Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Coffee Cupcakes by Jane Linfoot

My partner always saves my books to read when we go away on holiday. And every year it’s the same. He’ll look up from reading my paperback, narrow his eyes, and say ‘actually, there are quite a few things in here I recognise…’ As a writer I can’t help weaving items from real life into the imaginary worlds I create. Invariably it’s my favourite things that pop up in my stories. And coffee cupcakes are a perfect example. The recipe came from my granny. I’m sure she would have given the Bake-off contestants a run for their money if she’d still been with us today. Of all the delicious cakes she made, her coffee and almond one was my all time favourite. I love the…

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The HarperImpulse Great Christmas Bake Off

The countdown to Christmas starts now! And I don’t know about you my one of my absolute favourite things about the festive season is THE FOOD. So reading Lynn Marie Hulsman’s Christmas at Thornton Hall really hasn’t helped my already spiralling out of control Christmas food addiction! Throughout the book the loveable main character, Juliet, who is an uber talented chef, cooks up some incredibly delicious festive foodie delights and we can’t help but want to emulate her domestic goddessness. This December join in with Lynn Marie and the team in our Great HarperImpulse Christmas Bake Off – send in your recipes and pictures of your festive bakes, share tips, successes and those hilarious kitchen horror stories. To start off, here is my contribution. Less…

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Bake Off Semi Final – Patisserie!

We’re almost there. After many long weeks waiting to find out who is the illustrious winner of #GBBO2014, we are almost at an end. The competition has been riveting, with trials and tribulations following some of Bake Off’s most compelling and talented contestants yet. This week the judges were harsher than ever with their specifications, requesting that the contestants bake to perfect some recipes that, Paul Hollywood admits, would reduce even the most leavened bakers to tears. To begin with, an ostensible simple dessert in the form of baklava proved to be incredibly complex in the construction. Not only were the bakers expected to provide design flair and strong, original flavour combinations, but they were tasked with creating their own filo pastry, a notoriously difficult substance that…

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Bake Off recap – the Quarter Finals, Advanced Dough!

We’re getting there! Last night we saw the Quarter Finals of #GBBO and, boy, did it feel tense. Any little slip at this stage can result in defeat. The judges are harsher than ever with their criticism, pushing each contestant to their creative and psychological limit. Despite the fact that Paul and Mary served up a tricky challenge for the signature in the form of a free-form-baked sweet fruit loaf, the contestants did consistently well. Richard came through with a lovely Chelsea bun, Luis broke the mould with a tree-shaped cherry loaf (including experimental hidden sugar cubes) and Chetna went continental with a Slovenian/Croatian-inspired Povitica. Martha came under fire, however, for daring to challenge Paul and Mary’s traditionalist baking ethos by proving her dough in the microwave. The…

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GBBO Ep 7: Pastry

Serving up a healthy balance between the familiar comfort we all find in pastry and the glaring unknown (in the form of obscure Breton concoctions), this week’s episode of Bake Off was a winner. To begin with, the judges started off easy… relatively. Savoury parcels were the first challenge of the night, providing a variety of fillings and, let’s face it, poor pasty rip-offs. You know we’re getting to the late stages of the competition when all the contestants are going full-out from the get-go. Not your usual Greggs fare, I’ll say that. I almost expected quinoa to make an unwelcome appearance, but thankfully we were spared that particular abomination.   Moving on to the technical, Paul Hollywood served up a particularly odd challenge for…

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