The icing on the cake

The new Magnolia Tree Cookery School in Newark isn’t open for bookings quite yet…

But it won’t be long before Sue The Cook – otherwise known to listeners as former Girls Around Town presenter Sue Jackson – opens her kitchen for a series of relaxed, friendly courses designed to give everyone the skills needed to cook at home.

In the meantime, who better to road-test her baking skills than June and Tina during this morning’s show?

Taking her inspiration from The Queen of Cakes herself, Sue arrived armed with with something for them to do just that – and let’s face it, who’s going to say no to a piece of Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Traybake?

“I believe cooking should be fun and eating certainly is,” she says. And as the show drew to a close, the verdict was unanimous – it definitely was.

Welcoming Sue and Tina back to the studio was a treat in itself but tucking into that traybake was quite simply the icing on the cake!

Want to give the recipe a go? Help yourself – when you serve it up, everyone else certainly will…

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Traybake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 225g / 8oz butter or margarine, softened
  • 225g / 8oz caster sugar
  • 275g / 10oz self-raising flour
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons

For the topping

  • 175g/6oz granulated sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Directions

  1. Grease a 30 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in) foil tray and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Heat the oven to 160° C/Fan 140° /gas mark 3.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until well blended.
  4. Turn into the foil tray, ensure the mixture is level using a spatula.
  5. Bake in the oven for 30-40 mins or until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch.
  6. Leave to cool in the tray for a few minutes and then place on a cooling rack.
  7. Mix the lemon juice with the granulated sugar and using a teaspoon or pastry brush, cover the cake with the topping while it is still warm. Place the tray under the cooling rack to catch any drips.
  8. Cut into squares when cold.

Let them make cake!

Turning a hobby into a business is always a popular topic on Girls Around Town and if the business in question involves food, so much the better.

Someone who’s done just that is Lyndsay Sadler, who joins June and Rosalyn in the studio this weekend to talk about how she’s now sharing a life-long passion for cooking with the young – and not so young! – in a variety of ways.

In addition to making beautiful celebration cakes and cupcakes, she passes on her skills in the kitchen to children and teenagers by giving them the opportunity to make their own tasty treats. And of course, to enjoy the results of their new-found culinary expertise too…

Lyndsay will be describing her own journey, from spending hours transfixed by the tempting cakes in her mother’s cookery books to studying for a City and Guilds in Advanced Professional Cookery and later living above a boulangerie in Lyon and getting up early to watch the bakers at work.

Now with four children of her own, ranging from one to twelve-years old, when they started growing up she knew she wanted to combine everything she’d learned with a business and so Coco’s Kitchen was born.

“I’ve always loved involving my children in what I’m doing in the kitchen,” she says.  “We cook regularly together and enjoy ourselves enormously in the process. Cooking with your kids is quality family time and the added bonus is you get the wonderful bonding experience of sharing something delicious together at the end.

“Each year, as my own children’s birthdays came around, I looked for new ideas for their parties and then it suddenly occurred to me that, with my experience of both food and children, I should start my own business to cater for this growing market.”

Tune in to 107.8FM or listen online between 10am and 12 noon to find out more about the benefits of getting your kids busy in the kitchen. Lyndsay will also be talking about some of her favourite makes and bakes – luckily for June and Rosalyn’s waistlines, there’ll be no cakes in the studio this Sunday but word is she’ll be whipping up a tasty wintry soup…

Sounds like just the job for a chilly November lunchtime!

Medicine for the soul

Do you need a little soul medicine in your life?

Join the Girls Around Town this weekend to learn how, through wellbeing workshops in England, healing retreats in France and self-development home courses, Danushia Kaczmarek can help you say goodbye to chronic illness, fear, worry, grief and more…

She’ll be chatting to June and Rosalyn about her own journey, explaining how suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for eight years eventually led to a heart attack on New Year’s Eve 2013.

“For many years, I thought I was happy but deep inside myself I was sad, angry and felt a failure,” she says. “With these suppressed and hidden feelings, I became ill and overloaded with emotions which eventually led to the CFS.”

The heart attack which followed was, in her words, a total wake up call and the fork in her road through life. Now, in the Soul Medicine workshops and retreats she runs, Danushia helps clients change their own lives for the  better, healing and transforming them from the inside out.

Tune in or listen online between 10am and 12 noon on Sunday to hear her story and find out how a dose of soul medicine could set you on the path to a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life…