Cover of Karma Camellia by Nancy Warren
Available Now!
Mosaics and Magic by Nancy Warren
Pre-Order Now!

Recipes

GWBS-book 1-The Great Witches Baking Show

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

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 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

Lemon Filling

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Bon appétit!

    GWBS-book 2-Baker’s Coven

    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

    Ingredients

    Gooseberry layer:

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

    Sponge:

    • 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

    Instructions

    • 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!

      GWBS-book 3-A Rolling Scone

      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

      Ingredients

      • 1 lb. self-raising flour 2 cups all purpose flour
      • 2 level tsp. baking powder
      • oz caster sugar 3 tbsp
      • 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

      Instructions

      • 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.

      Bon appétit!

        GWBS-book 4-A Bundt Instrument

        Poppy’s Lemon and Lavender Bundt Cake

        Ingredients

        Lavender and Lemon Sponge:

        • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
        • 1 cup sugar
        • cups flour
        • 2 large eggs
        • ½ cup buttermilk
        • ¼ teaspoon salt
        • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
        • teaspoon dried lavender
        • zest of 1 lemon
        • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
        • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
        • teaspoon of dried lavender buds

        The Glaze

        • 1 cup of powdered sugar
        • 2 teaspoons buttermilk
        • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

        Instructions

        • First up, you’re going to need to get that oven preheated. 325 degrees Fahrenheit should do it.
        • Butter your Bundt tin and then set aside.
        • Now on to the good stuff. Combine your sugar and lemon zest in a mixing bowl, mashing the two together with the back of a spoon until the sugar becomes wet and fragrant.
        • Now it’s time to add that room-temperature butter and cream it with the lemony sugar until you have a fluffy mix. This should take about three minutes if you’re using a good ol’ electric mixer like me.
        • Once you’re happy with the consistency, add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
        • Now it’s time to get those yummy liquids involved. Combine your buttermilk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a measuring cup.
        • In a separate bowl, sift your flour, baking soda and salt.
        • Now for the uplifting part of your bake. Take the lavender buds and crush them with the tips of your fingers in the palm of your hand—breathe their scent deeply for the ultimate burst of nature’s relaxant—and then add the crushed buds to your flour mixture.
        • Put your mixer on a low setting, and then alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, in 3 additions.
        • Pour batter into prepared 6-cup Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spatula.
        • Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. It’ll be ready when your toothpick comes out clean.
        • Leave to cool completely. Do not be tempted to try and dip the cake from the Bundt pan early—it will crumble!
        • While you are patiently waiting for the cake to cool, you can make your glaze. Mix the powdered sugar with buttermilk and fresh lemon juice by hand in a small bowl until the consistency is smooth. Once that sponge is completely cool, you can spoon, or delicately drizzle, the glaze so that it runs along the peaks of the sponge. The more abstract your glaze looks, the better, in my humble opinion. Not to mention that my decoration won Elspeth over too!

        Bon appétit!

          GWBS-book 5-Blood, Sweat and Tiers

          Poppy’s Strawberry and Basil Layer Cake

          Basil Cream:
          As you know, I was short of time for this challenge, so I’d recommend making the basil cream the night before, or at least five hours before you start baking. The four-hour time limit only just didn’t cut it for me. I don’t want you to have any touch-and-go moments! All in all, you’ll probably need to have about five and a half hours to make the whole cake. It’s a long time, I know, but it’s well worth it. Preparation, preparation, preparation!
          Total Time5 hrs 30 mins

          Ingredients

          Basil Cream

          • cups heavy cream cold
          • 60 basil leaves large

          Sponge and Macerated Strawberries

          • 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pans
          • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pans
          • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
          • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
          • Coarse salt
          • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
          • 4 large eggs room temperature
          • 1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk room temperature
          • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
          • 4 1/2 cups sliced strawberries 1 pound 4 ounces
          • 1 cup basil leaves smallor gently torn
          • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

          Instructions

          Basil Cream

          • Bring1 1/2 cups cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. And when I say gentle, I mean gentle—we don’t want any tears of spilt cream before we even really get started.
          • Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife (think of your archenemy here and have the same cathartic experience as I did) and then stir the bruised leaves into the cream.
          • Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let the mixture steep for 25minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid, and then place it into a fridge (or blast chiller if you’re short of time and have one nearby!) until the mix is very cold. For most people, this will be at least five hours.

