Thursday, 13 August 2015

GBBO is Back, so More Cake ~~~ and more books too ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ There is always room for one more book {or two} and cake. Last week saw the very welcome return of Great British Bake Off .  Has it really been just less than a year since Nancy Birtwhistle won?  Do you remember 'bingate'? Are we really now on Series 6? How time flies when you are having fun.

Have you watched it? What do you think so far?  I think they made the correct decision with who went home at the end of Episode 1, but was so shocked at the end of Episode 2. From Star Baker to going home in less than a week!  Such a shock, I guess no one knows which way the judges will call.

I had never made a Madeira Cake before, so decided to set to in the kitchen, where Emily is always ready to help.  I used my trusty Mary Berry's Baking Bible recipe and this is what we got ~~~ one Madeira Cake complete with the requisite crack in the centre {apparently, this crack is a signature of a good Madeira Cake} ~~~

Deeply Cracked Madeira Cake

Cracked Across the Perfectly Risen Top

If you are interested, Lakeland Ltd have brought out a range of GBBO products, but I'm quite happy with how my kitchen is stocked, so won't be taking them up on any of their tempting offers.

So, we have our cake, let's put the kettle on because there are more books to think about this week. We have a new postman, and so far he has delivered five parcels of books to my cottage since he started this round just over a week ago! Poor man, trudging up our drive with heavy parcels!  Never one to be able to resist a bargain, how could I possibly say no to two books in like new condition by one of my favourite illustrators, Mary Engelbreit, were made available to me for the princely sum of just 24 pence {plus nominal postage charges} for the two!  So, here they are, just arrived, Mary Engelbreit's "Autumn", and her "Christmas Companion". Bargains or what? Sometimes I think that vendors don't know what they have on their hands! My good luck on that one then.  I also secured a copy of Mary's "Winter" and that is on the way.  One man's rubbish, another man's treasure and all that ~~~

Books by Mary Engelbreit, Illustrator

So, if you will excuse me, there is cake to eat, tea to sip, and books to be read ~~~ until the next time ~~~ when I promise I will try to return to the garden ~~~

Sincerely yours
Deborah


24 comments:

  1. We do enjoy GBBO but I don't bake much myself as we have an if I don't bake we don't eat more than is good for us and have a weekly treat when we visit my sister

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    1. I come from a long line of good cooks and bakers, and I am the weakest link. I enjoy baking, and when I bought my new mixer, I was worried about how much cake I'd be eating, but it worked out well as I've found myself some non~bakers, some who can't be bothered to bake just for one, and several neighbours all of whom are happy to take cake off my hands!

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    2. That's the best of both worlds! I am with you, and need to work on cultivating the "willing neighbors"! I'm sure they are out there; I haven't had time to do the cultivating, but once our election cycle is over, I will have more time. Right now, digesting issues instead of cake!! :-)

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    3. I just noticed this is last year's post! Probably my answer doesn't make sense!! That shows how bleary eyed I am!!

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  2. What great finds, Deb. Mary Englebreit's art is adorable. I've sort of lost touch with her--she used to have a great magizine that I subscribed to, but it went by the wayside as a lot of them have. It had the cutest paper dolls in them.
    Your Maderia cake has my mouth watering. I was all set to make a peach crisp this afternoon, only to find my peaches are bad! Oh well, I probably didn't need the calories anyway. ♥

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    1. Since typing this, I now have a copy of "Winter" in my collection! What finds! Hard to believe that people are discarding them.
      The cake was good, still is, as I'm being careful with the portioning.
      So sorry to hear your peaches were bad, Martha Ellen. I had an issue with three pints of raspberries last week which resulted in them being composted. Such a wretched business.
      ~~~Deb~~~

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  3. I so enjoyed the GBBO when they aired it over here during Downton Abbey, Season 5. It was always on just ahead of Downton. I do so hope they bring this years series back to us again across the Pond! I'm sure they will. It was such a hit! Your Maderia cake looks delectable! Thanks for sharing! xo

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    1. This week, they did biscuits. I am not sure what I shall do for my biscuits week yet. Something simple, maybe a shortbread {which I love}. I hope you get your wish, Jane, for GBBO with Downton Abbey Season 6.
      ~~~Deb~~~

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  4. Seems like such a lovely book. About my favourite season! Oh and I'd love to try that cake.

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    1. Thanks, Guillaume. My love of Autumn is already rearing up from the non~existent Summer!

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  5. I can feel the happiness all the way Across The Pond, Deb! Mmmmm! The scent of Maderia cake baking must have filled the whole cottage. It's lovely that you share your baked goodies with neighbors. I really hope we will see the GBBO here on PBS again this year! Your new books will be such fun and will fill you with inspiration for the rest of the year! It sounds like the new postman might need a slice of cake for delivering such wonderful parcels! Hugs! ♡

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    1. Sharing my baking is the only way I can justify myself, otherwise I'd be perpetually on a treadmill running off the calories! A small slice each day as a treat is okay, I think? My neighbours are very happy with the arrangement too.
      ~~~Deb~~~

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  6. Your cake looks delicious and I don't even know what's in it. We have lots of on-line used books over here for only one cent, too. I don't know how they can sell them so cheaply. Our shipping is usually around $4.00 and only a little bit more if you buy more than one book from the same place. It really does make it hard to resist!

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    1. It contains ground almonds, which help make it very moist and delicious, but without being nutty. More penny books arrived, and also are on order, including a First Edition of Susan Branch's "Vineyard Seasons" for a whopping 30 pence! I don't know how they do it either, unless they have bought a house clearance and don't realise the value of these books. Very hard to resist my favourite illustrators, and I have been starved for so long!

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  7. Deborah,

    I am so glad to have found your lovely blog. I followed the link from your recent comment on Susan Branch's blog. Your cake looks delicious and I love your books. Your blog is wonderful and I am smitten with your writings. Lovely to meet you.
    Karen

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    1. Hello Karen, and Welcome! Thank you for your kind comment, such a lovely thing to wake up to on this glorious weekend morning! I'm so pleased to meet you too.
      ~~~Deb~~~

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  8. Such a popular programme ...

    My husband is a Type 2 diabetic so to help keep his blood sugar levels low the cakes I usually make are of the lower carb variety, using almond or coconut flour... very tasty though, especially a low carb strawberry cake!

    Hope your weekend is going well.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I shall have to consider those types of flour as I am always keen to find things that help lower blood sugar myself. It is all too easy to eat too much sugar without cakes!
      Glad you stopped by today!

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  9. OH, I do LOVE Mary E. and that cake looks positively delish!! Your blog is beautiful and oh, so welcoming!!

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    1. Thank you, Betsy. Yes, it was good. It is a plain cake, and in my opinion that makes it the best kind to go with a cup of tea.

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  10. I'm on my way...any cake left? :-)

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  11. Hello Deb, I am a huge bake off fan, I am going to build up a collection of Mary Berry books, you do have some nice books, x

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    1. Good to see you back! Thank you, I have a lot of cookery books, an awful lot ~~~ over 200, and added three more this week. I am incorrigible!

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    2. Wow would love to see your collection.

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments