And then there was … My Mother’s Bread and Butter Pudding

28 Nov

People who know me well will tell you that I will be torn at a restaurant if handed a dessert menu with both Creme Brulee and Bread and Butter Pudding listed on it.  I haven’t been brave enough to try to make a Creme Brulee at home but I have tried various recipes for the Bread and Butter Pudding.  So knowing that there was a recipe in Mary Berry’s book it had to be one of the first I tried.

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And so we begin … Apple and Cinnamon Cake

20 Nov

In British Columbia we are blessed with a wonderful bounty of fresh foods including fruits all around.   This is why I found myself with a twenty bag of apples that were hand-picked by my beautiful daughters from a ‘pick-you-own’ farm called The Apple Barn in Abbotsford which is about an hour and a half drive from our home in West Vancouver.  As an aside, this is a great place to take the kids for an all-around autumnal experience with not just the apple-picking but also a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and all the fixins you’d ever need.

But back to the apples – there were too many of them as it’s very easy to get carried away when you’re just picking them off the trees in front of you.  So I had already made three apple pies, a couple of jars of apple butter and an apple crisp and so I turned to Mary Berry for a new idea.  The Apple and Cinnamon Cake.

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Yes. I know someone already did this with Julia Childs!

20 Nov

But sometimes it’s so much easier to adapt someone else’s idea than to try and come up with your own.  So that being said, let’s move on.

I’ve always loved to bake ever since I was a little girl growing up in Ireland which is quite surprising since my Mum didn’t particularly bake a lot and my Grandmother was living in another country (England).  There was no one around to show me what to do but I was given loads of encouragement and children’s cook books.  That is until the Nuns got a hold of me during Home Economics in Secondary School and then it all came together for me.  I love to bake.  I can cook but I love to bake!

So now, many years later, I find myself living on the other side of the World (Vancouver, Canada) with a fulfilling but stressful career, a wonderful husband and two young daughters who I am determined to teach to bake.  And how do I find myself deciding to relax each weekend … I bake.

But how did all of that lead me to Mary Berry and this blog.  Well for those of you not on the British side of the Atlantic there is a television program called “The Great British Bake-Off”.  It’s the American Idol or Canada’s Got Talent of the British Baking world where amateur bakers compete to be crowned the winner.  Week after week of challenges from cakes to breads to pies to tarts, they bake and their baking is judged.  And the judges are professional baker Paul Hollywood and the cookery writer Mary Berry.  Mary has written over 40 cook books but since I was introduced to this wonderous lady through her baking superiority, I chose the “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible” as my guide for this particular journey.

Now the book states that there are “over 250 recipes” but I only counted 212 (the quick tips and variations must be included in the editor’s count).  So 212 is the number I am using (I’m sure no-one will have a problem, right?)

I also want to get it out there at the very beginning that there is no copyright infringement intended with this blog and urge you to purchase Mary’s wonderful book at, or your local neighbourhood book store.

And so without further waffling … let’s bake!