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Mary Berry webchat: Join the queen of tarts on Monday 1.30 - 2.30

(162 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 13-Sep-13 16:49:53

We are excited and delighted that queen of the kitchen, Mary Berry, will be joining us at MNHQ for a live webchat.

Mary Berry, CBE is one of the UKs best-known and most respected cookery writers and television presenters. She has over 80 books to her name and over 6 million sales worldwide. A judge on The Great British Bake Off she has been voted as Britains favourite baking companion.

Mary's autobiography A Recipe for Life is out this month. A touching, evocative and fascinating memoir, Mary tells the story of her remarkable rise to fame. Everyone who joins the webchat will be entered into a draw to win a signed copy of A Recipe for Life. Join us on Monday or post a question in advance to Mary on this thread.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Fri 13-Sep-13 16:55:06

Oh no, I'm bloomin working on monday sad

I absolutely love her, I can't think of a profound question to ask though, can you make up a super intelligent question about flour or something from me grin

HoneyDragon Fri 13-Sep-13 16:56:33

<<implodes with excitement>>

Just wanted to say that I LOVE Mary, and honestly hop with glee on Tuesdays in the knowledge that I will have a heavenly hour of GBBO to watch. I always have food handy though, it makes me so hungry!

Little question: I am delighted to see some gluten-free bakes creeping in, any chance of seeing any more?

expatinscotland Fri 13-Sep-13 17:42:58

Mary, I'd like to ask if it is necessary to adjust my cake and biscuit recipes in any way if I am using duck eggs, which are richer than chicken eggs.

(P.S., am a big fan of yours smile. Also, as a mother bereaved of my beautiful daughter, thank you for being so sharing of your experience of bereavement and I am sorry for the loss of your son).

forcookssake Fri 13-Sep-13 17:45:44

Gah! I'll be at work during the actual chat, but I do have a question...
When making creme patissiere, other than using cornflour, which looks a bit like cheating... does Mary have any tips or hints to stop it curdling please?
thanks and cake for my favourite person on television!

mamathechicken Fri 13-Sep-13 20:45:34

I would like to thank you Mary for teaching me how to cook! My question is what cook books other than your own would you recommend , for good family meals.

TallyGrenshall Fri 13-Sep-13 20:58:43

I love Mary! My mother bought me one of her books 13/14 years ago and I used it all the time until it got lost in a move and I can't remember what it was called to replace it sad (white cover with all the basics in it if anyone remembers/has it)

My question is what has been your favourite bake from all the GBBO series?

itsonlysubterfuge Fri 13-Sep-13 21:23:16

I don't have a question, but a cute story to relay. I was looking through your Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook today and my daughter (she is 14 months old) came up to me and I said "This is Mary Berry's cookbook" and she kept pointing out the pictures and saying "Mmmm!" and then she pointed to your picture and said "Mare Bear".

I can't wait until we can flip through your cookbooks together and choose what to have for dinner or even better, for dessert.

I hope you have a happy day! You seem such an absolutely, lovely person and it's a joy reading your cookbooks and watching you cook on the TV.

OPeaches Fri 13-Sep-13 21:41:00

Mary, I think you're fabulous, your books are my go-to for all baking.

My question is, do you have a recipe for a toffee flavoured sponge cake? I've used various brown sugars but it's never been quite right, not toffee-ish enough. I would like it to be a light(ish) sponge, rather than muffin-y.

Thank you.

exhaustedmummymoo Sat 14-Sep-13 08:32:14

Ooh I love Mary Berry, my mum has her books from late 70s/early 80s and when I got married passed them on to me thinking I might need some help in the kitchen! I now use the cook books with my small people.
But my question is: please help if I put fruit into my sponge cake mixtures it always sinks to the bottom of the tin. What am I doing wrong? I have tried both mixing and folding the mixture but the result is always the same!
Any help huge thanks.

jjohnsonvanessa Sat 14-Sep-13 09:41:14

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NotAFeminist Sat 14-Sep-13 13:29:04

{Ooh, I have never been part of a webchat before and am not quite sure how it works??? But I have only just discovered the joys of The Great British Bake Off (4 series in, I know, where have I been?!) and love it immensely! I think Mary Berry is simply delightful which is why I would love to ask the following question...}

For someone who has only really baked in cooking classes at school and a handful of other times, what advice would you give to someone starting out in the world of baking? For example, simple recipes to start with, or what vital cooking utensils should every budding baker have in their kitchen, or what ingredients must one always have to hand etc...

Many thanks in advance if you answer my question! smile

OhDearNigel Sat 14-Sep-13 17:20:16

Hello Mary,
My mother and i are huge fans, i am a patissier by trade and always use your recipes for my home baking. I have loved watching you on GBBO and am usually inspired to bake the technical challenge. Im always sad when the series finishes and i go back to lemon drizzle and victoria sandwiches !

My question for you is, where can i buy an angel food tin that doesnt cost me £40 ? I love it, bought all the ingredients to make it after the episode but couldnt find one anywhere. Could you persuade lakeland to put one in the next catalogue ?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 14-Sep-13 17:23:48

Hello! Thank you for coming on....I would like to know some scone tips please....mine always turn out flat...even though I follow instructions. smile

GerardButlersSecretLover Sat 14-Sep-13 18:41:05

Hi Mary! Chris Evans read out my text for you on Friday on the Breakfast Show. I am the lady who's copy of Fast Cakes is falling apart.
I want to THANKYOU for your wonderful books, as I said as well in my text I was a HUGE fan of yours ten years ago. When I bought your books my friends were all saying "Who is she???" Your recipes are easy to follow and lovely to eat. My son is at boarding school and I often make your tray bake in various forms!!

Hi Mary, my question is...what do you do if you don't like the flavouring that someone has used in one of their dishes in gbbo? I hate coconut and would hate to have to taste 14 lots of coconut slice for example!! :-)

littlestressy Sat 14-Sep-13 22:33:48

Hi Mary, I love GBBO and my mum applied but sadly didn't get through sad
My question is: whenever I make sponge cakes I always cream the butter and sugar first then add the eggs. But the mixture always looks like its curdled after the eggs have been added, I add them a little at a time but nothing seems to work.
What am I doing wrong?

OhDearNigel Sat 14-Sep-13 22:45:29

Ah, More Fast Cakes. I loved looking through the pictures as a teenager.

