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Birthday Banoffee Brownies

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It was my other half’s birthday yesterday and there was already a cake in place – which only saw the light on day for 24 hours – and I fancied baking something to celebrate. Now, I must admit I am not the best of bakers hence why this was such a momentous occasion for me, and the reasons are a. because I don’t have the time the dedicate too it (thank goodness because I think I would become the size of a house) and b. everyone else is better at it in my family so I usually leave it to the pros. But as it was his birthday and thought I put my house wifey cap on and take inspiration from his favourite desert, banoffee pie, and incorporate it into a brownie. Here’s the recipe:

100g White chocolate

100g Caramel from a tin

100g Butter

250g Caster sugar

200g Self Raising Flower

Two eggs

Two sliced ripe bananas

Step one: Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Step two: Melt the caramel, sugar and white chocolate until smooth

Step three: Cool for a short time and then add the eggs and fold in the flour and bananas

Step four: Pour into a tin and pop in the oven for around 45 minutes or until golden

Simples! As the token amateur baker I forgot to greece the tin so the brownie was a bit tricky to get out of the pan, so make sure that’s on your to do list before popping in the oven. Quite a nice and easy recipe that’s good for the time conscious baker as you can leave it to bake and wait for the magic to happen.

Top tip: With the leftover caramel, make your fruit more flavoursome by dipping apples and making some classic toffee apples by sticking them in the fridge to cool. And to take it one step further, mash up the toffee apples and put a layer of crumble mix on top to make that good old British favourite, apple crumble with a twist.

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An interview with…Bryony Hill

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Introducing you to 19-year-old singer-songwriter Bryony Hill who moved to Stroud just under a year ago, she has settled into the area rather nicely and has established herself as a brilliant acoustic act in the area. One for the romantic, modern day covers pioneered by female acts such as Gabrielle Apline, I interviewed her about her music, what the Stroud music scene means to her and also get an intimate live performances of her rendition of Daughter’s track ‘Run’.

Here the full interview here

An interview with…Bryony Hill by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

Crossing over genres with her friend Lifting Fights from college, here’s Bryony taking up the vocals on the dustep track ‘Open Your Eyes’.

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The Fabulous Baker Brothers

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A nice bank holiday treat for you and one that I have been meaning to post ever since I stepped foot in the Hobbs House Bakery. When I first started the show I wanted something to kick it off with a bang and what a better duo to feature than the most celebrated brothers in the Cotswolds who can certainly cook up a storm, The Fabulous Baker Brothers. Invited to the Hobbs House Bakery in Chipping Sodbury on Good Friday I was welcomed by the smell of cinnamon and hot cross buns, my eyes bursting with excitement from all the freshly made bread and cakes. I was in my element. Upon meeting Tom Herbert he gave me a tour around the bakery and had a sneaky peak at their newly launched cookery schools. A great insight into the brothers beyond the TV show, I even had the pleasure of seeing their jungle in the bathtub and was treated with a loaf of sour dough and hot cross buns on my travels. Such a lovely and talented bunch the Herberts and they have certainly got an exciting summer ahead with the announcement that they are taking the Cotswolds to America!

Listen to my interview with Tom Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Brothers here

An interview with: The Fabulous Baker Brothers by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

An insight into my visit

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Listen Again To The Teacakes and Talk Show

If you missed the latest Teacakes and Talk show that had the special theme of family and friends never fear for you can listen to the whole thing again right here.

Teacakes and Talk Five by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

A big thank you to everyone that listened and took part, especially to Jade Price who is climbing the Three Peaks at the end of May for charity, George Montague ahead of his Cheltenham Jazz Festival performance and of course to my grandparents Nanny Carole and Bampy Dave for talking about baking cakes and making wine.

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Looking forward to the next one! Tune in next Saturday 10am-12pm on Stroud 107.9FM.

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Meet Carole Our Resident Cake Maker

Ok…I must confess, she’s my nan. But she’s a blooming good cake baker at that and from now on will be our resident cake maker giving us lots of tips and advice on what cakes are great for the time of year and what she recommends.

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As spring has finally sprung we asked Carole what cake is great for the warmer months and what tipple goes great with it.

“Well I make a nice almond slice which is quite cheap to make, although it’s got almonds in it it’s actually almond essence and then you just sprinkle the almonds on top. Very similar to a bakewell tart but you don’t put the icing on top, and that will keep for weeks and weeks in an air tight tin, it’s very light, and you can take it on picnics and it’s lovely for afternoon tea.”

What ingredients do you put into it?

“YOu put a base of shortcrust pastry onto he bottom and cover that with your favourite jam, strawberry or raspberry or whatever jam you like. And then you make a sponge mixture up and you can put fruit and raisins in it if you wish, and then almond essence to give it the almondy taste, spread that over the top of the pastry and the jam and then flaked almonds on top of that and then pop it in the oven and bake until cooked.”

Why do you recommend almond cake for this time of you?

“Because it keeps, and it’s not a creamy cake so it won’t go running and sickly. And all my family love it.”

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What other cakes do you suggest for this time of year?

“My chocolate crunch. You used to have it when you were at school with pink custard, but I just make a crunchy brownie mixture and I put chocolate on top on mine which keeps lovely n the fridge. My son was in the army, and my nephew was in the army and whatever country they were in, the chocolate crunch got posted to, they always insisted that I send chocolate crunch. So it’s been all over the world from Cyprus to Ireland, Afghanistan, Germany, Cyprus and Hong Kong.”

What do you think of the current trend of afternoon tea?

