I got a little star struck at the weekend. I was at the BBC Bakes and Cakes Show and had access to the green room. This is the room where the folks doing the demos (some admittedly more celeb than others – from Mary Berry to Mich Turner to well, ahem, me).
Now in cake shows past I haven’t bothered going into this room. I’ve always felt like a pretender; a bit of a fool. I had this suspicion the security guards might sling me out by my ear or laugh when I produced my VIP pass.
This time I did it. I found the green room. I went in, I tried to look like I knew what I was doing. I made a coffee, took a handful of unsalted nuts and sat on a comfy sofa. I managed to say something friendly to the lady who does the signing for the live shows (she was VERY nice) and I smiled at Mich Turner though I don’t think she saw me. I struck up a conversation with the lovely Masterchef finalist Dr Tim Kinnaird who now very successfully makes macarons for a living. Eric Lanlard was smiley and friendly, my friend Jo Wheatley was there, popping in and out. John Whaite too and his entourage (okay his partner and pals from oop north, but he did look like he had a full staff). And Lisa Faulkner! We talked about having the same agent and how we really need a Christmas party for everyone to get drunk and gossip at. Mary Berry even came over and said ‘now then little Holly’ and shook my hand. Ah! I was doing so well.
Do you know what (or rather whom) got to me? Do you remember the ginger curly haired lady that Beth Jordache had her lesbian kiss with on Brookside many moons ago? Well she was there (Lisa F is her daughter’s God Mother), her name is Nicola and I was beyond star struck. I managed to mumble something about her daughter’s hair being beautiful and then went bright red. Well done me.
If you’re less of a reader and more of a watcher, there’s a video of this recipe on my youtube channel and also over at Scoff Food.
Lots more recipes like the one below in my book, Recipes from a Normal Mum, out now… on Amazon, atWaterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets.
One year ago: Homemade pizza and Harvest mice crispie cakes and Pork & apple samosas
Two years ago: Christmas flapjacks and Cake pops and Walnut, bourbon and treacle tart
Three years ago: Bloodshot truffle eyes and Truffle icing chocolate cupcakes and Father Christmas’ Bakewell tart
Four years ago: Chocolate and cherry flapjacks and Roasted tomato soup and Smokey fish pie
- 150g soft butter or margarine
- 150g castor sugar
- 100g self raising flour
- 60g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 lemon
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 150g fresh blueberries
- 150g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm tray. Beat together the butter, castor sugar, flour, almonds, baking powder, milk, zest of the lemon and eggs until light and creamy looking. This takes about 4 minutes with a mixer.
Pour the mixture into the tray and level with the back of a spoon. Scatter the blueberries over the top. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until browned, risen and a toothpick comes out of the centre clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Once cool mix the juice from the lemon with the icing sugar to make a thin glace icing – you may need more or less icing sugar depending on the size of the lemon and how much juice it yields. Drizzle over the cooled cake, leave to set and serve in slices.
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