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goodtoknow’s new baking blog

Mum Anneliese Giggins learnt how to bake by baking her way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible on the wonderful blog Rising to the Berry. Keen to continue her love of baking, Anneliese will be sharing a delicious new baking recipe with us each month – bake along and share all your tips, advice and of course pics!

After spending 18 months baking my way through the wonderful recipes from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, I have opened my mind to other possibilities and ideas. Nothing too crazy, you understand! I wanted to begin this blog with a nice, simple, but most importantly, tasty cake. I think most of us start baking with a classic sandwich cake, so I hope this is a good place to take a first step. I’m not sure I know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy a slice of lemon drizzle, so why not make it even more tempting by filling it with a luscious lemon curd and mascarpone filling?!


Get Anneliese’s lemon drizzle cake recipe

For me, a sandwich cake summons up an array of childhood memories. I must have made such a cake for almost every family occasion. It was either a vanilla sponge filled with strawberry jam or a chocolate version filled with a generous helping of rich chocolate butter cream. I never imagined I could venture into different flavour combinations; I stayed well within my comfort zone! 

I really hope you enjoy this recipe and that you feel the urge to give it a try. Good luck! 

Anneliese’s top baking tip

My top tip this month is to read through the whole recipe before making a start. It is so frustrating to get halfway through a recipe only to find that you don’t have all the ingredients in stock or that the dried fruit needs to soak in a brandy bath overnight. I know this from experience!! 


Where to next? 


Chocolate is a help against coughing. Doctor's word – Italian Cuisine

According to one of the leading experts in respiratory medicine, Alyn Morice, its viscosity forms a coating that protects the nerve endings of the throat, which trigger the need to cough. Several scientific studies prove it

Against cough, instead of antibiotics, better a little honey or some herbal remedy: he advised him nothing less than the rigorous English National Health Service. According to the new guidelines, in most patients, acute cough will improve within three weeks without the need for any medicine. And antibiotics should be reserved for cases that do not resolve or for patients at risk of complications.

Chocolate vs cough

"I know it might seem like a solution to Mary Poppins," he explains, "but as a doctor and an independent researcher who has spent years investigating the mechanisms of cough, I can assure you that the evidence to support this hypothesis is solid like a fruit and hazelnut bar ".

But now one of the greatest experts in cough and respiratory medicine, Alyn Morice of the University of Hull, founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough, suggests another remedy, even greener: chocolate.

Scientific evidence

To achieve this result, Morice, with the Hull Cough Clinic team, coordinated a study on 300 patients from 13 British hospitals, who were given capsules with theobromine, an alkaloid contained in cocoa and cola seeds, with diuretic and vasodilating properties. In 60% of cases, the symptoms have improved (to then reappear, however, at the end of the administrations).

Even before this research, two others had been conducted: the ROCOCO, a survey of 163 volunteers, which showed that a new medicine containing cocoa is more effective than a standard syrup, and one study of the Imperial College of London on the effects of theobromine, which is more effective than codeine, which is routinely used in cough medicines.

But that's not all: chocolate is more viscous than normal cough medications it forms a coating that protects the nerve endings of the throat that trigger the need to cough. This is the same soothing effect, "inhibitory on nerve endings", which explains why honey, lemon and other sugary syrups can be useful.

Sucking a piece of chocolate should give a little 'relief in case of cough but, as reported by Morice, not even in liquid form enough to solve the problem: It is necessary to develop a cocoa-based drug for effective help. This is because "hot chocolate will not have the same effect as cocoa does not stay in contact with the throat long enough to form a protective coating".

White chocolate soufflé with spicy pear: how to prepare it – Italian Cuisine

The "wow" effect is guaranteed by the use of the whole pear: a dessert for great occasions that does not require great performances!

You want to make a great impression by bringing a table to the table spoon dessert that will leave everyone speechless?
With a soufflé success is always assured and we give you some suggestions to prepare a delicious and easy one.

Fruit in the dessert

A perfect dinner can only end with dessert and seasonal fruit.
Well, why not take to the table sweet and fruit in one recipe?
Since cooked apples and pears, although with a good wine and many spices, are not exactly mouth-watering desserts, we have thought of a rich and effective alternative.
We cover a cooked pear with the mixture of a white chocolate souffle and cook everything in the oven. It seems difficult, but it's easier than you think.
This dessert should be served warm, simply as it is or accompanied by some semi-coated cream with cinnamon.

The recipe of white chocolate soufflé with spicy pear

Wash very well 4 small kaiser pears and remove the outer skin. Keep the petiole that will serve to make the most beautiful dessert to be presented.
Cook for 10 minutes on very low heat in a glass of Marsala diluted with water together with a cinnamon stick, cardamom berries and star anise. Let it cool.
Separately heated 90 ml of milk with 80 g of white chocolate excellent quality and a cbrown sugar egg, then add 10 g of butter and 20 g of flour well sifted. Let it cool and then add 2 egg yolks.
Apart from whip the whites to snow.
At the end, gently mix the chocolate mixture with the egg whites without removing them.
Lay each pear inside a single-portion muffin mold in well buttered aluminum or in ceramic cocotte and pour a little mixture around it.
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes and serve when the souffle is still swollen.

Muffin and plumcake with pears

Always taking advantage of the idea of whole pears, you can also prepare some muffin or a plumcake from breakfast.
And if you do not want to cook the pears in wine or water before covering them with the dough, you can also simply wash and dry them well keeping also the outer skin. An advice, though: choose them small size so they cook first.
Considering that this kind of cakes cooks longer than a soufflé, about 30-40 minutes versus 10, the pears will eventually turn out to be very soft and perfect to slice even if you have used them raw.

Browse now our gallery for more advice on preparing this dessert.