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The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating

Posted by Jane Wells on Monday, October 2, 2017, In : Baking 

After watching a recent episode of The Great British Bake Off I started thinking about some of my favourite puddings and desserts and wondering what the difference is. 

For me, pudding should be hot and served with custard but it mustn’t be so filling that I regret eating it. 

A dessert on the other hand brings to mind an equally lovely treat – I’m thinking of profiteroles or cheesecake where cream plays a leading role. 

There are several words to describe the course so many of us look for...

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The Joy of Afternoon Tea

Posted by Jane Wells on Monday, June 26, 2017, In : Baking 

The ritual of Afternoon Tea has seen a resurgence in recent years and as far as I’m concerned this is a cause for celebration.

Afternoon Tea dates back to the mid nineteenth century when Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford asked for a tray of tea and cakes to be brought to her room to stave off the ‘sinking feeling’ she experienced in the long interval between lunch and dinner. She enjoyed it so much that she invited friends to join her and a new social event began. As the century rolled on aft...

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When Life Gives You Lemons

Posted by BCM on Friday, May 27, 2016, In : Baking 

We all tend to take lemons for granted nowadays. They’re cheap, in plentiful supply and available throughout the year.

It wasn’t always like that though.

Lemon trees are native to India and were first discovered in the Deccan Plateau in Central India centuries ago. Traders helped get them through Persia to Iraq and Egypt and we probably have the Crusaders to thank for bringing them back to Europe from their campaigns in the Holy Land. Serious cultivation in Europe only started in the 15th c...

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The Humble Scone

Posted by BCM on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, In : Baking 
Scones are amazing!

So simple to make and so versatile.  

To a basic dough mixture, prepared in minutes, you can add raisins or currants to make them sweet. You can add ingredients like cheese to make them savoury.  

Light in texture, you can also eat them plain.  Who hasn’t drooled over a cream tea in Devon where they come slathered with clotted cream and strawberry jam?  That’s nothing less than food for the gods.

The list of variations is endless, as a glance through any good cookbook will...

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The Victoria Sponge Cake

Posted by BCM on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, In : Baking 
Named after Queen Victoria, who apparently had a very sweet tooth, what do the words “Victoria Sponge Cake” conjure up for you?  

Fond memories perhaps of teatime at home with Mum or Granny, the warm smell of fresh baking still in the air? They probably all had their own version of this simple two layered cake filled with jam and cream, topped with a dusting of caster sugar. But what a special treat it was, and still is.

Teatime itself has its roots in Victorian times when it was usual to e...

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The Easter Simnel Cake

Posted by BCM on Thursday, February 25, 2016, In : Baking 
There’s more to Easter than Easter Eggs! And Hot Cross Buns too for that matter.
Among the many delights we indulge ourselves with over the Easter holidays there’s another not so well known one that’s making a come back and that is the simnel cake.

A bit like a Christmas cake only lighter, simnel cakes are packed with dried fruit and are beautifully decorated with a topping of golden marzipan rather than icing. There’s another layer in the middle and then, around the top, eleven marzip...

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