will dry out and taste funny. could you help ?? also am open to other suggestions for christmas muffins if you have any,
thank you xx
Wotchers Hannah! Great scheme! Must admit, I’m not an experienced muffin-baker, but the combo sounds good – I’m guessing just the zest of the orange, and chocolate chips with just a splash of brandy? Another alternative might be a few spoonfuls of the Guilt-free Mincemeat stirred through the batter? Hope this helps! M-A 😀
Thanks Mary Anne I will give it a go , guilt free mincemeat muffins sound good. let you know how I get on xx
Hi Mary Anne.
Today is my muffin scheme at work, and I have taken your advice and baked guiltfree mincemeat muffins and done the orange and chocolate chips with brandy.
I also made your luxury mince pies and guiltfree mincemeat and took them to work the other day people went nuts for them .
thank you for your help and advice xx
Hello Mary Anne. I loved watching you on Bake Off and thought that yours was the food I would like to eat most. I have been lurking around your blog and following you on twitter since. I have agreed to bake a cake for the Newcastle Eat festival this year. The theme is “the 18th century”. I am now in a mild state of panic as google isn’t helping me with ideas and I don’t have old books to hand. Is there anything you could suggest or a book you could suggest that I get hold of? Any crumbs of an idea would be gratefully received here.
Thanks for reading.
Hi Val – I’m sure I can find some ideas for you. I’ll have a rummage and email you! M-A 😀
Hi M-A – Just to let you know I think I’ve found all series 2 on-line. So putting it aside for when I have 8 hours to spare (!)
Stay in touch.
Hi Mary-Anne! Loved watching you in the bake-off and fell in love with the “apple posies” recipe. I saw your post on semolina pudding, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the filling of the Italian pastry sfogliatelle. There are some custard filled variations, but the traditional filling is a cooked semolina pudding with sugar and cinnamon with ricotta cheese and candied orange mixed in. It ends up tasting fairly reminiscent of cannoli cream. Might be a fun one for you to tackle–the outer pastry shell is similar to phyllo and requires some artistry in shaping. Thanks again for all the great recipes and tutorials!
Thanks Melanie – I have had a couple of tries at sfogliatelle, but haven’t yet managed to get them to puff into the impressively flaky ‘lobster tails’ that first drew my eye. Might be time for another bash at them though! 😀
I’m wondering if you might know of any traditional recipes for Imbolc, the Festival of Fire?
Fantastic blog to go with a fantastic cook!
Wotchers flamelily! Thank you for the kind words. I don’t have any Imbolc-specific recipes, but I can offer some suggestions to choose from. Either something that celebrates the hearth and grain, such as home-made wholemeal bannocks and soda bread. Or something circular, to represent the sun: pancakes or cakes. Hope this helps! M-A 😀
I got such a pleasant surprise to see you on the GBBO showing here in Australia at the moment. We met in Kuwait 30?? years ago and your brilliant sense of humour struck me then. We performed in Hobson’s Choice together. I was regrettably quite forgetable in my performance- I can’t remember what I was even- a customer I think.. ?
You were much more memorable as Hobson’s daughter and had “not looked back since your previous performance as ‘girl in crowd’.”
You made me laugh and I was sorry I couldn’t get to know you better.
Anyway I am so happy to see life has brought you good things. Congratulations and good on you. If I can find a photo of you in Hobson clobber (been looking for it) should I post it?
I’m trying to bake your Wood Street Cake using the recipe in the ft magazine on 30 December 2013. Are the ingredients wrong? There’s no way the mixture is wet enough!! Too many dry ingredients or too little wet ones? Help!! I bought the ingredients especially because it looked so tasty.
Wotchers Bobby Jane
If the mixture doesn’t look wet enough, add some more liquid – either milk or cream.
The moisture content of pretty much all of the ingredients can affect the overall recipe, so if it looks too dry, just add more liquid.
Hope this helps! M-A 😀
I am enjoying your book which I have featured on my blog, with a link to yours. I am at http://cakesandbaking.wordpress.com where I have just started exploring. Thank you for information about the Wellcome Library which I intend to visit asap!
Hi Mary Anne, a couple of years ago i was back in the UK and caught an episode or 2 of the show and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my old flat mate from Singapore!
Who I never saw in the kitchen!
Came back from abroad a few months ago and thought I would see how you were doing.
Glad to see you are doing so well…and got out of teaching!
all best wishes
Hello Mary Anne, would you be free sometime in Jan to do a couple of simple baking sessions with children in Birmingham please?
I’m afraid I have other commitments for January-May, so I am unable to help.
