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My classic butter shortbread recipe

On April 21st, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her milestone 90th birthday. The celebrations for this historic event will continue through the coming few months. In October last year, Waitrose launched a national competition to create a design for a special birthday cake to mark this occasion. The winner would then see their design created and on the shelves in Waitrose! As one of the judges, I can tell

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Pistachio and Orange Blossom Cake

Spring has finally arrived and we can look forward to the lengthening and warmer days that stretch out in front of us. The garden is coming alive – shoots unfurl, spring flowers and blossoms at last. Although with so much to do – seeds to plant, weeds to keep at bay, there isn’t much time to simply sit and ponder. I will always find time to bake however! One of

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Easter Simnel Cake

Our traditional Simnel cake originated in Victorian times as a gift for Mother’s Day. We now associate it with Easter of course – the 11 marzipan balls representing the 11 apostles (minus Judas). Much lighter than a dark fruited Christmas cake it is utterly delicious and extra moist with its layer of marzipan baked through the centre. If you find yourself anywhere near Harrods during March do look out for

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Giant Jammy Dodger

If you are wondering how to express your love this Valentines (or Mother’s Day for that matter), why not get your pinny out and bake something simple? My giant jam sandwiches are a larger version of that well known and loved biscuit found in every supermarket in the land. Freshly baked you will see that they are utterly delicious (no doubt you will be sharing hopefully!) Bake these any time

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Blueberry yogurt muffins

The festivities of Christmas and New Year are over – I’ve removed the very last bauble from the tree and hoovered up as many pine needles as possible. With all signs of Christmas away for another year I always rather look forward to early January. It can be a time of hope and promise, and a look forward to what the New Year may bring even though the days are

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Jewel Box Fruit Cake

Christmas is almost upon us! In the bakery, believe it or not we have been making Christmas cakes since July and soon it will be time to start beginning planning Christmas 2016! It always surprises me just how much I still enjoy it when it finally arrives! Maybe you are organised and have baked a traditional rich Christmas cake and stored it away to mature. If not, have a go

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Christmas is coming!

Like it or not we now find ourselves in the run up to Christmas. In the bakery we are producing around 46,000 Christmas cakes this year! In fact we usually begin making our fruit cakes in July and pack them away for the flavours to mellow and mature. We start planning at the beginning of the year, so you could say it is Christmas for us all year round at

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Maple and Pecan Autumn Leaves Recipe

I’ve always enjoyed going blackberrying in September and October, rambling through the golden harvested fields and kicking through the falling autumn leaves. Compensation for the end of summer as winter fast approaches. These are my daughters’ favourite biscuits of all, so I can’t think why I don’t make them more often. You don’t need a leaf cutter – any shape will do – finger biscuits or squares would be fine

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Chocolate courgette brownies

We’ve never had much success with our vegetable patch, that is until this summer. Over the last few months we’ve had our fill of salad leaves, French beans, carrots, herbs – and the leeks and parsnips are growing well. There has however, been a glut of courgettes. Risotto, soups, raw in salads, pasta, sautéed with garlic – you name it we’ve eaten it and savoured the courgette flowers too. It

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Bakewell tart

I’m just back from a fabulous week in the South of France with my daughter. We drove many miles from Provence passing fields filled with “Van Gogh’s” sunflowers on the way and over to the Alpes. We stayed in a little French town nestled deep in the mountains. Twice during our stay the small town square was transformed into a wonderful market by local farmers and artisan food producers selling

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