Come rain or shine, you can’t go wrong with a spot of baking. With the bank holiday on our very doorsteps and that extra time on your hands, you can challenge yourself to make something new and exciting. Instead of whipping up the usual suspcts, why not set time aside to create the ultimate masterpiece? Baking allows you to get the kids involved and have quality family time. Friends and family are sure to enjoy sampling the treats afterwards too!

(GBBO 2019 kickstarts on the 27th August, so why not get your baking skills fined-tuned for the occasion? After all, no one wants a soggy bottom!)

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get messy in the kitchen? Here are some of our favourite recipes which are sure to tantalise the taste buds over the long weekend.


Cherry and Bay Leaf Pie

This twist on a classic is a guaranteed winner for everyone. It can be enjoyed in the garden on a summer’s day (here’s hoping the bank holiday gives us that!) or to indulge in as comfort food to warm you up on a cold night. The addition of the bay leaves in this classic dish adds a more sophisticated herbaceous note which will keep your guests coming back or more.

You will need:

  • 350g self raising flour
  • 160g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Tbsp vanilla essence
  • 90ml-100ml of ice cold water
  • 1 egg
  • Granulated sugar, to garnish
  • 100g/3½oz good-quality black cherry jam
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 tsp cold water
  • 500g/1lb 2oz fresh cherries, pitted and halved

1.Make your pastry. You will need two flattened disc shapes. Be sure to wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then preheat your oven (200C) and grease your pie dish. (you can make your own pastry, or cheat and buy shop-bought, no one will know!)

Click here for a great method on making the best pastry for a pie.

2. Remove your pastry disc from the fridge, unwrap and roll it out onto a generously floured surface (to around 3mm thick and about 1 inch wider than the pie dish. Transfer to a floured baking sheet and chill for around 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining disc.

3. Heat the jam in a pan with 100ml water, your nutmeg, bay and the vanilla extract. When it’s all melted together add the diluted cornflour and stir all together until smooth and thick.

4. Add the cherries being careful to not mush them up too much. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Using a floured rolling pin, transferred one of your chilled pastry discs to your greased pie dish and drape across. Let it sink naturally and then tuck gently into the edges all the way round. Trim off any excess pastry and then lightly prick the bottom with a fork.

6. Fill the dish with your mixture you made earlier (including the bay leaf!). Use a pastry cutter (whatever shape you fancy) to cut out holes in your other pastry disc. You could even try and be extra detailed and do a criss-cross. Place it over the pie filling and fold the edged over the top, crimping it together with your fingers to seal.

7. Brush the pie with beaten egg and sprinkle over the granulated sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until crust is golden, then reduce temperature to around 180C. You can cover the top of your pie with foil if you are worried about it burning. Once at 180C =, bake for a further 30 mins until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is gold and slightly puffed.

Allow the pie to cool for around an hour, then serve with ice cream, cream or custard – whatever your preference. Bon appetit!

GBBO - Ruby’s Magical Passionfruit

Talking of Great British Bake Off, it would be fitting to recreate a magical masterpiece which happened on the show. Does anyone remember Ruby’s passionfruit cake? The coconut flavoured cream and passionfruit curd in this one is a combination of flavours to tempt anyone! It’s actually easier than you may think, takes under an hour and a half to prepare and bake and can serve up to 12 people. It’s the perfect party piece.

You will need:

For the sponges:

  • 8 passionfruits
  • 4 eggs (about 200g)
  • 200g baking margarine, or same weight as the 4 eggs
  • 200g golden caster sugar, or same weight as the 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 200g self-raising flour

For the passionfruit curd:

  • 6 passionfruits
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 50g unsalted butter

For the syrup:

  • 9 passionfruits
  • 50g caster sugar

For the coconut cream filling:

  • 150g mascarpone
  • 400g can of coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream

1.To begin with, you will need to make your sponges. You will need 2 x sponge tins (around 15cm), greased and lined with baking paper. Heat your oven to 180C.

Halve the passion fruits and scoop out the seeds into a sieve placed over a bowl. Press the juice and discard seeds. Beat the margarine and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Then add the eggs and beat until smooth. Measure 5 tablespoons on the passion fruit into the bowl, add the vanilla paste and beat until everything is blended. Beat in the flour, bit by bit, until no streaks remain.

2. Divide your mixture into the 2 tins and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and firm. Leave to cool for 5 mins then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

3. Now you’ll need to make your curd. You’ll need to repeat the process above to make another round of passion fruit juice.

4. Hand whisk your egg and yolk with sugar and cornflour until smooth. Melt the butter then whisk into the egg mixture.

5. Return mixture to the pan over a medium heat, stirring for around 4-5 minutes until thick. Once all together and in a bowl, keep your curd to one side to cool completely.

6. You’ll now need to make your syrup. Press your passion fruits (put keep a tablespoon of seeds for decoration) then place in a small pan with your sugar over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and boil for around 2 minutes, then remove and cool.

7. Now it’s time to make your coconut cream filling. Place the marscapone into a clean bowl. Measure out 75g of thick coconut cream (on the top of the chilled coconut milk) and add to the marscapone with the ugsr and cream.Whisk until thickened.

8. Slice both of your sponges in half horizontally and brush the cut surfaces with the cooled syrup. Sandwich all 4 cakes together in a stack, using 2-3 tablespoons of each passionfruit curd and coconut crema between each layer. Coat the top and sides of the cake with the remaining coconut cream, swirl a little curd on the top and decorate with the seeds how you feel! Chill for a while, then enjoy!

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Here at The Royal, we have had many wonderful remarks about our white chocolate cheesecake. One review even referred to it as  ‘out of this world’. We thought we would give you a quick and easy recipe to a similar treat, with no baking needed. After all, who doesn’t love a cheesecake?

You will need:

  • 150g crushed digestive biscuits
  • 40g melted butter
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 300g original Philadelphia® cream cheese
  • 150ml double cream

(Feel free to swap up your digestives for ginger biscuits, oreos, hobnobs or any other scrumptious biscuit!)

  1. Crush up your biscuits! A quick tip is to put your biscuits in a plastic food bag and hit (safely!) with a rolling pin.
  2. Combine your crushed biscuits with melted butter and press into the base of your tin.
  3. Now you need to melt your white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water( save a little chocolate for decoration!)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk your cream cheese and double cream. Now add your melted chocolate and mix together.
  5. Pour your mixture on top of the biscuit base. Now decorate how you want – you could grate some of your leftover chocolate on top and even add some dark chocolate for a colour mixture. Strawberries always look great against the white chocolate!
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours (best overnight!). Serve and enjoy!

Alternatively, if you don’t fancy baking this weekend (or doing anything!) we don’t blame you. When do you get three days off in a row? Why not come and sample some of our delicious delights. The Royal will be open all weekend for you and the family to come, have a drink and enjoy some home-cooked delights. From fruity cakes to indulgent brownies, we have everything your sweet tooth could desire. You can see our menu here.