Mary Berry’s Lemon drizzle traybake

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Back in November and December when I was pregnant with the twins we went to our local NCT ante-natal classes. We were very lucky to be part of a group that get on well and ever since we’ve been having regular meet ups. It’s been a really positive experience as we share our ups and downs and recommend various different baby groups to each other. I offered to host our weekly gathering this week and thought it was the perfect opportunity to get back in the kitchen for a bit more baking. Following on from the lemon meringue cake I made in my last post I had some lemons leftover. I’d seen this Mary Berry recipe ages ago and decided it was the perfect recipe to use up the leftover lemons.
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Spiced Dorset apple traybake

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The weather has been decidedly autumnal this weekend with endless showers interspersed with beautiful sunshine. I picked up some Bramley apples whilst shopping and had originally thought that I would make a crumble with them. However, I then decided that I would make something to take to work tomorrow as we have a training day and will need something to keep our brains going as we tackle computer programming! After a bit of research on Pinterest I decided to bake something based on Dorset apple cake. I had spotted this Marry Berry recipe for a spiced Dorset apple traybake a few months ago.
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Cranberry & white chocolate shortbread

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Ah the holidays. I had planned to do so much baking. Mary Berry’s seeded breadsticks. Squidgy pear and chocolate cake. Carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting. Then I was ill. And the thought of food – one of my most favourite things in the world became my least favourite thing. Even the thought of baking. It has been a sorry old week in the Little Birdie household. Only now am I beginning to feel like facing food again.

I did however manage to make these shortbread on Thursday. I was visiting my lovely friend Kathryn who is allergic to egg so needed something biscuity without any egg – shortbread was the perfect solution. I had spotted this recipe in this month’s Good Food magazine and knew I wanted to give it a go so Thursday seemed like a good time. This is a Mary Berry recipe. It’s only the second time I’ve made shortbread and I have to say it wasn’t a complete success. It was a little crumbly and didn’t quite look like the picture. My husband was horrified at the inclusion of semonlina (having honed his baking skills working in the kitchen of a National Trust property he likes to think he knows what he’s talking about!) and was insistent that only flour, butter and sugar should be used! The semonlina is used to give the shortbread a crunch.

They are however tasty and go very nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. This recipe will make 8 wedges that will keep for up to a week in an airtight container or will freeze for 2 months (defrost at room temperature).
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Honeycomb Crunchies

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I found the recipe for these in a Good Food magazine I was reading at my mother-in-laws house last week during a few days holiday back home in Devon. I liked the look of them and found the recipe on line on the BBC website which you can find here (it’s a Mary Berry one from the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief). I’ve never made honeycomb before and was a little apprehensive to say the least. I didn’t fancy ruining any of our saucepans! It was actually surprisingly easy especially as I received a sugar thermometer in the post yesterday as a birthday present (thanks Dot and Martin!) which would help with getting the mixture to the right temperature. They have a crunchy texture and my husband has just given them his seal of approval so I would definitely recommend.
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Pav-tastic – Mary Berry’s Lemon Pavlova

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We were invited to Sunday lunch today at our friend’s house (thanks Simon and Louisa!) and I offered to make dessert. I’m normally a cheesecake kinda girl but decided to opt for something a little bit different. I’d seen a Mary Berry recipe for a lemon pavlova that featured on the Easter Great British Bake Off Masterclass special. Now I will admit that despite my love of baking I have:
a) Never made a Mary Berry recipe (shocking I know)
b) Never made a pavlova or anything remotely meringue based
so I have to say I was a little worried yesterday afternoon that it would all go a little bit pear-shaped but I’m happy to say it was all OK in the end.

You can find the recipe here. It’s meant to be an Easter pavlova but I decided to leave out the chocolate mini eggs as we’re now past the Easter weekend.

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