The Vampire Knitting Club: Cornwall - book 1
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Cover of Luck of the Iris by Nancy Warren
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Baker’s Coven (The Great Witches Baking Show Book 2)

Can she bake a winning cake without getting iced?

Competition is hotter than the pre-heated ovens as The Great British Baking Competition moves into cake week. Amateur baker Poppy Wilkinson has a lot to deal with, from learning she has talents she never knew about, to trying to keep cool and bake under pressure.

She’s also trying to track down the secrets of her parentage. Meanwhile, she’s saved from death by a local Border collie who seems to think she’s part of his flock and herds her out of danger. Was it an accident or does someone want her out of the baking competition permanently?

With witches, an energy vortex, an ancient manor house that holds it’s secrets tight, Poppy’s barely got time to practice her fondant icing, never mind escape from a killer.

Taste this culinary cozy mystery series. Each book is a stand-alone mystery, though the books are linked. They offer good, clean fun, and, naturally, recipes.

Poppy’s Recipe for Gooseberry Upside-Down Cake with Raspberry Kisses

So here you have it. The winning recipe for the fruit cake round! Nothing could compare to the delight I felt when Elspeth and Jonathon announced that I’d won this challenge. And just because you’re such lovely readers, I’m going to share my recipe with you here. I can promise you that this gooseberry and elderflower delight with mini raspberry meringues will win you the heart of anyone who takes a bite. Make sure that the gooseberries are in season when you make this cake—it’s what will help you achieve the right balance of tartness with the sweet and sumptuous raspberry meringues. It’s difficult to give an exact bake time for meringues, as it very much depends on your oven. Just keep an eye on them until they’re done.
Adding a little whipped cream to the whole thing could be a naughty treat, too. When it comes to cakes, sometimes more is more.
This recipe will serve a hungry ten people.
Servings: 10 hungry people


Gooseberry layer:

  • 0.9 oz. honey try to find some from “contented bees”
  • 3.5 oz. gooseberries


  • 2 happy eggs
  • 4 oz. sugar
  • 4 oz. self-rising flour or regular flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder added
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter

Raspberry Kisses

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 5.3 oz. caster super fine sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons of freeze-dried raspberries


  • Firstly, you know that you’ll have to grease a cake tin and line it with baking parchment before any of the fun stuff begins. In this case, you’ll be needing a flat 8-inch cake tin, and you’ll need to grease it again once the parchment is in place. Nothing worse than sticky gooseberries stuck to your tin.
  • Now cover the bottom of the tin with a good old heap of the honey. Place an even layer of gooseberries on top. This might be a bit finicky, but it’s worth them not overlapping too much.
  • Now it’s time to make your sponge. Add all the ingredients to a processor and blend.
  • Bake at 180 C/350 F for 40 minutes until the sponge turns a lovely golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, you can make a start on your raspberry kisses. Heat the oven to 100 C/215 F.
  • Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  • Beat the egg whites using an electric whisk or stand mixer in a large, spotlessly clean bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Add the sugar gradually, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, until all the sugar has been added.
  • Continue to whisk the meringue for a few minutes more until it is very thick and glossy and forms stiff peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl.
  • In a pestle and mortar, grind the freeze-dried raspberries to a fine powder, then pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds. Now add it your meringue mix.
  • Fit a piping bag with a large plain or star nozzle, and then fill the bag with the meringue and twist the top closed. Use a little meringue mix to stick the greaseproof paper to the baking trays (this makes it easier to pipe) and pipe small “kisses,” slightly spaced apart on the trays.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, but be aware that they could take longer depending on your oven. They are ready when they can be lifted off the paper in one piece—if the bottom comes away, they aren't ready yet.
  • Make sure that the cake has cooled, and then carefully turn it out onto a plate. Decorate around the base with your finished raspberry kisses, and there you have it—an award-winning cake!

Bon appétit!

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