OhDearNigel Sat 14-Sep-13 22:47:25

And one final question for you, could an ex patissier who hasn't cooked professionally for 15 years apply for gbbo ?

SoleSource Sat 14-Sep-13 23:25:10

Hi Mary, what made you decide to that Keith Lemon in your house?

LegoCaltrops Sun 15-Sep-13 07:54:05

Hi Mary. Please could you advise what I'm doing wrong with my shortcrust pastry. I've used various recipes, they taste fine when cooked but invariably when I lift the pastry up with the rolling pin to transfer to the dish/tray, it falls apart. Every single time! Is my kitchen too warm, am I over/under working the dough, is it too dry? I currently use a simple recipe of 225g flour, 110g butter, 2 egg yolks, & a couple of tsp water to bind. Please help as I'm a keen cook & this most basic thing eludes me. blush Thanks.

(Also would be interested in the answer to the scones question as mine also turn out like biscuits, and the toffee sponge, if such a thing exists.)

MarmaladeTwatkins Sun 15-Sep-13 09:49:01

Hello Mary,

The last few times I have made flavoured cakes, I have had to do some last-minute tweaking as the flavours just aren't coming through in my cakes. For example, last week I did some Pina Colada cupcakes for my friend's birthday and I used (what I thought was a copious amount of) Malibu, coconut cream and pineapple chunks. When I ate the test cake, it just tasted of... nothing.

I rescued them by cutting a small hole in the top of each and pouring in a little pineapple juice and a chunk of pineapple, then going mad with the frosting (more Malibu and coconut cream!) In the end they DID taste very Pina Colada like <shameless boast> but I could have done without that faffing at the last minute.

It's not the first time my flavours have got 'lost'. Please tell me where I am going wrong?!

flowers

Purplelillies Sun 15-Sep-13 12:51:45

Hi Mary,I am a huge fan and your 'Baking Bible' is my favourite book for all my bakingsmile.
I have two questions actually.First one is ,in general,how much quicker do cakes bake in a fan oven compared to a conventional oven? Say if a cake will take 3-3and a half hours in an ordinary oven how long will it take in a fan oven(I did an oxford lunch cake a few days ago and it seemed to be done after 2 hrs in the fan oven..it tastes fine and looks fine but it seems a ridiculously short cooking time).Or say if a traybake is supposed to take 30-35 minutes how long will this be in a fan oven?
Other question is I recently made a lemon traybake using your recipe but I put 4 tablespoons of lemon juice into it instead of the 4 tablespoons of milk.The top seemed to be a bit hard and crusty as a result.Is this because there is too much natural sugar in the lemon juice and it has sort of burned?
Thanks if you answer Mary-absolutely love you to bitsflowers cake.

anotetofollowso Sun 15-Sep-13 13:41:59

Hello Mary,

I adore all things lemony, especially lemon cake. But all the lemon cake recipes I have tried, (including yours - thank you!) all call for lemon zest, and no matter how finely I grate the zest it always makes my cake gritty. What am I doing wrong? Is there any way to extract the flavour from lemon zest without ending up with a slightly sandy-textured cake?

AngelsLieToKeepControl Sun 15-Sep-13 14:11:14

I thought of a question.

Can you please come up with a great recipe for Irn Bru cupcakes for your next book (or just for me grin )

I have tried about 10 different recipies but none of them are very bru-ey. Every time I try to change quantities they just come out flat. Is there some way of intensifying the flavour without it all going horrifically wrong?

Can't believe I'm asking someone so classy about Irn Bru cupcakes blush

MissStrawberry Sun 15-Sep-13 14:15:35

I love Mary Berry.

I recently bought the pink covered cook book to replace the white one I had that was falling apart through years of use grin. Some recipes from the white having made it into the pink one and I was wondering if that was on purpose or if all are there but you have renamed them?

Also, lots of recipes aren't on the pages listed in the index. Is that a common problem and can I be your proof reader next time please?

I love Mary Berry.

MissStrawberry Sun 15-Sep-13 14:19:15

Tally - I have that book!! Just bought the new updated version. Hang on, while link for you.

updated one

MissStrawberry Sun 15-Sep-13 14:20:19

exhaustedmummy - IIRC coating in flour should help that.

Handsfullandlovingit Sun 15-Sep-13 14:52:37

I'll be chained to a desk tomorrow, but I'd like to say to Mary how much I am grateful for her cake recipes. Except in circumstances of outstanding idiocy on my part they come out so perfectly, and attract so many compliments, I feel I should pass on the compliments. Favourites include Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake and the light as a feather Lemon Drizzle from the Baking Bible.

My question is about Christmas cake, specifically the light and golden Victorian Christmas Cake in the Baking Bible. It is glorious. How far in advance would I be safe to make it? I like to do Christmas as far in advance as possible. Thank you!

sybilfaulty Sun 15-Sep-13 15:02:39

Dear Mary

I love your programmes and your recipes. I've never yet had a MB recipe fail on me.

You are very stylish and always look amazing. Do you have a stylist for the programme or do you just love clothes? I've heard you say you dress very differently at home. What sort of look do you rock then?

I just wanted to say that your pieces about William have moved me to tears. He sounds like a fine young man and I am so very sorry for your loss.

Thank you for coming and my best wishes to you flowers

Hi Mary

I am a huge fan - I have a cookbook you wrote some years ago which is covered in flour / gravy / other food stains because it's been used so much.

My question is: how do you come up with ideas for new recipes?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 15-Sep-13 16:17:59

Hi Mary - like everyone else I love your books and GBBO. I also loved hearing you on Desert Island Discs - it was a very moving episode.

I have an aga and no other cooker and wondered whether you had any plans to do another aga book - one focusing on christmas in particular would be wonderful. I am already dreading the trauma of trying to get my roast potatoes to roast whilst the temperature plumits.

Thank you!

Whistleforit Sun 15-Sep-13 20:31:45

Oh Mary, you are such a classy lady, I want to be you when I grow up. But it's not possible as I only want to ask whether you quite often think Paul is a sanctimonious twit. Albeit within very pretty eyes.

Whistleforit Sun 15-Sep-13 20:32:08

With

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 15-Sep-13 20:41:28

<CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE HAS ASKED THIS YET!>

Mary, what is your favourite biscuit?

TerrorMeSue Sun 15-Sep-13 20:55:49

During GBBO do you eat anything at all except what the contestants make?