Thankyou for your reply Mary Anne, if you do manage a couple of hours spare on a Saturday, please let me know!
Would you happen to know a recipe for non alcoholic warm apple cider? Thankyou.
I have to be honest, I’m a bit puzzled by the question.
My first thought would be to suggest you find a regular warm cider recipe and substitute non-alcoholic cider.
Am I misunderstanding the question?
since I’m living in Berlin, Germany I was a little late to the GBBO-Party but as I’m eagerly waiting for the new episode of season 7 I’m catching up on all the other seasons and just finished season 2.
I just wanted to let you know that I’m immensely impressed by your knowledge, curiosity, daring, taste and skill! And I’m so happy I found your blog where you so generously share your knowledge and the fruits of your expeditions into centuries of recipes. Thank you so much!
I have been watching reruns of the Great British Back Off. I was so very impressed with your work on the show. I am so glad to see your blog up and going strong after all these years. You are such a marvelous person, and a marvelous baker. Thank you for keeping up with this work, and letting us enjoy it so.
I have made my first batch of homemade mincemeat ever and am chuffed with the results. What recipe would you recommend for a shortcrust pastry when I make the mince pies? My Mum used to make 1/2 flour 1/2 fat with an extra dollop of fat!
Shortcrust is generally made with ‘half fat to flour’ or 1 part fat, 2 parts flour as the standard recipe. The fat is usually made up of equal parts butter and lard.
However, I recommend an all-butter pastry with some cornflour mixed in with the flour, to make a very crisp, non-greasy pastry for your mince pies. You can find that recipe here: https://timetocookonline.com/2013/04/29/banoffi-pie/
Happy Baking! M-A 😀
I wonder if you can help me. I am very interested in the old time Gingerbread dough that they use to make and get stored to mature for long time before baking.
As I see from your web site you are very knowledgeable and got access to so many old books.
I bought your first book and I already pre-ordered the kindle version of your next book on Amazon
Could you please provide me with a formula or a name of a book that contain such information.
My grandfather spoke to me about syrup ,flour ,potash or pearl ash as the ingredients which they mix and then let mature between 3-10 days ,after that they add spices , other things and put on wooden frames and bake.
They are called thin parliament gingerbread . His memory is fading and this is as much as he can remember no quantities or method
Waiting for your kind reply
Thank you in advance
Thanks for your question.
There’s a recipe for Parliament Cakes in Great British Bakes, but it uses regular raising agents.
I’ve found three sources for the method you described, although they involve commercial quantities which you will have to scale down if you want to try them out.
The books are available online and free to download.
There is an article with discussion of the method in an old publication here
The first book reference is in The complete biscuit and gingerbread baker’s assistant By George Read from 1854, page 83 for general observations, Parliament Cakes on page 95.
The second is in A treatise on the art of baking By John White from 1824, page 293, from a dough mix detailed on page 292.
Hope these are of help!
Interesting question! For the molds and recipe for speculaas infused dough, may I refer you to: http://www.speculaas.co.uk/speculaas-mould and http://www.speculaas.co.uk/windmill-mold
Thank you for linking to these two books, which I will study with considerable interest the next week or so.
The Speculaas Spice Master Chef
The Speculaas Spice Company Ltd
Thank you very much for your help
you are really a star.
God bless you
Congrats on winning Christmas bake off. My husband is also Dutch and would like me to attempt your Christmas show stopper cake, but cannot find the recipe online? Please help
I am loving both of your books, but I do have a question, if I may? In Deja Food you often call for “oyster sauce.” I am guessing you do not mean Chinese oyster sauce, but….I’m at a bit of a loss. I do have a recipe for oyster sauce, about 100 years old, from Lady Clark; it’s essentially a roux thinned with beef stock, with oyster liquor and poached oysters stirred in at the end….but I am not sure if that’s what you’re calling for. Can you clarify?
Thanks so much,
Short answer – yes, Asian Oyster Sauce.
My aim with resurrecting these recipes is to encourage others to make them. I try to remain as true to the original as possible, but I also recognise that not everyone will think it worthwhile, on first reading, to make the ingredients from scratch. So in instances such as this, I made a decision to opt for the next best thing, to make it easier for the reader.
The purist might disapprove, but for a cookery book, as opposed to an academic paper, I believe this is the right decision.
English Oyster Sauce is on my (very long) ToDo list, so if you decide to have a stab at it, do pop back and let me know how it goes!
I really wish I could get your time in the tent in the United States. I’ve watched it while visiting friends in England and you became my favorite immediately and still are 10 years later. Thanks for sharing great recipes.
Thank you for taking the time to hunt me down with such kind words.
Here’s a link you might like!