BBC Radio Solent The Big Dorset Brunch with Harry Crawford

Years ago, just after ‘Tea with Mrs Simkins’ came out, I was invited to the 2010 Poole Literary Festival. I was thrilled to bits and couldn’t get over myself! It was all fantastic fun and a great experience involving baking several different kinds of apple cakes for everyone to sample (Dorset is after all, the home of Dorset Apple Cake) and signing copies of my books.

I also met some lovely people including local radio presenter Harry Crawford. I met him when I was invited onto his show with the Festival’s organiser to speak about Dorset Apple Cake among other Dorset attractions.

Harry is brilliant at setting people at their ease and so easy to talk to: you soon forget any fears about being on air and start chatting away quite naturally. He also adores cake so I ended up making several other appearances on his show. He’s in Australia now and I really miss those jolly sessions sharing cake and baking tips in a recording studio at 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning!

1. Stir Up Sunday & Christmas Baking
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2. Valentine's Day
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3. Simnel Cake and Nigella
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4. Royal Wedding Baking
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5. Wimbledon & Strawberries
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Initial Radio Solent Apple Cake Podcast with Sue Luminati
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Sugar-Free Baking

The potentially toxic effects of sugar are now well known. This book shows how you can still eat the food you enjoy by replacing sugar with xylitol, a natural sugar substitute.

You'll find sugar-free, and therefore healthier, recipes for:

  • Brownies
  • Muffins
  • Sponge cakes and light fruit cakes
  • Scones, pies and tarts

The delicious recipes in this book use xylitol for its many health benefits. It's kind to teeth, has a low glycaemic index and is a natural choice for those with diabetes. It's also substantially less fattening than sugar. Ideal for bakers, xylitol is as sweet as sugar, so you can use exactly the same amount of xylitol as you would sugar in your baking recipes.

Afternoon Tea

Wholesome recipes that will make your afternoon tea a very special occasion. This book contains a fascinating collection of delicious recipes for every kind of tea you could imagine, whether it is simple tea and biscuits, traditional afternoon tea, or a more substantial high tea for the children. You’ll also find lots of ideas for special occasion teas such as children’s parties and christenings. It includes

Sandwiches and savouries

Cakes, buns and scones

Pastries and biscuits

There is also an overview of all the different kinds of tea available to drink plus lemonade recipes for summer tea in the garden.

Making the Most of Your Food Processor

If you would love to cook more creatively at home but there just aren’t enough hours in the day and anyway, you feel you might be bit lacking in culinary skills - then you need a food processor to be your willing assistant in the kitchen.

With a simple food processor on-side you can whiz up soups and spreads and purees and all kinds of savoury treats but possibly even more enticingly: a simple food processor will give you another level of expertise as a home-baker. Light sponge cakes and melt in the mouth pastry and biscuits, which you might have thought too difficult to attempt before are now within your reach.

Home cooking and baking expert, Sue Simkins, explains in her usual clear and easy-going style, how a food processor – your very own sous-chef in the kitchen - can help you get the most out of fresh wholesome ingredients and make great food for your friends and family quickly and easily and with the minimum of fuss.

Fresh Bread & Bakes From Your Bread Machine

If you are thinking of buying a bread machine; or maybe you already have one, greatly under-used, at home: then this is the book for you.

In her usual easy going and accessible style, Mrs Simkins explains how a bread machine enables you to make gorgeous fresh bread in your own home: quickly and easily and on a regular basis.

Making your own bread means that you can have wholesome, additive free bread (organic if you like) whenever you want. You don’t have to go and fetch it from the shops and it will cost half as much or less than ready made. And of course, it is so delicious!

Apart from loaves of bread made entirely in the bread machine, Mrs Simkins guides you through using the machine for mixing dough to make your own buns, rolls and pizza bases to bake in the oven - and even covers making your own pasta. There is also a useful cake section for bread machines with a bake only option.

There are also plenty of hints and tips to help you get the best from your machine and ensure it doesn’t languish unloved and un-used in the back of a dark cupboard. The tantalizing and comforting smell of fresh bread could soon be wafting through your home!

Cakes from the Tooth Fairy

Here is a book full of delicious, simple cake recipes that are kinder to your teeth! Free from regular sugar, the cakes are made with xylitol, also known as birch sugar. Xylitol is a natural substance made from birch bark which has a cariostatic effect; this means it actively inhibits tooth decay.

Written in consultation with a qualified dentist, this book is ideal for those baking for (and with) young children, but also for anyone who loves cakes and baking and wants to care for their teeth.

Light-hearted and fun, yet extremely practical, this little volume is packed full of recipes ranging from expected old favourites such as Fairy Cakes and Butterfly Cakes to the more unusual Marigold Buns and Scented Geranium Cake from the ‘flower fairies’ and Courgette Cakes from the ‘garden fairies’. There are also plenty of tips from the Tooth Fairy on tooth care and even an ‘Ask the Tooth Fairy’ section which covers intriguing questions such as: what do the fairies do with all those teeth?

For more information and sneak previews, see Mrs Simkins Tooth Fairy Page.

Tea With Mrs Simkins

Mrs Simkins is back with a fantastic collection of recipes, hints and tips for every kind of tea you could imagine. Whether it is simple tea and biscuits, traditional afternoon tea or a more substantial high tea, Mrs Simkins has it covered.

There are also teas for various celebrations and tea parties, as well as cream teas and toasty teas, tea in the garden and picnic teas. As you would expect, there is plenty of baking and a considerable number of nostalgic treats!

You'll find delicious recipes for: * Breads and pastries * Cakes and buns * Scones and biscuits * Savouries and sandwiches * Toasty teas * Ice creams, jellies and blancmanges

About the Author A regular columnist for the well-loved Blackmore Vale Magazine in the West Country, Mrs Simkins writes with the benefit of a life time of cooking for her friends, family and children. She is also the author of Cooking with Mrs Simkins.

Cooking With Mrs Simkins

In this book you'll find good wholesome recipes that you can make yourself whatever your level of expertise. For the novice cook it offers step by step guidance and encouragement by explaining the recipes in a straightforward and accessible way.

For the more experienced cook it offers new recipes and fresh ways of doing things. Mrs Simkins understands the importance of good home cooking.

In this book she shares some of the delicious but economical recipes that she has cooked over the years for her own family and friends: *hearty hot dinners and roasts *light lunches *simple soothing soups *plenty of baking (including pastry and sponge cakes) *perfect puddings *tempting toasty snacks *plus how to make your own bread with a bread maker.