I have no idea how you manage to try so many different cakes (or whatever). You must be stuffed!

itsonlysubterfuge Sun 15-Sep-13 21:03:17

Hi Mary,

First wanted to say I adore you! You always look so amazing and I was just wondering how you stay in such great shape? Especially during the Great British Bake-Off and sampling all those great cakes?

Thanks for coming to Mumsnet and spending the time to talk to all of us.

MavisGrind Sun 15-Sep-13 21:06:30

I am another that will be at work tomorrow but I just want to say a big thank you for all the work you do.

My sons (7&4) absolutely love GBBO and have insisted since last week that I make a custard tart. I am no baker but this afternoon I tried and it was a relative success! (nothing like jumping in on a technical bake for a novice). My dcs then pretended to be yourself and Paul and judged my efforts. They even checked if there was a soggy bottom (there wasn't <preen>).

So, thank you. You've got another 2 young boys learning to bake because of your skills and enthusiasm.

DoItTooJulia Sun 15-Sep-13 21:09:15

Hi Mary, really nice to have you!

Sometimes when I bake sponge cakes they have a lump on the top where they have risen unevenly. Why does is happen? Is not all of the time either, so I'm finding it difficult to pinpoint what is going wrong!

MostlyCake Sun 15-Sep-13 21:27:46

I have a bread question if possible? My loaves go into the oven well shaped and 'proud' of yhe sheet if you see what I mean but spread and collapse in the oven. The baked loaf looks like a disc with a slight rise in the middle. Why do they spread out and how can I stop it?

Thanks!

tinypumpkin Sun 15-Sep-13 21:37:27

Another Mary Berry fan here, who isn't?

I was wondering what the biggest calamity on GBBO has been. This year we have seen custard stealing but my memory of previous years is rather more vague sadly.

hermancakedestroyer Mon 16-Sep-13 09:08:05

Hi Mary,

I'm a huge fan of the GBBO and always find that your comments to the competitors is kind and constructive.
My question to you is about meringues. My aunt used to make delicious meringues which were crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle but I have never managed to replicate them! Can you help? Thank you
Keep up the good work cake

hermancakedestroyer Mon 16-Sep-13 09:10:29

are

moonbells Mon 16-Sep-13 09:36:40

Hello Mary! Many thanks for coming on to the webchat. I have a very deceptively simple question: why can't I get victoria sponges to rise?

My mum can (with identical recipes) yet her fruit cakes invariably sink and mine don't. Neither of us can explain it (we both have the same mixer as well). We've muddled along for years, with her doing all the sponges and me the fruits grin. But I'd love to know any tips on getting the wretched sponges to work!

FrauMoose Mon 16-Sep-13 09:42:17

Mary, I'd like to know if you consider yourself a role model for older women on television. What are your thoughts on the discrimination that Miriam O'Reilly experienced, and do you think that the BBC is starting to make changes for the better?

Jerseymummy1 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:05:19

I love Mary. Her Sacha Torte receipe is a fave and never fails to impress.

So I have a question for Mary - if you were a cake what you be and why?

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 10:51:00

Mary, you really are fantastic. Your Fast Cakes was the first recipie book I ever used, when I was little. And what's lovely to me is that my son now gets it down and flicks through it looking for stuff to make just like I did. smile

Speaking of said boy. Cake is his favourite thing. He doesn't like fondant icing (and I'm rubbish with rolling it out!) and he doesn't particularly love buttercream either hmm. So what else can I use to decorate the fancy birthday cakes he asks for each year? confused

thanks

MrsKwazii Mon 16-Sep-13 10:51:13

Hello Mary, I love your b

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 10:51:55

Oh, I still use Fast Cakes regularly. I'm making your Pineapple Upside Down Cake later grin

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:54:59

I have a question do you have any dairy and egg free recipes? My DS is having to avoid those and possibly gluten.

MrsKwazii Mon 16-Sep-13 11:04:01

<Tries again> Hello Mary, I love your books and even had a copy of the 1970 Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook tracked down for me when I left home - the cakes and breads section are still great grin.

Do you ever look at fads in the baking world - like the seeming obsession for salted caramel flavours - and think "I give that flavour combo two years before we all come to our senses"?

Like Expat, I'd like to thank you for being so open about being a bereaved mother. It can be such a taboo subject and something that many people would prefer us to hide. I think that when parents like you talk about your experiences it really does help other bereaved families and may help little by little to change others' attitudes.

Valentinegal Mon 16-Sep-13 11:21:41

Hi Mary, was just given your latest book for my birthday and enjoying working through it. Dont want to out myself but your sister taught me all I know in the kitchen and gave me such confidence in cooking. Seems like these days, and in the past, cooking lessons in other schools have often been rather lame. Her lessons were the highlight of our week and I have always wanted to thank her so could you pass the message on. Thanks

OddSockMonster Mon 16-Sep-13 11:48:23

Hello Mary,

We're thinking of doing a Backwoods Bake Off with our Scout group (Beaver scouts right up to parents), cooking on fires and gas stoves. Not quite sure if it's possible to cook petit fours on a stick yet but willing to have a go.

My question do you have a favourite outdoors cooking/baking recipe? Thanks.

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 11:54:11

Hello Dame Mary grin

I bought your baking books for my DD (who is now training as a Patissiere) because along w/ Delia, Harold McGee and Larousse, they are indeed, bibles of the kitchen.

However, what other other books would you buy for a newly-flown-the-nest child?

And another cheeky question- What was the last culinary book you read/purchased?

dottyaboutstripes Mon 16-Sep-13 12:19:18

Hi Mary!

I wonder in all seriousness....is it possible to go off cake? grin What I mean to say is have you found that you bake less at home for yourself after sampling all those magnificent creations on GBBO?

As an aside, I'm a Tenbyite and LOVE the photo taken on the beach which won your Dad a prize!

ArtisanLentilWeaver Mon 16-Sep-13 12:22:42

Welcome Mary!

What is the secret to fluffy scones, please?

YoniMatopoeia Mon 16-Sep-13 12:34:59

Hello Mary.

When you said in an interview

"I would always stand up for women but I don’t want women’s rights and all that sort of thing.”

Which women's rights do you not want?

ThisTimeItsPersonal Mon 16-Sep-13 12:59:00

Hi Mary, I was just curious, who inspired you to become such a fantastic baker? You have inspired so many people and I think you really are a fab role model! smile

Hello Mary <fans self>

I've got such a simple question that you may think I'm an idiot but here goes...

