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Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake from the Dairy Book of Home Cookery

No wonder baking is back in fashion. Yummy!

Serves 8
Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 40 mins
Per portion 430 kcals
34g fat (19.1g saturated)

110g (4oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
110g (4oz) butter
110g (4oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) golden syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs 4 tsp milk
200ml (7fl oz) double cream, whipped
Grated chocolate to decorate

1 Grease and line a two 18cm (7in) round sandwich tins.

Sift flour twice with cocoa.

3 Cream butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla together until very pale, light and fluffy.

4 Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of sifted dry ingredients with each one.

5 Fold in milk and remaining dry ingredients.

6 Transfer to prepared tins and smooth top.

7 Bake at 180°C (350°F) Mark 4 for 20 minutes, or until springy to touch.

8 Turn out on to a wire rack, strip off paper and leave until cool.

Cut cake into 2 layers. Fill and cover top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate.


Recipe taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery

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Eggs, the Student Staple?

Eggs, the student staple?

As many youngsters embark on life at university, full of excitement and anticipation, many parents will worry about their wellbeing and particularly if they are eating properly!

Over the years I have many phone calls from anxious parents asking for copies of the Dairy Book of Home Cookery to pack up along with the bumper packs of loo roll.

Though many are sceptical about students cooking, they may be surprised to know that many do.

My student-speciality was broccoli topped with chopped tomatoes and grated Cheddar (let’s hope student skills have improved since my day!)

There are several student cooking blogs, Facebook pages and even a dedicated website

Uni-goers, of course, are always on a budget and for economical reasons (even if it is only to save more beer money!) home cooking may be essential. Eggs are the frugal cook’s best friend as they are so cheap yet versatile. They should grace any students’ fridge alongside the mouldy carrots and crate of lager.

Coincidently, this week is National Egg Week – so let’s celebrate the magic of the egg with recipes from or the 2012 Dairy Diary, from which this delicious omelette is taken.


Green Omelette from Dairy Diary 2012

Green Omelette
A delicious watercress omelette made in just 10 minutes

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.




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Green Omelette

A delicious watercress omelette made in just 10 minutes

Green Omelette from Dairy Diary 2012Serves 1 Time 10 mins
Calories 442 per portion
Fat 41g of which 20.9g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Watercress 25g (1oz), finely chopped, plus extra to serve
Soft cheese 25g (1oz)
Single cream 1 tbsp
Eggs 2 Milk 2 tsp
Butter 15g (½oz)
Chunky oven chips to serve, optional

1 Mix watercress with soft cheese, cream and a little pepper.

2 In a separate bowl and using a fork, lightly beat eggs and milk with some freshly ground black pepper.

3 Melt butter in a small frying pan over a fairly high heat. When frothing, pour in eggs. Lightly fork to centre of pan for about 3 minutes, or until all mixture has set underneath but top remains slightly runny. Remove from heat.

4 Spoon filling in centre and fold omelette over. Turn on to a warm plate, garnish with watercress and serve with chunky oven chips, if desired

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

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It’s great to be back!

Jasmine, Isaac and Maisy

Hello everyone, I am back in the Dairy Diary office once more after nine months off having babies.

I am now a very proud mummy to twins Jasmine and Maisy, as well as the ever-cheeky three year-old Isaac.

I have had a magical few months, but it’s great to be back and be blogging again. Thanks so much to Karen and Marion for holding the reins in my absence.

I have come back at a very exciting time of year with our fantastic new range of products selling like hot cakes! I am thrilled to hear so many compliments about our revamp of the classic Dairy Book of Home Cookery, as well as consumers loving the 2012 Dairy Diary and Dairy Diary Set.

In the current economic climate, saving money is always a hot topic, and as a mum of three, I am only too aware of how crucial this is.

Make an original corsageMy evenings are dedicated to this very pastime; making cards and gifts for birthdays and Christmas. For this, my trusty Dairy Diary is invaluable, not only does the 2012 edition have recipes perfect to make and wrap for others. It also shows you how to make a beautiful corsage.

Win a vintage corsage making kit
The kind people at Buttonbag have given us a vintage corsage making kit. Like us on Facebook before 13th October and be in with a chance to win it!

Sweet Spicy NutsIf you too need to be thrifty, or just like to make gifts for others, why not make these scrummy Sweet Spicy Nuts? Wrap them in cellophane and tie with a ribbon and a pretty tag. Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.



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Sweet Spicy Nuts

Sweet Spicy Nuts | A Dairy Diary 2012 recipe

Wrap in cellophane and tie with a ribbon to make a tasty gift.

Makes 450g (1lb)
Time 15 mins
Calories 168 per 25g (1oz)
Fat 15g of which 1.6g is saturated

Blanched almonds 110g (4oz)
Cashew nuts 110g (4oz)
Unsalted peanuts 110g (4oz)
Pecans 110g (4oz)
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
Ground cumin ½ tsp
Ground coriander ½ tsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Soft brown sugar 2 tbsp

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

2 Place nuts in a bowl and sprinkle in spices and olive oil. Mix together thoroughly with your hands.

3 Spread evenly onto a baking tray and bake in oven for 5–10 minutes, turning halfway through, until aromatic and golden. Add sugar, mix well and return to oven for a few minutes until sugar has melted.

4 When cool, transfer to a serving bowl and serve with drinks. Tip You can store these nuts in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

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Battle of Britain Day

A Hurricane, a Lancaster and a Spitfire – what evocative names, and these old stalwarts are still flying with the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Battle of Britain DayThis comes to mind because 15 September was Battle of Britain day. And other aeroplanes of the era must still be operational, because several take to the skies at various locations around the country to commemorate the day.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust had a fly past over the national memorial to The Few on the white cliffs between Dover and Folkestone. Yeovilton had an air day with a Lancaster bomber. Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre staged a dogfight between a Spitfire and Me 109 last year and did the same again this year on 17 September. I’m sure plenty of other events went on, but they don’t seem to have been well publicised.

No really big national to-do is made about it, which I think is a shame – such an important few months, and just about in living memory.

My parents, uncles and aunts used to tell us stories about those days, so I feel a connection. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust are trying to raise money to build a visitor centre by the national memorial (‘Lest we forget’!) Check the site for information:

Thinking about the Second World War reminds me of Marguerite Patten
One of her many cookery books was the first I ever had. She is acknowledged as one of the most influential cooks, probably the first TV celebrity chef, and still going strong in her nineties.

Apparently, she has a podcast showing us how to make a traditional Christmas pud in 12 minutes – so no excuses about not having the time. Can’t think about the festive season yet, though. I’m still hanging on to the idea of a beautiful autumn and making the most of all the fruit available while still having something warming.

Fruity Baked CustardThis Fruity Baked Custard is perfect autumnal comfort food and may just hit the spot.

Recipe taken from the Just One Pot.


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