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Blackberry and apple crumble cake

Autumn is fast approaching – I can feel the slight chill in the mornings now and sadly the nights are slowing drawing in as summer fades. After months of enjoying simple salads and bowls of delicious summer berries and fruits, a comforting crumble cake is a very welcome change. This truly seasonal blackberry and apple crumble cake takes a little longer to bake than a classic crumble but do try

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Summer Petal Confetti

Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen during our precious summer months when the sunshine beckons? This month I am giving you more of an idea than a recipe. Just a few minutes of your time and you can transform your summer salads, bakes and puds. Unashamedly, I am returning to one of my favourite ways to decorate using edible flowers. Minimal effort and maximum effect! I found the

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Fiona Cairns’ Elderflower, Orange & Passion Fruit Layer Cake

Most years I clamber through the hedgerows in May or June and brew a few bottles of homemade elderflower cordial. This year I’m just too late as the tiny white lacy flowers that line our hedgerows at the beginning of summer are over. Fortunately, really good elderflower cordial is widely available in the supermarkets. I created this recipe for Belvoir Cordials – my go-to favourite range. My elderflower, orange and

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Classic Victoria Sponge for the Queen’s 90th birthday

Happy 90th Birthday to Her Majesty the Queen! The celebrations to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th continue. I was lucky enough in May to go to Windsor Castle to the spectacular event staged to celebrate this momentous occasion there. All over the land we will be gathering on June 12th – how we do love a street party! Several thousands will gather along the Mall and many more of

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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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