How on earth do I stop fruit/choc chips etc sinking to the bottom? I have asked a million people and got a million answers but nothing works. If you can solve this I will be the toast of the school coffee morning!

Iamcountingto3 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:09:56

I was coming onto ask about those feminism comments too, Yoni. Having seen the backlash to your comments, Mary, would you be able to expand on your issue with feminism, and any concerns around current maternity leave rights? (For anyone who missed it, coverage here www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2269289/Why-feminism-dirty-word-Mary-Berry-Bake-Off-star-says-does-want-womens-rights.html,) Now, it is a DM link, so I'm very interested to hear Mary's side of the interview!

gleegeek Mon 16-Sep-13 13:30:51

Hello Mary. My copy of Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book is falling apart. I recently took nearly all my other baking books to a charity shop as I only ever seem to use your recipes. I am a self-taught baker using a very clapped out oven, but I seem to be able to turn out pretty good cakes thanks to you! DD(10) loves GBBO and enjoys baking with me.

May I beg you to point me in the direction of fat free/nearly fat free baking recipes please? I have recently been diagnosed with gall stones and need to keep to a low fat diet, but don't want to stop baking and eating!

Thank you!

MikeLitoris Mon 16-Sep-13 13:31:24

Work are doing a bake off style event for charity. What shall I make?

cm22v077 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:32:37

Hi Mary,

I really enjoyed watching the programme about your rise to fame that was on TV a couple months ago, especially when you went to the kitchens in Paris. Which point of your career would you consider to be your highlight? I am looking forward to reading your book.

I also saw you on through the keyhole, your house is beautiful!

Lovely to have you at MNHQ!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Sep-13 13:32:38

We're delighted and excited that Mary is here with us at MNHQ and ready to answer your questions. Everyone who joins the discussion will be entered into a draw to win a signed copy of Mary's memoir, Recipe for Life. Welcome to Mumsnet Mary Berry...

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:32:46

Hi. I'm so delighted to be here at Mumsnet. I'm so excited to answer all your tricky baking conundrums!

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 13:33:40

Yay!

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:34:42

Hello!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:16

OddSockMonster

Hello Mary,

We're thinking of doing a Backwoods Bake Off with our Scout group (Beaver scouts right up to parents), cooking on fires and gas stoves. Not quite sure if it's possible to cook petit fours on a stick yet but willing to have a go.

My question do you have a favourite outdoors cooking/baking recipe? Thanks.

I was a girl guide, so outdoor cooking is not new to me. One of the best things to do with the troop is to make drop scones. You may not have a griddle but you can do them in non-stick pans. They're quick to cook and delicious to eat!
One of my first cooking experiences was outside with my brothers on a fire that we built at the bottom of the garden. Health and safety would not have liked it! We used to fry eggs–we had chickens and my mum used to wonder where the eggs went!

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:19

My daughter has requested a chocolate cake with marzipan inside, do you have any good suggestions please?

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:23

Mary - I am just starting to deal with the scariness of having to do a school lunch box. Other than flapjacks, what cakes do you recommend for withstanding the bashing and dropping that tends to happen to a 4 year old's lunch box and still being edible at lunch time?

Pascha Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:26

Oh goody. I'm never around for these webchats normally. Now I have to think of a baking question which is hard because I don't really do it much.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:01

ArtisanLentilWeaver

Welcome Mary!

What is the secret to fluffy scones, please?

I think the perfect scone should be beautifully moist and baked really freshly. If they're a day old, just warm them before serving, just like they do in Devon and Cornwall for cream teas.
When making the mixture, make sure it's really wet and sticking to your hands, don't kneed them too much either. It makes the best scones.

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:16

I want some of that cake Katy, sounds nice.

shelley72 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:58

hello Mary, do you know why can't I make a Victoria sponge? They seem to go in the oven ok, rise, look ok when taken from the oven then sink spectacularly! So what could I be doing wrong? Do you have a failsafe recipe? Have just bought a new oven and keen to try it out. I so want to be able to bake for my children! Thank you!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:14

GwendolineMaryLacey

Hello Mary <fans self>

I've got such a simple question that you may think I'm an idiot but here goes...

How on earth do I stop fruit/choc chips etc sinking to the bottom? I have asked a million people and got a million answers but nothing works. If you can solve this I will be the toast of the school coffee morning!

Fruit and chocolate chips sink to the bottom because the actual cake mixture is too runny. Even though you follow the recipe sometimes a low fat is used which makes a runny mixture. If this is not the case, add a little more self-raising flour to your mixture to make it stiffer. It will then support the fruit or chocolate chips.

prettybird Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:39

What I love about GBBO is how positive Mary and Paul are - their comments are always so constructive and not at all shouty unlike certain other cooking programmes grin

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Mon 16-Sep-13 13:39:59

Faithless she has asked for it for a birthday cake, I'm not sure how best to go about it so I hope Mary can suggest something special.

StellaMarie Mon 16-Sep-13 13:42:13

Hello Mary,
Firstly a thank-you, my godson was baptised yesterday and I had the task of making the cake. I used your rich fruit cake recipe from the Complete Cookbook it was a success and everyone really enjoyed it. I'm so thankful that that the recipe was easy to follow and it worked perfectly. I wasn't at all worried about it being cut into at teatime!

My question is about the benefits of using soft margarine vs butter in some of your cake recipes. Is it based on health benefits or because it is softer or is there another reason?

Thank you!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:42:20

MrsKwazii

<Tries again> Hello Mary, I love your books and even had a copy of the 1970 Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook tracked down for me when I left home - the cakes and breads section are still great grin.

Do you ever look at fads in the baking world - like the seeming obsession for salted caramel flavours - and think "I give that flavour combo two years before we all come to our senses"?

Like Expat, I'd like to thank you for being so open about being a bereaved mother. It can be such a taboo subject and something that many people would prefer us to hide. I think that when parents like you talk about your experiences it really does help other bereaved families and may help little by little to change others' attitudes.

I'm not a follower of salted caramel, or cupcakes with too much butter icing on top. I'm more of a traditional baker but I've learnt a lot of new ideas from bakers on the Great British Bake Off.

