Advent cake

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This is like a Christmas cake but not quite so rich. I bake one at the same time as my Christmas cakes – on Stir-up Sunday, the last Sunday in November, when traditionally people make their Christmas cakes, Christmas puds … Continued

Eliza Acton’s Christmas pudding

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This is the best Christmas pud recipe ever, from Eliza Acton’s classic book “Modern Cookery” of 1845: “a remarkably light small rich pudding”. Serves 4 generously. You will need a 1.2litre ceramic pudding bowl, or two x 600ml – or … Continued

Bolo Rei (Three Kings’ cake)

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This is a traditional Portuguese crown-style cake for Epiphany, to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings on 6 January. Makes one 24cm cake. Ingredients 340g strong bread flour or plain flour teaspoon fast-acting dried yeast + 75ml water 70g … Continued

Mince pies

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There is nothing quite like home-baked mince pies – it really is worth making your own pastry for this and they smell wonderful. Makes 12 regular sized pies or 24 mini-pies. Pastry 200g plain flour 100g unsalted butter, straight from … Continued

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