Win a pair of tickets to BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016

If you enjoy food, (who doesn’t) then the BBC Good Food Show for Summer 2016 is the place to be.  With two major events in Birmingham and London I have a pair of tickets to be won by one lucky reader to a venue of their choice – see further down.

To whet your appetite a little I’m going to share this recipe for a rather cute Coconut Cake by James Martin who is due to make appearances at both shows.


* Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

* Servings: 6-8


50g coconut cream
50g coconut oil
175g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g desiccated coconut

125g butter, softened
40g coconut cream
250g icing sugar, sifted
50g–75g coconut shavings
3–4 sprigs lemon verbena

TOP TIP: For the filling and decoration, I would always use fresh coconut rather than dried, as the latter tends to dry out the buttercream, but you could toast the coconut shavings first, if you like.


1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 17cm deep-sided cake tins.

2) Gently heat the coconut cream and oil together in a small saucepan until liquid, then set aside to cool slightly.

3) Put the butter and caster sugar into a kitchen mixer or large bowl and beat until lightened and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Add the vanilla extract then sift in the flour and baking power and fold together. Add the desiccated coconut, cooled coconut cream and oil and mix well, then divide between the prepared cake tins.

4) Smooth the tops over and bake for about 20–25 minutes until golden brown and risen. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean – if it doesn’t, return the cakes to the oven for another 5 minutes and repeat.

5) Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the tins and cooling completely.

6) Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the softened butter, coconut cream and icing sugar together in a food mixer or a bowl with an electric whisk until really light, fluffy and almost white in colour.

7) Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 13mm plain nozzle. Pipe swirls of coconut cream all over one sponge, then scatter some coconut shavings over the top, so that they stick out around the edge of the cake. Gently lay the second cake on top. Pipe small peaks of cream all over the top of the cake and finish with some more coconut shavings and small sprigs of lemon verbena.


Both BBC Good Food Show events are jam packed with things to do, a food stage, shopping areas, celebrity chefs and much more.   This really is a great event to see live demonstrations, sample the latest foods and treat yourself to some tasty goodies!

If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to a venue of your choice, either Birmingham or London, just fill in the Gleam form below:

BBC good food tickets

A quick trip to London to collect Miss M!!

I’ve missed Miss M dearly over the last week while she’s spent time with her grandparents in Kent – a rare break for me with having no family down in Devon, but a great opportunity for her to experience new and exciting things and spend quality time with family.  And as expected there have been up’s and down’s over the week – the fun days out she’s had but then the teary phone calls to mummy each night declaring how much she misses me.

But the week is over and it was time to pick her up – we thought about driving to a half way point – but Bank Holiday Monday with Mister B in the car – NO!!  So I took the train on my own to meet them in London and pick her up.  Meeting at the V&A museum, Miss M nearly toppled me over with the tightest cuddle ever but we soon set of to peruse the museums offerings and was kindly handed a crafty boat activity pack for Miss M to make inspired by the designs we could see on display.

We then headed through the central courtyard to the V&A restaurant where I enjoyed an Aubergine Parmigianno – yum!!  The chocolate meringues looked amazing but I went for a slice of chocolate cake to share with Miss M.

The architecture of the building was stunning and I couldn’t take my eyes off the gigantic balls of lights dangling down from the intricatly designed ceiling.

We then decided to pop next door to the Natural History Museum as Miss M was keen to see the dinosaurs although the volume of people in there compared to the V&A was considerable and it was a little too claustropobic for poor Miss M who loves the fresh air and outdoors.

So after exploring dinosaurs we headed off on foot to Hyde Park, past the Royal Albert Hall and across to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.

Miss M loves being free to run around and her face lit up when she saw what awaited her.  Having never visited here before, I was a little unsure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see that the gated playground was manned and numbers were controlled to ensure there was no overcrowding.  The playground was very green, bushes and trees everywhere and through every little winding path you followed there was something new to explore.  The main centre attraction is a giant wooden pirate ship surrounded by sand and I have to say Miss M spent most of her time there.

After a long, tiring but fun and enlightening day it was time to go home.  Thinking Miss M would sleep for the three and three quarter hours train journey I was mistaken.  She was full of beans and couldn’t manage to sit still in her seat for the entire journey home.  And finally we were home sweet home. x