To you and Expat– I'm sorry about your losses and thank you for your comments. I always think we were lucky to have our children and have many happy memories. Child Bereavement UK, which I am a patron of now, is a wonderful charity who helps bereaved parents and their children in so many ways. If anyone needs some additional support please contact them.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:43:39

tinypumpkin

Another Mary Berry fan here, who isn't?

I was wondering what the biggest calamity on GBBO has been. This year we have seen custard stealing but my memory of previous years is rather more vague sadly.

The biggest calamity was when Rob dropped his chocolate cake on the floor! He'd made a beautiful genoise sponge and it slipped on to the floor. He coped brilliantly and covered it in icing so he wasn't sent home!

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:44:24

Katy, I suppose you could do a sandwich cake with Marzipan inbetween the two layers? Apricot jam to stick the layers together.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:44:45

littlestressy

Hi Mary, I love GBBO and my mum applied but sadly didn't get through sad
My question is: whenever I make sponge cakes I always cream the butter and sugar first then add the eggs. But the mixture always looks like its curdled after the eggs have been added, I add them a little at a time but nothing seems to work.
What am I doing wrong?

I now use the all-in-one method, using Stork for cakes instead of butter. Everything goes in the bowl together and you beat it. It's quick, easy and gives very good results.

NotAFeminist Mon 16-Sep-13 13:44:52

prettybird I agree with you about how Mary's and Paul's comments are so lovely and constructive and nearly always accompanied with a smile! - Even when the bakers' finished product wasn't quite what they had in mind! It's a great show, I only wish I had started watching it 3 series ago!!

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 13:46:04

I've always found that it doesn't matter if it curdles. Just add the flour anyway and it'll all come together (similar to MB's all in one method to be honest)

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:46:07

Handsfullandlovingit

I'll be chained to a desk tomorrow, but I'd like to say to Mary how much I am grateful for her cake recipes. Except in circumstances of outstanding idiocy on my part they come out so perfectly, and attract so many compliments, I feel I should pass on the compliments. Favourites include Very Best Chocolate Fudge Cake and the light as a feather Lemon Drizzle from the Baking Bible.

My question is about Christmas cake, specifically the light and golden Victorian Christmas Cake in the Baking Bible. It is glorious. How far in advance would I be safe to make it? I like to do Christmas as far in advance as possible. Thank you!

You can make your Christmas cake right now! It needs to be well-wrapped and kept in a cool place. If your kitchen's very hot and you have space in the fridge or freezer, keep it there then ice it nearer Christmas. You can ice your Christmas cake mid-December.

aristocat Mon 16-Sep-13 13:46:17

Hello Mary, how were you persuaded to be on the new Keyhole show? You have a beautiful house smile

LLucan Mon 16-Sep-13 13:46:51

Hello Mary,

Just a quick message to say how much I enjoy The Great British Bake Off and how it inspired me to draw a series of cartoons of you, Paul, Mel and Sue. Your cartoon can be found here: careyart.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-great-british-bake-off-2.html Pauls is here: careyart.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/great-british-bake-off.html and Mel's is here: careyart.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/great-british-bake-off.html Sue's will follow tomorrow night during transmission.

I hope you like the cartoon!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:47:08

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite

Mary - I am just starting to deal with the scariness of having to do a school lunch box. Other than flapjacks, what cakes do you recommend for withstanding the bashing and dropping that tends to happen to a 4 year old's lunch box and still being edible at lunch time?

Children seem to like homemade biscuits best. I suggest that you wrap one or two in foil within the lunch box –they'll be less likely to get damaged!

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 13:47:18

Ooh that trends thing has reminded me.

My mum used to make a fabulous lemon freezer cake years and years ago (its used raw eggs so she stopped making it because of Edwina Currie)and then lost the recipe. She was convinced it was yours but searched to no avail so probably wasn't.

Can you come up with one any way please the next time you write a book? grin

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:48:44

cm22v077

Hi Mary,

I really enjoyed watching the programme about your rise to fame that was on TV a couple months ago, especially when you went to the kitchens in Paris. Which point of your career would you consider to be your highlight? I am looking forward to reading your book.

I also saw you on through the keyhole, your house is beautiful!

Lovely to have you at MNHQ!

I'm enjoying my time right now. It's such fun on the Bake Off and I'm really proud to have finished my autobiography, says she with a sigh of relief. It's been a real trip down memory lane, and it was great to look at old photographs. We've included lots of them in the book.

shelley72 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:49:09

Gosh this talk of cake is making me very hungry...smile

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:50:45

MrsCampbellBlack

Hi Mary - like everyone else I love your books and GBBO. I also loved hearing you on Desert Island Discs - it was a very moving episode.

I have an aga and no other cooker and wondered whether you had any plans to do another aga book - one focusing on christmas in particular would be wonderful. I am already dreading the trauma of trying to get my roast potatoes to roast whilst the temperature plumits.

Thank you!

I enjoy developing new recipes because we're so lucky that we have new ingredients. I can well remember when we didn't have avocados, butternut squash and mangoes were rare. Also, we have such a variety of sugars nowadays. I like to use natural sugars and we can buy them of many textures and flavours.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:52:09

itsonlysubterfuge

Hi Mary,

First wanted to say I adore you! You always look so amazing and I was just wondering how you stay in such great shape? Especially during the Great British Bake-Off and sampling all those great cakes?

Thanks for coming to Mumsnet and spending the time to talk to all of us.

I try to have a really good taste of all the recipes on the Bake Off, but when it comes to cake at home it's a small slice and not a second one. I keep an eye on what I eat and exercise a bit too. Tennis on Mondays and plenty of walking!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:54:36

mamathechicken

I would like to thank you Mary for teaching me how to cook! My question is what cook books other than your own would you recommend , for good family meals.

I do very little ethnic cooking and I would therefore recommend Madhur Jaffrey for Indian cooking, Ken Hom for Chinese, and for detailed fish recipes Rick Stein. For Middle-Eastern cooking, Claudia Roden.

Elliptic5 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:56:02

Hi Mary

Are all your recipes printed nowadays designed with fan ovens in mind or are conventional ovens considered best for some types of cakes?

Thank you

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:57:26

forcookssake

Gah! I'll be at work during the actual chat, but I do have a question...
When making creme patissiere, other than using cornflour, which looks a bit like cheating... does Mary have any tips or hints to stop it curdling please?
thanks and cake for my favourite person on television!

