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Juliet Sear's pistachio, mint and yoghurt cake

Serves: 10 - 12

Prep time: 50 minutes

Chill time: Minimum 1 hour

Bake time: 40 - 50 minutes

Ingredients

Syrup

100ml (3 ½ fl oz) water

100g (3 ½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

50g (1 ¾ oz) honey

Handful of chopped mint

Cake

240g (8 ½ oz) self-raising (-raising) flour

Pinch of salt

300g (10 ½ oz) blitzed pistachios

200g (7oz) butter

350g (12oz) caster (superfine) sugar

50g (1 ¾ oz) honey

2 tbsp fresh mint

8 eggs

Yoghurt topping

250g (9oz) full-fat Greek yoghurt

2 tbsp icing (confectioner’s) sugar

2 tbsp honey

Fresh fruits (Juliet uses green, gold and baby kiwi slices, and slices of orange, strawberries and blueberries)

Flowering mint leaves and edible flowers to decorate (Juliet uses mixed colour zinnias and flowering mint)

Equipment

Stand mixer, electric whisk or bowl and wooden spoon

Cake leveller or sharp knife

Palette knife

23cm (9in) round cake tin, lined with baking parchment

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time until combined

  2. Add the mint and honey, and fold in the flour, pistachios and salt

  3. Bake at 160℃ (325℉) for 40 - 50 minutes until cooked through

  4. Now make the syrup. Heat the sugar, water and honey until the sugar is dissolved, then take off the heat and add the mint.

  5. Make the yoghurt topping in a bowl. Add the honey and sugar to the yoghurt and stir through.

  6. Trim off the hump from the top of the cake and drizzle over the syrup mixture so it soaks in

  7. Spoon the yoghurt topping onto the cake and using a palette knife, level and make it smooth

  8. Go around the edge of the cake with the palette knife to make it neat and round and so that the toppings sit around the edge of the sponge

  9. Dress with fruit and fresh flowers, trimming the fruit and choosing various sizes of the flowers so they fit neatly together and around the top edge of the cake. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Juliet Sear's lavender biscuits

Makes: 25-30 biscuits

Prep time: 30 minutes

Chill time: approx 2 hours

Bake time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

250g (8 ¾ oz) white caster (superfine) sugar

15g (½ oz) dried lavender

250g (9oz) unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

360g (12 ¾ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

Purple food colouring dust

1 egg white

Edible violas in a variety of colours (Juliet uses purples)

Equipment

Cling film

Sharp knife

Small paintbrush

Method

  1. To make the lavender sugar, blitz the caster sugar and lavender in a food processor until the lavender has been dispersed into a fine dust

  2. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the lavender sugar and put to one side

  3. Cream together the butter and lavender sugar with the vanilla bean paste until it is pale and fluffy

  4. Add the flour and combine into a soft dough

  5. Split the dough in half and roll each amount into a thick sausage shape with a diameter of around 5cm (2in). Wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and chill for a couple of hours.

  6. Unwrap the chilled dough and cut into 1cm (3/4inch) thick slices

  7. Add purple food colouring dust to the remaining lavender sugar until you have a lilac-coloured sugar

  8. Roll the edge of each slice of dough in the coloured lavender sugar

  9. Place the biscuits on a lined baking tray and bake at 180C (350F) for 15 minutes

  10. Remove the biscuits from the oven, brush the tops with a little egg white and add the violas by pushing them gently into the centre of each warm biscuit. Brush over the top with another layer of egg white to seal the flowers in place.

  11. Continue baking the biscuits for another 5-10 minutes until the edges turn golden brown

  12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack

Suranne Jones: I’d be nervous to return to Doctor Foster

She was a woman scorned as GP Doctor Foster, took no prisoners as Coronation Street’s Karen McDonald, and Suranne Jones is once again standing strong for her latest role.

Suranne joins us to tell all about playing Britain’s ‘first modern lesbian’ Anne Lister in new period drama Gentleman Jack, and why she went to the extreme length of growing out her armpit hair for the role.

We’ll also be finding out whether Suranne might ever return to Corrie, and if we can expect a third series of Doctor Foster.