          Sponge and Macerated Strawberries

          • Make sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and level your rack so that it sits in center position.
          • Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and then line with parchment cut to fit exactly—we don’t want any misshapen sides. Presentation is everything with this cake. Then butter your parchment and dust it with flour, tapping out the excess.
          • Whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.
          • Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, for about 2 minutes. When this is done, reduce your speed to medium, and then add your eggs 1 at a time, making sure to beat them in well each time.
          • Beat in part of your flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, but make sure you begin and end with the flour. Then add the vanilla until everything is combined.
          • Divide the batter evenly between pans—be careful here as you want your sponges to come out at exactly the same height.
          • Place them in the oven, wishing them well, of course, and then rotate the tins halfway through, until tops spring back when gently touched and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean. This should take about 40 minutes, but keep on an eye on it, especially for the last five minutes of baking.
          • Transfer your tins to wire racks, and let sponges cool in their tins for 20 minutes.
          • Meanwhile, make the macerated strawberries by combining them with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on how sweet your strawberries are already, or how sweet your tooth is! Stir occasionally and leave them for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour if you have the time.
          • Once the cakes are cooled, run a knife around their edges, turn them out onto separate plates and make sure they have time to cool down completely.
          • While the cakes are cooling, get your basil cream infusion, and using a mixer, whisk the basil cream with the confectioners’ sugar in the chilled bowl on a high speed until soft peaks form.
          • Very, very gently add the macerated strawberries, making sure you keep back a handful of berries and all of the juices to drizzle over the top of the cake. Add a few more small (or torn) basil leaves to the cream.
          • Now layer each sponge cake with the basil mix.
          • Use the remainder of the basil cream to spoon over the top of the cake and pile the macerated strawberries on top.

          Bon appétit!

            GWBS-book 6-Crumbs and Misdemeanors

            Poppy’s Special Recipe for Caramelized Red Onion and Mature Cheddar Soda Bread

            Okay, so bread is not my forte … more like my downfall, if we’re going to be honest here. But I can promise you that this recipe for soda bread is foolproof—even I managed to master this technique. If only I hadn’t been so distracted on signature bake day, then maybe I might still be in the competition, but there’s no time now for regrets. I’ve got to dust off my bread books and report for duty at Broomewode Inn next week. So I’ll be practicing this larder staple a few more times in the coming days. If you caramelize the onions perfectly and make sure you’re extra generous with the cheese (extra mature cheddar for good measure), then you can’t go wrong. You’re aiming for a sweet, buttery smell as the onions sweat down slowly—very slowly. When this part is done right, the whole bread sings with the sweetness of the onion and the gorgeous tang of melted cheese, which adds a salty depth to the loaf. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
            What also makes it a winner in my eyes is that it uses the most basic of store cupboard staple items. The only drawback is that it tastes best eaten on the day it’s baked. My advice is to serve the loaf still warm from the oven and slather each slice in salty, good-quality butter for an extra-indulgent kick. In the rare event you have any leftovers, then this recipe also makes for excellent toast the next day. I like to put a bit of extra cheese on mine to make a warm toastie.

            Ingredients

            • 1/2 small red onion sliced and then diced
            • 50 g butter 3.5 tbsp
            • 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil Canola
            • 75 g mature cheddar grated (I cup)
            • 400 g self-rising flour 3 cups + 2 tsp baking powder
            • 250 ml buttermilk I cup
            • 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda baking soda

            Instructions

            • First up, you’re going to need to get that oven preheated. You don’t want that dough hanging around longer than it has to, so turn that dial to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
            • Now heat a large frying pan over a low to medium heat and add your butter and your oil at the same time. Wait until the two ingredients have merged together (you might need to give them a swirl with a wooden spoon here).
            • Now it’s time for those onions. Make sure you’ve diced the onion evenly, otherwise it will cook at different times and you might end up with burnt bits (a big no-no for this bread). Fry them very slowly, stirring occasionally until they become soft, sweet and sticky. Set your pan aside to cool.
            • Next up is your flour and baking soda, which you need to mix together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Grate your cheese (I dare you to not nibble at a chunk) and add it to the flour bowl alongside your cooled-down onions.
            • Now slowly add your buttermilk and stir to form a dough. This is the part I find most tricky, so be careful with this step—you want your dough to feel sticky but not wet. You’ll likely need the entire jug of buttermilk, but you can also judge this by hand by focusing on the texture of your dough.
            • When you’re happy with the dough, turn it onto a floured surface and knead very lightly (seriously, guys, a light touch is everything here) until your dough is an oval or round shape. Gently place it on a baking tray or in a loaf tray/cast-iron pan, depending on what you have to hand. With a sharp knife, score the dough with a cross shape. It should go almost all the way through your loaf but not quite to the bottom.
            • Sprinkle with flour and send your dough into the oven with a little well-wishing prayer for 35-40 minutes. Keep a close eye on it during those last few minutes of baking—you don’t want to burn the crust. You’ll know your loaf is ready when the bottom feels and sounds hollow when you tap it.
            • All that’s left now is to enjoy your loaf … spread with butter or add a little extra cheese.