When making creme patissiere I always add either cornflour or flour, otherwise you wouldn't get the thickness to the mixture that you require. Have a look in my Complete Cookbook.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:58:05

Elliptic5

Hi Mary

Are all your recipes printed nowadays designed with fan ovens in mind or are conventional ovens considered best for some types of cakes?

Thank you

In my recipes I give both fan and conventional. Fan is 20 degrees less than most conventional cookers.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 13:59:48

sybilfaulty

Dear Mary

I love your programmes and your recipes. I've never yet had a MB recipe fail on me.

You are very stylish and always look amazing. Do you have a stylist for the programme or do you just love clothes? I've heard you say you dress very differently at home. What sort of look do you rock then?

I just wanted to say that your pieces about William have moved me to tears. He sounds like a fine young man and I am so very sorry for your loss.

Thank you for coming and my best wishes to you flowers

On Bake Off for some of my jackets a stylist gives me some to choose, but very often I enjoy shopping around in Zara, Phase Eight, John Lewis and Jaeger. At home I'm pretty relaxed – I'm always wearing something warm round my neck. Thank you for your kind comments about William.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:00:45

AndIFeedEmGunpowder

<CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE HAS ASKED THIS YET!>

Mary, what is your favourite biscuit?

My favourite biscuit is shortbread. I've put my favourite recipe in my autobiography at the end of chapter 16. I've also included 19 of my other favourite recipes – one for each chapter!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:02:01

LegoCaltrops

Hi Mary. Please could you advise what I'm doing wrong with my shortcrust pastry. I've used various recipes, they taste fine when cooked but invariably when I lift the pastry up with the rolling pin to transfer to the dish/tray, it falls apart. Every single time! Is my kitchen too warm, am I over/under working the dough, is it too dry? I currently use a simple recipe of 225g flour, 110g butter, 2 egg yolks, & a couple of tsp water to bind. Please help as I'm a keen cook & this most basic thing eludes me. blush Thanks.

(Also would be interested in the answer to the scones question as mine also turn out like biscuits, and the toffee sponge, if such a thing exists.)

Your recipe is fine. You may need just a little bit more water to make it easier to handle. If you find it very difficult on a warm day you can always roll it between two sheets of cling film and then chill it on a baking tray before putting it over your pie.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:04:41

NotAFeminist

{Ooh, I have never been part of a webchat before and am not quite sure how it works??? But I have only just discovered the joys of The Great British Bake Off (4 series in, I know, where have I been?!) and love it immensely! I think Mary Berry is simply delightful which is why I would love to ask the following question...}

For someone who has only really baked in cooking classes at school and a handful of other times, what advice would you give to someone starting out in the world of baking? For example, simple recipes to start with, or what vital cooking utensils should every budding baker have in their kitchen, or what ingredients must one always have to hand etc...

Many thanks in advance if you answer my question! smile

When starting off, just sit down and think what sort of cakes do you want to make? If it's a victoria sandwich, buy yourself two tins of the size of the cake you're likely to make. Some bun tins or muffin tins, and a couple of flat baking sheets.
A hand mixer is not expensive and a great help if you want to take it fairly seriously. Always have self-raising flour, plain flour and caster sugar in the cupboard, and Stork for baking and eggs in the fridge so you're always at the ready for baking.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:05:38

Valentinegal

Hi Mary, was just given your latest book for my birthday and enjoying working through it. Dont want to out myself but your sister taught me all I know in the kitchen and gave me such confidence in cooking. Seems like these days, and in the past, cooking lessons in other schools have often been rather lame. Her lessons were the highlight of our week and I have always wanted to thank her so could you pass the message on. Thanks

I suspect it was my sister-in-law, Margaret Berry, who taught cookery and she's a brilliant cook.

bundle Mon 16-Sep-13 14:07:25

can i use preserved cherries in a clafoutis? or is it beyond the pale?

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:09:18

TerrorMeSue

During GBBO do you eat anything at all except what the contestants make?

I have no idea how you manage to try so many different cakes (or whatever). You must be stuffed!

I enjoy the tasting very much. The bakers are most inventive but I'm very careful not to go back for a second slice. I can assure you I eat a normal meal in the evening, but at lunch time I just have soup because it's cold.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:10:32

MrsCampbellBlack

Hi Mary - like everyone else I love your books and GBBO. I also loved hearing you on Desert Island Discs - it was a very moving episode.

I have an aga and no other cooker and wondered whether you had any plans to do another aga book - one focusing on christmas in particular would be wonderful. I am already dreading the trauma of trying to get my roast potatoes to roast whilst the temperature plumits.

Thank you!

The Christmas Collection cookery book comes out in three weeks time, and it has aga cooking times in so hopefully it will help you navigate through Christmas!

BetsyBidwell Mon 16-Sep-13 14:11:38

Mary, do you have cold hands for pastry?

BetsyBidwell Mon 16-Sep-13 14:12:17

( oh and - everyone says that my mother is the spit of you - a little bit terrifying too grin )

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:13:16

hermancakedestroyer

Hi Mary,

I'm a huge fan of the GBBO and always find that your comments to the competitors is kind and constructive.
My question to you is about meringues. My aunt used to make delicious meringues which were crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle but I have never managed to replicate them! Can you help? Thank you
Keep up the good work cake

Have a look at DK's The Cookery Course Book. It has meringue recipes in detail. Have a look in your local library. To make the best meringues put the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk with an electric whisk on full speed until it looks like cloud, then continue adding the sugar on full speed a little at a time until it is exceedingly stiff. This should give you really good meringues.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:14:08

bundle

can i use preserved cherries in a clafoutis? or is it beyond the pale?

Certainly you can use preserved cherries in clafoutis. Make sure they're well drained before adding them to the mixture. You can use any of the syrup that remains slightly thickened as a sauce.

BetsyBidwell Mon 16-Sep-13 14:16:01

DOnt you add vinegar to meringues? Or is that pavlova?

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:16:19

HoneyDragon

Mary, you really are fantastic. Your Fast Cakes was the first recipie book I ever used, when I was little. And what's lovely to me is that my son now gets it down and flicks through it looking for stuff to make just like I did. smile

Speaking of said boy. Cake is his favourite thing. He doesn't like fondant icing (and I'm rubbish with rolling it out!) and he doesn't particularly love buttercream either hmm. So what else can I use to decorate the fancy birthday cakes he asks for each year? confused

thanks

You can just make water icing which is lemon juice added to icing sugar. There is a new icing sugar called fondant icing sugar which is excellent and sets reasonably firmly. I've found it very good and it has a nice shine.

