Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Plumbery School of Cookery - Cathy Bramley

The Plumbery School of Cookery 
by Cathy Bramley

About the book...
The Plumberry School of Comfort Food was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

Verity Bloom hasn't been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks' time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up. And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she's home.

But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness?

About the author...
After four years of flinging herself round the dancefloors of Nottingham's nightspots, British author Cathy Bramley somehow managed to get an honours degree in business.
She then plunged herself into the corporate world of marketing, working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker water guns and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears until deciding in 1995 to set up her own marketing agency.

She now lives in an idyllic Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two daughters and a dog called Pearl.

It's my absolute pleasure to be part of the Blog Tour for The Plumbery School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley.  She's one of my all time favourite authors and her books never fail to bring a smile to my face.  Cathy was recently interviewed by fellow blogger Zarina @zarinatweets.  I have one of the questions she was asked below and you'll find the full interview at

What about the food in Plumberry?

One of the key themes of my new book, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food, is sharing a love of cooking and, of course, food. I enjoy collating my favourite recipes and those of my friends, family and colleagues at Transworld to include in the back of each book. I particularly love recipes which have been handed down through families.

Last year I had a bit of bad news when I found out that my beautician, Lauren had given up her beauty business, but I was immediately cheered when she said was opening a café in the next village instead!

Honestly, this woman can turn her hand to anything, so I got myself down to Rhubarb’s Café and Tea Room and commiserated the loss of my eyelash extensions with a slice of the most delicious cake. This, Lauren told me, was her granddad’s recipe.

I knew straight away that it deserved a place in The Plumberry School of Comfort Food and asked her to give me the recipe. So thank you, Lauren’s granddad, and I hope you enjoy making and eating it too!

Rhubarbs’ Fruit and Ale Cake

You will need…

170 ml ale something like Old Peculiar would work well
1kg mixed dried fruit and peel
125g glacé cherries
50g cranberries
255g softened butter
255g caster sugar
3 beaten eggs
255g plain flour
125g chopped walnuts
Some walnut halves to decorate top (optional)

Soak dried fruit and peel in the ale overnight if possible or for at least several hours. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and pale. Mix a spoonful of the flour into creamed mixture to prevent curdling, and gradually beat the eggs into the mixture. Stir in rest of the flour and finally add chopped walnuts and fruit and ale. Stir well together before putting into a greased and lined 8inch (20cm) square cake tin. Smooth over the top and place the walnut halves in a pattern over the surface if using. Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 3, 170c (150c fan oven), for 3 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Delicious with a cup of tea!

I so want to be eating this cake now, it sounds absolutely delicious!  Huge thanks to Transworld Cathy's publishers for inviting me to be part of the tour and sending my a copy of The Plumbery School of Comfort Food - a review of this delicious book will be heading on to my blog very soon.

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