“I think it’s wonderful, I think it’s here to stay. It’s a lovely civilised thing to do especially with cream and jam scones.”

And what beverage would you have with it?

“Pimms probably, or Amorreto, or blackcurrent in a nice cool cold glass. In terms or tea I stick with traditional breakfast tea, I’m not one for all those ponsey teas.”

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Listen Again to the Teacakes and Talk Show

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If you missed the latest Teacakes and Talk show never fear for you can listen to the whole thing again right here.

Teacakes and Talk Four by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

A big thank you to everyone that listened and took part, especially to Dog is Dead, Tim and Kerry from Kitsch Coffee and Wine Bar and of course the lovely Bryony Hill for performing live in the studio and being part of the show. Looking forward to the next one! Tune in next Saturday 10am-12pm on Stroud 107.9FM.

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Listen Again to the Teacakes and Talk Show

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If you missed the launch of the first Teacakes and Talk show never fear for you can listen to the whole thing again right here.

Teacakes and Talk Three by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

A big thank you to everyone that listened and took part, especially to Julia from The Clandestine Cake Club, Tammy Lynn from the Stroud Photography Club and The Vast for being part of the show. Looking forward to the next show! Tune in next Saturday 10am-12pm on Stroud 107.9FM.

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Happy Record Store Day

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Six years ago today those crazy folk in the USA conjured up the day of all days for music lovers around the world – the craziest part is that we didn’t think of it first! Celebrating music in it’s finest form we unite on this day with pounds in our pocket and a hop skip and a jump in our step toddling off to our local record store. With the decline of the super giants in this current climate it is time that we invested in what we’ve got left on the highstreet. Independent record stores are here to stay and Rise in Cheltenham is by far my favourite in the Cotswolds. Fashion, music, books and stationary, what’s not to like!

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This music shop has been around for a few years selling cds, books and the occasional music memorabilia, and to be honest I thought it would go down the same route as Zavvi, right down the recession drain. But it has upped its game and tapped into a market that is so dated, but so now. We’re living in the age of  dusting off our vinyls, reliving our heritage and investing into keepsakes, and Rise have hit the market so well in a town that is so eclectic. Cheltenham has its posh parts in Montpellier but also high street names too, so finding a shop like this is a goldmine.

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Me and the boyfriend were putting the world to rights the other day and talking about how retailers overprice charity shop hand me downs and pass them off for vintage, but Rise is well priced, caters for males and females and utilises the best of both worlds with my too passions, music and fashion. Stumbling across a Radiohead vinyl for £6 and difficult to find new releases for about a tenner I could honestly spend hours in this place waiting to find something new. The clothes are beautiful and I couldn’t help tap my toes to the soundtrack playing on the shop floor. Its sister shop in Bristol also holds live gigs now and again and have had the likes of Mumford and Sons and The xx play instore, showing that its passion really does lie in the music and doesn’t shut its doors at 5pm.

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I’ve never been one for collecting vinyls, this one time I had a thing for stickers, so maybe this could be the time to invest in something new and try my hand at djing with music that not only sounds great but looks beautiful too. Not only is this a chance to ditch the digital downloads and buy into music in its puritst form, it’s about buying from an independent music store right on my doorstep. Oh yeah, the website is very cool too, ok geek moment over.

Teacakes and Talk factoid: Rise was voted as the Best Independent Music Retailer in the 2010 Music Week Awards.

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Tune in to the Teacakes and Talk show tomorrow

Give a cheer the weekend is almost here and that means another freshly brewed Teacakes and Talk show, and what a treat for you this week. Last time we heard from the lovely George Montague who is headlining this year’s Stroud Fringe Festival as well as playing the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in a few weeks time, we also found out about Cheltenham’s very own fashion week, getting crafty with Sew Creative and how to get fit in Stroud.

Starting with our regular ‘That was the Year’ feature we’ve opted for something modern this time, waving a musical flag to a landmark event in the music diary we go back to the launch year of Record Store Day. What were you up to in 2007, we’d love to know.

This week we turn to the rising phenominon of the cake club, speaking to Julia Paton from the Stroud devision of The Clandestine Cake Club. To give you a flavour (sorry couldn’t help myself) of what the club is about see below.

We’ll be celebrating the centurion of the great fashion photographer Norman Parkinson chatting to Stroud Camera Club member, and photographer of course, Tammy Lynn about photographer as a hobby, career and why Mr Parkinson had an influence on her.

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There’ll also be a round up of the best events going on in the Cotswolds this weekend according to Teacakes and Talk too.

And finally we’ll be chatting to Stroud band The Vast who have just finished up their second EP. They’ll be telling all about the recording process, who they’re influenced by and what Stroud means to them. Take a listen to their track Ian below.

As always we love to hear from you so get in touch via Twitter @teacakesandtalk or check out the Teacakes and Talk Facebook page www.facebook.com/teacakesandtalk 

See you in the morning! Stroud 107.9FM 10am-12pm, or listen online here 

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Listen Again to the Teacakes and Talk Show

If you missed the launch of the first Teacakes and Talk show never fear for you can listen to the whole thing again right here.

Teacakes and Talk Two by Jessbracey on Mixcloud

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A big thank you to everyone that listened and took part, especially to Martha from Sew Creative, Hayley from Fashion and Beauty Cheltenham, Jess from Keep Fit Stroud and of course the incredible George Montague for bringing in a little treat. Looking forward to the next show! Tune in next Saturday 10am-12pm on Stroud 107.9FM.