The Bakes

Ace Biscuits

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I can imagine if these were commercially available from the supermarket shelves, there would be four in a pack.

But these are Mike’s very own home-made liquorice and raspberry flavoured butter cream filled butter biscuits.

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I like to say they have a certain rustic charm. I think my ‘still-at-the-development-stage’ finer piping skills can account for that.

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Thinking ahead, I wonder if there’s a pie idea worth trying? Black suits for savoury and red suits for sweet? Black pudding and rhubarb maybe?

Nectarine and Blueberry Greek Yoghurt Cake

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Using Greek yoghurt with a relatively small amount of butter has made for something that is so pleasingly smooth and moist, not to mention lower in fat.

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This combination of fruit is a tried and tasted winner for me. It’s very reminiscent of a traybake, which also includes lavender, that went down so well earlier in the year.

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Butter, sugar and eggs are beaten together. A little vanilla extract, together with Greek yoghurt is added. Dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and bicarb) are then introduced and combined.

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Into a cake tin it all goes, sliced nectarines and blueberries are arranged on top, and then it’s 45 minutes at 160 fan.

A simple peach of a cake (or should I say nectarine?)

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Seaside Pasties

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Oh I do like these.

When they emerged from the oven, the fanfare I imagined was a brass band playing tiddley-om-pom-pom!

Then I imagined them providing the perfect snack on a windswept sand-duned beach on a wet Welsh November afternoon.

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Inside the egg-glazed shells of traditional cornish pasty pastry is a spicy filling of curried chickpeas and prawns. Sunflower seeds provide the finishing touch.

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Orange Marmalade Cake

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I’d never baked anything in an ice cream bombe mould before, but this seemed like an ideal opportunity to give it a go.

The two semi-spherical halves of the casing sat alongside each other in the oven, containing between them the all-in-one sponge mixture (all of the ingredients had been simply combined in a bowl).

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Once de-moulded, cooled and assembled into a globe, the sponge was spooned over with warmed marmalade and sprinkled with zest, with a little sugar paste snippet to finish.

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Lemon Tarts

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On a woefully wet Saturday afternoon, I baked these little rays of sunshine.

The trendy London patisserie that is Baker and Spice has provided the recipe. Eggs, ground almonds and lemon zest contribute to a beautifully crisp and sweet pastry. A little addition of my own, rose water, has gone in too.

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For the filling, it’s eggs, cornflour, lemon juice and zest, caster sugar and butter. To finish, swirled melted chocolate.

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