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jammy jubilee battenberg.

the fanfares are sounding, the union jacks are flying and the pimms is flowing. as i'm sure you know, 2012 marks sixty years at the throne for queen liz and what better what to celebrate that with a good old fashioned tea party! stuck for ideas on what to make and feel like those crustless cucumber sandwiches just won't cut it? why not try my recipe for a royal red, white and blue twist on a british favourite.

shopping list
♥ 200g unsalted butter
♥ 210g caster sugar
♥ 240g plain flour
♥ four eggs
♥ a block of white marzipan
♥ three tablespoons of raspberry jam
♥ splash of milk
♥ one teaspoon of vanilla essence
♥ one teaspoon baking powder
♥ red and blue food colouring or gel
♥ non stick baking parchment and foil

♥ a square baking tin/dish
note: i was even drawn to the union jack packaging on pretty much all of these ingredients! :)

set the oven to 170 degrees, or gas mark four. prepare the baking tin with buttered parchment and make a divider using a wedge of kitchen foil wrapped in parchment (so the sponge doesn't stick to the foil). 

for the sponge, beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until pale and creamy. add the first egg to make the mixture easier to beat and then add the rest of the eggs one by one. next add the vanilla essence and lastly sift and fold in the flour.  if the mixture seems too thick, add a splash of milk and continue to beat. 

next, separate the mixture and turn royal blue and regal red (well, pink!) a little tip is that if the blue food colouring turns your mixture green, try adding a little red to make it a more purpley blue. primary colour wheel yo!

you then carefully pour the mixture into each section trying to keep them apart. don't worry if you get a little overlap, you'll be cutting it up later :) you then put it in the oven for around 40 minutes (or until risen and as golden as you'd expect a colourful sponge to be) and then let cool on a rack for 20 minutes. 

next you put your rectangle sponges side by side and trim any risen bits, edges etc until they match. you then cut these evening down the middle and switch over, making the chequered effect. warm up your raspberry jam in the microwave for 10 seconds and use as "glue".

for the marzipan coating, being by dusting a flat surface with icing sugar, rather like you would with flour for rolling pastry out. roll out the marzipan with length of your sponge and a width that will wrap around it. 

when you're happy, lay your sponge on the marzipan and wrap up, pinching at the edges to seal. you may want to cut the ends to neaten it up too. and of course for the first little taste!

serve with a cup of earl grey - of course from one of these jubilee teapots - and there you have it! a jubilee battenberg fit for a queen!

how to tell your nigri from your nori: a masterclass in sushi speak

maki: this is a popular sushi roll that springs to mind when most people think of this japanese cuisine. ingredients such as salmon, tuna and avocado are laid with rice on a sheet of toasted seaweed, rolled with a bamboo mat and then cut into discs.

uramaki: a contemporary ‘inside out’ alternative to maki; it is rolled so that the rice is on the outside and is coated with sesame seeds and tobiko, a type of flying fish roe. the western take on this is a california roll, often with a seafood stick in the centre. 

yakisoba: pan fried noodles in a tangy yet spicy japanese sauce, usually tossed with fresh asian vegetables, chicken or seafood.

nigri: this type of sushi begins its life as a rectangular mound of rice carefully sculptured by a sushi chef. next, a slice of perhaps high grade raw salmon, or yellowfin tuna, is placed on top to serve. and don’t forget the wasabi, a hot paste made from a plant from the same family of horseradish and mustard, to compliment sushi with its spicy and peppery taste.

temaki: also known as handrolls, these little masterpieces are your own personal sushi bouquet with your favourite filling. popular combinations are salmon and avocado, soft shell crab with radish pickle or crispy duck drizzled in hoi sin sauce. the nori wrapped around is dried edible seaweed which has been toasted, seasoned with sesame oil and rolled out into sheets.

sashimi: despite most people thinking sushi is raw fish sashimi is actually the technical term for it. sashimi means ‘pierced body’ in japanese as is the art of creating delicate slices of high grade raw fish, sometimes with a sesame crust, which taste divine dipped in soy sauce.

miso: a traditional japanese soup made from soy beans, tofu, spring onions and various grains and spices. it's often said this soup is a great hangover cure – perfect if you’ve been on the sake the night before. :)

oshizushi: also known as boxed or pressed sushi, this is presented as a block of rice created by a wooden mould lined with tasty treats such as salmon, tuna and japanese omelette.

tasty turkey and coriander burgers.

makes two large burgers or four medium.

shopping list

♥ 500g lean turkey mince
♥ a bunch of spring onions
♥ two handfuls of fresh coriander, stalks removed
♥ half a red pepper
♥ ciabatta bread
♥ your favourite salad
♥ mayonnaise, if preferred

this recipe couldn't be easier. or tastier. or healthier.
well, maybe without the mayo.

simply mix together the mince and chopped vegetables and form into patties, then grill or fry off for around 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. then take a few coriander leaves and stir through the mayonnaise.

serve with warm bread and salad and ta daaa!

whoever said turkey was just for christmas?! plus, if you like these then maybe you'll like my minty lamb burgers with tzatziki and cous cous.

psst... emily's fun food fact of the day:
100g turkey mince has 167 calories and 6.5g fat 
100g chicken mince has 188 calories and 8.9g fat 
100g beef mince has 219 calories and 15.3g fat 

raspberry and coconut cupcakes: peyton and byrne recipe

shopping list
for the cupcakes
♥ 100g softened unsalted butter
♥ 125g caster sugar
♥ 150g self raising flour
♥ two eggs
♥ 60g low fat natural yoghurt
♥ 200g raspberries - set aside the best 12 for decoration
♥ 30g desiccated coconut 

for the icing
♥ 115g caster sugar
♥ 175g unsalted butter, softened
♥ two egg whites
♥ 50ml coconut milk, shaken
♥ flaked coconut to decorate

preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line the tin with 12 fairy cake cases. drop in a couple of raspberries in each.

for the cupcakes, mix together the butter and caster sugar until creamy. then add in each egg at a time and sieve in the flour. lastly, lightly mix in the natural yoghurt and desiccated coconut.

drop roughly three generous teaspoons of the mixture into each case. pop in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. 
next... the yummy, scrummy icing :)

the coconut icing is made with an italian method - which means it uses egg whites instead of classic butter and icing sugar made buttercream.

to prepare the egg whites, simply crack the egg in your hand and let the whites fall through your fingers into a bowl ready for later.

begin making the icing by pouring the sugar and egg whites into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water over a low heat until the granules have dissolved into a thickened syrup. 

when the sugar mixture has cooled, beat together for 10 minutes - preferably with an electric hand whisk - or if not just a little of elbow grease. add in the butter a little at a time. do not fret if it splits; persevere and it will come back together to form a creamy texture. a great tip is to keep it in the fridge for a little while so it thickens even more.

ice the cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut flakes - of course topping each with a raspberry. it's one of your five a day, right?

if you love these as much as i do then maybe you'll like my lemon and almond frangipane tart recipe.

with thanks to peyton and byrne for their amazing cakes and even more amazing recipes. if you're ever in st pancras station in london, be sure to buy a chocolate tart for the journey :)