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Berry good to meet Mary, queen of baking!

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018 5:01pm

Would you like to meet the queen of baking, Mary Berry? Then you will love the latest competition by the National Dairy Council.

You are invited to create something unique and delicious that can be served at Afternoon Tea at the Ploughing Championships. It can be sweet or savoury but must contain dairy produce in some form.

The three best recipes will be selected and the finalists will present their delicacy for tasting by Mary and guests and enjoy afternoon tea at the National Dairy Council Stand at the Ploughing Championships.

Supporting Mary Berry in the judging is our very own princess of baking, Lilly Higgins who said: “I am delighted to be involved with this competition and to meet the baking legend that is Mary Berry! My experience of being a judge on ‘The Great Irish Bake Off’ will certainly help in picking the best entries for the Afternoon Tea at the Ploughing Championships.

“I am a huge fan of baking myself and really look forward to seeing the variety of recipes that will be sent in. My advice would be to keep it simple and execute it well, whether it’s a cake, tart, quiche or even a sandwich, get the basics right and it will be delicious!”

Each finalist will receive a €300 voucher for Ballymaloe Cookery School and an afternoon tea hamper filled with goodies, free entry into the ploughing championships and the chance to have afternoon tea with Mary Berry.

Send your recipes including full details on ingredients, method, cooking times and a picture to or by post to Dairy Competition, The National Dairy Council, The Studio, 55c Maple Avenue, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin A94 HY83.

The closing date is 5pm on Friday 10 August for all entries.

I love afternoon tea. I have baked for many and even created a savoury afternoon tea for my friends.

For this competition, I recommend to think outside the box and create something unique.

If you like to make scones, make sure they are outstandingly good.

Also, consider how it will stand up in the heat after being transported etc. And practice the recipe several times before the final – you will feel more relaxed.

Look at some websites for inspiration ( could be one of them – just saying). Or visit hotels that offer afternoon tea like the River Lee Hotel etc.

Appearance is a huge factor – the eye eats first. I have a series of cookbooks (not the correct description for the elegant square books with gold rim) by Laduree and gosh, the photos alone are stunning and look simply mouthwatering.

Check out the website of Laduree for inspiration. Don’t look at the prices, just look at how beautiful the creations are.

Take inspiration from it and get going.

Let me know how you get on or email me on if you have a question. Good luck bakers!


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