OhDearNigel Mon 16-Sep-13 14:16:28

Mary,
Further to my previous question about angel food cake, I have 3 passion fruits and 4 lemons languishing sadly in my fridge. I have a full cupboard of ingredients, what would you do with them ?

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 14:18:01

Oooooh thank you. I shall play with the fondant icing sugar. I keep looking at it in the shop grin

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:18:06

ThisTimeItsPersonal

Hi Mary, I was just curious, who inspired you to become such a fantastic baker? You have inspired so many people and I think you really are a fab role model! smile

I was very lucky at school to have a fantastic cookery teacher, Miss Date. She inspired me to cook and bake. I only wish that cookery lessons were back in school, but there is a lot of talk about it coming back which would be wonderful and would hopefully inspire a whole new generation.

hermancakedestroyer Mon 16-Sep-13 14:18:08

Thank you Mary, I am chuffed to bits for your advice and off to bake a fluffy meringue now! thanks

BetsyBidwell Mon 16-Sep-13 14:18:51

they do have cookery lessons in schools!

NotAFeminist Mon 16-Sep-13 14:18:52

Thank you for answering my questions! I'm pretty serious about starting out in the world of baking and look forward to my son being old enough to bake with me! I've a few years yet so have plenty of time to hone my skills?! haha :D Thanks for coming to talk to us! Have a lovely day.

cm22v077 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:20:24

Great, thanks for answering my question! Another one, if I may...
My mum had the Hamlyn Cook Book also - it was our bible as we were growing up and we had the clock cake every year for our birthdays. I still love looking through it because it's so dated - all that aspic Jelly. Do you ever use this book?

alwaysneedaholiday Mon 16-Sep-13 14:20:51

Hi Mary - thank you for all of your fantastic recipes - you have converted my Father to a keen baker, in his mid-70s!!

My question is; how do you stop cherries from sinking in a cherry cake?

Thank you so much!

IsaacCox Mon 16-Sep-13 14:22:42

Hi Mary smile I'm a huge fan of yours. You have really inspired me in the kitchen. What is your best ever baking tip? Thank you cake

Hello Mary Berry.

I am totally inspired by your career, attitude to life especially through times of adversity but also your successes, and of course baking. grin My baking has been a bit limited recently despite being a keen amateur trial-and-error-cook/baker but we have recently had architect plans for a small extension and creation of a kitchen diner at the back of our house (you wouldn't want to cook in the current 30 year old kitchen blush ) where I have dreams of teaching 6yr old DD and her friends to bake. (Many of our best times have been baking in the kitchen together).

Apart from the "kitchen working triangle" what would you say is the most important aspect in kitchen design? (It's a lot of expense and I want to get it right!)

Many thanks, regardless of whether or not you manage to answer my question.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:22:50

TallyGrenshall

I love Mary! My mother bought me one of her books 13/14 years ago and I used it all the time until it got lost in a move and I can't remember what it was called to replace it sad (white cover with all the basics in it if anyone remembers/has it)

My question is what has been your favourite bake from all the GBBO series?

Ryan's key lime pie. It was delicious.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:25:12

expatinscotland

Mary, I'd like to ask if it is necessary to adjust my cake and biscuit recipes in any way if I am using duck eggs, which are richer than chicken eggs.

(P.S., am a big fan of yours smile. Also, as a mother bereaved of my beautiful daughter, thank you for being so sharing of your experience of bereavement and I am sorry for the loss of your son).

Duck eggs can be used to replace hens eggs using the same volume. If you break four eggs in to a jug then compare it with a couple of duck eggs I think you'll find it'll be about the same volume. You could use the hens eggs that you've broken up in scrambled eggs. Duck eggs are very good for baking. I bought my grandchildren an ostrich egg last weekend and we made it into scrambled egg. It had a very tough shell!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:28:23

down2earthwithabump

Hello Mary Berry.

I am totally inspired by your career, attitude to life especially through times of adversity but also your successes, and of course baking. grin My baking has been a bit limited recently despite being a keen amateur trial-and-error-cook/baker but we have recently had architect plans for a small extension and creation of a kitchen diner at the back of our house (you wouldn't want to cook in the current 30 year old kitchen blush ) where I have dreams of teaching 6yr old DD and her friends to bake. (Many of our best times have been baking in the kitchen together).

Apart from the "kitchen working triangle" what would you say is the most important aspect in kitchen design? (It's a lot of expense and I want to get it right!)

Many thanks, regardless of whether or not you manage to answer my question.

Kitchen design is all about what suits you. For example, I like to have plenty of space for recycling and I have four containers in two draws. I therefore don't want a waste deposal unit. I like a separate kitchen table for eating so that I don't have to keep clearing it when I'm working. Choose a floor that's easy to clean otherwise you'll regret it! I like my ingredients and equipment in cupboards rather than on open shelves to reduce cleaning. I like vertical storage for my baking trays, chopping boards, bun tins as it takes up less space. I could go on indefinitely – good luck!

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:29:40

cm22v077

Great, thanks for answering my question! Another one, if I may...
My mum had the Hamlyn Cook Book also - it was our bible as we were growing up and we had the clock cake every year for our birthdays. I still love looking through it because it's so dated - all that aspic Jelly. Do you ever use this book?

I still love the Hamlyn Cook Book but I am certainly not into aspic anymore!

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Mon 16-Sep-13 14:30:48

Thank you very much for answering my question Mary.

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:31:17

Whistleforit

Oh Mary, you are such a classy lady, I want to be you when I grow up. But it's not possible as I only want to ask whether you quite often think Paul is a sanctimonious twit. Albeit within very pretty eyes.

Paul is a great co-judge on the Bake Off. We have loads of fun and he is brilliant at yeast and breads which is a weak point with me. And his eyes are just as blue as you think they are!

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 16-Sep-13 14:31:47

Oooh she didn't like my question. sad

<switches to Camp Hollywood>

MaryBerry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:32:27

I've had a great time at Mumsnet. Thank you for all your wonderful questions. Keep cooking and enjoying it!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Sep-13 14:33:04

Mary has to leave us now (sigh) Thanks so much for all the Qs and thanks so much Mary for getting through so many. We'll be announcing the winner of the signed copy of Recipes for Life shortly (after photoshoot).

mothersanonymous Mon 16-Sep-13 14:34:15

What a wonderful surprise Monday treat! Thank you!

