A paranormal cozy mystery series from USA Today best-selling author Nancy Warren
Under the Great British Baking Contest competition tent, there's more at stake than winning the title of Best Baker in All of Britain. For amateur baker Poppy Wilkinson, there are mysteries to solve, secrets and lies, even murder. As a fledgling witch, Poppy's having enough trouble controlling her sponge cake, never mind trying to control her powers. Besides solving crime, Poppy's also trying to uncover the mystery surrounding her own background. Will she discover who she really is before she gets sent home? Or worse?
The Great Witches Baking Show is a loving homage to all competitive baking shows, but especially Bake-Off. Imagine Bake-Off with witches and murders - and recipes! Set in the lovely English countryside, these are classic British mysteries with a twist. There's no gore, swearing, or sex in these paranormal cozy mysteries - just good fun, quirky characters, an interfering ghost, and an adorable familiar or three. Sink your teeth into this bingeable series today.
The Great Witches Baking Show Book 1
A baker with secrets.
Witches in trouble.
The cameras are rolling.
On your marks, get set, die.
Poppy Wilkinson is thrilled to be chosen as a contestant on The Great British Baking Contest. As an American with English roots, winning the crown as Britain’s Best Baker would open doors she’s dreamed of. In more ways than one. Appearing on the reality show is her chance to get into Broomewode Hall and uncover the secrets of her past.
But strange things are happening on the show’s set: Accusations of sabotage, a black cat that shadows Poppy, suspiciously unsociable residents at Broomewode Hall - and the judges can be real witches.
There are murmurs that Broomewode is an energy vortex. It certainly makes Poppy see and do things that aren’t exactly normal, and seems to draw interesting characters to the neighborhood.
When a fellow contestant dies in mysterious circumstances, Poppy has more to worry about than burned pies and cakes that won’t rise. There’s a murderer on the loose and it’s up to Poppy and her new friends to solve the crime before it becomes a real show-stopper.
From USA Today best-selling author Nancy Warren, this delicious series of cozy paranormal mysteries will have you guessing until the end. Includes recipes.
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, and an ancient manor house that holds it’s secrets tight, Poppy’s barely got time to practice her fondant icing, never mind escaping from a killer.
Taste this culinary cozy mystery series from USA Today best-selling author Nancy Warren. Each book is a stand-alone mystery, though the books are linked. They offer good, clean fun and, naturally, recipes.
A Rolling Scone
Butter, sugar, flour - and death!
British amateur bakers must turn out the perfect scone in this week’s filming of The Great British Baking Contest. But fledgling witch Poppy is losing her concentration as she gets closer to discovering more of her own history at Broomewode Hall, a postcard-pretty manor house in Somerset, England. However, someone is warning her to leave as she’s in danger.
Can she keep her cool while solving mysteries, working on her witch skills, and still turn out a decent scone?
Taste this culinary cozy mystery series from USA Today best-selling author Nancy Warren. Each book is a stand-alone mystery, though the books are linked. They offer good, clean fun and, naturally, recipes!
Find your Favorite version below:
Poppy’s Recipe for Tarte au Citron
Florence’s tarte au citron may have won first place in the afternoon’s competition, but it wasn’t because her recipe was any better than mine! Below find my ingredients list and method for—as Jonathon so inelegantly called it—the perfect marriage of zing and cream! This recipe serves eight people, or, if your appetite is more like mine, then a hungry six. If you’re short of time on the day, you can make this tart up to two days ahead of serving. And if, for some crazy reason, you end up with leftovers, it also freezes well.
Servings: 6 hungry people
- 175 g/6oz plain flour
- 100 g/4oz cold butter cut into small cubes
- 25 g/1oz icing sugar
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tbsp water
- 5 large eggs
- 125 ml/4 fl oz double cream
- 225 g/8oz caster superfine sugar
- finely grated zest and juice of 4 large lemons
First up, rummage through your cupboards and find a 23cm/9-inch deep loose-bottomed tart tin.
To make the pastry, measure the flour, butter and sugar and add them all directly to a food processor. (Don’t tell Mildred.) Whizz the mix until it begins to look like breadcrumbs.
Slowly add the egg and water and then whizz it further until it forms a ball shape.
Remove the dough, and roll out using a flour-dusted rolling pin on a flour-dusted work surface until the pastry is just a little bigger than the size of the tin. Line the tart tin with the pastry, and let the extra pastry hang over the sides of the tin.
Chill your pastry tin in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the pastry is chilling, you can make a cup of tea and preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6/350F. Line the tin with nonstick paper and fill with baking beans.
Blind bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven until the pastry turns a lovely pale golden brown.
Take out of the oven and remove the baking beans and paper. Carefully trim the excess pastry from the sides using a sharp knife. Return the empty pastry shell to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is completely dry. Set aside to cool.
Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F. Next measure all the ingredients to make the lemon filling in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Carefully pour the filling mixture into the cold baked pastry case.
Transfer the tart and tray carefully to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set but still with a slight wobble in the middle. Don’t worry if it rises a little; the filling will sink down a bit when it has cooled.
Leave to cool completely and then remove the tarte au citron from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Finish off with a generous flourish of dusted icing sugar and garnish with a few berries if you like.
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
- 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
- 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!
Poppy’s Recipe for Ginger and White Chocolate Scones
Okay, okay, I’m sorry: I know firsthand how frustrating it is to be told about “the perfect scone recipe.” Everyone and their dog thinks that their recipe is the best. So I won’t frustrate you by claiming this as the definitive recipe. But what I will say is: This spin on the classic recipe is delicious, and you won’t regret making it!Below find my ingredients list and method. If, like Elspeth Peach, you’re not a huge fan of ginger, then you can tweak the amounts. Elspeth did say, “I can’t fault the scone base itself,” so adjust the extras according to taste, or feel free to experiment with new ideas. The basic scone recipe is very versatile, so throw in whatever you have in your pantry and find new combinations of your own. This recipe will yield sixteen small scones.
Servings: 16 scones
- 1 lb. self-raising flour 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 level tsp. baking powder
- 1¾ oz caster sugar 3 tbsp
- 3½ oz. butter softened, cut into pieces
- 2 free-range eggs
- a little milk
- 4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup crystallized ginger chopped
- 8 oz. white chocolate chips or chunks
First up, you have to preheat that oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. (425 degrees) Lightly grease two baking trays.
Put the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. This bit is really important. You don’t want it to end up looking like scrambled eggs!
Crack the eggs into a measuring jug, then add enough milk to make the total liquid 300 ml/10 fluid ounces. Stir the egg and milk into the flour—you may not need it all—and mix to a soft, sticky dough.
Lightly flour your work surface and then turn out your dough. Now it’s time to add your extras. Tip the white chocolate chips and chopped crystallized ginger into the mix.
Be careful not to over-handle the dough or it will be tough, and don’t be tempted to roll it out too thinly, otherwise the scones will be too shallow.
Roll out to a rectangle about 2 cm/¾-inch thick and then cut into as many rounds as possible with a fluted 5 cm/2-inch cutter and place them on the prepared baking trays. Brush the tops of the scones with a little extra milk, or any egg and milk left in the jug.
Bake for 12–15 minutes or until the scones are well risen and a pale, golden-brown color.
Once cool, slice in half and serve with clotted cream—add some shavings of white chocolate too, if you’re feeling a little naughty.