            Bon appétit!

              GWBS-book 7-A Cream of Passion

              Poppy’s Recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

              You didn’t think I was going to skip over giving you a lovely recipe, did you? Just because I’m no longer in the running for Star Baker, or even Winner of The Great British Baking Contest, doesn’t mean I don’t know a trick or two about delicious cakes and muffins.

              Ingredients

              Ingredients:

              • 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
              • 2 cups flour
              • 1 cup sugar
              • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
              • 1/2 teaspoon salt
              • 2 large eggs happy ones, of course, room temperature
              • 1/2 cup buttermilk
              • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
              • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
              • turbinado sugar for dusting

              Metric:

              • 340 grams blueberries fresh or frozen
              • 250 grams flour
              • 200 grams sugar
              • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
              • 1/2 teaspoon salt
              • 2 large eggs happy ones, of course, room temperature
              • 118 milliliters buttermilk can replace with whole milk, a teaspoon of lemon juice and let stand for half an hour
              • 79 milliliters vegetable oil
              • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
              • turbinado sugar for dusting

              Instructions

              • Preheat oven to 400 degrees (180 centigrade).
              • Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix. Then add blueberries, folding in carefully. Don’t want to smash the berries!
              • Spray non-stick cooking spray into prepared muffin tins, or use liners. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
              • Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
              • These muffins make a wonderful addition to a breakfast buffet, or serve warm with butter and a touch of local honey.

              Bon appétit!

                GWBS-book 8-Cakes and Pains

                Poppy’s Recipe for perfect Madeleines

                This recipe will keep quite happily in the fridge for up to twenty-four hours and makes exactly twenty-four madeleines!
                Servings: 24 madeleines

                Ingredients

                • 135 g salted butter 1/2 cup
                • 30 ml honey 2 tbsp
                • 3 large eggs Happy Eggs are the best!
                • 110 g caster sugar 1/2 cup superfine sugar, though regular granulated sugar will work
                • 15 g soft light brown sugar 1 ½ tbsp
                • 135 g self-raising flour one generous cup of all-purpose flour with 1 ½ tsp baking powder
                • 10 g butter for greasing your madeleine tin 1 tbsp
                • 10 g flour for dusting your madeleine tin 1 tbsp

                Instructions

                • First up, you have to make sure you have an airtight container big enough to fit your madeleine mix. Got it? Great, now put to one side.
                • Next, grab a medium-sized saucepan and combine the butter and honey, stirring as the two melt together. Once the lumps are gone, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
                • Now it’s time for some elbow grease or, if you’re like me, a little sitting-back-and-watching-my-machine-do-the-work time. Whisk the eggs and sugars together for about ten minutes by hand or until the mix has tripled in volume. The air here is key.
                • Once you’ve got that volume sorted, fold in the sifted flour and melted butter but go slow and gentle so as not to deplete the egg mix. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, pour into your airtight container and leave it to rest for three hours. If I could, this would be the time I’d go for a pedicure or a nice iced late.
                • Now it’s time to grease your madeleine moulds with butter. Once they look slick, lightly dust them with flour – tapping off any excess. Preheat your oven to 180c fan or 190c if not. (375 degrees Fahrenheit)
                • Place a dessert spoon of the mixture in each mould but do be careful not to overfill as the mix will spread out nicely as soon as it hits that lovely warm oven.
                • Bake for twelve – fourteen minutes until golden brown.
                • Best enjoyed warm with a lovely pot of hot coffee and with a group of your closest friends. Get eating!

                Bon appétit!

                  Subscribe to Nancy's NewsletterCome join me in my private Facebook Group, Nancy Warren's Knitwits!

                  Affiliate links in use. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

                  © 2022 Nancy Warren, all rights reserved. All info submitted private.

                  menu-circlecross-circle