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 14:35:08

I think my girl crush just got bigger

<sigh>

Valentinegal Mon 16-Sep-13 14:46:00

Left me out too! I hope you did read it though Mary?

Elliptic5 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:52:53

Oh dear, I was so excited at the live web that I didn't phrase my question correctly, so even tho' Mary answered it I still don't know if some cakes are better cooked in a conventional oven blush.

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 14:57:46

Elliptic I am a poor substitute but as long as you use the appropriate temperature guide, the only difference is that fan ovens cook faster and more evenly. Therefore fan temps are given as lower than conventional ovens.

The best thing to do for all cooks is to buy an oven temperature gauge because all ovens tend to be a little 'out'. This is especially important if you bake a lot where the science is more precise.

My DD is training to be a Patissiere and I have worked as a chef (a while ago on a career break from nursing) and this is fairly standard advice.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Sep-13 15:06:18

And the winner of our prize draw is..... Honeydragon. Congratulations!
You have won a signed copy of Mary's memoir A Recipe for Life. We'll pm you with details of how to claim your prize.

Elliptic5 Mon 16-Sep-13 15:15:59

Thank you mignonette, I thought I had read some where that some things are better suited to certain sorts of oven. I have real trouble with cakes in loaf tins being burnt on top and raw in the middle - had this problem this weekend with Paul Hollywoods Banana and Walnut loaf from the How to Bake book.

And congratulations honeydragon grin.

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 15:22:13

Another thing that can help is buying very light coloured tins Elliptic as darker tins encourage the sides of cakes to cook too fast. Also using greaseproof paper folded over the top and as a collar around the sides (paler coloured paper).

Putting cakes at the top of a non fan oven will cook them faster so the advice w/ these ovens is to cook at the base if it is a slower cooking time recipe (fruit cakes) and in the middle for others. Many recipes from older recipe books (pre fan ovens) will suggest whereabouts to place the cake tins.

OhDearNigel Mon 16-Sep-13 15:26:39

Dear Mumsnet
I never get my very inoffensive and perfactly topical questions answered on Webchats sad
PLEASE if I ever bother to put a question on a webchat can it be answered especially as other people have had multiple questions answered

Off now to cry into my coffee

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 15:32:32

Squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

<<head>>

<<explodes>>

thanks thankyoooooou thanks

OhDearNigel Mon 16-Sep-13 16:02:01

have just realised my post came over quite snippy. I am aware of the posting guidelines for webchats !!! Please imagine my post being wailed into the computer in the middle of tears of misery grin

HoneyDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 16:22:30

I definitely read it as distraught wailing not snippiness.

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 16:38:13

Ohdear No you didn't come across as snippy. It seems that in this case, asking questions during the webchat yielded a better chance of being answered.

I PMed you (but am not Mary Berry)....grin

onetiredmummy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:11:29

I missed it unfortunately.

Did Ms Berry expound on her fascinating anti women's rights theories? Or did she ignore questions surrounding the subject?

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 18:12:39

Yes she ignored.....

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 16-Sep-13 19:41:23

I'm sure I've read that she has corrected the Daily Mail's "Mary Berry hates feminists" story - I think it was a Radio Times article where she said that her words were taken out of context and what she meant was something along the lines of "equal rights for women is great but I'm not the right person to ask as I'm not good at political theory"

If any MB fans are still lurking, which of her baking books would you recommend if I'm going to buy just one?

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:09

Mary Berry's Baking Bible

Mary Berry's Fast Cakes

Mary Berry At Home

She has a new book out coauthored w/ her assistant Lucy Young out next February called 'Cook Up A Feast'.

mignonette Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:40

Sorry if just one then 'The Baking Bible'

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 16-Sep-13 20:50:25

Thanks mignonette.

nextphase Mon 16-Sep-13 20:52:10

Nigel Wilton angel tins Any use?

tinypumpkin Tue 17-Sep-13 08:21:17

Ooh, just noticed that Mary berry did answer my question, that will teach me to skim read.

I didn't know that she was a patron of the Child Bereavement Trust, that is fab. Loving her even more now for the bereavement work she does in terms of supporting families and raising awareness. A cause incredibly close to my heart sadly.

OddSockMonster Tue 17-Sep-13 20:19:45

Oh my, she answered my question first! Wish I hadn't locked myself out of the house for the whole of the webchat now, and come back and checked MN sooner. Thank you Mary!

tinypumpkin Tue 17-Sep-13 21:13:14

Yay about the question but bloody rubbish about the locking yourself out OldSockMonster. I was stupidly excited when she had answered mine!

<sulks> she didn't answer mine!!!!

I've always preferred Paul Hollywood anyway!

tinypumpkin Tue 17-Sep-13 21:53:56

Ah, I never get answered normally 50Shades I promise. In fact, never before at all. Mine was not a very sensible question, I will leave the baking qs to those who know what they are doing.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 18-Sep-13 09:57:03

Don't worry Nigel. She didn't answer me either <soothes>

I am always dead polite and as on-topic questions but the only person that ever answered me was Hugh Grant, which I was pretty impressed with actually.

It IS a bit miffing when you posted a question up early on and get ignored but questions asked near the end (even if they are from posters that got answered already) get replies.

Pfffft.

Applecrumbly Fri 20-Sep-13 22:08:52

Aw my question got ignored too even though I posted it way in advancesad.Sob,sob.

Reastie Sat 26-Oct-13 16:33:09

<waves madly to Mary>

I have retyped this post about 10 times blush as I'm overcome at the thought of Mary answering one of my questions. Looking forward to reading the autobiography, it's on my Christmas list, and I've been a good girl all year grin

My question is, which recipe(s)/foods remind you most of your childhood and what memories do you get from them?

Mine is bread toasted on the fire as a special treat on cold winters evenings and my Mums speciality of lemon meringue pie <licks lips and goes all nostalgic>

Reastie Sat 26-Oct-13 16:33:58

oh crap, I didn't realise this had already happened blush blush blush (I actually am blushing in RL too).

As you were..........

ampattenden Wed 11-Dec-13 16:58:33

Hi Valentinegal, did you by any chance go to Teesdale School in Barnard Castle? My cookery teacher there was called Mrs Berry and is the right age to be a slightly younger sister in law... No memory of her first name/initial though. Would be quite exciting if it was her!

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