Here's how to give your baking a makeover

By Victoria Prever, October 25, 2012
Recipe from The National Trust's Simply Baking by Sybil Kapoor

Recipe from The National Trust's Simply Baking by Sybil Kapoor

STYLE: Who better to accompany you into the kitchen to whip up a batch of scones than the National Trust? It’s like having your grandma patting you encouragingly on the back. The cover is as beautiful as a National Trust garden.

PREMISE: Sybil Kapoor, adds her flair for interesting flavours to the National Trust’s repertoire. Basic scones get a designer twist, with variations including rose, treacle, olive and onion versions. Cinnamon and parsnip cupcakes, coffee bread and butter pudding, hazelnut brittle cheesecake, cheese and marigold muffins, and almond rose fairy cakes are all a bit different.

WHO WILL LIKE IT: It will appeal to those suffering Great British Bake Off withdrawal. These days a perfect victoria sponge is no longer enough. This book provides the inspiration you need to pimp up your lemon drizzle.

TOP TIPS: There is a helpful beginner’s guide to the basics, including a glossary of all the kit you need and baking jargon explained. Recipes are divided into categories such “The Dairy,” “The Mill”, “The Kitchen Garden”, “The Orchard”, “The Hedgerow” and “The Larder”. Each section contains interesting background information. The Kitchen Garden advises on how to use flowers and herbs in cooking and helps you think laterally about different combinations. There is also a little bit of history – well, it is the National Trust.

WE LOVED: The whole book. In these days of economic and climatic gloom, how better to cheer yourself up but by knocking up a Seville orange crunch cake, a blackcurrant meringue pie or chocolate violet eclairs. The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes just beg to be tested.

WE LIKED LESS: The easy leek tart tested had a soggy bottom.


This gorgeous tray bake is a fusion of gingerbread, parkin and flapjack. It’s one of those recipes that lines the tummy and keeps the cold out. This cake keeps well in an airtight container, but because it becomes so sticky, you’ll need to separate the cut squares with baking parchment to prevent them from squidging together.

Makes 8 squares

150ml full-fat milk
40g black treacle
80g butter
55g plain flour
1½ tsp ground ginger
Pinch of cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
115g light muscovado sugar
40g dark muscovado sugar
100g porridge oats

Preheat the oven to fan 150°C. Lightly oil an 18 x 28cm tray bake tin. Line the base with baking parchment and lightly oil.

Put the milk, treacle and butter in a small pan. Set over a low heat and stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Leave to cool slightly.

Sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Mix in the sugars and oats.

Give the warm melted ingredients a quick stir and mix into the dry ingredients. Pour into the baking tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Leave the ginger tray bake in its tin on a wire rack to cool. Once completely cold, cut into 8 squares. It becomes more gooey with time.

‘National Trust Simply Baking’ by Sybil Kapoor, is published by National Trust Books at £25

Last updated: 12:33pm, October 25 2012