Week Sixty Three – Mary Berry’s Date & Cherry Butter Bars

After a few weeks of not baking for my challenge of baking every recipe in Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible, it felt a little strange to get her book out again and look for something easy to ease myself back into this. This recipe is one of her tray bakes and as I had cherries and dates left over from Christmas baking , it seemed like a good one to re start the challenge.

Mary Berry's Date & Cherry Butter Bars

Mary asks you to rub the butter into the flour to make breadcrumb like texture, then add the chopped cherries and dates, some caster sugar and an egg. Bring it all together into a dough like ball and press it into a tray bake tin. Place it in a pre warmed oven for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, mark it into bars with a sharp knife and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the bars are a lovely golden colour. Score through the bars again and allow to cool in the tin.

Kim's Date & Cherry Butter Bars

Once cool, keep in an airtight tin.

A quick and easy to get me back in the Mary Berry challenge saddle!

Week Thirty Seven – Mary Berry’s Strawberry Pavlova

I faced the usual dilemma this week, what to choose from the still numerous recipes from Mary Berry‘s Baking Bible that I haven’t yet covered. My decision was made when my other mum and dad invited us to Sunday lunch so I said I would provide the pudding. I had plans to do a lot of gardening on Saturday so I needed something that would be fairly quick as usual and could be put together in parts- the strawberry pavlova fitted the bill nicely.

Mary Berry's Strawberry Pavlova

Mary’s recipe wasn’t too daunting, whip the eggs whites until stiff, add the caster sugar, a little at a time and continue to mix well. The final part of the recipe had me a bit stumped, Mary asks for you to mix a little white wine vinegar and corn flour and whisk in to the meringue– if you have any idea why this is necessary, I would love to hear from you. I then drew a circle on some greaseproof paper and spread the meringue mix until it roughly filled the circle. I added the last of the mix to a disposable icing bag and swirled it around the sides to build them up. It was now ready to go into the pre-heated oven.

Kim's meringue base ready to bake

An hour later, the timer pinged and I simply turned the oven off and allowed the meringue to cool down inside the oven. Mary recommends this in her recipe to give the meringue a softer middle. The next morning, I retrieved the meringue, chose some Emlea Double Light cream to whisk – I try to cut a few calories where I can! I then sliced some strawberries and added both to the meringue and took it with us for a delicious dinner.

Kim's finished Strawberry Pavlova

The meringue went down well, especially with my other dad, he politely had his given slice, and then sat there with big puppy dog eyes, waiting to be asked if he would like some more!

Kim's Strawberry PavlovaPlease can I have some more?