Forget Blue Monday – make today a peach one!

Today is supposed to be the gloomiest day of the year.

But let’s not dwell on that.

Yes, we’re all trying to ‘be good’ after Christmas, but just for today why not bake a yummy treat and take it to work or to a neighbour or a friend?

Share a slice of this scrummy Peachy Lemon Cake and have a chat with someone who you think may need a little cheering up.

Some kind words (and cake), can make all the difference….

This recipe is taken from the 2018 Dairy Diary, which is still available to purchase here.


Peachy Lemon Cake


Peachy Lemon Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 285 per portion
Fat 17g (10g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Golden caster sugar 150g (5oz) plus extra for sprinkling
  • Lemons 2, finely grated zest only
  • Eggs 3 large
  • Plain flour 150g (5oz)
  • Baking powder 1 tsp
  • Plain yogurt 4 tbsp
  • Peaches 3, stoned and each cut into 8 wedges
  • Plain yogurt or crème fraîche to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Line a 23cm (9in) cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs then sift in flour and baking powder. Gently stir in yogurt.
  3. Spoon mixture into prepared tin and scatter peach wedges randomly on top, pressing them in a little. Bake for 1 hour until risen and golden. 4 Cool in tin for 10 minutes then cool on a rack. Refrigerate. 5 Sprinkle with sugar and serve with yogurt or crème fraîche.


A Dairy Diary recipe.






Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Ice Cream with Salted Caramel

Chocolate Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce


This gorgeous dessert makes a fab alternative to Christmas Pudding on the ‘big day’.

Chocolate Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 460 per portion
Fat 29g (17g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Whole milk 300ml (½ pint)
  • Dark chocolate 100g bar, broken up
  • Egg yolks 3 large
  • Caster sugar 325g (11½oz)
  • Whipping cream 300ml pot
  • Double cream 150ml pot
  • Sea salt 1 tsp


  1. Heat milk in a pan, add chocolate and stir until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with 75g (3oz) sugar until thick. Stir in chocolate milk then pour back into pan and cook over gentle heat, stirring, until custard coats the back of a spoon. Cool in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whip whipping cream to soft peaks then fold into custard. Put in an ice cream maker to churn or freeze in a plastic tub for 3 hours. Break up, mix until smooth, freeze again and repeat.
  4. Dissolve remaining sugar in 4 tablespoons water in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and bubble to make caramel. Remove from heat, pour in cream, add salt and stir until smooth. Pour into a jug and serve with scoops of ice cream.

Cook’s tip
Salted caramel sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in a jar in the fridge.





Recipe of the Week: Gooey Pud with Salted Caramel Sauce

Gooey Pud with Salted Caramel Sauce

Gooey Pud with Salted Caramel Sauce

This decadent pud can be made in advance, so you can leave it to cook while you enjoy time with loved ones.

Serves 10-12
Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking 45-50 minutes
Per portion: 348 Kcal, 21g fat (13g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing






Cook it Slowly! cookbook

The recipe is from Cook it Slowly! cookbook; our sell-out cookbook, which will be back in stock in January.

Do you want to pre-order a copy?
Click on the link below to send an email and we will be touch as soon as the new copies arrive.



If the above link does not work send an email to:


with the subject, ‘Pre-order Cook it Slowly! cookbook”






3 Fabulous Christmas Treats

Treat your guests to something really scrumptious this Christmas!

These fab recipes are taken from our brand new cookbook, Cook it Slowly! and 2018 Dairy Diary.

But make sure you tell them where you found the recipe!


Apricot & Date Flapjack Squares

Apricot & Date Flapjack Squares

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 180 per portion
Fat 8g (4g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Dried ready-to-eat apricots 250g (9oz), chopped
  • Dried pitted dates 150g (5oz), chopped
  • Orange 1 large, finely grated zest and juice
  • Fresh orange juice 150–200ml (5–7fl oz)
  • Butter 200g (7oz)
  • Porridge oats 250g (9oz)
  • White spelt flour or plain flour 150g (5oz)
  • Light muscovado sugar 110g (4oz), plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling


  1. Put the apricots, dates and orange zest in a saucepan. Mix the orange juices to make the quantity up to 300ml (½ pint) and pour into the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has softened and absorbed almost all of the juice. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Line a 27 x 18cm (11 x 7in) traybake tin with baking paper.
  3. Roughly slice the butter into a food processor, add 150g (5oz) of the oats, all of the flour and the sugar. Pulse until the mixture starts to clump together. Take out 225g (8oz) of mixture and set aside for the topping. Pulse the mixture left in the machine until it comes together in bigger clumps. Tip into the tin then spread it out and press into the tin firmly. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the tin from the oven and spread the apricot mixture over the base.
  5. Mix the remaining oats into the reserved crumbly mixture and spread over to cover the fruit. Press the topping down using the back of a spoon or your hand. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Cool in the tin, then slide the flapjack out onto a board and cut into squares.

Cook’s tips

You can use fresh dates for this recipe but dried dates are less expensive. If you prefer, make this with more dates than apricots. Add other dried fruits like cranberries or blueberries if you have them. Use apple juice or any other juice you have to hand instead of orange juice for cooking the fruit. To spread the dough in the tin, use the back of a spoon or your fingers, dipped in flour to stop it sticking.

Recipe taken from Cook it Slowly!


