Strawberry and pistachio cake

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This week marks the start of Wimbledon. Strawberries and cream, Pimms and champagne are the first things that spring to mind when you think of this quintessentially English tennis competition. If you’re planning on celebrating the competition with a tea party or barbecue, this cake would make a great addition. The fresh strawberry icing and the green pistachio crumb fit nicely with a tennis theme. As it’s also strawberry season, the cake also makes the most of strawberries which are currently at their ripest and juiciest.
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Whole cherry brownies

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We’re developing quite a love of our local greengrocers in the Little Birdie household. I’ve read before that having a local greengrocers can help raise the price of your house if you’re selling it and this would appear to be true as a house round the corner is currently on the market and our local independent greengrocers is mentioned in the sales details! At this time of year berries are plentiful and cheap. Last weekend they had 2kg boxes of cherries for £3. We bought one but knew we would struggle to eat them all so I decided to put some of them to use in some baking. I knew I’d seen this John Whaite recipe last year so I decided to give it a go.
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Salted caramel brownies

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Happy bank holiday to you! I hope the bank holiday weekend has provided you with sunshine (however fleeting this may have been), relaxation and the opportunity to bake. Today was the first opportunity in quite a while that I had to bake. Life has been a little crazy recently with SATs tests to organise at school, residential visits, sponsored walks and car shopping.
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Carrot cake traybake

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When our lovely admin lady at work offered me some carrots for my rabbit April – I gladly took her up on the offer whilst telling her that although some of them would find their way to April I would also be making carrot cake. I saw this Jo Wheatley recipe a while ago and thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out – especially as carrot cake is one of my colleague’s favourite cake.
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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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Autumn Traybake

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I made this a few weeks ago back in August when it was feeling decidely autumnal as there was a chill in the air and the sun seemed to have disappeared. This is one of my favourite times of year as it’s blackberry season. Last year I made blackberry and apple crumble muffins, a blackberry and apple crumble and a mixed berry plaited pie using blackberries and I intend on making quite a few blackberry based recipes again this year. A really good tip I read recently for when you’re out and about collecting blackberries is to take an empty milk bottle with you to collect them as this has a handle which is useful for carrying if you’re picking when you’re on a walk. I’ll definitely be trying this out this weekend!
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Beetroot brownies

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We were at home in Devon last weekend celebrating Mr Birdie’s grandparent’s diamond wedding anniversary – what an achievement! Whilst there we also visited his other grandparents (who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary earlier this year!) who gave us some homegrown carrots and beetroot. I decided that I wanted to give baking something with the beetroot a go. Of course baking with vegetables is nothing new – carrot cake is a staple on many tea room and cafe menus. I’ve seen recipes for cakes using parsnips, bread using potatoes and tried making a chocolate and courgette cake a couple of years ago.
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Rhubarb, vanilla and soured cream crumb cake

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I do love rhubarb and and have amassed quite a collection of rhubarb recipes on my Pinterest boards. After making this rhubarb and lemon curd cake at the beginning of the week I had some rhubarb left over. I had spotted this on the Delicious Magazine website and decided it would make a change from a traditional rhubarb cake.
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Chocolate raspberry brownies

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Summer is well and truly here and with that comes lots of delicious summer fruit. We have recently been visiting our local greengrocers and stocking up on lots of reasonably priced fruit. This week’s bargain were two punnets of raspberries for £1. I’d been thinking of making this recipe this weekend and so after spotting the raspberries my mind was made up! I made these brownies a couple of years ago. This is a BBC Good Food recipe.
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Salted Caramel Billionaire’s Flapjack

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This post comes with a warning. If you are on a diet, trying to avoid fat, trying to avoid sugar or trying to avoid your dentist this is not the recipe for you! This was an experiment. On our way home from Devon after the Easter weekend we stopped at a Morrisons where we picked up some Billionaire’s Flapjack (chocolate flapjack with a caramel topping). Mr Birdie then suggested I would like to try making my own. After a bit of investigation I decided to give it a go but add a salted caramel twist. This is by no means a perfected recipe as I think the proportions need a little tweaking. It went down well at work and was a revelation to my colleagues who had never tried salted caramel before. I used a 17 x 25cm rectangular baking tin however I think a slightly bigger one would have helped make the proportions better by reducing the thickness of the chocolate flapjack.
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