Lemon Drizzle Mince Pies

Lemon Drizzle Mince Pies

  • Servings: 34-36
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 112 per portion
Fat 3g (2g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing


  • Plain flour 225g (8oz)
  • Butter 110g (4oz), cut into chunks
  • Icing sugar 150g (5oz)
  • Egg yolk 1
  • Good mincemeat 650g (1lb 7oz)
  • Lemon 1, finely grated zest and 2 tbsp juice


  1. Put flour, butter and 25g (1oz) icing sugar into a food processor. Whizz to crumbs. Add egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cold water. Whizz until it clumps together. Knead lightly, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6. Roll out half the pastry thinly. Cut out rounds using a 7cm (2¾in) fluted cutter. Line patty tins then re-roll trimmings. Put 1 rounded teaspoon mincemeat into each case and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack. Roll out remaining pastry for more pies.
  3. Sift remaining sugar into a bowl; add lemon juice to make a runny icing. Drizzle over pies and sprinkle with zest. Leave to set.

A Dairy Diary recipe.


Sweet Sherry Cake

Sweet Sherry Cake

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 200 per portion
Fat 8g (5g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Unsalted butter 110g (4oz), softened
  • Golden caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Eggs 2 medium
  • Self-raising flour 200g (7oz)
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Sweet sherry 175ml (6fl oz)
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Butter and base line a 20cm (8in) round spring-form cake tin then dust it with flour.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the flour with each egg.
  3. On the slow setting of the mixer, add the vanilla extract and sherry, then the rest of the flour with the bicarbonate of soda. Mix until just combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 40–45 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Cook’s tip

Pedro Ximénez, a dark, syrupy-sweet sherry, is perfect for this recipe, but oloroso or your favourite sweet or medium sherry will be fine.

Recipe taken from Cook it Slowly!


Dairy Diaries are available now!

Dairy Diary 2018


I’m really sorry but Cook it Slowly has proved SO popular that we’re currently out of stock.

We ARE reprinting right now and they should be in our warehouse ready for you to order next week.






Recipe of the Week: Christmas Pudding


Christmas Pudding

Stir-Up Sunday & the Christmas Pudding Recipe from the Dairy Book of Home Cookery

As tomorrow is Stir-Up Sunday; the traditional day on which to make your Christmas Pud, I’m sharing our favourite recipe.

It’s taken from our iconic cookbook – the Dairy Book of Home Cookery, which has been a kitchen bible since the 60s and is still one of our best-sellers today.





Dairy Book of Home Cookery


The Dairy Book of Home Cookery

If your copy is getting a little tatty, or you want to order a copy for someone for a Christmas treat visit our website.

You won’t regret it – it’s the cookbook everyone needs!




#Christmas Pudding


The origins of Halloween and what to do with all that pumpkin

 Haloween Pumpkin

The origins of Halloween

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.*

Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across the lands we now know as Britain, Ireland and northern France. Essentially a farming and agricultural people, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large.

The night or evening of Samhain became known
as All-hallows-even then Hallow Eve, still later
Hallowe’en and then of course Halloween.

A special time of the year when many believe that the spirit world can make contact with the physical world, a night when magic is at its most potent.

Throughout Britain, Halloween has traditionally been celebrated by children’s games such as bobbing for apples in containers full of water, telling ghost stories and the carving of faces into hollowed-out vegetables such as swedes and turnips. These faces would usually be illuminated from within by a candle, the lanterns displayed on window sills to ward off any evil spirits. The current use of pumpkins is a relatively modern innovation imported from the United States.

*Halloween by Ben Johnson

Pumpkin carving fun with your children

Halloween carved pumpkinChoose your pumpkin – a large, ripe pumpkin that has smooth, even surfaces and sits comfortably without danger of rolling over is best.

Sketch your pattern on paper to suit the size and shape of your pumpkin. If you’re not artistic, use a stencil or template.

Make the lid by drawing a 125mm (5″) circle on the top. Cut out the lid with the saw/blade at an angle – leaning slightly to the outside – this will stop the lid dropping inside. Remove the lid and clean its base.

The kids can remove the inside – they love this slimy job and can easily remove all the seeds and mushy stuff. Then you can takeover scraping with a spoon or ice-cream scoop. Thin walls make carving easier, but don’t make them too thin or the pumpkin will collapse. Make the base inside flat to accommodate a candle.

Apply your pattern by copying freehand onto the clean, dry pumpkin with a marker/pen/pencil or tape your paper pattern to the pumpkin and mark the design by poking holes through the pattern.

Let’s carve – adults only if you’re using a knife! Carefully begin at the centre of your pattern and work outward – small shapes first. The kids can push out the shapes as you go. Lastly ensure the pumpkin sits stably without danger of rolling.

Light up – place a tea-light in the base. Ensure the candle is level and carefully light it. Always extinguish the candle when leaving the room.

For a carving tool, we recommend a pumpkin saw. If you’re using a knife (small and sharp) carve gently and steadily, making a few gentle strokes for each cut.


And what to do with all that pumpkin?

Halloween Pumkin recipes from Dairy Diary

Here are four of our favourite Halloween recipes from the Dairy Diary team:

Halloween Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Halloween Pumpkin Gratin

Pumpkin & Ginger Risotto

Halloween Cake Pops


Yes, we know the Halloween Pop Cakes don’t contain pumpkin, but they are too good to miss out!

Have fun!







1 2 18
%d bloggers like this: